Col. Michelle C. Carns is the vice commander of the 461st Air Control Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. She is responsible for assisting the commander with the worldwide employment of the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System and the Deployable Air Traffic Control and Landing System. The wing trains, mobilizes and deploys combat mission ready aircraft, aircrews and support personnel to designated theaters of operation, and conducts sustained operations providing uninterrupted Command, Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance in support of the joint force commander.
Col. Carns was commissioned through the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1997 and was assigned to the Airborne Warning and Control Systems at both Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, and NATO, after which she was assigned to the strategic air defense mission at Schriever AFB and Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center in Colorado. Col. Carns was subsequently assigned to JSTARS followed by attendance at the National Intelligence University, after which she was assigned to the National Guard Bureau’s A3. Following her staff assignment, Col. Carns commanded the 338th Cyber Training Squadron, the “Dark Knights,” at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. Following command, she was the Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, after which she attended the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. Her aviation career includes more than 2,300 total flying hours including over 1,000 combat and combat support hours in the E-3B/C AWACS, the NATO E-3A and E-8C JSTARS. She has flown missions in Operations Northern Watch, Crescent Guard, Allied Force, Noble Eagle Assist, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve and Resolute Support/Freedom’s Sentinel. Prior to her current position, the colonel was the A34 Combat Plans Division Chief, Air Force Central Command forward.
1997 Bachelor of Science Degree in English, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2004 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
2004 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Master’s degree, Non-Profit Business Administration, Regis University, Denver, Colo.
2007 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2011 Master’s Degree, National Intelligence University, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.
2012 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2013 Cyber 200, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, by correspondence
2013 Cyber 300 Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2017 Master’s degree, Strategic Intelligence and Certificate in Strategic Leadership Studies, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
1. January 1998 - September 1998, Student, Air Battle Manager Training, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
2. September 1998 - September 2000, Weapons Director/Weapons Scheduler, 963rd Airborne Command and Control Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
3. September 2000 - November 2003, Deputy Air Operations Officer and Wing Long Range Deputy Chief Scheduling, NATO Air Component, Geilenkirchen, Germany
4. November 2003 - September 2005, Air Education and Training Command Instructor Air Battle Management Officer and Flight Commander, Cheyenne Mountain Command Center Training, Schriever AFB, Colo.
5. September 2006 - November 2006, Executive Officer, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colo.
6. December 2006 - August 2010, Mission Crew Commander and Deputy Director, Plans and Programs, 116th Air Control Wing, Robins AFB, Ga.
7. August 2010 - July 2011, Student, National Intelligence University, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.
8. August 2011 – June 2012, Chief, NGB/A3 Training Support, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
9. June 2012 – June 2015, Commander, 338th Training Squadron, Keesler AFB, Miss.
10. July 2014 – June 2016, Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Pentagon, Va.
11. August 2016 – June 2017, Student, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington D.C.
12. June 2017 – June 2019, Air Force Central Command A34 Combat Plans Division Chief, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
13. July 2019 – present, Vice Wing Commander, 461st ACW, Robins AFB, Ga.
Rating: Senior Air Battle Manager/Basic Parachutist
Flight Hours: more than 2,330
Aircraft flown: E-3A/B/C, and E-8C
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 27, 1997
First Lieutenant May 28, 1999
Captain May 28, 2001
Major January 1, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel April 1, 2012
Colonel May 1, 2017
(Current as of July 2019)