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Air Guard Gets New Commander

Brig. Gen. Lawrence S. Thomas III (right) is presented with the New Jersey Air National Guard colors by Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth (left) during the Change of Command Ceremony held at the 177th Fighter Wing on May 7. More than 1,000 family, friends and unit members attended the ceremony. Thomas, who has served for close to 29 years, is a command pilot with more than 11,000 hours in 17 types of military and civilian aircraft. The general's military career began in August 1977 when he was commissioned as a Navy Ensign.

Following flight training, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 41 aboard the USS Nimitz. From March 1983 to January 1985, the general served as an F/A-18 Hornet instructor pilot. In August 1986, Thomas joined the 177th Fighter Wing and served as the Fighter Squadron Operations Officer, Vice Commander and Commander. After serving as the NJANG Director of Operations and the State Headquarters Inspector General, he became the 108th Air Refueling Wing Commander during the unit's mobilization for Iraqi Freedom. Prior to his assuming command, he was the NJANG Deputy Commander.
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Volume 32 Number 3
Staff / Information