Colonel Lionel D. Riley

Col. Lionel D. Riley is the 188th Wing Mission Support Group Commander, Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. As MSG Commander, he leads more than 350 Airmen who provide base operating support to the wing through various specialty and career fields, including base defense, internal security, civil engineering, personnel management and accountability, communications, contracting, supply, transportation, lodging, dining, and recreational services. The wing provides decision advantage, strike, and combat support capabilities to meet combatant commander requirements worldwide, while also supporting domestic operations in times of state or national emergency.

Col. Riley’s 26-year military career began in 1992 when he enlisted into the Army as an Infantryman. During his enlisted career Riley deployed to Bosnia in support of OPERATION JOINT GUARD. In 1998, Col. Riley graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education from University of Central Arkansas. In 1998, the colonel commissioned as an Army Medical Platoon Leader. In 2000, Col. Riley departed the Army and in 2003, he commissioned into the Arkansas Air National Guard, 188th Wing, Fort Smith, Ark. Col. Riley completed Services Officer training at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio and then served as the 188th Wing Services Commander. After cross training into the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, the colonel served as the director of operations for the 153rd Intelligence Squadron. Prior to assuming his duties in the 188th MSG, Col. Riley served as the commander of the 288th Operations Support Squadron, Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark.

During his Air Force career Col. Riley deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM as Chief of Protocol. He’s served as the 188th Equal Opportunity Director and completed a special assignment rotation as the 363d Air Reserve Component Liaison officer, Langley Air Force Base, Langley, Va. working with the National Guard Bureau A2, 363d ISR Group and the Air Reserve Component Intelligence Groups and squadrons. In his civilian career, Col. Riley is a human resources executive in the agricultural industry.


1993 Infantryman, Ft. Benning, Ga. 

1996 Medical Specialist, Camp Ashland, Neb.

1997 Bachelor of Science, Community Health Education, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Ark.

2003 Services Management, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Fairborn, Ohio

2005 Protocol Fundamentals, Wright-Patterson AFB, Fairborn, Ohio

2007 Equal Opportunity Advisor Course, Patrick AFB, Cocoa Beach, Fla.

2011 Squadron Officers School, by correspondence

2016 Intelligence Officer Training School, Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, Texas

2017 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2018 Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance 300, Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, Texas

2021 Air War College, by correspondence


1. June 1992– February 1995, Infantryman, 95th Training Division, Barling, Ark.

2. February 1995 – August 1999, Medic, 296th Medical Company, Charleston, Ark.

3. March 2003 – February 2008, Commander, 188th Services, Fort Smith, Ark.

4. February 2008 – February 20014, Equal Opportunity Director, Fort Smith, Ark.

5. February 2014 – February 2017, Intelligence Officer, 153d IS, Fort Smith, Ark. 

6. February 2017 – June 2020, Director of Operations, 153d IS, Fort Smith, Ark.

7. June 2020 – June 2024, Squadron Commander, 288th OSS, Fort Smith, Ark.

8. June 2024 -- Present, Group Commander, 188th MSG, Fort Smith, Ark.


Meritorious Service Medal 

Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster 

Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters 

Meritorious Unit Award 

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award  

Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal 

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal 

Army Accommodation Medal

NATO Medal


Second Lieutenant Aug. 7, 1999

First Lieutenant March 2, 2003

Captain March 2, 2005

Major Oct. 1, 2012

Lieutenant Colonel May 29, 2018

Colonel June 8, 2024

(Current as of June 2024)