Col. Mitchell R. Johnson is commander of the 119th Wing, North Dakota Air National Guard. He commands nearly 1200 authorized personnel who execute world-class MQ-9 persistent attack and reconnaissance, kinetic and non-kinetic intelligence target production, and expeditionary combat support for our nation and state. Col. Johnson maintains qualification as a MQ-9 pilot and provides incident awareness and assessment as directed by the Governor, along with precision attack and reconnaissance for combatant commanders.

Col. Johnson was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in May 1997. He was selected for an Air Force Institute of Technology Civilian Institution Program and earned his Master’s Degree in 1998. Upon completion of pilot training, Col. Johnson served in multiple flying assignments in AMC, AETC, and AFSOC during his 12 years on active duty. He has commanded at both the group and squadron level, and flown tactical airlift, special operations attack, and remotely piloted aircraft worldwide. Col. Johnson has served overseas on six deployments. Prior to his current assignment, Col. Johnson served as commander, 119th Operations Group, Fargo, North Dakota. He is a native of Central Minnesota.


1997 Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Mich.
1998 Master of Science, Aerospace Engineering, AFIT Civilian Institution, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2003 Squadron Officer School, Distinguished Graduate, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Air Command and Staff College by correspondence
2016 Air War College by correspondence



1. June 1997 - June 1998, AFIT Civilian Institution Program, Peterson AFB, Colo.
2. June 1998 - September 1999, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
3. September 1999 - January 2002, C-130 Pilot, Chief of Flying Safety, 50 Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
4. January 2002 - June 2005, T-37 IP, Flight Commander, Wing SATAF Officer, Vance AFB, Okla.
5. June 2005 - February 2009, AC-130U Aircraft Commander, Chief of Plans, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
6. February 2009 - February 2010, MQ-1 Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Hector IAP, Fargo, N.D.
7. February 2010 - November 2011, Operations Officer, 119th Operations Support Squadron, Hector IAP, Fargo, N.D.
8. November 2011 - May 2012, Commander, 177th Airlift Squadron, Hector IAP, Fargo, N.D.
9. May 2012 - October 2014, Commander, 119th Operations Support Squadron, Hector IAP, Fargo, N.D.
10. November 2014 - March 2016, Commander, 178th Reconnaissance Squadron, Hector IAP, Fargo, N.D.
11. March 2016 - August 2018, Commander, 119th Operations Group, Hector IAP, Fargo, N.D.
12. August 2018 - March 2021, Vice Wing Commander, 119th Wing, Hector IAP, Fargo, N.D.
13. March 2021 - Present, Commander, 119th Wing, Hector IAP, Fargo, N.D.



Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: Over 5,000, including over 1,000 combat hours
Aircraft Flown: AC-130U, C-130 E/H3, MQ-1/9, T-37, C-21, C-12



Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device with nine oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon



Second Lieutenant Jun. 16, 1997
First Lieutenant Jun. 16, 1999
Captain Jun. 16, 2001
Major Apr. 1, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel Nov. 30, 2011
Colonel May 25, 2017

(Current as of Mar 2021)