Colonel Justin D. Ballinger is commander of the 60th Operations Group, Travis Air Force Base, California. As commander, he is directly responsible for the daily operations of the largest Air Mobility Wing in the Air Force.  With over 1,200 active-duty and civilian personnel and $13 billion in assets, the group is tasked with operating 18 C-5, 26 KC-10, 13 C-17 and 2 KC-46 aircraft, with the number of KC-46 aircraft set to increase. The 60th Operations Group provides rapid global mobility to combatant commanders worldwide, as well as rapid transport patient movement across the full spectrum of the Theater Aeromedical Evacuation System.  In addition, Colonel Ballinger directs all operations support activities, to include an operations support squadron providing air traffic control, weather, intelligence, flight management support, aircrew flight equipment, and KC-10 initial qualification and upgrade training.

Colonel Ballinger commissioned in May 2003 through the United States Air Force Academy. His commands include the 722d Expeditionary Air Base Squadron, Sidi Ahmed, Tunisia and the largest combat airlift squadron in the Air Force, the 9th Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB, Delaware. Prior to his current position, he served as Special Assistant to the 21st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Colonel Ballinger has served as an evaluator and instructor pilot with over 800 combat and combat support hours in the C-5. He has deployed in support of combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya.


2003 Bachelor of Science, Operations Research, United States Air Force Academy, Co.
2003 Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, United States Air Force Academy, Co.
2010 Master of Business Administration, Florida State University, Fla.
2010 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2013 Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2015 Master of Public Policy Management, McConn Public Policy Fellow, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University, D.C.
2020 Distinguished Graduate, Master of Arts, National Security Strategy, Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Fort McNair, D.C.


  1. January 2004 – January 2005, Student Pilot, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
  2. January 2005 – June 2005, C-5 Initial Qualification Student, Altus AFB, Ok.
  3. June 2005 – June 2010, C-5 Flight Examiner, Instructor, and Aircraft Commander, Squadron Standardization and Evaluation Pilot, Assistant Flight Commander, and Squadron and Wing Executive Officer, 9th Airlift Squadron, 436th Airlift Wing, Dover AFB Del.
  4. June 2010 – September 2012, Air Mobility Command Phoenix Mobility Officer, Contingency Response Element Commander, and Operations Flight Commander, 819th Global Support Squadron, 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
  5. September 2012 – May 2014, Executive Officer and Aide de Camp to the Commander, United States Air Force Expeditionary Center, JB Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
  6. May 2014 – July 2015, Air Force Fellow and McConn Scholar, Georgetown University, D.C.
  7. July 2015 – June 2016, Deputy Branch Chief of Strategy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Legislative Liaison, Pentagon, Va.
  8. June 2016 – January 2018, Director of Operations, 436th Operations Support Squadron, Dover AFB De. (April 2017 – October 2017, Commander, 722d Expeditionary Air Base Squadron, Sidi Ahmed, Tunisia)
  9. January 2018 – June 2019, Commander, 9th Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB De.
  10. July 2019 – July 2020, Student, Eisenhower School, National Defense University, D.C.
  11. July 2020 – July 2022, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon, D.C.
  12. July 2022 – July 2023, Director, United States Air Force Academy Washington D.C. Office, Pentagon, D.C.
  13. July 2023 – Present, Commander, 60th Operations Group, Travis AFB, Calif.


1. July 2020 – July 2022, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


Rating: Senior Pilot
Flight hours: 2,900
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-1, C-5 A/B/M


Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal 2 Oak Leaf Clusters Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air and Space Commendation Medal Joint Service Achievement Medal Meritorious Unit Award

Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award with six Oak Leaf Clusters Air and Space Organizational Excellence Award

Combat Readiness Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters National Defense Service Medal

Iraq Campaign Medal with Service Star Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air & Space Campaign Medal

Air and Space Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and two Oak Leaf Clusters Air and Space Longevity Service Award with four Oak Leaf Clusters

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon Air and Space Training Ribbon

NATO Medal


Second Lieutenant May 28, 2003
First Lieutenant May 28, 2005
Captain May 28, 2007
Major June 1, 2013
Lieutenant Colonel December 1, 2016
Colonel June 1, 2022