New commander set for the Valley

The new colonel taking charge of the airlift wing was born in Germany.

VIENNA — The Youngstown Air Reserve Station will come under new command next Sunday, headed by a colonel from Massachusetts.

Col. Udo K. McGregor will assume command of the 910th Airlift Wing during a change of command scheduled for 10 a.m., with a retirement ceremony for Col. Timothy J. Thomson immediately following.

The 910th announced the change Saturday, saying Thomson will be retiring from the Air Force Reserve after more than 34 years of service.

Thomson, who previously commanded the 913th Airlift Wing at Willow Grove Air Reserve Station in Pennsylvania, assumed leadership of the 910th on June 20, 2004. He replaced Brig. Gen. Michael Gjede, who retired.

Thomson spent 15 years on active duty as an officer in the Air Force, from 1973 to 1989, when he joined the Air Force Reserve.

Education and training

Thomson, of Poland, hails from Forrest City, Ark. He was educated at the University of Arkansas, where he was the Distinguished Graduate of the Reserve Officers Training Corps program in 1973; Air Command and Staff College; and Air War College.

Thomson was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in 1973; trained as a pilot at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.; began his Air Force Reserve career in 1989 as an Air Reserve technician and a C-130H instructor pilot; accumulated some 6,000 flight hours in various types of aircraft; commanded the 913th in Willow Grove from 2001 to June 20, 2004; and was promoted to colonel Aug. 1, 1997.

McGregor, meanwhile, recently relinquished command of the 439th Operations Group at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. As the commander there, he was responsible for aircrew training, standardization, and operational command and control of 16 C-5A/B Galaxy aircraft, an Operational Support Squadron, an operational Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and an Airlift Control Flight. He was assigned to this position in October 2003.

McGregor was born in Germany, grew up in Savannah, Ga., and graduated from A.E. Beach High School in 1976.

He enlisted the Air Force in 1976 as a helicopter mechanic and earned his commission in 1986 from Officer Training School. He is a command pilot, having flown more than 11,200 hours in a variety of aircraft.

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