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Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Franklin to assume Command Tennessee Air Guard’s 119th Command and Control Squadron

Tennessee National Air GuardNashville, TN – Brig. Gen. Donald Johnson, Tennessee Assistant Adjutant General-Air, today announced that Lt. Col. Vincent Franklin, of Seymour, TN, will assume command of the 119th Command and Control Squadron on March 8th.

Also in the announcement, Brig. Gen. Johnson named Lt. Col. Samuel Keener, of Knoxville, as the Senior Technician of the 119th CACS in charge of the day to day operations of the unit.

Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Franklin
Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Franklin

Franklin replaces Col. David Evans, who officially retires in ceremonies scheduled for March 11th at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base. Retired Maj. Gen. William Cotney, former Assistant Adjutant General-Air, will preside over the ceremony.

Franklin currently commands Knoxville’s 228th Combat Communications Squadron. He served with the 119th CACS as both a Communications officer and a Space officer prior to taking command of the 228th CCS.

Lt. Col. Samuel Keener
Lt. Col. Samuel Keener

Franklin’s civilian occupation is a pilot for United Airlines. He has served with both the Active Duty Air Force and the Air National Guard for more than 17 years. He graduated with high honors from the University of Tennessee in 1988 with a degree in Engineering.

Keener currently serves as the commander of the 213th Space Warning Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard. He served as the Flight Commander, Current Operations/Weapons and Tactics, for the 119th CACS from September 2005 to June 2011. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Tennessee in 1992.

Outgoing Commander, Col Evans, a native of Maryville, has led his highly decorated unit to nine consecutive outstanding ratings on operational inspections and an outstanding rating on the Air Force’s first ever Command Cyber Readiness Inspection.

His unit has been awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award four consecutive years running. His unit was also selected as the Air Force Reserve Component winner of the 2011 Verne Orr Award, a prestigious award presented to the Air Force unit most demonstrating outstanding resource management.

He was the first Tennessee Air National Guardsman to complete the Undergraduate Space and Missile Training Staff Course at Vandenberg AFB, California, where he was selected as an honor graduate. He was also an honor graduate of the Basic Air Weapons Controller School at Tyndall AFB, Florida.

Evans has deployed to Norway, Denmark, Italy and Peru in support of several major contingencies, including Operations Nobel Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. His awards include National Guard Association of the United States 2011 Distinguished Mission Support Award, and the Maryville College J.D. Davis Award in recognition of exceptional academic and athletic performance.

Evans received his Bachelor’s Degree from Maryville College in 1981 and entered the Tennessee Air National Guard in August of 1984 as an Air Weapons Controller with the 110th Air Control Squadron, Tennessee Air National Guard. He also graduated as valedictorian from Friendsville High School in Maryville, TN, in 1977.


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