Col. Michael A. Ferrario is commander of the 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard, McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina. He is responsible for organizing, training and equipping the largest operational F-16 wing in the Air National Guard while maintaining a 2,400-acre federal military installation and providing 24/7 Air Sovereignty for the Southeast United States. 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 construct. 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.
Col. Ferrario received his commission as a graduate of the University of Michigan AFROTC program in 1996. He is a command pilot and highly experienced F-16 instructor pilot, flight examiner, combat search and rescue pilot, and mission commander with more than 4,300 flying hours in the F-16. He was commander of the 157th Fighter Squadron and held various staff and supervisory positions at the squadron and wing level within the 169th Fighter Wing and other organizations. He has served on the staff at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces Central, and as an operational test and evaluation instructor pilot at the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Col. Ferrario has flown more than 700 hours in combat and has flown combat missions in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Inherent Resolve with combat support missions in Operation Northern Watch. Prior to his current duties, Col. Ferrario served as commander of the 169th Operations Group, McEntire JNGB, South Carolina.
1996 Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan
2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2012 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2012 Master of Military Operational Art and Science degree, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2019 Air War College, by correspondence
1. August 1996–November 1997, Special Assistant to the Commander, University of Michigan
2. November 1997–March 1999, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
3. April–May 1999, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Sheppard AFB, Texas
4. June–December 1999, F-16C Student, 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
5. February 2000–February 2001, F-16 Pilot, Scheduling Officer, 36th Fighter Squadron, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea
6. February 2001–September 2003, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, 4th Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah
7. September 2003–May 2006, F-16 Instructor/Evaluator Pilot, Flight Commander, 466th Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah
8. May 2006–April 2008, F-16 Operational Test and Evaluation Instructor Pilot, Asst. Director of Operations, Eglin AFB, Fla.
9. April 2008–March 2009, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces Central Weapons Staff, Shaw AFB, S.C.
10. April 2009–June 2013, F-16 Instructor/Evaluator Pilot, Chief of Training, Asst. Director of Operations, 157th Fighter Squadron, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
11. June 2013–April 2017, F-16 Instructor/Evaluator Pilot, Program Manager, 169th Fighter Wing, McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C.
12. April 2017–May 2018, Director of Operations, 157th Fighter Squadron, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
13. May 2018–June 2020, Commander, 157th Fighter Squadron, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
14. June 2020–February 2021, Deputy Commander, 169th Operations Group, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
15. February 2021–April 2023, Commander, 169th Operations Group, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
16. April 2023–August 2023, JFHQ-SC/A3, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
17. August 2023–present, Commander, 169th Fighter Wing, McEntire JNGB, S.C.
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: more than 4,300, including more than 700 combat hours
Aircraft Flown: F-16, T-38, T-37
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with service star
Iraq Campaign Medal with service star
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant July 17, 1996
First Lieutenant July 17, 1998
Captain July 17, 2000
Major July 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel March 16, 2012
Colonel Feb. 1, 2021
(Current as of August 2023)