Commander of 180th leaving for Joint Chiefs of StaffWritten by Danielle Stanton | | email@example.com
Col. Steven Nordhaus is leaving his post as commander of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing at Toledo Express Airport to take a position with a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
Maj. Gary Bentley with the 180th Fighter Wing confirmed the decision Nov. 18 and said he didn’t know yet who will be Nordhaus’ replacement.
“We expect an announcement as to who the next commander is shortly but we don’t know now,” Bentley said. “It could be a soon as a couple of days from now.”
Nordhaus was selected to become executive assistant to four-star Gen. Frank Grass, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who is in charge of the country’s National Guard Bureau.
Bentley called the move “unique” because normally such a high-level post would go to active duty personnel and Nordhaus is a reservist.
“It’s because we’ve worked very hard to have what we call ‘jointness,’” Bentley said. “The National Guard and active duty [personnel] work together seamlessly. When we go oversee to Iraq or Afghanistan, we go together.”
Nordhaus has been commander at the 180th Fighter Wing since January 2011. Before that, he served as vice commander starting in August 2009.
Nordhaus graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1989 and continued training as a pilot in Texas, New Mexico and Florida.
In August 1991, he became an F-16 pilot out of Homestead Air Force Base in Florida. From there, he instructed at various places including South Carolina, Idaho and Korea.
He landed in Toledo in 1998 as an instructor and moved on to squadron commander and other posts.
The 180th Fighter Wing will honor Nordhaus at a celebration Nov. 25 at the base, where Nordhaus will perform his “fini flight” or last flight in honor of his departure as commander. Nordhaus will take off about 2 p.m. and land about 3:30 p.m., Bentley said. A cake and reception will follow.
“He’s been a great leader,” Bentley said. “I can’t say enough positive things about him. He took a great wing and made it better and he will be missed.”
Bentley is also leaving the wing. He decided in January that he would retire after serving 37 years.
“My story is, [Nordhaus] didn’t want to stay here without me,” Bentley said. “It’s kind of a joke here amongst us.”
Nordhaus was out of town and unavailable for comment.