AEDC Robert Ator

Col. (Ret) Rob “Gator” Ator

Director, Military Affairs

Robert Ator currently serves as the Director of Military Affairs for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission after his retirement from military service. Rob retired after serving as the Commander of the 189th Airlift Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard, the largest Air National Guard C-130 Wing in the U.S. The 189th provides all C-130H aircrew training for the U.S. Department of Defense and its allied nations, trains and equips forces for deployment in active duty service, and serves the citizens of Arkansas as the Governor’s Quick Reaction Force.

As Commander, Col. Ator was responsible for leading the Wing’s 14 subordinate units with over a thousand members, assets valued in excess of $2 billion and an annual operating budget of $70 million. During his command, the 189th opened the Cyber Skills Validation School to meet the new demand for cyber warrior training and the Wing twice earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. Rob and his wife, Michelle, live in Little Rock while their son is a sophomore at the United States Air Force Academy and daughter a freshman at the University of Colorado.