Ohio Air National Guard Commander to Leave in August for Pentagon Post

Col. Craig R. Baker (U.S. Air Force photo)
Col. Craig R. Baker (U.S. Air Force photo)

The commanding officer at the Ohio Air National Guard base near Toledo will be leaving in August to take a Pentagon staff position.

Air Force Col. Craig Baker, who has been the 180th Fighter Wing's commander since March, 2014, will be succeeded by Lt. Col. Kevin V. Doyle, who now is chief of safety with the Indiana Air National Guard's 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne.

Colonel Baker is to become division chief for air force strategy at the directorate of operations, Air Force Headquarters. Colonel Doyle is to arrive at the Toledo base in July, with a formal change-of-command ceremony planned for Aug. 7.

"It's a great opportunity to further advance my career," the colonel said Wednesday, noting that he will be up for promotion in August and the new assignment will support that effort.

Colonel Doyle is scheduled for promotion from lieutenant colonel to colonel in conjunction with his new command.

Like Colonel Baker, Colonel Doyle is a career Air Force officer, although he started his 32-year military career as an enlisted Marine.

He received his commission as an Air Force second lieutenant in 1989 and was most recently promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2004.

Colonel Baker was the 180th's first commanding officer to be drawn from the ranks of active-duty Air Force officers. In the Toledo area, he likely will be best remembered for leading the planned revival this year of an air show at Toledo Express Airport.

Colonel Baker said he also is very proud of the 180th's selection last year for the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award based on its performance over a two-year period ending in September, 2014.

"It has been a distinct honor and privilege to serve with the proudest, most dedicated, and outstanding airmen in the world: the 180th Fighter Wing airmen," the colonel said Wednesday. "They make me proud to put on the uniform every day and they really are great at what they do."

Colonel Baker said he expects to leave for the Washington area the day after the air show, but will return to Toledo for the change-of-command ceremony and possibly for the Sept. 11 dedication of a local memorial for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Once held biannually, air shows have been absent from the local airport since 2004. The Air Force Thunderbirds are slated to headline this year's show, scheduled for the weekend of July 16-17.

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