Col 179AW Vice Comander COL KEN KMETZ


Col. Kenneth Kmetz is the Vice Wing Commander of the 179th Airlift Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, Mansfield, Ohio.  He ensures the Wing's Airmen and its assets are ready to deploy in support of our local communities, state, and nation for the national defense, homeland security, humanitarian and disaster relief missions they serve.

Col. Kmetz enlisted in 1986 with the 179th Airlift Group, Civil Engineering Squadron as a firefighter. His experience includes service in Civil Engineering Squadron, the Support Group First Sergeant, Services Flight, Security Forces Squadron, Force Support Squadron, and Aircraft Maintenance. After graduating from The Ohio State University Summa Cum Laude in 1998, he received his commission and served as the 179th Support Group Executive Officer. In 2000, Col. Kmetz assumed command of the 179th AW Services Flight that was named the 2003 ANG’s Services Flight of the Year and earned an “Excellent” rating on their AMC Unit Compliance Inspection. In 2004, he assumed command of the 179th Security Forces Squadron. In 2005, he became the 179th AW Director of Personnel and led the conversion to the Force Support Squadron and his organization earned the 2008 Gerrit Foster Jr. Outstanding MPF Achievement Award.

Col. Kmetz became the 179th Airlift Wing Maintenance Group Deputy Commander and led L3 Contract Maintenance teams on the C-27J Spartan. Further, he led the bridge mission in performing Isochronal Inspections on C-130Hs, achieved an “Outstanding” rating during the AMC IG LCAP, and led conversion efforts to the C-130H2 aircraft. Col. Kmetz was selected as the 121st Air Refueling Wing Maintenance Group Commander where he was responsible for the safe generation of 12 KC-135R aircraft and the readiness of more than 300 maintainers. At the 121st ARW, he enabled “Global Reach” in support of multiple expeditionary mobilizations, the delivery of more than 55 million pounds of fuel, and an “Effective” rating during the Group’s first Unit Effectiveness Inspection. As the 179th AW Maintenance Group Commander, he led the transition from C-130H2s to C-130H1s aircraft, an “Effective” rating during the Group’s first Unit Effectiveness Inspection, multiple modifications, an AEF deployment cycle, the transition back to C-130H2s, and prepared for the Aircraft Modernization Program.  Finally, he served as the C-130 Maintenance Weapon System Council Chair leading and representing all 23 Air National Guard C-130 units.


1994 Associate in Applied Science, Community College of the Air Force, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

1997 USAF First Sergeant Academy, Ira C. Eaker College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

1998 Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, The Ohio State University, Summa Cum Laude, Columbus, Ohio

1999 Academy of Military Science, Knoxville, Tenn.

2001 Services Initial Skills SVS 101 and Mortuary Affairs Course, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

2006 USAF Squadron Officer School, in-residence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2009 USAF Air Command Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2013 Senior Leadership Maintenance Course, Andrews AFB, Md.

2014 Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course, Sheppard AFB, Texas

2016 USAF Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.


1.  December 1986 – June 1987, Firefighter, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio

2.  June 1997 – February 1999, First Sergeant, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio

3.  February 1999 – November 2000, Support Group Executive Officer, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio

4.  November 2000 – May 2004, Services Flight Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio

5.  May 2004 – November 2005, Security Forces Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio

6.  November 2005 – February 2012, Director of Personnel, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio

7.  February 2012 – January 2015, Maintenance Group Deputy Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio

8.  January 2015 – March 2017, Maintenance Group Commander, 121st Air Refueling Wing, Columbus, Ohio

9.  March – April 2016, Aircraft Maintenance Theater Security Package Commander, PACOM, Anderson AFB, Guam

10.  March 2017 – June 2019, Maintenance Group Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio

11. July 2019 – Present, Vice Wing Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio



Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

National Defense Service Medal with bronze star

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air Force Longevity Service with four oak leaf clusters

Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon



Distinguished Graduate, Academy of Military Science – 1999

Company Grade Officer of the Year, Ohio ANG, 179th Airlift Wing – 2000

Family Liaison of the Year, Ohio National Guard – 2007

Distinguished Graduate, Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course – 2014

Ohio ANG Family Readiness Commander of the Year – 2018



Second Lieutenant Feb. 26, 1999

First Lieutenant Feb. 26, 2001

Captain Feb. 26, 2003

Major Feb. 26, 2007

Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 15, 2013

Colonel June 18, 2017


(Current as of September 2019)

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