Colonel Keith Y. Ward is the Commander, 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, California. The wing is equipped with 8 C-130J aircraft and supports the State of California, the Air National Guard, and the United States Air Force. He leads and directs more than 1200 permanent and part-time personnel and is responsible for 18 subordinate groups, squadrons, and flights. The 146th Airlift Wing is tasked to support worldwide mobility and combat operations as well as emergency response, domestic operations and defense support to civil authorities for the community, state and nation.
Col Ward graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was first assigned to the 319th Bomb Wing, Strategic Air Command at Grand Forks AFB, ND flying the KC-135R Stratotanker and the T-38A Talon. He then upgraded to Aircraft Commander enroute to the 18th Wing, Pacific Air Forces at Kadena Air Base (AB), Japan. While at Kadena AB, he served in the 18th Operational Support Squadron as
Chief of Tanker Exercises, member of the Kadena Mission Planning Cell, and upgraded to instructor pilot. During his USAF career, Col Ward flew in support of several contingencies to include Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, and PHOENIX SCORPION. Following his tour at Kadena AB, he separated from the USAF in 1998 to pursue other career goals.
In 2001 Col Ward joined the California Air National Guard and the 163d Air Refueling Wing. He has served in Training Flight and as a KC-135 instructor and evaluator. In 2004 he attended the KC-135 Weapons Instructor Course where he was the distinguished graduate for flying operations and earned two Certificates of Excellence. Col Ward then transitioned to the MQ-1B Predator and served as the Chief of Weapons and Tactics Flight. Col Ward also served as the 163d Operations Support Squadron Director of Operations, the 163d Operations Group Commander during conversion to the MQ-9A Reaper, and as the 163d Vice Wing Commander. Col Ward has served in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, NORTHERN WATCH, NOBLE EAGLE, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, FREEDOM SENTINEL, and RESOLUTE SUPPORT.
1989 Bachelor of Science, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. 2003 Squadron Officers School Distance Course 2004 KC-135 Weapons Instructor Course, Fairchild AFB, Wash. 2008 Air Command and Staff College Distance Learning Course 2011 Air War College Distance Learning Course
1.July 1989 – July 1990 Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
2.July 1990 – February 1991, Initial Qualification KC-135R, Combat Crew Training School, Castle AFB, Calif.
3.February 1991 – April 1993, KC-135R copilot and T-38 ACE pilot, 905th Air Refueling Squadron, Grand ForksAFB, N. D.
4.April 1993 – July 1998, KC-135R aircraft commander and instructor pilot, 909th Air Refueling Squadron, Chiefof Tanker Exercises, 18th Operational Support Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan.
5.July 1998 – June 2001, professional golfer and business owner.
6.June 2001 – January 2007, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, KC-135R instructor pilot, functional check flightpilot, evaluator pilot, advanced instrument instructor, and weapons officer, 163d Operations Support Flight, MarchARB, Calif.
7.January 2007 – February 2010, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, MQ-1 instructor pilot, evaluator pilot andweapons officer, 163d Operations Support Squadron, March ARB, Calif.
8. February 2010 – May 2013, Director of Operations, 163d Operations Support Squadron, March ARB, Calif.
9. May 2013 – June 2015, Commander, 163d Operations Group, March ARB, Calif.
10. June 2015 – June 2017, Vice Commander, 163d Attack Wing, March ARB, Calif.
11. June 2017 – present, Commander, 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands ANGS, Calif.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 5,000 hours
Aircraft Flown: T-41, T-37, T-38, KC-135R/T, MQ-1B, SR-20, MQ-9A, C-130J
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
California Commendation Medal
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
National Guard Association of California
National Guard Association of the United States
Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars
Member of the National Rifle Association
Member of the Order of Daedalians
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 31, 1989
First Lieutenant May 31, 1991
Captain May 31, 1993
Major February 11, 2003
Lieutenant Colonel January 21, 2009
Colonel December 20, 2013
(Current as of 1 Feb 2017)