Colonel Richard J. Utecht commands the 119th Fighter Wing, Air Combat Command (ACC), Hector Field, Fargo, North Dakota. He commands over 1000 Air National Guard men and women, including over 380 full time employees in the execution of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) mission. Colonel Utecht is responsible for ensuring that the wings F-16 Air Defense Fighters are available at a moments notice at the unit's alert detachment, located at Langley Air Force Base, VA, while simultaneously maintaining mission readiness in Fargo to support NORAD CONPLAN 3310 tasking and expeditionary combat support forces for US Joint Forces Command. Additionally, he is also responsible for the training and preparedness of unit personnel in support of the unit's state mission.
Colonel Utecht was commissioned in the Air Force in 1977 and after 14 years on active duty subsequently joined the North Dakota Air National Guard in January 1991. While on active duty he completed Weapons Director Training in 1977 and Undergraduate Pilot Training in 1980. He has commanded at the flight, squadron, group, and wing level. Colonel Utecht's staff experience includes temporary assignments as special assistant to the Air National Guard Director and Continental NORAD Region (CONR) Vice Commander. Additionally, he is assigned as the special project officer and chairman of the newly formed National Guard Joint Homeland Security, Defense and Civil Support Council. 

1976 Bachelor of Science, University of Nebraska at Omaha
1977 Weapons Director School, Tyndall AFB, Florida
1980 Undergraduate Pilot Training, Williams AFB, Arizona
1983 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
1986 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1986 Adversary Tactics Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nevada
1997 Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania 

1. 1977-1978 - Weapons Controller, 24th Air Division, Great Falls, Montana
2. 1978-1979 - Weapons Director/Training Officer, Tatalina AF Station, Alaska
3. 1980-1980 - Student, undergraduate pilot training, Williams AFB, Arizona
4. 1981-1983 - 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah
5. 1983-1986 - Flight Commander, F-16 Instructor Pilot, 613th TFS, Torrejon AB, Spain
6. 1986-1988 - Aggressor Pilot F-5E, 527th Aggressor Squadron, RAF Alconbury, England
7. 1988-1990 - Aggressor Pilot F-16, 527th Aggressor Squadron, RAF Bentwaters, England
8. 1990-1991 - USAF/TAC - 602nd Tactical Air Control Squadron, Bergstrom AFB, Texas
9. 1991-1994 - Deputy Commander, 119th FIG, Alert Detachment 1, Kingsley Field, Klamath Falls, Oregon
10. 1994-1995 - Commander, 178th Fighter Squadron, Fargo, North Dakota
11. 1995-1996 - Operations Group Commander, 119th Fighter Wing, Fargo, North Dakota
12. 1996-1997 - Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
13. 1997-1999 - Logistics Group Commander, 119th Fighter Wing, Fargo, North Dakota
14. Jan-Mar 2000 - Assigned as temporary assistant to ANGB/CF, Washington DC
15. Sep-Nov 2002 - Assigned as temporary vice commander 1st/AF, Tyndall AFB, Florida
16. Jan 2001 - Wing Commander 119th Fighter Wing, Fargo, North Dakota
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,000
Aircraft flown: F-16, F-5E

Meritorious Service Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
North Dakota State Commendation Ribbon
North Dakota Air National Guard OCONUS Ribbon

Distinguished Graduate - Weapons Directors School, 1977
Distinguished Graduate - Undergraduate Pilot Training, 1980

Second Lieutenant May, 1976
First Lieutenant May, 1978
Captain May, 1980
Major January, 1988
Lieutenant Colonel May, 1995
Colonel July 30, 1999