Gen. Ronald E. Keys is Commander, Air Combat Command, with headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and Air Component Commander for U.S. Joint Forces Command. General Keys is responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense. ACC operates more than 1,200 aircraft, 27 wings, 17 bases and more than 200 operating locations worldwide with 105,000 active-duty and civilian personnel. When mobilized, the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve contribute more than 900 aircraft and 56,000 people to Air Combat Command. As the Combat Air Forces lead agent, ACC develops strategy, doctrine, concepts, tactics and procedures for air and space power employment. The command provides conventional, nuclear and information warfare forces to all unified commands to ensure air, space and information superiority for warfighters and national decision-makers. ACC can also be called upon to assist national agencies with intelligence, surveillance and crisis response capabilities.
General Keys, a distinguished graduate of Kansas State University's ROTC program, was commissioned in 1967 and is an outstanding graduate of undergraduate pilot training. He has commanded a fighter squadron, the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, an F-15 wing, an A/OA-10 and F-16 wing, the Combat Air Forces Operational Test and Evaluation Wing, a numbered air force, and Allied Air Forces Southern Europe. Additionally, General Keys was the first commander of the Air Force Doctrine Center, and he has served as an executive assistant to the Air Force Chief of Staff and to an Assistant Secretary of Defense. Prior to his current assignment, he was Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Keys is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours, including more than 300 hours of combat time in Southeast Asia.
1967 Bachelor's degree in entomology, Kansas State University, Manhattan
1971 Squadron Officer School
1974 Air Command and Staff College
1978 Master's degree in business administration, Golden Gate University, San Francisco, Calif.
1988 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. June 1967 - July 1968, student, undergraduate pilot training, Reese AFB, Texas
2. July 1968 - March 1969, student, F-4 training, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
3. April 1969 - May 1970, F-4 aircraft commander, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam
4. May 1970 - May 1971, F-4 aircraft commander, 475th Tactical Fighter Wing, Misawa AB, Japan
5. May 1971 - April 1974, F-4 aircraft commander, flight examiner, later, chief, Wing Weapons and Tactics Division, 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kadena AB, Japan
6. May 1974 - July 1979, F-4 instructor pilot and flight commander, U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
7. July 1979 - July 1981, air operations officer, Operational Test and Evaluation Division, Directorate of Operations Readiness, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
8. July 1981 - December 1982, assistant executive officer to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
9. December 1982 - March 1984, Chief, Operations Training Division, 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Va.
10. March 1984 - November 1985, Commander, 71st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB, Va.
11. November 1985 - June 1986, special assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, Va.
12. June 1986 - August 1987, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force Reserve, Robins AFB, Ga.
13. August 1987 - May 1988, student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
14. June 1988 - July 1990, Commandant, U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
15. July 1990 - August 1992, Vice Commander, later, Commander, 36th Fighter Wing, Bitburg AB, Germany
16. August 1992 - February 1994, senior military assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Security and Counterproliferation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
17. February 1994 - September 1995, Commander, 354th Fighter Wing, Eielson AFB, Alaska
18. October 1995 - February 1997, Commander, 53rd Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla.
19. February 1997 - September 1998, Commander, Air Force Doctrine Center, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
20. September 1998 - May 2000, Director of Operations, Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany
21. May 2000 - November 2002, Commander, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, Stabilization Forces Air Component and Kosovo Forces Air Component, Naples, Italy; and Commander, 16th Air Force and 16th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force, Aviano AB, Italy
22. November 2002 - May 2005, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
23. May 2005 - present, Commander, Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va., Air Component Commander for U.S. Joint Forces Command and for U.S. Northern Command
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,000
Aircraft flown: A-10, F-4, F-15 and F-16
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with 16 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 4, 1967
First Lieutenant Dec. 4, 1968
Captain June 4, 1970
Major March 1, 1979
Lieutenant Colonel Nov. 1, 1981
Colonel Nov. 1, 1986
Brigadier General July 15, 1994
Major General July 1, 1997
Lieutenant General July 1, 2000
General May 27, 2005
(Current as of February 2007)