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Kraus named ANG assistant to commander of AFCENT

Brig. Gen. Mark R. Kraus has been appointed to the position of Air National Guard assistant to the commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., effective June 1, 2013. Kraus has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky as the assistant adjutant general for Air since October 2008. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Brig. Gen. Mark R. Kraus has been appointed to the position of Air National Guard assistant to the commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., effective June 1, 2013. Kraus has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky as the assistant adjutant general for Air since October 2008. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Brig. Gen. Mark R. Kraus has been appointed to the position of Air National Guard assistant to the commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., effective June 1, 2013, Kentucky's adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini announced April 17.

Kraus has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky as the assistant adjutant general for Air since October 2008.

In his new role, Kraus will advise the AFCENT commander and Combined Force Air Component Commander for U.S. Central Command, Lt. Gen. David L. Goldfein, on Air National Guard operational readiness matters and serve as a catalyst between AFCENT, the National Guard Bureau and ANG units in the field, Tonini said. He will additionally serve as a special projects officer for the AFCENT commander.

"General Kraus has truly excelled over 40 years of years of service to our nation and Commonwealth," Tonini said.

In addition to his role at assistant adjutant general and commander, Kentucky Air National Guard, General Kraus currently serves as the Intelligence Directorate assistant to the director, Air National Guard, and as the ANG assistant to the commander, Air Force Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency. He will continue in these roles of national responsibility until replacements are assigned, Tonini said.

Kraus served as commander of the Kentucky Air Guard's Louisville-based 123rd Airlift Wing from November 2004 to October 2008. He was mobilized in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. While deployed for Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, Kraus served with U.S. Central Command as commander of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing and Deputy Commander of the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group.

The general first entered active-duty service with the U.S. Air Force in December 1972 as a Supply Inventory Management Specialist at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. He transferred through the Palace Chase program to the Kentucky Air National Guard in April 1974 in the same role, rising to the rank of staff sergeant. Kraus received his commission through the Air National Guard Academy of Military Science in 1979 and became an RF-4C "Phantom II" aircraft weapons systems officer with the 165th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in Louisville following graduation from Air Force navigator school in May 1981.

His positions with the 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing and, after the wing's conversion to the C-130 aircraft in 1989, the 123rd Airlift Wing, include 123rd Operations Group commander, 165th Airlift Squadron commander, chief of standardization/evaluation, chief of weapons and tactics, airspace manager, and flying training officer.

"General Kraus' selection to this prestigious position continues a long history of outstanding accomplishment by Kentucky National Guard members," Tonini said. "He clearly represents the 'Unbridled Service' commitment of our nation's finest Air National Guard Wing."