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Former 614th AOC commander takes command of 30th SW

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Col. Richard Boltz, the 30th Space Wing commander, assumed command of the 30th Space Wing in a change-of-command ceremony at the parade grounds here Monday, April 26, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Col. Richard Boltz, the 30th Space Wing commander, assumed command of the 30th Space Wing in a change-of-command ceremony at the parade grounds here Monday, April 26, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. –Col. Richard Boltz, the 30th Space Wing commander, holds his daughter Adeline after assuming command of the 30th SW at a change-of-command ceremony held at the parade grounds here Monday, April 26, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. –Col. Richard Boltz, the 30th Space Wing commander, holds his daughter Adeline after assuming command of the 30th SW at a change-of-command ceremony held at the parade grounds here Monday, April 26, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The former commander of the 614th Air and Space Operations Center here assumed command of the 30th Space Wing at a change of command ceremony held at the base parade grounds April 26.

Col. Richard Boltz assumed command of the wing from Col. David Buck, who has been reassigned to U.S. Central Command to serve as the director of space operations forces in Southeast Asia.

Lt. Gen. Larry James, the 14th Air Force commander, was the presiding officer for the ceremony.

"Richard has a great heritage here at Vandenberg," said General James. "He knows how to execute the mission and execute the mission safely. This wing will be in good hands with Richard Boltz and he will continue to move the bar higher and take us to even greater successes in the future."

Colonel Boltz talked about three key goals as he prepared to take command.

"First and foremost, I want to maintain the great mission success that Colonel Buck has had at this wing," Colonel Boltz said. "Second of all is taking care of Airmen and their families to ensure they have everything they need to do their work and live an enjoyable life here. And thirdly, I want to be a responsible neighbor and give back to the Vandenberg community."

Colonel Boltz is no stranger to the Vandenberg community. Previously, he has served here as a mission flight control offer, chief of mission flight control standards and evaluation and, most recently, as the commander of the 614th Air and Space Operations Center and the director of the Joint Space Operations Center.

"I know that to command at any level, let alone the wing level, is rare, and I will honor your trust with a commitment and dedication commensurate with the awesome responsibility that comes with this assignment," said Colonel Boltz. "As excited and humbled as I am for having been selected, I know this is a shared honor with many former subordinates, peers and supervisors. Without their accomplishments, their successes and their guidance, I wouldn't be standing here today."

Coincidentally, Colonel Boltz, an Ohio native, assumed command of the 30th SW on the 22nd anniversary of his commission as an Air Force officer. Reflecting on taking command, he remembered a conversation he had with a friend approximately 15 years ago.

The conversation was about desirable Air Force jobs and he awkwardly mentioned that he would, one day, like to be the commander of the 30th SW, said Colonel Boltz.

"Back then I was hooked on the excitement of the launch mission and I didn't understand the concept of command or what it really meant to be a commander," Colonel Boltz said. "Over these 15 years or so I've learned from an incredible group of former and current commanders that command really means service and being a commander means to serve. And so, to the men and women of the 30th Space Wing, I'm ready to serve you and I'm ready to serve with you."