PRESS RELEASE: 188th Fighter Wing announces new wing, vice commanders Published March 4, 2012 188th Fighter Wing Public Affairs FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Brig. Gen. Dwight Balch, Arkansas Air National Guard commander, announced March 4 that new leadership changes were on the horizon for the 188th Fighter Wing, an A-10 Thunderbolt II unit. Balch announced that current wing commander, Col. Thomas Anderson, will relinquish command to Col. Mark Anderson during a formal change of command ceremony scheduled for April 14 at 1 p.m. at the 188th's Ebbing Air National Guard Base. Col. Mark Anderson currently serves as the 188th's vice commander. Col. Thomas Anderson announced at the 188th Fighter Wing commander's call that he had initially agreed to serve for three years of active duty with the 188th. His tour was extended to six years of active duty and his orders are ending in April 2012. "It's been a great ride and a very humbling and rewarding opportunity to serve the men and women of the 188th Fighter Wing," Col. Thomas Anderson said. "This has been my passion and my home since 1988. I remain committed to the Airmen of the 188th and to the Arkansas Air National Guard as I move on to a new assignment at headquarters, Arkansas Air National Guard." Balch also announced that Lt. Col. Pete Gauger will be named the 188th's vice commander. Gauger currently serves as the 188th Mission Support Group commander. Current 188th Communications Flight commander, Lt. Col. Tenise Gardner, was named Gauger's successor as the new 188th Mission Support Group commander. All changes will be effective April 14, 2012. More information will be released as it becomes available.