NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) - A western New York native is taking command of the Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing based at the Niagara falls Air Reserve Station.
The New York National Guard announced over the weekend that Col. John Higgins of Grand Island will take command of the unit on Saturday, replacing Col. Jim McCready.
Higgins has been vice commander of the 107th Airlift Wing since August 2011. He's a master navigator with more than 3,500 hours flying in the F-4 Phantom fighter, the F-111 bomber and the C-130 Hercules cargo plane.
A 30-year military veteran, Higgins' previous duties include stints with the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., the 914th Airlift Wing at Niagara Falls and the 109th Airlift Wing in Schenectady County.
Higgins will oversee more than 800 personnel at the Niagara Falls base.