Colonel Larry E. Gardner is the commander of the 141st Air Refueling Wing, Washington Air National Guard located at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The 141st Air Refueling Wing has both a federal and state mission. When gained by Air Mobility Command, the federal mission is to train, equip and deploy quality mobility forces to forward operating locations in support of specific contingency plans and other short-notice taskings. Under order of the governor of the state of Washington, the wing provides protection of life and property and preserves peace, order and public safety.
Colonel Gardner began his military career in November 1992 as a Civil Engineering Apprentice with the Montana Air National Guard while playing football at Carroll College. He received his federal commissioning on 2 July 1998 as a Civil Engineer and was selected as the Deputy Base Civil Engineer in 1997 and environmental engineer in 1999. In 2000, he was chosen from a competitive field as an F-16 pilot candidate and attended the prestigious Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training undergraduate program. In 2008, Colonel Gardner entered the Active Guard Reserve program and flew F-15Cs until the 120th Fighter Wing converted its mission to the C-130H in 2013. He most recently completed an operational combat tour in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in 2017 as a C-130H Aircraft Commander and 386 Expeditionary Airlift Squadron Director of Operations Prior to assuming his current position Colonel Gardner served as the Commander, 120th Maintenance Group, Montana Air National Guard 120th Operations Support Squadron Commander, 120th Operations Group, Montana Air National Guard.
1994 Undergraduate 3-2 Engineering/Mathematics Program, Carroll College, Helena, Mont.
1996 Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont.
2000 Master of Business, Management, Troy State University
2004 Squadron Officer’s School (Non-Residence)
2009 Air Command and Staff College (Non-Residence)
2013 Air War College (Non-Residence)
2016 Commander’s Development Course/Safety & Accident Investigation Board President Course, Andrews AFB, Md.ASSIGNMENTS
November 1992–August 1997, Civil Engineering Apprentice, 120th Civil Engineer Squadron, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
August 1997–March 2000, Deputy Base Civil Engineer, 120th Civil Engineer Squadron, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
March 2000–February 2001, Environmental Engineer, 120th Civil Engineer Squadron, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
February 2001–May 2002, Student, Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, Texas
May 2002–April 2003, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals-F-16 Hybrid Course, Tucson Air National Guard Base, Ariz.
November 2003–November 2004, Standardizations/Evaluations Liaison Officer, 120th Operations Group, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
November 2004–November 2005, Plans and Mobility Officer, 186th Fighter Squadron, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
April 2005–January 2006, Military Deception Officer, 186th Fighter Squadron, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
January 2006–June 2008, Quality Assurance Officer, 120th Maintenance Squadron, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
April 2006–June 2008, Air Sovereignty Alert Scheduler, 120th Det-1, March Air Reserve Base, Calif.
June 2008–December 2010, “A” Flight Commander, 186th Fighter Squadron, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
August 2009-December 2009, F-15 Fighter Transition Course, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
December 2010–October 2013, Assistant Director of Operations, 186th Fighter Squadron, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
(January 2013–February 2013, 186th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Director of Operations, Elmendorf AFB, AK)
February 2013–March 2013, Operations Group Commander, 120th Operations Group Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
October 2013–April 2014, Aircraft Commander’s Initial Qualification Course, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
September 2014–June 2017, 120th Operations Support Squadron Commander, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
(October 2016–January 2017, Director of Operations, 386th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, Southwest Asia)
June 2017–April 2019, Commander, 120th Maintenance Group, Great Falls, Montana Air National Guard Base
April 2019 – Present, Commander, 141st Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild AFB, Wash.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 1,900
Aircraft Flown: T-37B, T-38A, AT-38B, F-16A/B/C/D, F-15C/D, C-130H1/2/3
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with two Devices
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
National Guard Association of the United States
National Order of Daedalians–Life Member, Number 7509
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant July 2, 1998
First Lieutenant July 2, 2000
Captain November 2, 2002
Major November 4, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel February 3, 2011
Colonel June 28, 2018
(Current as of April 2019)