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Colonel Christopher F. Dougherty

Colonel Christopher F. Dougherty is the Vice Commander, 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, California. The 146th Airlift Wing is composed of 8 C-130J aircraft and maintains a combat ready organization prepared to support the U.S. and allied forces during contingency operations with tactical airlift, aeromedical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian relief, as well as providing large scale aerial firefighting capabilities to both the state and nation with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS).

Colonel Dougherty graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Factors Engineering. After receiving his wings in 1998, he spent 8 years on Active Duty, flying the C-130E, deploying numerous times throughout the INDO-PACOM and USCENTCOM’s theaters in support of America’s Global War on Terror. In 2006, at the completion of his active duty commitment, he joined the Air National Guard in Delaware, flying the C-130H2, while pursuing a new career in commercial aviation. In 2010, he transferred to the California Air National Guard, flying the C-130J. In total, he has amassed over 900 combat hours from over 580 combat missions across 12 deployments in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, INHERENT RESOLVE, NOBLE EAGLE, JOINT ENDEAVOR, JOINT FORGE. and FREEDOM’S SENTINEL. As the 115th Airlift Squadron Commander, he successfully led California’s only MAFFS unit through the state’s most demanding aerial firefighting years in recent memory. As 146th Operations Group Commander, he maintained one of the highest operations tempos across the Air National Guard during the global pandemic, and in June of 2020, he led the 146th OG through the largest civil unrest troop movement in California Military Department history. He was instrumental in the 146th Airlift Wing’s winning of the Major General Stanley F. H. Newman Award for most outstanding mobility wing in the Air National Guard in 2021.

Colonel Dougherty is a Command Pilot, Instructor, and Evaluator with more than 5,000 total flight hours—primarily in the C-130E, H, and J aircraft. He is also a qualified MAFFS Instructor Pilot and has previously served as: A3 Division Chief at California Joint Force Headquarters, Expeditionary Airlift Squadron Commander, Director of Operations, Chief of Standardization & Evaluations, and Wildland Firefighting Task Force Commander. He has a Masters in Military Operational Art & Science and a Masters in Aeronautical Science. He is a 2018 graduate of Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and has also completed Harvard’s Leadership in Decision Making course. He is a commercial airlines pilot currently on a military leave of absence as an Active Guard Reservist (AGR). Prior to his current position, Colonel Dougherty was the Commander of the 146th Operations Group, He currently resides in West Hills, CA with his wife and 2 children.


1996, Bachelor of Science, Human Factors Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2002, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.  2001 Masters in Business Administration, Colorado State University
2009, Master of Aero Science, Human Factors in Aviation Systems, Embry-Riddle Aero. University. Daytona, Fla.
2011, Master of  Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala
2011, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence 
2016, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2016, Defense Support of Civil Authorities, Phase 1, by correspondence.
2016, Leadership in Decision Making, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2018, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard University, Cambridge Mass. 


1. August 1996–February 1997, NCAA Compliance Officer, US Air Force Academy, Colo. 
2. February 1997–July 1998, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance Air Force Base, Okla. 
3. July 1997–July 1998, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas 
4. July 1998–February 1999, Student C-130E Replacement Training Unit, Little Rock AFB, Ark. 
5. February 1999–February 2003, C-130E Pilot, 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan 
6. February 2003–July 2006, C-130E Evaluator / Flight Commander, 2nd Airlift Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C. 
7. July 2006–July 2009, Instructor Pilot, C-130H, 142nd Airlift Squadron, New Castle ANGB Base, Del. 
8. July 2009–October 2010, Chief Evaluator Pilot, 166th Airlift Wing, New Castle ANGB, Del. 
9. October 2010–October 2013, Instructor Pilot C-130J, 115th Airlift Squadron, Channel Islands ANGS, Calif.   
10. October 2013–June 2016, Director of Operations, 115th Airlift Squadron, Channel Islands ANGS, Calif. 
11. June 2016–February 2019, Commander, 115th Airlift Squadron; Channel Islands ANGS, Calif. 
12. February 2019–June 2019, Commander, 779th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, Ali Al Salem AB, Kuwait 
13. June 2019–January 2020, Commander, 115th Airlift Squadron; Channel Islands ANGS, Calif. 
14. January 2020—August 2022, Commander, 146th Operations Group, Channel Islands ANGS, Calif. 
15. September 2022—Present, Vice Commander, 146th Airlift Wing 

Rating: command pilot 
Flight Hours: More than 4,900 
Aircraft Flown: T-37B, T-44A, C-130E, H1, H2, C-130J 

Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster 
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters 
Aerial Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters 
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster 
Air Force Achievement Medal 
Air Force Combat Action Medal 
2014 Field Grade Officer of the Year, 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands ANGS, Calif.  
2011 Distinguished Graduate, C-130J Pilot Initial Qualification Course, Little Rock AFB, Ark 
2009 Distinguished Graduate, Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona, Fla. 
2005 Company Grade Officer of the Quarter, 2nd Airlift Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C. 
2005 Instructor of the Year, 43rd Operations Group, Pope AFB, N.C.