MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS
(15 September, 2012)
Bolton Assumes Command Of NJ Air National Guard
Story and photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen, 108th Wing Public Affairs
Incoming New Jersey Air National Guard commander Col. Robert C. Bolton, right, is presented the NJANG guidon by Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff, The Adjutant General of New Jersey, during the Change of Command ceremony held at the Joint Training and Training Development Center, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Sept. 15, 2012. Bolton will command the more than 2,300 Airmen of the state's Air Guard, which includes the 108th Wing at JBMDL and the 177th Fighter Wing at Egg Harbor Township. Outgoing commander Maj. Gen. Maria A. Falca-Dodson relinquished command of the New Jersey Air National Guard a position she has held since November 2008. Falca-Dodson was the first female to be promoted to the rank of major general in the New Jersey National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Air Force Col. Robert C. Bolton assumed command of the New Jersey Air National Guard at the Joint Training and Training Development Center here, Sept. 15.
Bolton will command the state's Air Guard, which has more than 2,000 Airmen and includes the 108th Wing at JBMDL and the 177th Fighter Wing at Egg Harbor Township.
"What I ask of all of you is to do your current mission well but keep an open mind," said Bolton. "Continue what you’ve done for years: safely and effectively perform your mission with outstanding professionalism."
The new commander has a firm grasp of what his new duties will be: To provide mission ready Citizen-Airmen, aircraft, and equipment to both federal and state leadership in support of taskings across all spectrums.
"My job will be to ensure the Wings' have what they need to meet that mission and to ensure we can provide whatever support is requested of us by both the Federal and State governments."
Bolton assumed command of the NJANG from Maj. Gen. Maria A. Falca-Dodson, the first female to be promoted to the rank of major general in the New Jersey National Guard and also the first woman to hold the position of assistant adjutant general for the air component, which she had held since 2004.
"The future is bright for the New Jersey Air National Guard and I am truly honored and blessed to have this position," Bolton said. "I look forward with excitement to the challenges ahead."
Bolton’s military career began when he received a four-year Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps engineering scholarship and attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He was commissioned in May 1983 and began undergraduate pilot training in July 1983 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
In 1990, Bolton joined the 177th Fighter Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard as an F-16 Fighting Falcon instructor pilot.
In the ensuing years, he served in a variety of command positions and when the events of September 11, 2001 unfolded, Bolton stepped in as the unit’s Alert Operations and Scheduling officer and flew on many of the Combat Air Patrol missions.
In 2006, he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the unit’s Assistant Operations Officer. In 2009, Bolton assumed command of the 177th Fighter Wing and held this position until March 2012, at which point he became the Deputy Commander of the New Jersey Air National Guard.