Col Mark D. Auer is Commander, 121st Air Refueling Wing, Ohio Air National Guard located at Rickenbacker International Airport, Columbus, Ohio. He is responsible to the Ohio Assistant Adjutant General for Air to ensure the wing's 1,200 Airmen are ready to deploy in support of our communities, state and nation in both homeland defense and federal missions.
Colonel Auer is a distinguished graduate of Air Force ROTC at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Following his commissioning in May 1987, he was selected to attend Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas. After initial qualification training in the F-111 at Cannon FB, New Mexico, he was assigned to USAFE in 1989 and stationed at RAF Lakenheath, U.K. with the 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, where he deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM as an F-111 Aircraft Commander. Following deployments in support of Operation PROVIDE COMFORT, he joined the 169th Fighter Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, in 1993 while transitioning to the F-16. Prior to his current position, the colonel was the Operations Group Commander at the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio.
Prior to accepting a full-time position, Colonel Auer served over 16 years in the ANG as a traditional guardsman having been a successful business executive, adjunct professor of business and management consultant. As a C-130 Aircraft Commander he was mobilized and deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM where he served as the Crisis Action Team Executive Officer for the 486th Expeditionary Airlift Wing. He served in numerous assignments within the Illinois ANG to include: Life Support Officer, Chief of Wing Plans, Flight Commander, Command Post Chief, Mission Support Group Vice Commander and Commander of the 182nd Air Support Operations Group. He transferred to the Ohio ANG in 2013 and assumed command of the 179th Operations Group, leading their conversion from the C-27J to the C-130H2. Nationally he has served as the ANG TACP/ASOC Weapon System Council Chair, Vice Chair and Chair of the Air Directorate Field Advisory Council (ADFAC). A former
member of the ANG Strategic Planning System Steering Committee, Colonel Auer currently serves as a member of the ANG Diversity Council.
1987 Bachelor of Arts, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
1995 United States Air Force Squadron Officer's School, by correspondence
1998 United States Air Force Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2003 Masters of Business Administration, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois
2008 United States Air Force Air War College, by correspondence
2014 National Security Managers Course, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, New York
1. November 1987 - March 1988, Student, Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, 81st Flying Training Wing, Sheppard
Air Force Base (AFB), Texas
2. April 1988 - November 1989, F-111 Pilot Qualification Course, 27th Fighter Wing, Cannon AFB, N.M.
3. November 1989 - January 1993, Aircraft Commander/Instructor Pilot F-111F, 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron
RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom
4. January 1993 - May 1995, Fighter Pilot F-16A, 169th Fighter Squadron, Peoria, Ill.
5. May 1995 - January 1998, Flight Commander, 169th Airlift Squadron, Peoria, Ill.
6. January 1998 - June 2004, Command Post Officer in Charge, 182nd Airlift Wing, Peoria, Ill.
7. June 2004 - June 2005, Vice Commander, 182nd Mission Support Group, Peoria, Ill.
8. June 2007 - May 2008, Air Liaison Officer, 182nd Air Support Operations Group, Peoria, Ill.
9. May 2008 - March 2013, Commander 182nd Air Support Operations Group, Peoria, Ill.
10. March 2013 - July 2015, Operations Group Commander, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio
11. July 2015 - Present, Commander, 121st Air Refueling Wing, Columbus, Ohio
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 2000
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, AT-38B, F-111D, F-111F, F-16A, C-130E, C-27J, C-130H and KC-135R
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with three bronze stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
U.S. Air Force Longevity Service with four oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with one "M" Device
Air Force Training Ribbon
Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait
KC-135 Weapons Systems Council, Member
Air National Guard Diversity Council, Member
National Guard Association of the United States, Member
National Guard Association of Illinois, Life Member
Ohio National Guard Association, Member
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant August 15, 1987
First Lieutenant August 15, 1989
Captain August 15, 1991
Major September 09, 1995
Lieutenant Colonel September12, 1999
Colonel June 19, 2009
(Current as of May 2016)