Air Force retiree will be COG’s new leader


On Monday, Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments will welcome a new executive director.

According to a news release from the group, Chris McKinney will oversee 30 people providing assistance to a four-county region of 223,000 people in Clarendon, Kershaw, Sumter and Lee counties. The group is based in Sumter.

McKinney, a Texas native, retired in September from being active duty in the U.S. Air Force after 30 years of service at bases in South Carolina and Florida. He was also deployed on combat tours of duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan during his Air Force career.

He served as the command chief master sergeant for the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base and was an executive adviser to the wing commander and Shaw’s senior enlisted leader. At Shaw, he was responsible for training, professional development and morale of more than 8,500 military members and the welfare of their families and retirees, according to the release.

McKinney also served from April 2013 to June 2015 as group superintendent of the 33rd Operations Group at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and was an executive adviser to the operations group commander. He oversaw training of F-35 pilots, F-35 intelligence professionals and air battle managers. He was responsible for the training, professional development, morale and welfare of more than 300 military members there.

He has an Associate Degree in Meteorology from Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management (Leadership Focus) from American Military University and a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University, according to the release.