• Col (Ret) Mike Katka
    Col (Ret) Mike Katka
    Email michael.katka@slps.org
    Room Number(s): 117E, 119E, 120E
    Subject(s): Aerospace Science 2, 3, and 4
    Building Phone: 314-776-3300
    VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS 8:00am - 2:30pm
    Welcome to Gateway STEM H.S. Air Force Junior ROTC! 
    The mission of the AFJROTC program is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and comunity. We admonish our cadets to uphold the core values of Integrity First, Service-Before-Self, and Excellence In All We Do.
    The goals of our program are to instill values of citizenship, give service to the local community, develop a personal responsibility, and instill a sense of accomplishment in high school students.
    The objectives of AFJROTC are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship; promote community service; instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline; and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.

    Colonel (Ret) Michael B. Katka is the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Gateway STEM High School in St. Louis, Missouri.  He leads a team of four instructors responsible for developing citizens of character by providing Leadership, Aerospace, and Wellness training to more than 250 students.  He serves as a liaison between the Air Force and civilian agencies in the aerospace field, and performs career and performance counseling.  In August 2011, Colonel Katka completed a 365-day short tour as Vice Commander of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, located at an air base in Southwest Asia. The wing was the primary tactical airlift hub for re-supply missions supporting Coalition operations in Iraq and providing combat service support to Land Component Forces throughout the Persian Gulf Region and Iraq. The 386th AEW was comprised of approximately 2,400 active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Airmen. The wing also was home to one of two contingency aeromedical staging facilities (CASF) in the theater. The CASF serves as a gateway for patients airlifted to Germany or the United States for further medical treatment.

    Colonel Katka has commanded a global mobility squadron and directed operations for a flying squadron. While stationed at McGuire AFB, N.J., he was the commander of the 818th Global Mobility Squadron where he executed the Air Force “Open the Airbase” force module by providing rapidly deployable, expeditionary airbase assessment, weather, command and control, aerial port and quick-turn maintenance combat teams.  As commander, he deployed to New Orleans International Airport for Joint Task Force KATRINA and Hurricane Rita relief efforts, where the 818th GMS evacuated more than 26,000 citizens from the Gulf Coast, opened the international airport to air traffic and established a distribution node to provide relief supplies to hurricane victims. Colonel Katka was also the first Joint Task Force Port Opening (JTF-PO) air element commander for United States Transportation Command, taking JTF-PO to initial operating capability. His staff tours include an assignment to Headquarters, United States Transportation Command, Strategy, Policy, Programs, and Logistics Directorate, as the Intermodal Programs and Infrastructure Division Chief and Headquarters, Air Mobility Command, as the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program Manager for the $5 billion C-130 AMP acquisition program. Colonel Katka deployed three times to Saudi Arabia and Oman in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, where he flew as a C-130E Aircraft Commander as part of the 4404th Tactical Airlift Wing (Provisional) and 363d Expeditionary Wing. In August 1994, Colonel Katka flew troops and supplies to Cap Haitian, Haiti, in support of Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY. In January 1998, he deployed to Mombasa, Kenya, as deputy mission commander for Operation NOBLE RESPONSE, providing aid to starving flood victims.

    Prior to his current position, Colonel Katka was the J6 Architecture Branch Chief, United States Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. He is a command pilot with more than 2,700 hours of flying time, primarily in the C-130E/H aircraft.  Colonel Katka is married to his wife of 33 years, Kim, and they have two children, Brandon and Tiffany.

    Education / Certificates 
    • Master of Strategic Studies (Strategy/Leadership), U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA, 2008
    • Master of Military Operational Art and Science, U.S. Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL, 2003
    • B.S. Aviation Management, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1988
    • Initial Career Education Certificate, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 2017
    • Illinois Licensed Life, Health and Accident Producer
    • Acquisition and Program Management Level I Certification
    • Lean Six Sigma Executive Course Completion
    • Certified Architect from Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence
    • Completed Communications Skills Training Course, Barry-Wehmiller University, 2013

    Awards and Recognition

    • Defense Superior Service Medal, 2010
    • Bronze Star Medal, 2011
    • Instructor Pilot of the Year, 43rd Airlift Wing, 1998
    • Top Graduate, Air Force Pilot Instructor Training, 1990
    • Distinguished Graduate, Air Force ROTC, The Ohio State University, 1988

     Community Involvement

    • Teen/Youth Director, Faith Baptist Church, Belleville, IL, 2008-Present
    • Coach on various youth sports programs, 1988-present
    • Member, Airlift/Tanker Association
    • Member, American Legion Post 4, 2016-Present