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Col. John Russo is currently the Vice Commander, 109th Airlift Wing, Stratton Air National Guard Base, N.Y., serving as full assistant to the Wing Commander. In this role, Colonel Russo provides leadership and management of the flying unit, and provides manpower, equipment, and training in peacetime, in preparation to perform the wartime mission. The Wing provides U.S. Transportation Command the unique capability of operating from unprepared ice and snow surfaces with four C-130Hs & 10 ski-equipped LC-130Hs.

Born in Syracuse, N.Y, Colonel Russo graduated from The Military College of Vermont at Norwich University in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in management. After which, he was commissioned through the Academy of Military Science at McGee-Tyson ANGB, Tenn. He has held positions in Washington, D.C., at the wing, state and National Guard Bureau levels.

His assignments include Wing Training Officer, Mission Support Flight Commander, and the base Detachment Commander. He also served as Director of Personnel at the New York Air National Guard Headquarters, servicing more than 5,000 Air National Guardsmen, from 1994 to 1999. Transferring to aircraft maintenance in 2000, he was responsible for maintenance operations at three deployed locations: Christ Church, New Zealand; McMurdo Station, Antarctica; and Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.
In June 2004, he became the Military Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (SAF/MRR) for Reserve Affairs in the Pentagon. He assisted in the planning and establishment of policy for manpower, personnel and organizational structures within the USAF Total Force. He was also the principal point of contact within the DOD established Executive Agency, working the logistical support to the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs for the Antarctic's Operation Deep Freeze and the Arctic's Operation Raven Dew.

In May 2005, he deployed as the Commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing's Maintenance Squadron. He commanded the maintenance management of the wing's KC-135, KC-10, U-2 and Global Hawk aircraft in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom as well as Combined Task Force - Horn of Africa.

In 2005, he was Chief of the Strategic Planning and Communications Branch for the Director, Air National Guard. This selectively staffed branch planned and integrated ANG policy proposals, strategic messages and initiatives on ANG force structure, operations and personnel programs for more than 200 units in 54 states and territories.

In 2006, he became the Deputy Director of the Air National Guard's "Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century" program at the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C. This program is part of a broader Air Force transformation strategy shaping today's military into a capabilities-based force of the future.

He departed the statutory tour program in October 2007 and returned to the 109th AW as the Mission Support Group Commander. He was responsible for the management of all base infrastructure operations and combat support elements for 18 deployable-ready units.

1987 Bachelor of science degree in management, Norwich University, Northfield, Vt.
1994 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 Air Command and Staff College - Joint Phase I, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Air War College, distance learning

May 1988 - November 1991, Wing Training Officer, 174th Fighter Wing, Syracuse ANGB, N.Y.
November 1991 - February 1994, PERSCO OIC, 174th Fighter Wing, Syracuse ANGB, NY
February 1994 - September 1995, Personnel Programs Officer, HQ NYANG, Latham, N.Y.
October 1995 - September 1999, Director of Military Personnel, HQ NYANG, Latham, N.Y.
October 1999 - November 1999, Chief, Military Personnel Flight, 109th Airlift Wing, Stratton ANGB, N.Y.
November 1999 - December 2000, Commander, Mission Support Flight, 109th Airlift Wing, Stratton ANGB, N.Y.
December 2000 - July 2003, Aircraft Maintenance Officer, 109th Airlift Wing, Stratton ANGB, N.Y.
September 2002 - July 2003, Detachment Commander, 109th Airlift Wing, Stratton ANGB, N.Y.
July 2003 - June 2004, Student, Air Command & Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
June 2004 - May 2005, Military Analyst, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the AF (Reserve Affairs), Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
May 2005 - September 2005, Commander, 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, Al Dhafra AB, UAE
September 2005 - October 2006, Chief, Strategic Planning and Communication Branch, NGB, Washington, D.C.
January 2007 - March 2007, 13th Expeditionary Support Squadron, ChristChurch, N.Z.
October 2006 - October 2007, Deputy Director, ANG AFSO21, NGB, Washington, D.C.
October 2007 - June 2010, Commander, Mission Support Group, 109th Airlift Wing, Stratton ANGB, N.Y.
June 2010 - Present, Vice Wing Commander, 109th Airlift Wing, Stratton ANGB, N.Y.

Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star
Antarctica Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Ribbon
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 2 oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 2 „M‟ Devices
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with one bronze star
Air Force Training Ribbon

Second Lieutenant -Dec. 20, 1988
First Lieutenant - March 19, 1991
Captain - March 30, 1993
Major - March 30, 1997
Lieutenant Colonel - March 30, 2004
Colonel - Nov. 22, 2008

(Current as of June 2010)

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