Promotion and change of command ceremonies Sunday for three commanders in the Delaware Air National Guard

  • Published
  • By 020507
Delaware Air National Guard
Headquarters, 166th Airlift Wing
2600 Spruance Drive
New Castle, DE 19720-1615 

Downingtown, Pa. resident Colonel Jonathan Groff named as new air commander, 166th Airlift Wing; veteran of four combat operations covering half of his 31-year military career

Rehoboth Beach, Del. resident being promoted is Colonel Carol Timmons, also named new commander of 166th Operations Group; a New Castle, Del. native and local public school and college product, she has flown in combat, served as aircraft squadron commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is a civilian commercial pilot.

Pike Creek, Del. resident Lt. Col. John Ptak is named new commander of 142nd Airlift Squadron; he has a full-time civilian career as a Delaware State Police officer.

Photos available on request; news media are invited to Sunday afternoon ceremonies (please call ahead).

Contact: Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Matwey
Public Affairs Specialist, 166th Airlift Wing
Cell 302-593-2126, or office 302-323-3369
Release No. 2007-05-002
May 4, 2007


NEW CASTLE - In a base ceremony this weekend, officer and pilot Lt. Col. Carol Anne Timmons will be promoted to the rank of colonel and also appointed as the new commander of the 166th Operations Group, part of the 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard in New Castle, Delaware.

The promotion ceremony and two change of command ceremonies for the 142nd Airlift Squadron and then the 166th Operations Group begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday May 6 at the base in New Castle.

The 166th Airlift Wing has four group commanders (mission support, medical, maintenance and operations), each reporting to the 166th Airlift Wing Commander, Col. Bruce Thompson.

At a level above the four group commanders but reporting to the wing commander is the air commander, a new position in the 166th Airlift Wing for 2007. The primary role of the air commander is to help provide leadership and management of the 166th Airlift Wing, and provide manpower, equipment, and training in peacetime, in preparation for performing the wartime mission. The Air Commander is responsible for all aspects of operations, personnel, equipment, funds, and real property.

Colonel Jonathan Groff, the new air commander, reports to Col. Bruce Thompson, wing commander, 166th Airlift Wing. A resident of Downingtown, Pa., Col. Groff is a C-130 pilot with 30-and-a-half years of military service and is a full-time employee of the Delaware Air National Guard.

Brigadier General Hugh Broomall, the Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Delaware National Guard, said, "Col. Groff's three decades of military experience with combat flying and leadership positions in four combat zones -- from Desert Storm in 1991, to Kosovo and Bosnia later that decade, and recently in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom -- have provided him broad leadership experience in the Delaware National Guard, the Delaware Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force. As he did while the operations group commander, Col. Groff continues in his new role as air commander to positively impact the overall mission of the Delaware Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force to fly, fight and win. Col. Groff exemplifies the Airman's Creed of being a consummate wingman, leader and warrior."

Col. Carol Timmons is being promoted from the position of commander, 142nd Airlift Squadron, which she held since May, 2005 to commander, 166th Operations Group (official appointment date was March 2007). As the 166th Operations Group Commander, Col. Timmons is responsible for all squadrons and flights in the 166th Operations Group which totals about 230 Airmen including all aircrew and support personnel, and all eight of the unit's C-130 transport aircraft.

Col. Timmons replaces Col. Jonathan Groff, who has assumed the full-time duties of air commander, providing support functions for Wing Commander Col. Bruce Thompson who serves part-time.

Col. Timmons is replaced by Lt. Col. John Ptak, who assumes command of the 142nd Airlift Squadron after serving as director of operations in the 142nd Airlift Squadron. Lt. Col Ptak is a Wilmington resident living in the Pike Creek area.

Additional detailed information about each of these three Airmen follows:

Colonel Jonathan H. Groff:

Colonel Groff was born in 1955, in Sellersville, Pa., and graduated from Salisbury High School, Allentown Pa. in 1973. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1976 and was assigned to Charleston AFB, S.C. after graduating with honors from the Aircraft Maintenance Specialist program at Chanute AFB, Ill. Col Groff joined the Delaware Air National Guard in June 1980 and was commissioned through the Academy of Military Science. He completed from Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, Okla. August 1981. Col Groff is a candidate for a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

In May 1986, Col. Groff began a fulltime career as a technician in the Delaware ANG. He served in squadron leadership positions as tactics officers, aircrew scheduler, training officer, and ultimately as chief of standardization and evaluation in the operations group. In April 1996, he was assigned as the wing chief of safety where he was a distinguished graduate from the Flight Safety Officer course, University of Southern California, at Kirtland AFB, N.M. His follow on assignment was a brief tour as the Director of Operations for the 142nd Airlift Squadron. In August 2000, he was appointed to command the 166th Operations Support Flight with a dual role as the 166th Operations Group Air Operations Supervisor. In May, 2005, Col. Groff took command of the 166th Operations Group. Col Groff served as the deployed Director of Operations during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom for a combined combat squadron of C-130 units at three deployed locations including duties conducted within the largest ever deployed C-130 Wing in the history of the Air Force. He also deployed as the mission commander responsible for all deployed 166th Airlift Wing personnel in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Col. Groff attended three years of college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a candidate for a B.S. degree in professional aeronautics from the same institution. He has been awarded the Air Medal and two Aerial Achievement Medals. He was promoted to colonel in March 2005.

Col. Groff is a command pilot with over 6,000 hours of military flight time including combat hours in Operations Desert Storm, the Balkans conflict, and Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. He was promoted to colonel on March 30, 2005.

Colonel Carol Anne Timmons:

Col. Timmons is a native of New Castle, Del. and a product of local Delaware public schools and colleges. She is a resident of Rehoboth Beach, Del., and is a previous resident of Woolwich Township in southern New Jersey. She graduated from William Penn H.S. in New Castle, Del., and has an associate degree in criminal justice from Delaware Technical and Community College, and a bachelor of science in aviation management degree from Wilmington College. She enlisted in the Delaware Air National Guard in 1977. She is a C-130 pilot with 30 years of military service (including service in the Delaware Army National Guard flying helicopters, and the Air Force Reserve flying C-141 transport aircraft), and is employed full-time as a pilot and first officer by United Airlines, flying Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft based in New York on U.S. domestic trips.

Col. Timmons has been awarded four Air Medals, three Aerial Achievement Medals, one Air Force Meritorious Service Medal and one Air Force Commendation Medal. Col. Timmons is a command pilot with at or near 3,000 flying hours in C-130 military transport aircraft, 5,100 total military flying hours; 8,500 total civilian flying hours; 120 combat sorties and 401 combat flying hours.

Lieutenant Colonel John J. Ptak:

Lt. Colonel Ptak has 22 years of military experience. He enlisted in the Delaware Air National Guard in April 1985, graduated William Penn High School, New Castle, Del. in 1979, and has a 1984 bachelor of science in criminal justice from the University of Delaware. In 1966 he graduated from Squadron Officer School, and in 2001 graduated from Air Command and Staff College. He has been a navigator, command post controller, operations plans officer, command post chief, assistant chief navigator, the director of operations of the 166th Operational Support Flight, and from Sept. 2006 to present has been the director of operations of the 142nd Airlift Squadron.

Lt. Col. Ptak is rated as a master navigator with over 4,000 flying hours in C-130, including 244 combat sorties (C-130) and 253 combat support sorties (C-130). He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield/Storm; Bosnia/Kosovo operations; and since Sept. 11, 2001 of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. His full-time civilian employer is the Delaware State Police, where he is a trooper with the rank of master corporal.

Among Lt. Col. Ptak's awards and decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with five devices and the Aerial Achievement Medal with one device.

This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.

-- 30 --