174th Operations Group Change of Command

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Barbara Olney
  • 174th Operations Group

New York Air National Guard Lt. Col. Keith Walker became commander of the 174th Operations Group during a change of command ceremony held on June 3, at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY.

Lt. Col. Keith Walker assumed command from Col. Thomas Burke who had been the commander for 3 years, in a ceremony officiated by Col. William McCrink III.

The formal change of command ceremony is a ceremony rooted in history, dating back to the Roman Legions. Military organizations developed flags or colors unique to their unit. Soldiers followed their colors into battle, and always knew whom to look to for leadership. The public exchange of colors acknowledges the formal change of command.

Walker is a 1999 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, New York. Prior to 2000, he served as an enlisted airman with the 107th Airlift Wing, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, NY.

Prior to commanding the 174th Operations Group, Walker was recently Deputy Group Commander, 1st Rescue Group, Deputy Group Commander, 174th Operations Group, and Commander of the 174th Operations Support Squadron.
Walker has also held positions as Director of Operations, 108th Attack Squadron and Chief of Standardization and Evaluations with the 174th Operations Group.
Walker has flown missions and deployed in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Freedom Sentinel, and Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.
Walker is a Command Pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours in the MQ-9, KC-135R, KC-135T, and C-130H.

Lt. Col. Walker’s major awards and decorations consist of the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal and Air Force Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal.