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    Col. Smith promoted to general

    Col. Smith promoted to general

    Photo By Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur | After almost 30 years in the Air Force, serving on active duty and in the Idaho Air...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Bonnie Blakely 

    124th Fighter Wing

    After almost 30 years in the Air Force, serving on active duty and in the Idaho Air National Guard, Col. Shannon Smith was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony June 4, held at the Idaho Military Division headquarters on Gowen Field.

    “As a commander, you always want a good crop of officers on your team so when you move on and look back at your unit, you know it’s in good hands,” said Adjutant General of Idaho Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak. “There’s no doubt that Col. Smith is a truly deserving officer and will do great things as he steps into his new role as a general.”

    Smith has been selected to be the new commander for the 113th Wing, District of Columbia Air National Guard, located at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. He and his wife, Lori, are excited to start this new chapter.

    “Today is about gratitude and accountability,” said Smith. “For Lori and me, today is the beginning of opportunity, adventure, and a chance to give back.”

    Smith commissioned in 1992 through the Montana State University ROTC program, where he also earned a degree in civil engineering. In April 1993, he started pilot training and began the steps toward his career as an A-10 pilot, serving 10 years on active duty.

    He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in 1998. In 2000, Smith became an A-10 weapons instructor and taught at Nellis for nearly two years. He made the transition from active duty to the Air National Guard in April 2002, when he joined the 190th Fighter Squadron, part of the 124th Fighter Wing here at Gowen Field.

    In his promotion address, Smith reflected on his time in the 124th FW and the people who mentored and helped him face and overcome challenges.

    “Would we still be here if the road was easy?” Smith asked. “I think we probably wouldn’t. Sometimes our journey, if it's met with challenges and barriers, is worthwhile.”

    During his time in the 190th FS, Smith held several titles including weapons officer, chief of safety, director of operations, and squadron commander. During this time, Smith also graduated from Air War College and completed several combat tours to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He was promoted to colonel in 2014 and as his career progressed, he became the commander of the 124th Maintenance Group and later, the 124th Operations Group. He graduated with an executive Master of Business Administration degree from Boise State University in 2018, and then went on to serve as the 124th FW commander from May 2019 through November 2021.

    As part of the promotion ceremony, Smith was awarded the Legion of Merit for his time and service as the 124th FW commander. Smith guided the organization through COVID-19 while providing support to the state of Idaho’s COVID response, at the same time, successfully conducting the wing’s second largest deployment in its history. The wing supported four named operations across 18 different locations, flying nearly 600 combat hours with no mishaps, and a 100% weapons hit rate with no collateral damage.

    “My values are faith and courage,” said Smith. “I choose faith over fear, knowing that God has a plan. I choose courage over comfort and will keep stepping forward and leading despite uncertainties.”

    After completing his command tour at the 124th FW, Smith became the director of operations for the Idaho Air National Guard at the joint force headquarters. In this role, he supported the IDANG commander and led the development and implementation of policies directly supporting the operational missions of the 124th FW, which include A-10, cyber, and air support operations, as well as the command and control, threat emitter, and cyber training operations of the 266th Range Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base.

    Smith said he and Lori are all in for this next phase as they prepare to relocate to the Washington, D.C. area and he begins a new command position.

    “There’s much to do, and I know that it is not for me to carry the load alone,” said Smith, “but I will continue to take a crack at lifting the heavy end for as long as I am able.”



    Date Taken: 06.05.2022
    Date Posted: 06.05.2022 17:53
    Story ID: 422209
    Location: BOISE, ID, US 

    Web Views: 189
    Downloads: 0