Colonel Magdalena “Mags” Sunderhaus currently serves as the National Defense University Reserve Component Chair and College of International Security Affairs military faculty member, Fort Lesley McNair, Washington D.C. Prior to that, she was the first Commander of the 311th Special Operations Intelligence Squadron (SOIS), the newest squadron in the 919th Special Operations Wing and first designated SOIS in the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). The mission of the 311th is to provide USSOCOM and components with deployedin-garrison full motion video processing, exploitation and dissemination in support of special operations forces engaged in combatoperations worldwide.
As an immigrant from Madrid, Spain, Colonel Sunderhaus received her American citizenship in 1999, and was immediately selected to join the Air Force and attend Officer Training School, receiving her commission in July of 2000. After her graduation from the Intelligence Officer Course on 11 September 2001, she immediately departed for Hurlburt Field, FL, where she served as Intelligence Flight Commander at the 14th Weapons Squadron. Six months later she deployed to the Air Force Special Operations Detachment-South in Jacobabad, Pakistan and later Kandahar, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom MH-53 Pave Low operations.
A career Intelligence Officer, she has served in various positions on Active Duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve Command, to include two combat deployments to Balad Air Base, Iraq, a deployment to the Combined Air Operations Center in Al Udeid, Qatar, and a tour to the Defense Attaché Office in the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua. Additionally, Colonel Sunderhaus has been instrumental to the standup of not only the 311th SOIS, but also two additional AFRC squadrons, the 71st and the 64th. Prior to her position as the 311th SOIS Commander, Colonel Sunderhaus served as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) to the Deputy Commander, 691st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Fort Meade, Maryland, where she was the first IMA to serve in a newly stood up cryptological operations Group. In her civilian capacity, Colonel Sunderhaus has served as an Defense Intelligence Agency government civilian since 2013, first as MASINT Collection Architectures Manager at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, and later as collection manager at the Americas Regional Center, DIA Headquarters, Joint Base AnacostiaBolling, Washington D.C. In 2017, she was assigned to the Joint Staff J26 (Directorate for Collection Management), Pentagon, Washington D.C., as a senior collection analyst.
She is a graduate of the University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain, and has two master’s degrees from Marquette University, Milwaukee WI, and the Inter-American Defense College, where she graduated with distinction and attended War College. Colonel Sunderhaus is married to retired USAF Major Darren E. Sunderhaus, a veteran of 26 years. Their daughter Sophia is a lawyer and a public defendant in Charleston, South Carolina.
1990 Bachelor of Arts, Classical Languages, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
1992 Master of Arts, Spanish Language & Literature, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
1997 North Dakota Public Schools Teaching Certificate, Minot, ND
2001 Officer Intelligence Course, Goodfellow Air Force Base, TX
2008 Combat Targeting Course, Goodfellow Air Force Base, TX
2008 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, AL
2013 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, AL
2018 War College/Master of Science in Inter-American Defense and Security, Fort McNair, Washington D.C.
2019 United States Special Operations Command Pre-Command Course, McDill Air Force Base, Tampa FL
2020 Air Force Reserve Command Squadron Commander Course, Robins Air Force Base, GA
2021 Reserve Component National Security Course (Projected July 2021)
2001- 2003 Flight Commander, 14th Weapons Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida
2003- 2006 Chief of Standardization & Evaluation, ACC Intelligence Squadron, Langley Air Force Base, VA
2006- 2010 Senior Intelligence Officer, 113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard, Andrews Air Force Base, MD
2010- 2012 Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (current Joint Staff J32), Bolling AFB, Washington D.C.
2012-2013 71st Intelligence Squadron, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH
2013-2014 64th Intelligence Squadron, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH
2014-2016 Headquarters Air Force/A2, Policy for Analysis Division, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
2016-2019 691st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Fort Meade, MD
2019-2021 311th Special Operations Intelligence Squadron, Hurlburt Field, FL
2021-Present National Defense University/College of International Security Affairs, Fort McNair, Washington D.C.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal, 4 Devices
Air Force Commendation Medal, 1 Device
Air Force Achievement Medal, 3 Devices
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, 1 Device
Army Superior Unit Award
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge (civilian)
Distinguished Graduate, Master of Arts, 1992
Distinguished Graduate, Combat Targeting Course, 2008
Distinguished Graduate, Inter-American Defense College (Senior Defense Education), 2018
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant – 7 July 2000
First Lieutenant – 7 July 2002
Captain – 7 July 2004
Major – 11 November 2008
Lieutenant Colonel – 11 November 2015
Colonel – 1 July 2021