Lt. Col. Jeffrey W. Kerneklian formally took command of the New York Air National Guard’s 224th Support Squadron during an assumption of command ceremony on July 10 at the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS).
The 224th Support Squadron is a subordinate unit of the 224th Air Defense Group (ADG). The 224th ADG provides the New York Air National Guard personnel for EADS, a North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters unit tasked with the air defense of the eastern U.S.
Responsible for critical air defense systems and functions, the 224th Support Squadron installs, maintains and repairs computer networks, communications and radar equipment, conducts physical plant maintenance and engineering, and provides EADS’ Security Forces and administrative support.
Lt. Col. Kerneklian received command before a crowd of around 100 Airmen. Col. Paul M. Bishop, the 224th ADG Commander, served as the officiating officer for the ceremony.
“Lt. Col. Kerneklian has served across the globe and has been an outstanding leader at every stop along the way,” said Col. Bishop, the 224th ADG Commander. “Lt. Col. Kerneklian is taking over a highly-trained, effective unit and I am confident his experience, management skills and sound judgment will enable the squadron to continue its superb work in support of our air defense mission.”
A native of Richmond, Va., Lt. Col. Kerneklian attended Kent State University in Ohio. Commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Kent State, he joined the active-duty Air Force in 1996 as a communications officer.
Lt. Col. Kerneklian has served in Guam, Europe and throughout the United States during his career. In 2000, he deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he managed integrated communications for Stabilization Forces throughout the theater. In 2001, Lt. Col. Kerneklian was one of only six Air Force officers chosen to attend the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Control Systems School at Quantico, Va. After graduating from the course, he led U.S. Strategic Command communications initiatives in direct support of the President and the Global War on Terror. From 2005 to 2009, Lt. Col. Kerneklian instructed and supervised the Air Force ROTC Detachment at Syracuse University. He then went on to serve as a NATO staff officer in Brunssum, Netherlands, where he was the lead officer for high value infrastructure projects such as the Afghanistan Mission Network.
Following his NATO tour, Lt. Col. Kerneklian transferred to the Air National Guard and served in cyberspace defense roles, supporting the 603rd Air Operations Center in Ramstein, Germany and the 608th Air Operations Center at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He then moved to the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse, where he served as the Inspector General responsible for all base inspections and exercises. In 2017, he joined the U.S. Cyber Command at Ft. Meade, Md., where he conducted strategic level assessments in coordination with the Joint Staff and Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Prior to his current assignment, Lt. Col. Kerneklian served as the Director of Operations at the 224th Support Squadron where he was responsible for daily operations of 134 military and civilian cyberspace, security, civil engineering and logistics personnel.
For more information about the New York Air National Guard, visit www.dmna.ny.gov. For more information on the 224th Air Defense Group and the Eastern Air Defense Sector, visit www.eads.ang.af.mil.