Sioux City, Iowa --
Former 185th Air Refueling Wing Commander Col. Larry Christensen was promoted to the rank of brigadier general during a formal ceremony at the Air Refueling Wing’s December 2019 training weekend in Sioux City, Iowa.
Christensen is one of a small number of 185th ARW alumni to achieve the rank of general as a member of the Iowa Air National Guard. Earlier this year, Christensen was selected for his new position as the Chief of Staff of the Iowa Air National Guard.
At the ceremony Christensen commented about important factors that he believes led him to achieve this level of success.
"In reality, it is because I was blessed by a wonderful family, effective teachers and mentors, overwhelming community and employer support, and finally the work ethic and dedication of the members of the 185th here in Sioux City and Ft Dodge," said Christensen.
The Iowa Air Guard has units located at the Des Moines and Sioux City, Iowa, airports along with a separated unit in Fort Dodge, Iowa that is a part of the 185th Air Refueling Wing.
Christensen is a Sioux City, Iowa, native who graduate from Iowa State University in 1987. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant shortly after graduation with the 185th ARW in Sioux City where he began his military career as a fighter pilot.
When he first started flying with the 185th the unit was flying the U.S. Air Force A-7 Corsair. Christensen began flying the F-16 Falcon when the unit converted to the newer fighter aircraft in 1991. Christensen was one of the first 185th pilots to begin flying the KC-135 when the unit was re-designated as an air refueling unit in 2003.
During his time with the 185th ARW, Christensen has served as current operations officer, safety officer, maintenance group commander, operations group commander and most recently as the unit’s wing commander.
After this weekend’s promotion ceremony Christensen will be serving as a traditional member of the Iowa Air National Guard at the state’s Joint Forces Headquarters located at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa.
In his new position as the Chief of Staff Christensen will be a part of the Iowa National Guard Joint forces Headquarters staff where he will be responsible for the readiness and well-being of nearly 2000 Airmen that are a part of two units that make up the Iowa Air National Guard.