Col. Michelle C. Carns is the commander of the 461st Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. She is responsible for 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. Additionally, she is responsible for the mobilization and deployment of command and control systems enabling both expeditionary airfield operations supporting combatant commanders and peacetime airfield operations supporting humanitarian assistance/disaster relief missions.
Col. Carns was commissioned through the United States Air Force Academy in 1997 and was assigned to both U.S. and NATO flying on the Airborne Warning and Control System. Her subsequent assignments at the strategic, operations and tactical levels included NORAD/NORTHCOM, the 461st ACW, the National Guard Bureau’s A3, the Pentagon and as the A34/Combat Plans Division Chief at the Combined Air Operations Center with Air Forces Central. Col. Carns also commanded the 338th Training Squadron at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. Her aviation career includes more than 1,000 combat and combat support hours supporting missions in Operations Norther Watch, Crescent Guard, Allied Force, Noble Eagle Assist, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve and Resolute Support/Freedom’s Sentinel.
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, Ft. 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, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. June 2017 – June 2019, Air Forces Central A34 Combat Plans Division Chief, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
13. July 2019 – June 2021, Vice Commander, 461st Air Control Wing, Robins AFB, Ga.
14. June 2021 – Present, Commander, 461st Air Control Wing, Robins AFB, Ga.
Ratings: Senior Air Battle Manager/Basic Parachutist
Total Flight Hours: 2,506
Aircraft: E-3A/B/C, E-8C
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
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
(Current as of June 2021)