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Gentry promoted to colonel at 188th Wing

Col. Jeremiah S. Gentry, 188th Operations Group commander, has his new rank pinned on by friends and family during his promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark., Feb. 2, 2019. Gentry has been a 188th Wing member since 2011 and was instrumental in the establishment of its MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft mission. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Jeremiah S. Gentry, 188th Operations Group commander, has his new rank pinned on by friends and family during his promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark., Feb. 2, 2019. Gentry has been a 188th Wing member since 2011 and was instrumental in the establishment of its MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft mission. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Robert I. Kinney, 188th Wing commander, administers the oath of office to Col. Jeremiah S. Gentry, 188th Operations Group commander, during Gentry’s promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark., Feb. 2, 2019. Gentry has been a 188th Wing member since 2011 and was instrumental in the establishment of its MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft mission. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Robert I. Kinney, 188th Wing commander, administers the oath of office to Col. Jeremiah S. Gentry, 188th Operations Group commander, during Gentry’s promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark., Feb. 2, 2019. Gentry has been a 188th Wing member since 2011 and was instrumental in the establishment of its MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft mission. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Jeremiah S. Gentry, 188th Operations Group commander, has his new rank pinned on by friends and family during his promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark., Feb. 2, 2019. Gentry has been a 188th Wing member since 2011 and was instrumental in the establishment of its MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft mission. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Jeremiah S. Gentry, 188th Operations Group commander, has his new rank pinned on by friends and family during his promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark., Feb. 2, 2019. Gentry has been a 188th Wing member since 2011 and was instrumental in the establishment of its MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft mission. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ark. -- The 188th Operations Group promoted its commander to the rank of colonel in a ceremony held here, Feb. 2, 2019.

Lt. Col Jeremiah S. Gentry, a Fort Smith native, took command of the 188th Operations Group February of last year, and oversees 210 personnel in support of operations for combatant commanders.

“When you assumed command of the Operations Group, you also assumed the responsibilities of an 0-6 command position as an 0-5,” said Col. Robert I. Kinney, 188th Wing commander.

Kinney spoke highly of Gentry’s experience and his ability to lead missions of the 188th Operations Group. 

“You’ve done a great job. You and your team have performed, and you continue to perform. Your reputation in theater is stellar, so keep it up,” he said. 

Over his career 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 the support of his friends and family, and how his faith led him to where he is now. 

“Trying to figure out what path I was going to take and how I would move about, I kind of fought this path, getting to this location,” said Gentry.

Gentry began his career as an Air Force Academy cadet and graduated in May 2000. After his initial pilot training, Gentry sat in the seats of five different aircraft, and flew missions in the U.S. and Korea, as well as deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of operation’s Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.