Col. Rainer “Speedy” Gomez assumed command of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Wing on Saturday.
Gomez lives in Effingham County with his wife Jan Gomez.
“It is a privilege to be given this responsibility,” said Gomez. “This is considered to be one of the top flying units in the country and it is an honor to be selected to lead his organization.”
Gomez was promoted from vice wing commander, a post he held since 2012.
The 165th Airlift Wing is comprised of more than 1,150 men and women who support, maintain and fly the unit’s eight C-130H Hercules aircraft. The mission of the 165th Airlift Wing is to provide strategic and tactical airlift of personnel, equipment and supplies throughout the global sphere.
The wing is also subject to be called for assistance during state emergencies to provide food, medical supplies, equipment, and trained personnel, not only within our state and nation, but in foreign countries as well.
Gomez graduated from The Citadel in 1983, where he received his commission through ROTC. He holds a master’s from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and has attended the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College.
Gomez is a master navigator, having first served with the 452nd Flight Training Squadron at Mather Air Force Base in California. He has more than 5,000 hours of flight time in T-37s T-43s, B-52Gs and C-130s.
Gomez also has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal.