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Colonel 1.) 179AW Commander Col. Darren E. Hamilton

Col. Darren E. Hamilton is the Wing Commander of the 179th Airlift Wing (AW) in Mansfield, Ohio. The 179AW is comprised of approximately 1,000 personnel who operate and support C130H airlift missions across the globe. Personnel provide combat airlift, combat support and combat services support, as well as humanitarian relief efforts on a worldwide scale.

He joined the 179th Airlift Wing 1986, assigned as a Crew Chief on the C-130B aircraft.  He attended training to become a C-130 Flight Engineer in 1989.  He graduated from Kent State University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Technology. 

Col.  Hamilton was awarded Distinguished Graduate at the Academy of Military Science in 1994. He attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, followed by C-130 flight training at Little Rock Air Force Base (AFB), Arkansas. He returned to the 179th Airlift Wing (AW), Ohio ANG located at Mansfield Lahm Airport, as a traditional guardsman.  He has served as a Corporate Pilot, Airline Pilot and as a dual status military technician with the 179th AW in a multitude of roles to include: Flight Safety Officer, Training Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and 164th Airlift Squadron Commander.  He served as the Joint Force Headquarters Director of Operations Ohio (A3) before returning as the 179th Operations Group Commander.  He participated in Operations Restore Hope, Southern Watch, Joint Forge, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Freedom Sentinel.  He is a Command Pilot with over 5000 hours in the T-41, T-37, T-38, C-13O B/E/H and C-27J aircraft.

1992 Bachelor of Science, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

1994 Academy of Military Science, McGhee Tyson ANG., Tenn.

2000 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB., Ala., by correspondence

2004 Air Command and Staff College, Montgomery Ala., by correspondence

2016 Air War College, Montgomery Ala., by correspondence



  1. October 1986 - March 1989, Crew Chief, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield Lahm Airport, Ohio
  2. June 1989 – April 1994, Flight Engineer, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield Lahm Airport, Ohio
  3. June 1994 – June 1995 Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
  4. June 1995 – May 2004 C-130 Pilot, 179th AW Mansfield Lahm Airport, Ohio
  5. May 2004 – December 2008, Flight Commander, 164th Airlift Squadron, Mansfield Lahm Airport, Ohio
  6. December 2008 – April 2011, Director of Operations, 164th Airlift Squadron, Mansfield Lahm Airport, Ohio
  7. April 2011 – March 2015, Squadron Commander, 164th Airlift Squadron, Mansfield Lahm Airport, Ohio
  8. March 2015- July 2017, Deputy Operations Group Commander, 164th Airlift Squadron, Mansfield Lahm Airport, Ohio
  9. July 2017 – November 2018, Director of Operations, Joint Force Headquarters, Dublin, Ohio
  10. November 2018 – December 2021, 179th Operations Group Commander, Mansfield Lahm Airport, Ohio
  11. December 2021 – Present, Wing Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield Lahm Airport, Ohio


Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal

Army Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Combat Action Medal

Joint Meritorious Unit Award

Meritorious Unit Award

AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device

Combat Readiness Medal

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Kosovo Campaign Medal

Afghanistan Campaign Medal

Iraq Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Armed Forces Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal

AF Overseas Ribbon Short

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon

AF Longevity Service

Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 6 'M' Devices

AF Training Ribbon

NATO Medal

Ohio Faithful Service Ribbon            

Ohio Special Service Ribbon            

Ohio Award of Merit            

Ohio National Guard Basic Training Ribbon



National Guard Association

Ohio National Guard Officer Association


Second Lieutenant Apr. 21, 1994

First Lieutenant May 4, 1996

Captain Sep. 4, 1998

Major Sep. 4, 2002

Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 21, 2006

Colonel Sep. 17, 2017



(Current as of December 2021)