HomeAbout UsBiographies

Col Col. John "Pogo" Pogorek, 157 ARW commander


Col. John W. Pogorek is the Commander of the 157th Air Refueling Wing, Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire. The federal mission of the 157th ARW is to provide rapid global mobility airpower and deploy expeditionary forces in support of worldwide combat, contingency and humanitarian requirements. The state mission of the 157th ARW is to support the Governor of New Hampshire in disaster or domestic emergency response situations. The wing operates twelve KC-46A aircraft performing air refueling, airlift and aero-medical evacuation missions supporting U.S. and coalition contingency operations and the U.S. Strategic Command's strategic deterrence mission.

Col. Pogorek received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Factors Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, and was commissioned in May 1989. He joined the New Hampshire Air National Guard in January 1999 and transitioned to the KC-135R, and then to the KC-46A Pegasus. During his career, he has served in a myriad of roles, including KC-135R instructor and evaluator pilot, Squadron Director of Operations, 478th Expeditionary Operations Squadron Commander, 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron Commander, and the 157th Maintenance Group Commander. Prior to his current position, he was the commander of the 157th Operations Group, Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire.

1989 Bachelor of Science degree in Human Factors Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Co.
1996 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1997 Master of Business Administration, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas 
2005 Advanced Instrument School, Randolph AFB, Texas
2005 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 
2008 Aircraft Mishap Investigation Course, Air Force Safety Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
2011 Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course, Sheppard AFB, Texas 
2014 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Texas 
2015 Safety/Accident Investigation Board President Course, Air Force Safety Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
2020 Director of Mobility Forces Course, EOS Det 1, Hurlburt Field, Flori.

1. October 1989 - July 1991, Undergraduate pilot training, Laughlin AFB, Texas 
2. July 1991 - April 1992, Combat Search & Rescue, HC-130 Pilot, 67th Special Operations Squadron, RAF Woodbridge, U.K. 
3. April 1992 - September 1994, Combat Search & Rescue, HC-130 Aircraft Commander, 67th Special Operations 
Squadron, RAF Alconbury, U.K.
4. September 1994 - October 1998, T-1A Check Flight Commander, 86th Flying Training Squadron, Laughlin AFB, Texas
5. October 1998 - March 1999, Chief of Standardization/Evaluation, T-1A, 47 Operations Group, Laughlin AFB, Texas 6. March 1999 - November 2004, Director of Mission Development, KC-135R Instructor Pilot, Pease ANGB, N.H. 
7. November 2004 - October 2007, Chief Pilot, KC-135R Instructor/ Standardization/Evaluation Pilot, Pease ANGB, N.H. 
8. October 2007 - October 2009, Chief of Standardization/Evaluation, KC-135R Evaluator Pilot, Pease ANGB, N.H. 
9. October 2009 - October 2010, Operations Officer, 133rd Air Refueling Squadron, Pease ANGB, N.H. 
10. October 2010 - June 2011, Deputy Commander, 157th Operations Group, Pease ANGB, N.H. 
11. June 2011 - October 2015, Commander, 157th Maintenance Group, Pease ANGB, N.H. 
12. October 2015 - March 2018, Commander, 157th Operations Group, Pease ANGB, N.H. 
13. March 2018 - Present, Commander, 157th Air Refueling Wing, Pease ANGB, N.H.

Rating: Command Pilot Flight Hours: 6,300+ Aircraft Flown: C-130E, HC130P/N, KC-46A, KC-135R, T-1A, T-37, T-38 

Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal Aerial Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Award AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and eight oak leaf cluster
 Combat Readiness Medal with six leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze star
Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal 
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal 
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze hourglass
NATO Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait)

Second Lieutenant May 31, 1989
First Lieutenant May 31, 1991
Captain May 31, 1993
Major Oct. 1, 2000
Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 1, 2007 
Colonel Dec.11, 2014 

(Current as of November 2020)