by Airman 1st Class John Hillier
188th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
New 188th Mission Support Group commander, Lt. Col. Tenise Gardner, right, takes the 188th Mission Support Group guide-on from Col. Thomas Anderson, then-188th Fighter Wing commander, during a formal change-of-command ceremony April 14. (National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Hannah Landeros, 188th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
4/14/2012 - FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Local dignitaries, veterans and Airmen gathered in the 188th Fighter Wing's main hangar to witness the change-of-command ceremony for the 188th Mission Support Group held at Ebbing Air National Guard Base Saturday, April 14.
Lt. Col. Tenise Gardner assumed command from Col. Pete Gauger, the outgoing group commander who was promoted to 188th Fighter Wing vice commander during the ceremony.
"As the Mission Support Group says goodbye to an exceptional commander, it welcomes a distinguished and motivated leader ready to author an even brighter future and build upon past successes," said Col. Thomas Anderson, then-188th Fighter Wing commander. "Her vast experience in managing challenging predicaments as well as her fortitude, wisdom and vision give her the attributes necessary to excel in her new position."
Gardner joined the 188th Fighter Wing in 1987 as an enlisted member in information management. She served as the 188th Public Affairs information management specialist until 1989 before moving to the 188th Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) Office.
Gardner earned her commission as the 188th Military Equal Opportunity officer in 1991. She became officer-in-charge of 188th MEO in 1998, before being named the 188th Mission Support Group executive officer in 2000. In 2001, Gardner became the wing's telecommunications manager and took command of the 188th Communications Flight.
"Throughout my career, doors were opened and doors were closed, but I believed in the mission and did my best," said Lt. Col. Gardner. "I am honored to accept this new challenge and promise that I will focus on the mission and do my best. To ensure continued success, we must prepare the next generation of Airmen to meet the uncertain future challenges and remain focused on the mission above all."
The 188th Mission Support Group consists of the Civil Engineering Squadron, Security Forces Squadron, Logistics Readiness Squadron, Force Support Squadron, Communications Flight, and Contracting. All told, Mission Support Group has approximately 350 of the wing's 1,000 personnel.
"Lt. Col. Gardner is indeed a very strong leader and commander, and I believe she is the right person to lead the Mission Support Group," Gauger said. "The quality of our Airmen in Mission Support Group is second to none, and I expect great things from them under Lt. Col. Gardner's command."
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