Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Ark --
Command of the 188th Wing changed hands during a ceremony held here, Aug. 7, 2021.
In a traditional symbol of transfer, outgoing commander Brig. Gen. Leon Dodroe passed the organizational guidon to incoming commander Col. Jeremiah Gentry.
The ceremony was presided over by Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Crimmins, Arkansas National Guard air component commander, and attended by 188th Wing Airmen, former wing members, and state and local dignitaries.
“We are undertaking our greatest transformation with national strategic impact, which will secure Ebbing and the 188th Wing for decades,” said Dodroe, who is taking over as the Arkansas assistant adjutant general. “Colonel Gentry, I’ve been so impressed by your ability to lead at the squadron, group, and vice command levels…you are absolutely the right leader at the right time for this transformation.”
Col. Jeremiah Gentry, a Fort Smith native, served as the wing’s vice commander since August 2019, and as the 188th Operations Group commander prior to that. He began his career as an Air Force Academy cadet and graduated in May 2000. After his initial pilot training, Gentry piloted five different aircraft in the Air Force. He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Gentry has played a vital role in the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft enterprise by assisting the establishment of one Reaper squadron in Nevada, two in New Mexico, and in 2014 the standup of the first combat patrol in Fort Smith.
During the ceremony, Gentry attributed his success to his faith in God and the support of his friends and family.
“I am honored and humbled,” said Gentry. “The compliment you have given me is in part because I put my trust and will in God; I may be in charge, but he is in control. We are going to lead the 188th with conviction and resiliency.”
The Arkansas Air National Guard's 188th Wing is based at Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The 188th Wing features three primary mission sets: the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and targeting. The 188th Wing is composed of more than 1,000 dedicated, loyal and highly-trained Airmen who take immense pride in fulfilling their roles and obligations as National Guardsmen and Airmen.