Colonel Kimberly A. Fitzgerald is the 178th Wing Commander. As the commander, Fitzgerald executes the remotely piloted aircraft MQ-9 Reaper mission. In addition, the 178th Wing is responsible for the 178th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group missions, which involve close coordination with the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Colonel Fitzgerald enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1993. She was first assigned as a supply technician at the 190th Air Refueling Wing, Forbes Field, Kansas. In 1998, Colonel Fitzgerald received her commission through the Academy of Military Science and returned to Kansas as a KC-135 Navigator. In 2001, she transferred to the 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, where she was selected as a KC-135 pilot. Colonel Fitzgerald transferred to the Arizona Air National Guard, 214th Reconnaissance Group in 2009, and retrained as an MQ-1 Predator pilot. Finally, she transferred to the 178th Wing, Ohio Air National Guard where she served as an MQ-1 evaluator and instructor pilot, the Mission Support Group Commander, 178th Wing Vice Commander, and now as the Wing's Commander.
1996 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, Mo.
2005 USAF Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2012 USAF Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2016 USAF Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
1. March 1998 – January 2000, student, Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training; Pensacola, Fla.; San Antonio, Texas; Altus, Okla.; Topeka, Kan.
2. January 2000 – Jan. 2001, KC-135 Navigator, 190th Air Refueling Wing, Forbes Field, Kan.
3. January 2001 – March 2002, KC-135 Navigator, 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pittsburgh IAP, Pa.
4. March 2002 – July 2003, student, Undergraduate Pilot Training; Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, Texas; Altus, Okla.; Pittsburgh, Pa
5. July 2003 – June 2009, KC-135 Pilot, 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pittsburgh IAP, Pa.; additional duties included Chief of Command Post and Alert Crew Manager
6. June 2009 – November 2011, MQ-1 Instructor Pilot, 214th Reconnaissance Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.; additional duties included Group Executive Officer
7. November 2011 – October 2016, MQ-1 Evaluator and Instructor Pilot, 178th Wing, Springfield, Ohio; additional duties included OSS Special Projects Officer, OSS Current Operations Flight Chief, Wing Inspector General, Reconnaissance Squadron Director of Operations and Attack Squadron Commander
8. October 2016 – November 2017, Mission Support Group Commander, 178th Wing, Springfield Ohio
9. November 2017 - November 2019, Vice Commander, 178th Wing, Springfield, Ohio
10. November 2019 - Present, Commander, 178th Wing, Springfield, Ohio
Ratings: Command Pilot; Navigator
Hours: MQ-1B Evaluator and Instructor Pilot – 2180 Hours
KC135R/E/D Pilot – 1340
KC135R/E/D Navigator – 802
Aircraft Flown: MQ-1B, KC-135R/E/D
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with one silver and one bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one bronze oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal one silver and one bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon
AF Longevity Service with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with silver hourglass
Basic Military Training Honor Graduate
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with one bronze service star
AF Training Ribbon with one bronze oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant March 12, 1998
First Lieutenant: March 12, 2000
Captain: March 12, 2002
Major: January 10, 2008
Lieutenant Colonel: December 2, 2014
Colonel: September 10, 2018
(Current as of October 2018)