Col Ian J.M. Gillis is assigned as Wing Commander of the 101st Air Refueling Wing, Maine Air National Guard, Bangor, Maine. As Wing Commander, he is responsible for the readiness and employment of 905 Airmen assigned to 8 squadrons, and is directly responsible for the full spectrum of command, discipline, training, and morale issues of a KC-135 Air Refueling Wing.  He ensures the Wing and all subordinate units are combat ready to support Expeditionary Operations OCONUS, USSTRATCOM War Order Plans, Higher Headquarters directed missions, ANG training and operational requirements, and Northeast Tanker Task Force Coronet planning for the Department of Defense.

Col Gillis began his military career in April 1988 when he enlisted in the Maine Air National Guard with the 101st Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron in the Aerospace Ground Equipment section.  He received his commission in April 1992 through the Academy of Military Science, McGhee Tyson ANGB, TN and entered Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, OK.  After graduating pilot training he completed KC-135 Combat Crew Training School at Castle AFB, CA.  Upon return from training, Col Gillis served as a Drill Status Guardsman flying with the 132nd Air Refueling Squadron upgrading to Aircraft Commander in 1997.  In August of 1998, Col Gillis was hired as an AGR Planner for the North East Tanker Task Force planning Tanker support for fighter movements around the globe.  Over the next five years, he moved to Aircrew Scheduling and then to Training Flight and became an Instructor Pilot.  As the Director of Training for the 101st Operational Support Squadron, Col Gillis become a recognized expert in KC-135 Training assisting NGB and AMC with KC-135 Training programs and established the ANG Tanker Training Advisory Council.  In 2013, he was became the Chief of Wing plans and was integral in developing the charter for the Tanker Nuclear Action Council.  Col Gillis was selected as the Wing Inspector General in 2015 and successfully built the Commanders Inspection Program and a new IG office for the Wing.  He returned to Wing Plans in 2017 to help train a new Plans staff.  Col Gillis served as the State Director of Operations for the Maine Air National Guard and Deputy Director for Joint Operations for the Maine National Guard from April 2018 to April 2019.  In the spring of 2019 he was selected as Commander of the 101st Maintenance Group leading more than 250 airmen tasked with providing mission ready KC-135R to meet worldwide air refueling requirements; projecting combat power and global reach.  In August of 2020 he took on the role of Vice Wing Commander supporting the Wing Commander through continued COVID operations and a Unit Effectiveness Inspection.  Effective 29 November 2021, Col Gillis assumed command of the 101st Air Refueling Wing.

Col Gillis is a command pilot with more than 4500 combined flying hours in the T-37, T-38, and KC-135E/R and T aircraft.   



1996 Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME
1998 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
2003 Air Command Staff College, by correspondence
2004 Masters of Science, Business Administration and Management, Husson College, Bangor, ME
2011 Air War College, by correspondence
2012 Reserve Component National Security Course, Fort McNair, MD
2018 Commander’s Development Course, National Guard Bureau, Joint Base Andrews, MD



1. April 1988–March 1992, Aerospace Ground Equipment Tech, 101st Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance SQ, Bangor, ME
2. April 1992–July 1993, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, OK
3. August 1993–December 1993, KC 135R Combat Crew Training School, Castel AFB, CA
4. December 1993–July 1998, KC-135E Pilot and Aircraft Commander, 132nd Air Refueling Squadron, Bangor, ME
5. August 1998–February 2000, Tanker Taskforce Planner, 101st Operations Support Flight, Bangor, ME
6. February 2000–May 2003, Chief of Scheduling, 101st Operations Support Flight, Bangor, ME
7. May 2003–October 2013, Advanced Instrument Instructor, Tactics Officer, Director of Training, 101st Operations Support Squadron, Bangor, ME
8. November 2013–June 2015, Chief of Wing Plans, 101st Air Refueling Wing, Bangor, ME
9. July 2015–November 2016, Inspector General, 101st Air Refueling Wing, Bangor, ME
10. November 2016–April 2018, Chief of Wing Plans, 101st Air Refueling Wing, Bangor, ME
11. April 2018–April 2019, Director of Operations, Deputy Director of Joint Operations, MeANG Joint Force HQ, Augusta, ME
12. April 2019–August 2020, Commander, 101st Maintenance Group, Bangor, ME
13. August 2020–Present, Vice Wing Commander. 101st Air Refueling Wing, Bangor ME


Rating:  Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 4500 military hours
Military aircraft flown:  T-37, T-38, KC-135E, KC-135R, KC-135T


Meritorious Service Medal with six oak leaf clusters
Air Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
AF Outstanding Unit Award with seven oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with twelve oak leaf clusters
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with one service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one service star
Kosovo Campaign Medal with one service star
Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with one service star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal with three service stars
Humanitarian Service Medal with one service star
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Air & Space Campaign Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
AF Overseas Ribbon Short Tour
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and one oak leaf cluster
AF Longevity Service Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with five 'M' devices and gold hourglass
Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Rifle and Pistol) with one service star
AF Training Ribbon with one oak leaf cluster
NATO Medal (Former Republic of Yugoslavia.) with one service star


Second Lieutenant – April 9, 1992
First Lieutenant – May 15, 1994
Captain – May 15, 1996
Major – May 24, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel – October 19, 2006
Colonel – May 15, 2018


(Current as of Dec 2021)