188th tabs Gauger as new Mission Support Group commander Published Nov. 2, 2009 By Capt. Heath Allen 188th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Officer FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Colonel Tom Anderson, 188th Fighter Wing commander, officially named Lt. Col. Pete Gauger as the 188th Fighter Wing Mission Support Group commander Oct. 12. The move was as part of an overall force management plan. Former 188th MSG commander, Lt. Col. Robert Dolanski, will serve as deputy commander of the 188th MSG. Dolanski said he plans to remain in the unit for "several years." "I'm looking forward to the responsibilities and challenges of this new position," said Gauger, who previously functioned as the unit's wing executive staff officer (WESO). "I am so grateful for the opportunity to join the unit back in 1985, and haven't regretted the decision for a minute. I am also grateful for the opportunity to work with Lt. Col. Dolanski and will definitely count on his experience and advice. We've always worked together well, always being forthright and honest, and this is a great way to make the transition." Gauger said he will pinpoint his focus on three key aspects of the 188th MSG. "As I meet with each squadron and flight within the group, I'm anxious to provide them with the advocacy, tools and support they need," Gauger said. "I will focus on external and internal customer service, with a renewed emphasis on our internal customers. I will also concentrate on preparation for our wartime taskings as well as continuing the group's inspection preparation." Gauger joined the active duty Air Force in 1979 as an enlisted member in Accounting and Finance. He served eight years as an enlisted member in Financial Management in the Air National Guard before earning a commission as a full-time budget officer in 1992. Gauger transitioned to an Active Duty Guard Reserve position as the 188th's logistics plans officer in 1996. Gauger returned to FM in 2000 as the 188th's comptroller before taking over the WESO position in 2005. "Lt. Col. Gauger has performed admirably in several positions at the 188th and has the experience and leadership necessary to fulfill such a challenging role," Anderson said. "I have confidence that Lt. Col. Gauger's strong work ethic and innovative leadership will improve an already stellar Mission Support Group. There exist many challenges ahead but I know Lt. Col. Gauger will steer his personnel in the right direction and help keep them on the path to success."