Air Reserve Station commanders promoted to colonel

Air Reserve Station commanders promoted to colonel

Jan. 7 – Two lieutenant colonels with the 107th Attack Wing based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station achieved the rank of colonel before the new year.

Andrew Carlson and Thomas Griffin were awarded their new ranks Dec. 30 in a ceremony at the air base. Brigadier General Denise Donnell, a commander of the New York Air National Guard, presided as Carlson’s wife and children pinned eagles signifying the rank of colonel to his uniform; and Griffin’s parents Michael and Susanne did the same.

“It is an absolute honor to be able to serve the Airmen and maintainers of the 107th Attack Wing,” Carlson said. “We have such an outstanding team that is dedicated to serving our community, state and nation. Whether we are fulfilling our federal or state missions, the team executes with precision and pride.”

Carlson serves as commander of the 107th Attack Wing, which includes operations, medical and mission support group functions. The 107th Attack Wing enables full-spectrum capabilities ranging from space command and control, tactical party operations, MQ-9 operations and support to domestic operations as envisioned by the Governor of New York.

A graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Carlson has flown T-37, T-38 and F-15C aircraft throughout his career, totaling over 2,300 military flight hours and over 600 combat hours. He participated in multinational exercises around the world, executed a NATO alert, conducted missions in support of the President of the United States, and completed two squadron deployments to Southwest Asia.

Carlson joined the 107th in March 2016 after previously being stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, Royal Lakenheath Air Force Base in England, Kandena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan and Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada . He also served as deputy commander of the 107th before becoming commander.

“I am very grateful to the previous wing commander, Brigadier General Charlton, and the New York State leadership, Maj. Gen. Shields and Brigadier General Donnell, for entrusting me with the opportunity to command and lead,” Carlson said.

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Griffin serves as the commander of the 107th Operations Group, being responsible for organizing, training, equipping and sustaining combat-ready forces for rapid deployment. Operations group missions the 107th is involved with include MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Strike Operations, Air Support Operations, and National Space Satellite Command and Control Operations.

Griffin has been with the New York Air National Guard since enlisting in 1999 as part of the 107th Air Refueling Wing, serving as a financial management technician. After graduating from the University at Buffalo in 2001, he was commissioned into the Air National Guard as a second lieutenant in 2002. He has served with the 174th Attack Wing out of Syracuse, the 118th Airlift Wing in Nashville, and has been stationed to the African country of Djibouti to conduct launch and recovery operations around the Horn of Africa.

“My dad was in the military during Vietnam and he encouraged me to look into the Air Force/Air National Guard,” Griffin said.

As pilot in command, Griffin has more than 3,500 hours of flight experience, including 340 combat flights totaling 750 hours and 470 combat support flights totaling 1,230 hours. He also served as deputy commander of the 107th Operations Group before becoming commander.

“I am excited to lead the 107th at the rank of colonel,” said Griffin. “My priority is to focus on ensuring that we continue to successfully execute our federal missions, while also remaining committed to providing domestic support to the governor of New York State.”

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