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30 years to the day of joining Air Force Higgins becomes 107th commander

Major General Verle Johnston, the commander of the New York Air National Guard hands the 107th Airlift Wing's flag to Col. John Higgins as he assumes command at the Niagara Falls Reserve Station on Jan. 12, 2013 (Air National Guard Photo/Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd)

Major General Verle Johnston, the commander of the New York Air National Guard hands the 107th Airlift Wing's flag to Col. John Higgins as he assumes command at the Niagara Falls Reserve Station on Jan. 12, 2013 (Air National Guard Photo/Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd)

Major General Verle Johnston, the commander of the New York Air National Guard hands the 107th Airlift Wing's flag to Col. John Higgins as he assumes command at the Niagara Falls Reserve Station on Jan. 12, 2013 (Air National Guard Photo//Senior Master Sgt. Stephan Kovacs)

Major General Verle Johnston, the commander of the New York Air National Guard hands the 107th Airlift Wing's flag to Col. John Higgins as he assumes command at the Niagara Falls Reserve Station on Jan. 12, 2013 (Air National Guard Photo//Senior Master Sgt. Stephan Kovacs)

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION -- Colonel John J. Higgins assumed command of the 107th Airlift Wing in a ceremony held here yesterday.

Col. Higgins had formerly served as the 107th AW's vice commander since August 2011.

The Assumption of Command ceremony, held on the 30 year anniversary of Col. Higgins' entry into the Air Force, marks the transition of leadership from former commander Col. Jim McCready.

Col. Higgins previously served as the Air National Guard advisor to the Air Force Special Operations Command and as ANG Advisor for Air Force Strategic Planning at the Pentagon.

In his new role, Col. Higgins will be commanding over 800 personnel assigned to the 107th AW, its assets, and ensuring the wing meets state and national mission requirements at a time when the 107th is facing the possibility of a mission change.

"No matter what our mission will be, I have no doubt we will be an invaluable part of the Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force. We will be as successful as we have always been," said Col. Higgins. "I am proud to lead the 107th into the future."

Col. Higgins brings with him over 3,500 hours flying experience as a navigator in various aircraft including the F-4 Phantom, the F-111 Aardvark, and C-130 Hercules.

"He joins one of the best units in the country, lead and supported by a team of talented professionals," said Major General Patrick Murphy, the Adjutant General of New York.

Col. Higgins holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Buffalo State College and a Masters Degree from Troy State University in Alabama. He received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1983.