Lt. Col. Andrew J. Carlson will take command of the New York Air National Guard's 107th Attack Wing from Col. Gary R. Charlton II during a ceremony at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on Saturday. Charlton has assumed command of the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.
A traditional change of command ceremony in which the guidon of the 107th Attack Wing will be transferred from Charlton to Carlson by the adjutant general of New York. The transfer of the guidon signifies the transfer of responsibility for the unit from the old to the new commander.
Carlson previously served as the vice commander of the 107th Attack Wing, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls. As the vice commander, he is an adviser to the 107th Attack Wing commander.
He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Carlson attended George Washington University under a program research and education in space technology scholarship, earning an M.S. in systems engineering.
Carlson then completed Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training, flying T-37 and T-38 aircraft, and finished as a distinguished graduate and recipient of the commander's trophy.
He is a distinguished graduate from Squadron Officer School and is the 12A flying award recipient for his USAF Weapons School class, F-15C division.
Throughout his F-15C career, Carlson participated in multi-national exercises around the world, executed NATO alert postures, flew missions in support of the president of the United States, and completed two squadron deployments to Southwest Asia.
Carlson's MQ-9 tour involved supporting various contingency missions and named operations around the globe. He has more than 2300 total military flight hours to include over 600 combat hours. Carlson also served as the 136th Attack Squadron commander, 107th Attack Wing, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
Charlton enlisted in the New York Air National Guard in May 1990 and served as a fuels systems technician. He graduated from Columbia College in 1995 earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. He then commissioned in 2000 and attended undergraduate pilot training in 2001. Charlton completed initial F-16 qualification training in 2002 and served as an F-16C pilot flying with the 138th Fighter Squadron, Hancock Field. He has held the positions of flight, detachment and squadron commander of the 138th Fighter Squadron; as well as 107th Operations Group commander. Prior to his current assignment, he was the vice commander of the 107th Attack Wing.
A combat veteran, Charlton served seven combat deployments, three while enlisted, Operations Desert Shield and Storm, and Northern Watch, and four additional deployments flying F-16C combat missions in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
He is a command pilot with over 3,200 flying hours in the T-37, T-38A, T-38C, F-16C/D, MQ-1, and MQ-9 and C-17.
Charlton's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Air Force Overseas Ribbon, and the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia College and is also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College.
The 107th Attack Wing encompasses operations, medical and mission support group functions as well as two geographically separated units. The 107th Attack Wing enables full-spectrum capabilities ranging from space command and control, joint terminal attack controller/tactical air control party operations, MQ-9 operations, and significant support to domestic operations as deemed by the governor of New York. Members of the 107th Attack Wing regularly answer deployment requirements domestically as well as around the globe.