Stone named commander of the 123rd Mission Support Group

Story by Maj. Dale Greer, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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Lt. Col. Matt Stone, new commander of the 123rd Mission Support Group

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Lt. Col. Matt Stone has been named commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Mission Support Group effective Jan. 11, replacing Col. Jeffrey Peters, who is slated to retire next year.

“Colonel Peters has served admirably as the MSG commander since December 2010,” said Col. Warren Hurst, commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing. “I absolutely enjoyed working with him, a true professional. He leaves a well-trained and prepared cadre of leaders.

“Lieutenant Colonel Stone has served as the MSG deputy commander since 2006 and is more than ready to step into the command position,” Hurst continued. “He brings a wealth of experience from aircraft maintenance, flight engineer, logistics, wing plans, and deployments in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.”

As Mission Support Group Commander, Stone will direct the operations of more than 450 Airmen who provide a host of key services to the wing. Those services include base fire protection, security forces, civil engineering, disaster preparedness, communications and information technology.

Stone has served in numerous leadership roles in the Air National Guard, both at home and overseas.

In 2001, he served as the chief of wing plans and installation deployment officer just before the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In the first year alone, he successfully led the 123rd Airlift Wing through the first mobilizations since the Vietnam War era, conducting site surveys and supporting rotations for alert operations throughout the continental United States while deploying personnel in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom.

With little advance notice in 2003, Stone directed the mobilization and deployment of 10 of the unit’s C-130 aircraft to two different locations at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom while simultaneously deploying combat and support Air Force Special Operations Command and Air Combat Command personnel to multiple sites around the world.

In the summer of 2006, Stone was selected to serve as the Air National Guard Liaison to Arizona and led 54 states and territories in their support of that state’s border patrol operations for two months.

Since 2006, Stone has served as the deputy commander and support officer for the 123rd Mission Support Group. In 2009, during the largest natural disaster Kentucky had seen in decades, he led the 123rd Airlift Wing Emergency Operations Center and deployed over 300 Airmen across the commonwealth, helping save the lives of citizens battling a statewide ice storm that left the commonwealth largely paralyzed by extreme cold, power outages, and food and water shortages.

Most recently, Stone returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan as the deputy commander of the 466th Air Expeditionary Group. In that role, he conducted numerous outside-the-wire missions to exercise administrative and operational control of 3,100 Airmen — one-third of all United States Air Force troops in the country — who were deployed as Joint Expeditionary Tasked Airmen supporting Army and Marine Corps missions at 154 different forward operating bases.

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