Springfield, January 22, 2019 – Governor JB Pritzker announced today that Illinois National Guard’s Chief of the Joint Staff, Col. Peter Nezamis, will serve as the Acting Assistant Adjutant General – Air and be promoted to brigadier general. He replaces retiring Maj. Gen. Ronald Paul.
“Colonel Nezamis has served our state and our country for over 30 years and it is my honor to promote him to head our Air National Guard,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As the commander-in-chief of the Illinois National Guard, I recognize the vital role our airmen and soldiers play in keeping our communities safe. I’m grateful to retiring Maj. Gen. Paul for his decades of service and look forward to our Air National Guard continuing to thrive under Col. Nezamis.”
“I have the utmost confidence in Col. Nezamis’ competence and leadership and I know the Illinois Air Guard will continue to excel under his leadership,” said Maj. Gen. Hayes. “He is an excellent officer and leader.”
“When I first joined the Air National Guard in 1986, I never envisioned the journey that would prepare and lead me to this destination.” said Colonel Peter Nezamis. “Flying airplanes was a dream I had from a young age. When I matched that passion with service to our state and nation, the Air National Guard was a perfect fit. It’s truly an honor to have served our citizens and follow in the footsteps of so many great leaders. My family and I are truly honored and sincerely thankful to Governor Pritzker and Major General Hayes for their confidence in me and the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Col. Nezamis will lead the more than 3,000 Illinois Air National Guard personnel at Scott Air Force Base, Peoria, and Springfield, Illinois. He will guide the Air National Guard’s three wings within Illinois under the direction of the Illinois National Guard’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Richard Hayes. Nezamis’ broad range of responsibilities include ensuring readiness and mission capability of three major air bases comprised of flying wings, command and control facilities, logistics, and mission support units, while providing trained personnel to meet all the State of Illinois and U.S. Air Force mission requirements. He also supervises a full-time force of over 900 federal and state employees.
Previously, Col. Nezamis commanded the Air National Guard’s 126th Air Refueling Wing based at Scott Air Force Base for 12 years before being named as the Illinois National Guard Chief of the Joint Staff in March 2018. The wing has been named the Air Force’s most ready KC-135 air refueling wing for the last two years. Colonel Nezamis is a command pilot, instructor, and evaluator with more than 5,200 hours in the KC-135 E/R/T Stratotanker. He has commanded and is a veteran of numerous expeditionary operations having flown over 275 combat and combat support hours.
Colonel Nezamis and his wife Teeshia reside in Belleville Illinois where they raised their three sons Nick, Eric, and Alex.