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Branstad appoints Col. DeHaes to lead Iowa National Guard

iowa national guardDES MOINES – Brig. Gen. J. Derek Hill, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa Air National Guard, will retire from the Iowa Air National Guard effective Nov. 2, 2014 after 29 years of service. Governor Terry Branstad has selected Col. William D. “Drew” DeHaes as Hill’s successor.
Hill received his commission as a first lieutenant through direct appointment in May 1985. During his five-year, active duty tour, he was an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. and a Circuit Trial Counsel for the 4th Judicial Circuit. located at Lowry Air Force Base, Colo. As a Circuit Trial Counsel, he was one of 21such personnel worldwide. He achieved a success rate of 95 percent as lead counsel in prosecuting complex cases involving more than 150 trials and adversarial hearings in a 12-state, 17-base area. He managed numerous multi-jurisdiction investigations and trained more than 200 Air Force attorneys in litigation skills.

William DeHaes
William DeHaes

In 1990, Hill transferred to the Air Force Reserves and continued as a prosecutor in the 4th Judicial Circuit. In September 1994, he relocated to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. While there, he was attached as a reservist to Headquarters, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. In his civilian job, he served as the Director of the Narcotics Strike Force for the Virgin Islands until 1997, when he joined the Air National Guard and assumed duties as the Staff Judge Advocate for the U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard.

Hill transferred to the Iowa Air National Guard in 2003, where he served as Director of Staff and Chief of Staff until 2010. Concurrently, from 2007 to 2010, Hill was dual-hatted as the Chief of the Joint Staff, Iowa National Guard, which has primary responsibility for planning and executing National Guard support to domestic disasters. Hill was Chief of the Joint Staff during the Parkersburg tornado and historic floods of 2008.

He was promoted to brigadier general in the Iowa Air National Guard on Nov. 5, 2010. In January 2011, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad appointed Hill to be the Homeland Security Advisor and the Administrator of Homeland Security Emergency Management for the State of Iowa. Hill later chaired Gov. Branstad’s Missouri River Flood Recovery Task Force in 2011-2012. The governor named Hill the full-time Deputy Adjutant General for the Iowa Air National Guard in December 2011.

Hill’s education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of South Alabama (1979); a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University (1981); and Graduate Tax School, University of Florida (1982). His military education includes Squadron Officers School (1987), Air War College (2004), and the Joint and Combined War Fighting School (2007).

His military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (six times), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, National Defense Service Medal (twice), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award (seven times), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (twice), Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, and the Air Force Training Ribbon.

DeHaes entered the U.S. Air Force in 1988 and was commissioned in 1989 at Officer’s Training School, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Following completion of Euro-NATO Joint Jet pilot training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas in 1990, he was assigned as a First Assignment Instructor Pilot. While stationed at Sheppard, DeHaes served as a Squadron Executive Officer, Wing Standards/Evaluation Pilot and Chief Spin Demonstration and Recovery Pilot. During his next tour, he was the F-16 Chief of Wing Flying Safety at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

DeHaes has commanded the 132nd Fighter Wing and also previously served as the Wing’s Vice Commander and Operations Group Commander. DeHaes currently serves as Special Projects Officer for the Iowa Air National Guard. He is a Command Pilot with more than 3,300 flying hours in the T-37B, T-38A, AT-38B, and F-16C/D aircraft and has flown operational missions in support of Operations Deny Flight, Deliberate Force, Noble Eagle, Northern Watch, Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom.

DeHaes’ civilian and military education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University (1986) and a Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (1998). He also graduated from the U.S. Air Force Squadron Officer’s School (1994), Air Command and Staff College (2003) and the Air War College (2006).

His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (three times), Air Medal (five times), Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Award (twice), Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (five times), Combat Readiness Medal (five times), National Defense Service Medal (twice), Iraq Campaign Medal (with star), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border (three times), Air Force Longevity Service Award (six times), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with bronze hourglass,“M” device and numeral 4), Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Pistol), Air Force Training Ribbon and the NATO Medal.

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