179AW Commander COL TODD K. THOMAS


Col. Todd K. Thomas 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 in 1991, assigned to the 164th Airlift Squadron, as a C-130H pilot. Col. Thomas graduated from the University of Iowa in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics. He was selected for, and attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. from 1989-1990. Upon completion of C-130 flight training, he returned to the Mansfield 164th Tactical Airlift Squadron, flying the C-130H2 as a traditional guardsman. In September 2012, he became mission qualified as an instructor/evaluator C27J pilot. In December 2013, he completed requalification as an instructor/evaluator C130H pilot.
In 1998, he became a full-time technician, initially supporting the Operations Group as the Chief of Aircrew Training and then in several positions throughout the Airlift Wing, Operations Group and Maintenance Group, to include: Vice Wing Commander, Maintenance Group Commander, Operations Group Commander, Operations Support Flight Commander, Chief of Standardization Evaluation, and Chief of Current Operations. He has participated in Operations Southern Watch, Joint Forge (Enterprise), Coronet Oak, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom; serving as aircrew member, staff officer, and commander at the squadron level.
Col. Thomas is a Command Pilot with more than 6,200 hours of flight time (including 465 combat hours) in the T-37, T-38, C-27J, and  C-130H aircraft
1988 Bachelor of Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
1989 Air National Guard Academy of Military Science, McGee Tyson, Tenn.
1998 United States Air Force Squadron Officer’s School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2002 United States Air Force Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 United States Air Force Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.


  1. October 1989 – April 1991, Undergraduate/C-130 Pilot trainee, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
  2. April 1991 – June 1997,  C-130 Pilot, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
  3. June 1997 – June 2001, Operations Group Chief, Aircrew Training, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
  4. June 2001 – September 2005, Operations Group Chief, Current Operations, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
  5. September 2005 – May 2006, Operations Group Chief, Standardization/Evaluation , 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
  6. May 2006 – July 2012, Operations Support Flight Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
  7. October – December 2009, 164th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron Commander, 332rd Air Expeditionary Wing (ACC), Joint Base Balad, Iraq
  8. January-April 2012, 702nd Expeditionary Airlift Squadron Commander, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, Kandahar, Afghanistan
  9. July 2012 – February 2013, Operations Group Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
  10. February 2013 – March 2017, Maintenance Group Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
  11. March 2017-Present, Vice Wing Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
  12. July 2019 – Present Wing Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio

Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters 
Army Commendation Medal             
Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters          
Joint Meritorious Unit Award            
Meritorious Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters      
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and three oak leaf clusters    
Combat Readiness Medal with eight oak leaf clusters 
National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster          
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal 
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three service stars 
Iraq Campaign Medal with two service stars  
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal        
Armed Forces Service Medal           
Humanitarian Service Medal            
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short    
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border with five oak leaf clusters            
Air Force Longevity Service with three oak leaf clusters             
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 3 'M' Devices and one oak leaf cluster             
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon     
Air Force Training Ribbon  
NATO Medal with one service star  

National Guard Association
Ohio National Guard Officer Association
University of Iowa Alumni Association

Second Lieutenant September 22, 1989        
First Lieutenant November 7, 1991  
Captain November 8, 1993
Major November 24, 1998
Lieutenant Colonel November 12, 2003
Colonel May 23, 2013
(Current as of July 2019)
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