Col. Michele Kilgore to take command of 109th Airlift Wing on Sunday, Oct. 15

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Col. Michele Kilgore

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, SCOTIA, N.Y. (10/13/2017) (readMedia)-- Col. Michele Kilgore, an Afghanistan War veteran, and a Watertown, N.Y., resident, will take command of the 109th Airlift Wing, from Col. Shawn Clouthier on the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 15.

The 109th Airlift Wing, based out of Stratton Air National Guard Base, Scotia, N.Y., is home to the ski-equipped LC-130 and is the sole provider of heavy airlift in support of military and National Science Foundation directed operations in the Arctic and Antarctica Polar Regions.

Kilgore is the first female to hold the position of 109th Airlift Wing commander and only the second female wing commander in the New York Air National Guard.

Cloutheir is moving into a position at New York Air National Guard headquarters.

WHO: Col. Michele Kilgore the incoming commander; Col. Shawn Clouthier the outgoing commander, and the men and women of the 109th Airlift Wing.

WHAT: Traditional change-of-command ceremony in which Col. Shawn Clouthier will hand the wing flag, commonly called the colors, to Col. Michele Kilgore to mark the transition from one commander to another.

WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, October 15, 2017

WHERE: Hangar #1 Stratton Air National Guard Base, 1 Air National Guard Rd, Scotia N.Y. 12302

Coverage Opportunities:

Interviews with Col. Michele Kilgore amd Col. Shawn Clouthier about the missions of the wing .Visual opportunities will include the passing of the wing colors and imagery of the Airmen in massed formation.

For access to this secure military facility, reporters must contact, photojournalist NCO Master Sgt., Catharine Schmidt at 518-344-2423.


The Change of Command:

The Change of Command Ceremony dates back to the days in which a military unit's flag marked its position in the line of battle. The colors were always near the commander, so troops knew where to rally on the battlefield. Today the transfer of the colors marks a change in the unit and givens the troops their first opportunity to see and hear their new leader.

The change of command ceremony recognizes the accomplishments of the outgoing commander and the Airmen who served under him. In addition, the ceremony identifies the new commander to the Airmen, so they can follow her on the field of battle.

Col. Michele Kilgore:

Kilgore graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1992, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree of Science in political science. She also earned a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from California State University.

She is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flight hours and has flown combat support missions in various countries to include; Iraqi, Kuwait and Afghanistan,

While on active duty, she attended T-37/T-38 flight training school in 1993 and then went on to train as a KC-10A pilot, which she flew until 1997.

After being at Osan, she transferred to Luke Air Force Base where she was stationed from 1998-1999.. Upon graduation, she transferred to Misawa Air Base, Japan, where she served as Chief of Wing Flight Safety from 2000-2002. In 2002 she transferred to Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, WA, where she served in charge of Logistics operations.

In 2004, Kilgore left active duty and came to the 174th Attack Wing, Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, and Syracuse, New York, where she held a number of positions.

Kilgore's military education includes Air War College, Transition Course MQ-9, Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer School, USAF Aircraft Mishap Investigation Course, USAF Advance Instrument School, USAF Basic Operational Training Course, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, C-12J Evaluator Upgrade Qualification Training, C-12J Initial Qualification Training, KC-10A Pilot Upgrade Qualification Course, C-12F Initial Qualification Course, KC-10A Copilot Initial Qualification Training.

Her awards include; the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

Kilgore and her husband Col. Robert Kilgore, wing commander for the 107th Airlift Wing, in Niagara Falls have two daughters, Erica and Abigail.

Col. Shawn Clouthier:

Col. Clouthier earned his Associate of Applied Science Degree as a Paralegal Assistant through Herkimer County Community College, in 1981. He went on to earn his Bachelor's Degree in General Studies at the State University of N.Y., Regents College in 1993.

His military education includes Squadron Officer School and Air War College.

Clouthier earned his commission through the Academy of Military Science at McGhee-Tyson in 1982. He attended Undergraduate Navigator Training in 1982.

Col. Clouthier was upgraded to an instructor navigator in 1999 and evaluator navigator in 2000. After working 13 years in the New York State Senate, he became a fulltime member of the 109th Airlift Wing as a U.S. Antarctic Program Active Guard Reserve and then became a federal technician at the 109th in 1999.

He graduated from Maintenance Officer School in 2007 and officially assumed the position of Deputy Maintenance Group Commander in 2009. In August of 2011, he assumed the position of 109th Operations Group Commander.

His military awards include ; Meritorious Service Medal , Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal with three devices, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Antarctica Service Medal

109th Airlift Wing:

The 109th Airlift Wing is one of five flying units of the New York Air National Guard (NYANG) that provides worldwide airlift support for operations as directed by the Air Mobility Command and the Air National Guard. It has the only ski-equipped

C-130 aircraft in the Air Force and is the sole provider of heavy airlift in support of military and National Science Foundation directed operations in the Arctic and Antarctica Polar Regions.

The Wing's 1,000 men and women regularly supply the United States science station at the South Pole and have also flown airlift missions into and out of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.