Change in command at 107th Air Attack Wing
There was a change in command over the weekend at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
Col. Gary Charlton is the new commander of the base's 107th Air Attack Wing. He succeeds Col. Robert Kilgore, who oversaw the 107th's redesignation last year. After many years as an air lift wing, its personnel is now responsible for operating the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft.
Charlton said the ceremony transferring command is filled with tradition.
"The ceremony presents the outgoing and incoming commander before the troops," Charlton said. "The airmen of the wing are able to see the actual change in command."
Charlton enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1990. He is a senior pilot with four combat deployments, including missions during the Iraq war.
The 107th Air Attack Wing now employs more than 630 people. Charlton acknowledged the important role the wing plays in the Niagara County economy.
"We do produce more than $40 million in annual revenue going into the community with our payroll and infrastructure upgrades," Charlton said.
When not engaged in military operations, the 107th is a New York National Guard unit under Governor Cuomo's command for domestic operations such as assisting in the recovery from natural disasters.