Col. Keith Butler is the Commander of the 509th Operations Group at Whiteman AFB, MO. He is responsible for the operational combat readiness of the world’s only stealth bomber fleet. He also trains warriors and develops future leaders who fly and support 20 B-2 bombers, providing a strategic nuclear deterrent for the nation and the Air Force’s top choice to deliver lethal global strike; anytime…anywhere.

Col Butler enlisted in the Air Force in 1991. Selected for an AFROTC scholarship in 1997, he earned his commission through ROTC at the University of South Carolina in 1999. After graduating, he served in operational assignments as an F-16, F-117, and B-2 pilot.

Col Butler has held positions at the squadron, group, major command, and Joint Staff levels. He has also flown combat missions in Operations Joint Forge, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. His staff assignments include Global Strike Command’s Advanced Programs Branch Chief at the Rapid Capabilities Office in Washington, D.C. and Joint Warfighting Capability Analyst in the Joint Staff.

Col Butler is a command pilot with over 2,000 flying hours in T-37, T-38A, A/T-38B, F-16CG, F-117A, and B-2A.


1994 Associate degree in Electronic Systems Technology, Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 1999 Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations (cum laude), University of South Carolina

2006 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala. (Distinguished Graduate, Commandant’s Leadership Award)

2010 Master of Arts degree in Aeronautical Science (with distinction), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.

2012 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2013 Air Force Fellow, National Laboratory Technical Fellowship Program, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif.

2014 Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JPME II), Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.

2014 Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy, and Proliferation, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

2017 Program for Emerging Leaders, Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, National Defense University, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C.

2020 Secretary of Defense Executive Fellowship Program, Autodesk Inc., San Francisco, CA



1.October 1991 - June 1992, Student, Air Traffic Control Radar Maintenance technical training, Keesler AFB, Miss.

2.June 1992 – Feb 1995, Air Traffic Control Radar Maintenance Technician, 9th Communications Squadron, Beale AFB, Calif.

3.Feb 1995 – July 1995, Student, Signals Intelligence Analyst technical training, Goodfellow AFB, Texas

4.July 1995 – August 1997, Signals Intelligence Analyst, 609th Air Intelligence Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.

5.August 1997 – December 1999, AFROTC Cadet, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.

6.January 2000 – August 2000, Casual Lieutenant, 20th Operations Support Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.

7.August 2000 – October 2001, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.

8.November 2001 – January 2002, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Randolph AFB, Texas

9.January 2002 – October 2002, Student, F-16 Replacement Training Unit, 308th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.

10.October 2002 – June 2005, F-16CG Flight Lead, Chief of Squadron Mobility and Chief of Squadron Safety, 555thFighter Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy

11.June 2005 – February 2007, F-117A Flight Lead, Chief of Squadron Life Support, 9th Fighter Squadron,Holloman AFB, N.M.

12.February 2007 – November 2007, Chief of Wing Scheduling, 49th Operations Support Squadron, Holloman AFB,N.M.

13.November 2007 – May 2011, B-2A Instructor Pilot, Chief of Squadron Scheduling, Chief of SquadronStandardization and Evaluation, Flight Commander, and Assistant Director of Operations, 393d Bomb Squadron,Whiteman AFB, Mo.

14.May 2011 – June 2012, Chief of Combat Plans, 509th Operations Support Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.

15.July 2012 – June 2013, Intermediate Developmental Education, Air Force Fellow, National Laboratory TechnicalFellowship Program, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore,Calif.

16.July 2013 – July 2014, Global Strike Command Advanced Programs Branch Chief, Rapid Capabilities Office,Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

17.July 2014 – May 2016, Joint Warfighting Capability Analyst and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director forRequirements, J8, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

18.June 2016 – March 2017, Director of Operations, 13th Bomb Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.

19.March 2017 – March 2019, Commander, 509th Operations Support Squadron,Whiteman AFB, Mo.

20.March 2019 – July 2019, Deputy Commander, 509th Operations Group, Whiteman AFB,Mo.

21.July 2019 – June 2020, Senior Developmental Education, Secretary of Defense Executive Fellow, AutodeskInc., San Francisco, Calif.

22.June 2020 – present, Commander, 509th Operations Group, Whiteman AFB, Mo.



1.July 2014 – May 2016, Joint Warfighting Capability Analyst and Executive Officer to the Deputy Director forRequirements, J8, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as a lieutenant colonel


Rating: command pilot

Flight hours: More than 2,000 hours, including 235 combat hours Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38A, A/T-38B, F-16CG, F-117A, and B-2A



Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters Air Force Achievement Medal

Joint Meritorious Unit Award

Meritorious Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters Iraqi Campaign Medal

NATO Medal



Airman Basic Oct. 2, 1991

Airman First Class Oct. 28, 1991

Senior Airman Aug. 1, 1993

Staff Sergeant July 1, 1996

Second Lieutenant Dec. 26, 1999

First Lieutenant Dec. 26, 2001

Captain Dec. 26, 2003

Major Aug. 1, 2009

Lieutenant Colonel Jan. 1, 2015

Colonel Feb. 1, 2020

(current as of June 2020)