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Colonel Balts takes command of 30th SW

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), speaks during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), speaks during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), accepts the 30th SW guideon from Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space Wing former commander, during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), accepts the 30th SW guideon from Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space Wing former commander, during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), gives the 30th SW guide-on to Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), gives the 30th SW guide-on to Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, salutes the formation members of Team V during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, salutes the formation members of Team V during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Col. Mary Garbowski, 30th Medical Support Squadron commander, sings the national anthem during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Col. Mary Garbowski, 30th Medical Support Squadron commander, sings the national anthem during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Base honor guard members post the colors during a 30th Space Wing change-of-command at the parade grounds here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Base honor guard members post the colors during a 30th Space Wing change-of-command at the parade grounds here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The official party salutes the United States flag during a 30th Space Wing change-of-command at the parade grounds here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The official party salutes the United States flag during a 30th Space Wing change-of-command at the parade grounds here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space Wing former commander, salutes Col. Brent McArthur, 30th SW vice commander, for a troop inspection during a change-of-command ceremony here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space Wing former commander, salutes Col. Brent McArthur, 30th SW vice commander, for a troop inspection during a change-of-command ceremony here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), speaks during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), speaks during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts took command of the 30th SW at the ceremony from the former 30th SW commander, Col. Nina Armagno. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Base honor guard post the colors during a change-of- command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, took command from Col. Nina Armagno, 30th SW former commander, whose next stop is Patrick AFB, Fla., to take command of the 45th Space Wing.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)
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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Base honor guard post the colors during a change-of- command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, took command from Col. Nina Armagno, 30th SW former commander, whose next stop is Patrick AFB, Fla., to take command of the 45th Space Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Col. Mary Garbowski, 30th Medical Support Squadron commander, sings the national anthem during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, took command from Col. Nina Armagno, 30th SW former commander, whose next stop is Patrick AFB, Fla., to take command of the 45th Space Wing.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)
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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Col. Mary Garbowski, 30th Medical Support Squadron commander, sings the national anthem during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, took command from Col. Nina Armagno, 30th SW former commander, whose next stop is Patrick AFB, Fla., to take command of the 45th Space Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Nina Armagno, 30 Space Wing former commander, performs an inspection of the troops for the last time at Vandenberg AFB here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts, 30th SW commander, assumed command from Armagno upon her selection for reassignment to the 45th Space Wing as the commander at Patrick AFB, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)
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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Nina Armagno, 30 Space Wing former commander, performs an inspection of the troops for the last time at Vandenberg AFB here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Col. Keith Balts, 30th SW commander, assumed command from Armagno upon her selection for reassignment to the 45th Space Wing as the commander at Patrick AFB, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Keith Balts, 30 Space Wing commander, takes command of the 30th SW during a change-of-command ceremony here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts assumed command from Armagno upon her selection for reassignment to the 45th Space Wing as the commander at Patrick AFB, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)
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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Keith Balts, 30 Space Wing commander, takes command of the 30th SW during a change-of-command ceremony here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts assumed command from Armagno upon her selection for reassignment to the 45th Space Wing as the commander at Patrick AFB, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, speaks during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts assumed command from Armagno upon her selection for reassignment to the 45th Space Wing as the commander at Patrick AFB, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)
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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, speaks during a change-of-command here Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Balts assumed command from Armagno upon her selection for reassignment to the 45th Space Wing as the commander at Patrick AFB, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDNEBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Col. Keith Balts assumed command of the 30th Space Wing in a change-of-command ceremony at the parade grounds here May 28.

Balts assumed command from Col. Nina Armagno upon her selection for reassignment to Patrick AFB, Fla., where she will promote to the rank of brigadier general and command the 45th Space Wing.

Some of Balts' past assignments include tours as the U.S. Air Forces Central Command director of space forces; 10th Space Warning Squadron commander, Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D.; 76th Space Operations Squadron deputy commander, Schriever AFB, Colo.; National Reconnaissance Office chief of space tactics division, Washington, D.C.; and also previously served as 30th Space Wing vice commander here.

"As Colonel Armagno gets ready to assume her new position at Patrick Air Force Base as the commander of the 45th Space Wing, Colonel Balts will take the helm as the commander of the 30th," said Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of U.S. Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic). "This new opportunity builds naturally upon his incredibly diverse background in all aspects of space operations and his leadership experience, coupled with operational savvy, makes Colonel Balts the best possible choice for leading this talented team to a new level of excellence."

Balts earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin and his first master's degree from the University of Colorado. He also completed a Master of Military Operational Art and Science at Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., and Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from Naval War College, Newport, R.I.

His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster.