Colonel Balts takes command of 30th SW
By Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 28, 2013
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.