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NRO Vandenberg changes command

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Lt. Col. Eric J. Kolb took command of the National Reconnaissance Office Space Launch Vandenberg Squadron during a ceremony at Building 8310 at 10 a.m. June 2.

Colonel Kolb replaces Lt. Col. Eric A. Krystkowiak, who will be attending the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, District of Columbia.
Colonel Kolb's past assignments include a tour as a cruise missile project engineer at Philips Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. In March 1999, he served as a tactical space systems project manager at Los Angeles Air Force Base's Space and Missile Systems Center in California. Remaining at Los Angeles Air Force Base, from 2001 to 2004, Colonel Kolb served as both test chief and chief of Global Positioning System IIF Satellite Integration. From June 2004 to June 2006, he was reassigned to the Air Force Communications Support Facility, Las Cruces, N.M., as the flight commander of processing operations before becoming the facility's director of engineering.

Colonel Kolb has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, N.Y. He completed a master's degree in industrial engineering at New Mexico State University, N.M., and is a 2009 graduate of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

From 2009 to 2011, Colonel Kolb served as the director of operations at the NRO Vandenberg Operating Location, Calif.

His awards include a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal and an Air Force Commendation Medal.

As commander of the NRO Space Launch Vandenberg Squadron, Colonel Kolb is responsible for the transportation, integration, and processing of NRO satellites for launch from Vandenberg. This includes transporting NRO and other spacecraft from factories to Vandenberg and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard Air Force aircraft. He is responsible for nearly 500 employees and 415,000 square feet of facilities necessary to launch the nation's reconnaissance satellites to support global information superiority for the United States during peace through war.