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169th Fighter Wing conducts change of command

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jim St. Clair
  • 169th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The South Carolina Air National Guard conducted a change of command ceremony Saturday September 11, 2021. U.S. Air Force Col. Quaid H. Quadri, Jr. assumed command of the 169th Fighter Wing from Col. Akshai Gandhi. Quadri is now 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 100 active-duty Airmen assigned in an “Active Association” construct.

Gandhi, who served as wing commander since June 2018, will be promoted to the rank of brigadier general during a ceremony this afternoon and will then assume the role of South Carolina Assistant Adjutant General, Air from Brig. Gen. Scott Bridgers, who is retiring.

Prior to assuming command of the 169th Fighter Wing, Quadri served the Chief, Strategic Assessment, Futures & Initiatives Division, for the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon. He was the principal strategist for the Chief, National Guard Bureau (CNGB), a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). Quadri was responsible for operational and strategic integration across the joint and service staffs in order prosecute the priorities of CNGB. In addition, Quadri was the focal point for development of CNGB’s “Best Military Advice” to the Secretary of Defense in his role as a member of the JCS.   

Quadri has held a variety of tactical and operational planning assignments including managing all Air National Guard mobilization and deployment planning and execution. He is the former 245th Air Traffic Control Squadron Commander and has served as the Crisis Action Team (CAT) Director during multiple domestic emergency response operations including major hurricane response. In 2017 he deployed as the Senior Military Authority, Roosevelt Rhodes Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria recovery operations. 

Quadri received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 1999. He is a command pilot and highly experienced F-16 Evaluator and Instructor Pilot with over 2,500 flying hours in the F-16. He has flown more than 500 combat hours and flown combat missions in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM and INHERENT RESOLVE.