173rd Fighter Wing colonel to be promoted to brigadier general

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173rd Fighter Wing Commander Col. Kirk S. Pierce is scheduled to be promoted to the rank of brigadier general in a ceremony at 12:30 p.m., April 3, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Pierce is currently serving as the 173rd FW commander and has been selected for a senior staff position at the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C.

Pierce is the senior officer responsible for organizing, training and equipping the largest F-15C/D wing in the Air National Guard.  He exercises oversight and command of an integrated, Total Force Wing comprised of active-duty and Air National Guard Airmen, four groups, an intelligence fighter training unit, and the Top Knife program--a course that familiarizes flight surgeons with the physiological challenges of operating in a high-g environment.

"Col. Pierce's promotion to the rank of brigadier general is directly attributable to his outstanding leadership and professional qualifications," said Maj. Gen. Mike Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon.  "His work during his tenure as the commander of the 173rd Fighter Wing is only the most recent testament to his talent."

Pierce has served in numerous positions throughout his military career. He served as the commander of the 121st Fighter Squadron and 113th Operations Group at Joint Base Andrews, Md., as well as the Chief of Strategy and Analysis Division with the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C.  Additionally, he was the Director of Air, Space, and Cyber Operations for the National Guard Bureau, as well as the Senior Military Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy - Strategy and Force Development at the Pentagon.  Before taking command of the 173rd Fighter Wing, he served as the Director for Plans and Programs for the Air National Guard.  He is a command pilot with more than 4,700 flying hours and several combat tours of duty.

Pierce was commissioned in May 1988 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program through the University of Notre Dame and graduated from the National War College in 2007.  He has served in various operational and command assignments in support of Operations Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Enduring Freedom, and Unified Protector. 

There will be a change of command ceremony later that day as Pierce passes command to Col. Jeffrey Smith. 

Editor's Note:  If you would like to cover Col. Pierce's promotion ceremony, please contact Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar at 541-885-6677 to arrange base access by Friday, April 1.  Details on the change of command ceremony will follow in an additional media advisory.