Key leadership changes were made recently at the 188th Wing in Fort Smith. Lt. Col. Tina Lipscomb relinquished command of the 123rd Intelligence Squadron to Lt. Col. Stanley “Sonny” Stefancic III, and Lt. Col. Jeremiah Gentry assumed command of the 184th Attack Squadron.
Stefancic took command after serving in numerous positions in the intelligence field over his 24-year career. He first enlisted in the Colorado Air National Guard in 1991 and received his commission in 1998. He has deployed several times, including contingencies such as Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom. Stefancic has also supported humanitarian missions including the response for the 2007 Southern California wildfires.
The 123rd moved under the 188th Wing flag in 2014 as part of the Flying Razorbacks’ on-going mission conversion. It is one of four squadrons under the new 188th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group. The 123rd, comprised of 120 Airmen, is responsible for conducting near real-time exploitation of imagery intelligence collected by surveillance and reconnaissance platforms as well as providing combat intelligence to commanders and war fighting sources. The 123rd is the largest squadron in the 188th Wing in terms of manning authorizations.
During Lipscomb's two-year tenure, the 123rd accomplished many incredible tasks, noted Col. Robert Kinney, commander of the 188th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group. This includes producing thousands of intelligence products for many different commands, from overseas forces to counterdrug task forces.
"She has been just an absolute rock of stability in a very tumultuous time for not just the 188th Wing but the 123rd Intelligence Squadron as well," Kinney said. "This has been a key point in time for everyone."
Gentry’s new command of the 184th Attack Squadron comes in the midst of transitioning to the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission sets. The 184th ATKS, formerly the 184th Fighter Squadron, assumed its new designation under the 188th Operations Group June 7, 2014.
Col. Brian Burger, commander of the 188th Operations Group, presided over the ceremony and lauded the accomplishments of Gentry along with the skillset he brings to the future mission.
Gentry, a former Air Force Academy graduate and F-16 pilot, transitioned to the Air National Guard after completing multiple active duty tours around the globe. He has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the F-16 Fighting Falcon with the 524th Fighter Squadron and Operation Enduring Freedom in the A-10 Thunderbolt II with the 184th Fighter Squadron. Additionally, Gentry has helped stand up three MQ-9 squadrons in his career, adding to his experience in the RPA community.