Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed U.S. Air Force Major General Michael A. Loh as Colorado’s new adjutant general, the governor’s office announced Friday. Loh will also serve as executive director of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
Loh will take over for Adjutant General U.S. Air Force Major General H. Michael Edwards, who announced his impending retirement in January.
“Colorado is fortunate to have an officer like Major General Loh whose distinguished service speaks to the kind of leader he will be as Adjutant General,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “He will ensure that Coloradans and the nation are protected both at home and abroad. Major General Loh brings the kind of experience that makes all of Colorado proud.”
His appointment takes effect on April 10.
Loh currently serves as the senior National Guard officer to the commander at Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. He is responsible there for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining Air National Guard Forces assigned to Air Combat Command for rapid deployment and employment while making sure air defense forces are ready for the challenges in peacetime and at war, the governor’s office said.
At the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Loh will be responsible for supervising the divisions of the Colorado National Guard, Civil Air Patrol and Veterans Affairs. The department supports the National Guard, helping units mobilize for overseas deployment and the Guard’s response to disasters in Colorado and the surrounding region. It also helps veterans receive federal benefits.
More than 5,500 men and women serve in the Colorado National Guard, which celebrated its 157th birthday in January. (It’s an institution older than the state, counting territorial militias in its lineage.)
“I’m honored to receive the Governor’s appointment,” Loh said. “I am committed to ensuring that our Colorado National Guard soldiers and airmen are ready for our federal and state missions, to continuing to support our families whose loved ones are deployed, and to serving and honoring the 400,000 veterans who call Colorado home.”
The 1984 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs served seven years on active duty as an F-16A/C flight lead and strike pilot with U.S. Air Forces in Europe and as an instructor pilot in the F-16C at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. He joined the Colorado Air National Guard in 1991 and has held command, staff and supervisory positions with the Guard, including Colorado Air National Guard assistant adjutant general, Air National Guard Council chairman, group commander and squadron commander.
Loh has deployed numerous times to the Pacific and Central Command regions and commanded combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He’s also served as mobilization assistant to the commander for the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs and as Guard assistant to the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon. He is a command pilot with more than 3,200 flight hours and has logged 2,900 hours — 128 of them combat flight hours — in F-16A/B/C/D fighters, the governor’s office said.