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Brigadier General Lawrence Christensen retires after 36 years of service

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tylon Chapman
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing

Brigadier General Lawrence Christensen, Chief of Staff of the Iowa Air National Guard, retired from military service at Joint Force Headquarters of the Iowa National Guard on November 5, 2022, in Johnston, Iowa. 

 At a formal ceremony, Christensen thanked his family, friends, and many of the mentors he had during his career. 

“I would like to thank all the men and women of the Iowa National Guard,” said Christensen. “One of my favorite things to do is to watch a new recruit come in, then watch them come back and blossom into someone they never thought they could be.” 

With 36 years of service, Christensen was one of the last remaining U.S. Air Force A-7 Corsair pilots still serving. Christensen is a Command Pilot with more than 3,400 flying hours with the A-7D/K Corsair, F-16C/D Fighting Falcon, KC-135E/R Stratotanker, T-37 and T-38A/B Talon aircraft. 

Christensen joined the Air National Guard before graduating from Iowa State University in 1987. He trained as a pilot at Reese Air Force Base. He served at the 185th Tactical Fighter Group, which later became the 185th Air Refueling Wing.  

During his time with the 185th, he served in a variety of roles, including Operations Officer, Maintenance Group Commander and Operations Group Commander before becoming Wing Commander in 2014. 

Christensen became the Chief of Staff of the Iowa Air National Guard in November of 2019, serving at Joint Force Headquarters at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa. While at Headquarters, Christensen found time to visit the 185th in Sioux City, the 132nd Wing in Des Moines, Iowa, and the 133rd Test Squadron in Fort Dodge, Iowa.  

During the ceremony, Christensen was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal.