Colonel Mark S. Larson is the Commander, 914th Air Refueling Wing, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York. The wing, home to 8 KC-135 aircraft, is composed of three groups and 12 squadrons, and is strategically located on Western New York’s Canadian border between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. In this role, Colonel Larson is responsible for the overall success of the wing’s mission to recruit, train and equip Rapid Global Mobility forces for the Theater or Joint Force Commander. The 914 ARW is host to approximately 3,000 assigned military, civil service and contract personnel.
Col. Larson was commissioned in 1985 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, in 1985. While on active duty service he performed in a number of capacities, including instructor pilot, flight commander, and aircraft commander in both the T-37 Tweet and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 2000 and has served as a KC-135 instructor pilot and evaluator and a C-17 Globemaster pilot.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Col. Larson has flown numerous combat and combat support sorties, ranging from Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM to Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. He has served as commander of the 90th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, and prior to his current position, served as the commander for the 931st Air Refueling Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.
1985 Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
1989 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2005 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2009 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
1. May 1985 - April 1986, undergraduate pilot training, Williams AFB, Ariz.
2. April 1986 - September 1986, T-37B pilot instructor training, Randolph AFB, Texas
3. September 1986 - October 1989, T-37 instructor pilot, flight commander, chief of check section, 96th Air Training Squadron, Williams AFB, Ariz.
4. October 1989 - March 1990, KC-135A student pilot, Castle AFB, Calif.
5. March 1990 - August 1992, KC-135Q aircraft commander, flight commander, ground safety officer, supervisor of flying, 349th Air Refueling Squadron, Beale AFB, Calif.
6. March 2000 - July 2000, KC-135 student pilot initial qualification course, Altus AFB, Okla.
7. July 2000 - October 2002, KC-135R pilot, 336th Air Refueling Squadron, March ARB, Calif.
8. October 2002 - May 2004, KC-135 aircraft commander, OPLAN 8044 executive manager, contingency war planner, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March ARB, Calif.
9. May 2004 - April 2007, KC-135 instructor pilot, chief of wing plans, operational readiness inspection planner/coordinator, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March ARB, Calif.
10. April 2007 - June 2008, operations officer, evaluator pilot, ORI ADVON commander, exercise evaluation team member, 336th Air Refueling Squadron, March ARB, Calif.
11. Jan 2009 - May 2009, C-17A student pilot initial qualification course, Altus AFB, Okla.
12. June 2008 - July 2012, 452nd Operations Group deputy commander, March ARB, Calif.
13. July 2012 - March 2016, Commander, 931st Air Refueling Group, McConnell AFB, Kan.
14. March 2016 - September 2017, Commander, 931st Air Refueling Wing, McConnell AFB, Kan.
15. September 2017 - Present, Commander, 914th Air Refueling Wing, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: 4,200+
Aircraft Flown: T-37B, T-38, KC-135A, KC-135Q, KC-135R, C-17A
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and three Oak Leaf Clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with two Bronze Stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with 'N' Device
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and four Devices
Air Force Longevity Service with four Devices
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two 'M' Devices
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Pistol)
Air Force Training Ribbon
Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait
2008 California Air Force Association Reserve Field Grade Officer of the Year
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant Feb. 26, 1985
First Lieutenant Feb. 26, 1987
Captain Feb. 26, 1989
Major June 7, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel Aug. 2, 2007
Colonel July 29, 2012
(Current as of October 2017)