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Westover Leadership

Colonel Karen L. Magnus


Col. Karen Magnus is commander of the 439th Mission Support Group, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. Over 1,000 military and civilian employees of the 439th MSG provide support services for some 4,000 people that comprise the 439th Airlift Wing, the host unit at Westover. Support is also provided to 680 people in the 15 tenant organizations at the base. The mission support group provides functions required to manage and support all of the base infrastructures. This includes civil engineering, civilian and military personnel, security forces, communications, morale, welfare and recreation; base readiness, logistics readiness, supply, transportation, aerial ports, and bioenvironmental engineering.


Col. Magnus graduated from the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon, with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing and Management and at the same time received her commission into the Air Force through the University's ROTC program. She was assigned to Sheppard Air Force Base as a Cost Analyst. Her next assignment was to Carswell Air Force Base as a Financial Analyst, where she participated in transitioning the base from the Active Component to the Reserve as a result of BRAC. At that time she also left active duty to join the Reserve as a Services Officer and later as the Services Commander. Col. Magnus went on to become a Public Affairs Officer at 10th Air Force, the 939th Air Refueling Wing, and 22nd Air Force. While at 22nd Air Force, she went to the desert twice, once traveling with media throughout every AOR, and the second time providing logistical support for movement of celebrities providing entertainment for troops in Southwest Asia.



1987 Bachelors of Business Administration Marketing & Management, Univ. of Portland, Portland, OR

1999 Squadron Officer School (Correspondence)

2004 Air Command and Staff College (Correspondence)

2008 Air War College (Correspondence)

2010 Master of Business Administration in International Business, Strayer University, Woodbridge, VA



1988 - 1991, Chief, Cost Analysis, 3750th Comptroller Squadron, Sheppard AFB, TX

1991 - 1993, Chief, Financial Analysis, 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell AFB, TX

1993 - 1995, Deputy, Services, 301st Mission Support Group, NAS Ft Worth JRB, TX

1995 - 1998, Commander, Services, 301st Mission Support Group, NAS Ft Worth JRB, TX

1998 - 2003, Deputy Director, Public Affairs, 10th Air Force, NAS Ft Worth JRB, TX

2003 - 2005, Chief, Public Affairs, 939th Air Refueling Wing, Portland IAP, OR

2005 - 2008, Director, Public Affairs, 22nd Air Force, Dobbins ARB, GA

2008 - 2010, Chief, Communication Execution Management, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, D.C.

2010 - 2012, Chief, Full-Time Support, Total Force Policy, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, D.C.

2012 - 2013, Deputy Commander, 452d Mission Support Group, March ARB, CA

2013 - 2015, Commander, 916th Mission Support Group, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC

2015 - present, Commander, 439th Mission Support Group, Westover ARB, MA


Major Awards and Decorations

Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

National Defense Service Medal with bronze star

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air Force Longevity Service with three oak leaf clusters

Armed Forces Reserve Medal with device

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with bonze star

Air Force Training Ribbon


Effective Dates of Promotions

Second Lieutenant, 1987

First Lieutenant, 1989

Captain, 1991

Major, 2000

Lieutenant Colonel, 2006

Colonel, 2013

(Current as of January 2016)

AF Senior LEadership

Air Force Chief of Staff:
Gen. David Goldfein

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force:
Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth Wright

Secretary of the Air Force:
Heather Wilson