Colonel Shawn Fitzgerald is the Commander of the 106th Rescue Wing at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, Westhampton Beach, N.Y. The 106th Rescue Wing consists of four Groups with over 1,000 military and civilian personnel. The Wing operates HC-130 Hercules tanker aircraft and HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters along with a Guardian Angel Squadron comprised of Combat Rescue Officers, Pararescuemen, and SERE Specialists. Together, the Wing supports Air Force Personnel Recovery operations, performs civil search and rescue missions, and assists State emergency response and disaster relief efforts as directed by the Governor of New York. Colonel Fitzgerald also serves as the Vice Commander of the military Joint Task Force for the Long Island region available to support civil authorities when activated upon order from the New York Joint Forces Headquarters.
Colonel Fitzgerald entered the Army in 1996 after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO. He has served in a variety of leadership positions during his time as an Infantryman to include Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Ranger Instructor and Company Commander. He transferred into the New York Air National Guard as a Combat Rescue Officer in 2006. His previous commands in the 106th include the 106th Operations Support Squadron, the 103rd Rescue Squadron, and the 106th Mission Support Group. Colonel Fitzgerald has deployed numerous times with over 36 months deployed in support of combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.
Prior to assuming command, Colonel Fitzgerald was the Vice Commander of the 106th Rescue Wing at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, Westhampton Beach, N.Y.
1996 Bachelor of Science in Management, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1997 Distinguished Graduate of Infantry Officer Basic Course, Fort Moore, Ga.
2000 Distinguished Graduate of Captain’s Career Course, Ft. Moore, Ga.
2009 Master of Arts in Security Studies, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
2011 Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Defense Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
2014 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2015 Advanced Joint Professional Military Education, National Defense University, Norfolk Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Va.
2016 Leadership in Homeland Security Course, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Mass.
2017 National Security Management Course, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.
1. September 1997–May 1998, Infantry Rifle Platoon Leader, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Ky.
2. May 1998–January 1999, Battalion Recon Platoon Leader, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Ky.
3. January 1999–June 1999, Company Executive Officer, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Ky.
4. June 1999–March 2000, Battalion Air/Asst Operations Officer, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Ky.
5. September 2000–October 2002, Ranger Instructor, 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Ft. Moore, Ga.
6. October 2002–June 2004, Brigade Air/Asst Operations Officer, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Italy/Iraq
7. June 2004–July 2005, Company Commander, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Italy/Afghanistan
8. July 2005–July 2006, Joint Staff Training Officer, CJTF 76, Afghanistan/Italy
9. July 2006–July 2011, Director of Operations, 103rd Rescue Squadron, F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, N.Y.
10. July 2011–September 2012, Commander, 106th Operations Support Squadron, F.S. Gabreski ANGB, N.Y.
11. September 2012–May 2015, Commander, 103rd Rescue Squadron, F.S. Gabreski ANGB, N.Y.
12. May 2015–May 2018, Commander, 106th Mission Support Group, F.S. Gabreski, ANGB, N.Y.
13. May 2018–May 2020, Vice Commander, 106th Rescue Wing, F.S. Gabreski, ANGB, N.Y.
14. June 2020-Current, Wing Commander, 106th Rescue Wing, F.S. Gabreski, ANGB, N.Y.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Bronze Star (1 device)
Meritorious Service Medal (3 devices)
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal (1 device)
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Meritorious Unit Award
Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Combat Readiness Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal (1 device)
Iraq Campaign Medal (1 device)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Overseas Service Ribbon (2 devices)
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border (1 device)
Military Freefall Wings
Master Parachutist Wings
Combat Infantryman’s Badge
(Current as of June 2023)