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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Col. Robert Kilgore
NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION — Col. Robert Kilgore, a resident of Lancaster, and a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and the Iraq War, has been selected to command the New York Air National Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Kilgore, who currently serves as the wing’s vice commander, will take command from Col. John Higgins, who has led the wing for the last two years, at the end of January.

“Col. Kilgore’s experience and proven leadership will be an asset to the 107th Airlift Wing, and I am proud to announce his promotion to commander today,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “The brave men and women serving in this unit have defended our nation and aided our state in times of crises, most recently during last month’s snow storm in Western New York. With Col. Kilgore at the helm, we will continue to see that dedication to New Yorkers’ safety, and I thank him for his leadership and longstanding service to our State.”

The 107th Airlift Wing has a long history of service in western New York dating back to 1946 when the predecessors of today’s Airmen flew propeller driven P-47 fighters. Today, the unit is in the process of transitioning from flying C-130 Hercules transport planes to the MQ-9 “Reaper” remotely piloted aircraft. Kilgore was recently qualified as an MQ-9 pilot.

Kilgore, 48, has served in the New York Air National Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing since 1997. He is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours, having joined the wing when it flew the KC-135R refueling aircraft. As vice commander, he has been responsible for the deployment and employment of assigned personnel and equipment to ensure assets are available to support all state and national requirements.

Kilgore served in the Active Air Force from 1988 until 1997. Since joining the New York Air National Guard in 1997, he has served as a flight commander, operations officer, and squadron commander for the 136th Air Refueling Squadron and as the 107th Airlift Wing Maintenance Group Commander. Kilgore also was Director of Plans and Programs for the New York Air National Guard.

He has served in combat as an operations officer, detachment commander and most recently as deputy operations group commander for Joint Base Balad in Iraq.

Kilgore has received a number of awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Southwest Asia Service Medal (for Operation Desert Storm), the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Service Medal.

Kilgore is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and holds a Masters of Arts in Managerial Economics from the University of Oklahoma. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College.

He lives with his wife Michele and their two children.

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