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Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General of Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard, has selected Colonel Dan McDonough, the Commander of Peoria’s 182nd Airlift Wing, as the next Assistant Adjutant General – Air and Commander of the Illinois Air National Guard.
The selection will come with a promotion to brigadier general.
Col. McDonough will replace Maj. Gen. Pete Nezamis, who will retire later this summer with 37 years of military service to our nation and the state of Illinois. A change of command ceremony is planned for June 4 immediately following the 182nd Airlift Wing change of command when Col. McDonough relinquishes command of the wing to Col. Rusty Ballard. Maj. Gen. Nezamis has led the Illinois Air National Guard since January 2019. He will retire later this summer.
“Pete Nezamis lead the Illinois Air National Guard through one of the most challenging periods in our nation and National Guard history including the unprecedented COVID-19 response and law enforcement support missions throughout the state and Washington, D.C.,” Maj. Gen. Neely said. “General Nezamis served nationally performing duty for the United States Strategic Command and as Chairman for the Strategic Planning System Committee Midwest Region, providing strategic executive level input to the Director of the Air National Guard, all the while, the Illinois Air National Guard maintained among the highest readiness rates in the nation, supporting multiple overseas contingency operations, and leading the charge on modernization and innovation throughout the Air National Guard. General Nezamis is someone who quickly rose through the ranks to Wing Command at an early age and was pivotal in the relocation of the 126th Air Refueling Wing in 1999. Pete has truly etched his name in the annals of Illinois National Guard history.”
Like Maj. Gen. Nezamis, Col. McDonough is a command evaluator, instructor, and pilot with well over 5,600 flight hours. He has led the 182nd Airlift Wing since November 2017. Prior to taking command of the 182nd Airlift Wing, he served as the commander of the wing’s Operations Group since March 2006. Under his tutelage, the 182nd Airlift Wing has maintained the highest C-130 mission capability rates in the Air National Guard for the past 13 years. The wing’s C-130 mission capability rate of 82.61 percent this past year was the best in the U.S. Air Force. This past year the wing won its 10th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. Its maintenance process has been exported to units in five different states and Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
“Colonel McDonough’s leadership and accomplishments speak for themselves. His experience serving at every level of command including wing command will serve him well as he leads the Illinois Air National Guard and its three wings while assisting Major General Neely in fulfilling the many vital missions of the Illinois National Guard as a whole,” Maj. Gen. Nezamis said. “I’m proud to hand the reins over to such an outstanding officer and leader.”
Col. McDonough said he is honored to take command of the Illinois Air National Guard’s more than 3,000 Airmen and its three wings; the 183rd Wing based in Springfield, the 126th Air Refueling Wing based on Scott Air Force Base and the 182nd Airlift Wing based in Peoria.
“There are many challenges and opportunities ahead for the Air National Guard and I look forward to working with our outstanding Airmen and civilian employees to ensure we are well positioned to meet and overcome those challenges and remain ready and relevant now and well into the future,” McDonough said.