Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh pinned on a third star and took over as the Air National Guard’s 13th director in a July 28 ceremony at the Pentagon. Then-National Guard Bureau Chief Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel presided.
The Senate confirmed Loh, who most recently served as the adjutant general of Colorado, in a July 20 voice vote. He succeeds Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, who retired Aug. 1, according to ANG spokesperson Lt. Col. Devin T. Robinson.
“I think we’re an enabler for the National Defense Strategy, and Mike, under your leadership, I just know that you’re going to continue to build on what Scott Rice did,” Lengyel told Loh during the ceremony.
Loh is a F-16 fighter pilot with more than 120 hours spent in combat. He has worked at Air Combat Command, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, 14th Air Force, and for the Air Force chief of staff, among other positions.
As Colorado’s adjutant general, Loh also had a unique perspective on the Pentagon’s push to see outer space as a potential area of conflict. Colorado is home to multiple bases with Air Force-led space missions that now fall under the Space Force. Guardsmen bolster those forces as well as the state’s space industrial base.
He voiced his concern to reporters in February that an early report on how to organize the Space Force left out a firm plan to create a Space National Guard. That sparked worries among Guardsmen who weren’t sure what could happen to their jobs.
Lengyel believes the Air Force and ANG have improved since he and Loh joined their ranks.
“It’s more professional. It’s more fit. It’s more ready. It is just a different force,” he remarked during the ceremony. “The people are the same, but we’re just a different way of doing training and business, and the Air Force relies on us more than they ever have.”
Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett and now-National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson—who assumed responsibility of NGB from Lengyel on Aug. 3—were among those present at Loh’s swearing-in.
In his first message to the field as director, Loh pledged to advocate for policies and resources that will improve readiness, safeguard communities, create partnerships, and enhance service members’ quality of life.
“As the Department of Defense and the Air Force make changes to ensure the future of our air, space, and cyber superiority, the Air National Guard needs to remain focused on recapitalization, modernization, innovation, and taking care of each other,” he said in an Aug. 3 Facebook video. “It is my intent that every member of our force feels valued, and I’m counting on you to make that happen.”
Less than a week after Loh ascended to ANG’s top job, the District of Columbia Air National Guard’s 113th Wing welcomed a new commander as well.
On Aug. 2, Col. John J. Campo took control of the wing from Brig. Gen. Keith G. MacDonald. District of Columbia National Guard Commanding General Maj. Gen. William J. Walker presided over the ceremony.
Campo most recently served as the wing’s vice commander, a post he’d held since December 2018.
He originally entered the U.S. military as a Soldier in 1991, but later joined the Air National Guard. Between his time in the Army and ANG, he has deployed to Central and South America, Bosnia, and Kuwait, his biography notes.
He holds a Master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and has also attended U.S. military institutions including the Air Force’s Squadron Officer School and the Air Command and Staff College.
He’s also a command pilot who has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours—over 139 of which have been in combat—and flown aircraft including the UH-1H/V, AH-64A, T-37B, T-1, KC-135E/R, C-40, and the C-38.
Senior Editor Rachel S. Cohen contributed to this report.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Aug. 5 at 1:55 p.m. EDT to include Loh’s first message to the field as ANG director.