Steven L. Basham was born in 1965 in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he graduated from Bowling Green High School and Western Kentucky University. He received his commission in the United States Air Force in 1989 through the Officer Training School, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
He completed his pilot training and was accepted into the B- I Bomber program at Grand Forks Air Force Base, and later Ellsworth AFB, where he became an instructor. This background made him eligible to apply to the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber program at Whiteman AFB. He was one of only eight pilots selected to be in the first group of non-instructor B-2 pilots.
On 24 March 1999, Major Basham became one of the first four pilots to take the B-2 stealth bomber into combat, during Operation Allied Force, the first hostile action by NATO against the Serbs in Yugoslavia. Basham and the other pilot on board left Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, on a 31-hour non-stop flight to Serbia and back. Only about an hour of that time was spent over Serbia, successfully striking three different strategic targets, while remaining undetected. Basham flew three different missions in harsh weather throughout the campaign.
Later, in 2003, US forces launched Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lt Col Basham was now Director of Operations for the 393rd Bomber Squadron and proved instrumental in the first overseas combat deployment of the B-2.
In 2009, Colonel Basham was selected to command the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, and to fly the B-52 Stratofortress.
Basham’s career continues to rise, and he achieved the rank of Lieutenant General in May 2019. He is currently the Deputy Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. As the air component to the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command. His group is responsible for providing full-spectrum warfighting capabilities to both combatant commanders throughout their area of responsibility, which encompasses 104 countries in Europe and Africa.
He has completed numerous flying, staff, and command assignments and is a command pilot with more than 3,400 flying hours in the B-1, B-2, and B-52.
Lieutenant General Basham’s major awards and decorations include:
the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the
Joint Service Achievement Medal Air Force Achievement Medal Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device, and other awards.