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Col Mark R. Johnson serves as the Vice Commander, 178th Wing, assisting the commander in executing the wing's primary missions or Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Operations and Cyber, Geospatial, Space, and Signals Intelligence. The wing also hosts a full complement of base operational support capabilities including; wing staff, Mission Support, and Medical that assist not only the wing's primary missions, but also T-10 operations, and domestic operations alongside our state and local partners.

Col Johnson previously served on the National Guard Bureau (NGB) Staff, Air National Guard Readiness Center (ANGRC), in various positions including the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Forces Division Chief, Operational Plans and Execution Division Chief, and as the RPA Branch Chief. While serving as the ISR Forces Division Chief, Col Johnson was responsible for the oversight of both Air and Ground based ANG ISR Forces, and for coordinating their efforts with ACC, HAF, OSD, and senior NGB leadership. As the Operational Plans and Execution Division Chief, he was responsible for the process of activating ANG members, from Operational Planning and Global Force Management, through ensuring Readiness, to Mobilization and Deployment for Title 10 and Domestic Operations.

Prior to his work at NGB, Col Johnson served nine years as an MQ-1/9 instructor pilot with the 119th Wing, North Dakota ANG in various command and staff positions. Before serving with the 119th, he was a member of the 179th Airlift Wing, Ohio ANG for eleven years where he served as a C-130 Navigator and Deputy Base Civil Engineer. Col Johnson started his military career serving for 3.5 years on active duty as an Air Weapons Director.


1992 Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH       

2001 Squadron Officer School, in-residence, Maxwell AFB, AL 

2004 Air Command and Staff College, correspondence, Maxwell AFB, AL 

2007 Air War College, correspondence, Maxwell AFB, AL

2016 Master of Business Administration, University of Mary, Bismarck, ND


1. January 1993 – June 1993, student, Air Weapons Controller, Tyndall AFB, FL
2. June 1993 – June 1994, Air Weapons Director, 621st ACS, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
3. June 1994 – July 1996, Instructor Air Weapons Director, Assist. Flt. Commander, 325th TRS, Tyndall AFB, FL
4. July 1996 – February 1997, student, Primary Undergraduate Navigator Training, Pensacola NAS, FL
5. February 1997 – January 1998, student, Undergraduate Navigator Training, Randolph AFB, TX
6. January 1998 – May 1998, student, C-130 Navigator Training, Little Rock AFB, AR
7. May 1998 – March 2004, C-130 Navigator, 164th AS, Mansfield, OH
8. March 2004 --  July 2007, Deputy Base Civil Engineer, 179th CES, Mansfield, OH
9. July 2007 -- October 2007, student, MQ-1 Pilot Training, Creech AFB, NV
10. October 2007 -- June 2008, MQ-1 Pilot, 178th RS, Fargo, ND
11. June 2008 -- November 2008, Operations Officer, 119th OSS, Fargo, ND
12. November 2008 -- January 2010, Operations Officer, 178th RS, Fargo, ND
13. January 2010 -- April 2012, Commander 178th RS, Fargo, ND
14. April 2012 -- December 2014, Wing Chief of Safety, 119th WG, Fargo, ND
15. December 2014 -- December 2016, MQ-9 Conversion Officer, Assist. Operations Officer, 178th RS, Fargo, ND
16. December 2016 -- June 2018, RPA Branch Chief, ANGRC, JB Andrews, MD
17. June 2018 -- July 2019, Chief, Operational Plans and Execution Division, ANGRC, JB Andrews, MD
18. July 2019 -- September 2019, Chief, ISR Forces Division, ANGRC, JB Andrews, MD
19. September 2019 -- present, Vice Commander, 178th Wing, Springfield, OH. January


Rating: Master Navigator 
Flight hours: more than 3,300 
Aircraft flown: T-34, T-43, T-1, C-130, MQ-1, and MQ-9


Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters 
Air Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with eight oak leaf clusters Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Iraqi Campaign Medal with bronze star
Humanitarian Service Medal with oak leaf cluster


Second Lieutenant, 12 June 1992
First Lieutenant, 21 September 1994
Captain, 20 December 1996
Major, 20 November 2001
Lieutenant Colonel, 20 November 2008
Colonel, 28 June 2018
(Current as of November 2019)