Colonel Akshai M. Gandhi is commander of the 169th Fighter
Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard, McEntire Joint National
Guard Base (JNGB), South Carolina., He is in charge of
organizing, training and equipping the largest operational F-16
wing in the Air National Guard while maintaining a 2,400 acre
Federal military installation. He is responsible for the care, morale,
and welfare of 1,500 Airmen and civilian personnel, including
almost 100 active-duty Airmen assigned in an "Active Association"
McEntire JNGB is the host to five South Carolina Army National
Guard tenant units and more than 2,500 soldiers, including South
Carolina’s largest Army National Guard flying operation.
Prior to his current duties Colonel Gandhi served in various
command and supervisory capacities at the squadron, group and
wing levels within the 169th Fighter Wing. He has served on the
Air Staff in the Air National Guard Plans and Programs Directorate
and as adjunct faculty for the Reserve Component National
Security Course, College of International Security Affairs, National
Colonel Gandhi received his commission as a distinguished
graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in 1990. He is
a command pilot and highly experienced F-16 Instructor Pilot,
Flight Examiner, Forward Air Controller, and Mission Commander
with over 4200 flying hours in the F-16. He has flown 600 hours
in combat and has flown combat missions in Operations
DELIBERATE FORGE, ALLIED FORCE, NORTHERN WATCH,
SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.
1990 Bachelor of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
1997 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1998 Joint Firepower Control Course, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
2003 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2007 Air War College, by correspondence
2012 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
2018 Master of Military Operational Art and Science degree with Highest Academic Distinction, Air University, Maxwell AFB,
1. September 1990–October 1991, Student, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. October 1991–June 1994, Flight Test Engineer & Executive Officer, 2872nd, 514th, 15th Test Squadrons, Hill AFB, Utah
3. February–April 1994, T-38 requalification, Laughlin AFB, Texas
4. June–July 1994, AT-38 Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Sheppard AFB, Texas
5. August 1994–May 1995, F-16C Student, 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
6. May 1995–October 1997, Standardization/Evaluation & Scheduling Officer, Chief of Training, 36th Fighter Squadron, Osan
AB, Republic of Korea
7. November 1997–November 1999, Plans Officer, Assistant Wing Weapons Officer, Flight Commander, 510th Fighter
Squadron, Aviano AB, Italy
8. November 1999–September 2001, Group Standardization/Evaluation Officer, Flight Commander, 524th Fighter Squadron,
Cannon AFB, N.M.
9. September 2001–June 2007, Assistant Weapons Officer, Chief of Scheduling, 157th Fighter Squadron, McEntire JNGB,
10. June–September 2002, Executive Officer to the Wing Commander, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan
11. July 2007–February 2010, Chief of Standardization/Evaluation, Executive Officer to the Wing Commander, 169th
Operations Group, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
12. February 2010–June 2011, Program Manager, 169th Fighter Wing, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
13. June 2011–June 2012, Force Planner, National Guard Bureau, Directorate of Plans and Programs (A8), Air National
Guard Readiness Center, Andrews AFB, Md.
14. June 2012–June 2013, Chief of Advanced Programs, 169th Fighter Wing, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
15. June 2013–May 2016, Commander, 157th Fighter Squadron, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
16. May 2016–June 2018, Vice Commander, 169th Fighter Wing, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
17. June 2018-Present, Wing Commander, 169th Fighter Wing, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: more than 4,500
Aircraft Flown: F-16B/C/D (Blocks 15-52), RF-4C, F-4E/G, AT-38, T-38, T-37
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Flying Cross with “V” device
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal five oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal with two service stars
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two service stars
Iraq Campaign Medal with two service stars
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 30, 1990
First Lieutenant May 30, 1992
Captain May 30, 1994
Major June 1, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel June 1, 2008
Colonel May 13, 2016
(Current as of June 2018)