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Bullard named to lead mission support group

Col. Steven Bullard, right, is congratulated by Col. Greg Nelson, wing commander, after taking charge of the 123rd Mission Support Group. Colonel Bullard, a traditional guardsman, has extensive leadership in federal, state and expeditionary environments. (USAF photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora.)

Col. Steven Bullard, right, is congratulated by Col. Greg Nelson, wing commander, after taking charge of the 123rd Mission Support Group. Colonel Bullard, a traditional guardsman, has extensive leadership in federal, state and expeditionary environments. (USAF photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora.)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Louisville, Ky. -- A 17-year veteran of the Kentucky Air National Guard has been named commander of one of the unit's key organizational groups. 

Col. Steven Bullard formally took charge of the 123rd Mission Support Group March 14 when he accepted the unit's guide-on from Col. Greg Nelson, commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, during a change-of-command ceremony held in the Base Annex. 

One of four groups at the wing's highest organizational level, the 123rd MSG is responsible for providing a broad range of essential base functions, including security forces, communications, fire-fighting and civil engineering. 

Colonel Bullard takes over from acting commander Lt. Col. Matt Stone, who has been named the wing's full-time mission support officer. 

A "traditional Guardsman," Colonel Bullard has served in numerous leadership roles in the Air Force, both at home and overseas, and with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

He first joined the Kentucky Air Guard in September 1991 after having served as an instructor navigator in the active-duty Air Force. Most recently, the colonel served as chief of operations for the Joint Intelligence and Operations Center at U.S. Central Command Headquarters, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., from August 2008 through January 2009. 

He also served as senior airfield authority for the NATO International Security Assistance Force and commander of the 451st Air Expeditionary Group at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, from September 2006 through March 2007. 

Prior to that, Colonel Bullard deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, in early August 2006 to serve as the deputy director of the Air Component Coordination Element and the U.S. Air Force liaison with Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan and the Government of Afghanistan. 

Back in Kentucky, Colonel Bullard served as the director of joint doctrine and training (J7) at the Kentucky National Guard's Joint Force Headquarters from April 2005 to July 2008. The colonel concurrently served as director of operations at Kentucky Air National Guard Headquarters. 

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he served as operations officer, and later commander, of the 10-aircraft, 306-person joint Guard-Reserve 38th Airlift Squadron (Provisional) at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, from March to October 2003. 

During his Air Force career, Colonel Bullard has flown missions in 68 countries, participating in Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield, Provide Promise, Restore Hope, Joint Endeavor, Joint Forge, Southern Watch, Bright Star, Coronet Oak, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. 

He has participated in numerous special operations low-level deployments and served as lead instructor during Red Flag and Green Flag exercises. 

In the civilian community, Colonel Bullard served as director of public affairs for the industry trade association Associated Industries of Kentucky from 1993 to 2004 and currently serves in the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs as director of the Division of Administrative Services. 

The division is responsible for personnel administration and functions, procurement actions, accounting and fiscal functions, maintenance and storage of "War Records Bureau" documents and records, legislative activities, and state grant funding to the Civil Air Patrol. 

He served two terms as elected president of the National Guard Association of Kentucky, served as chairman of the Louisville Armed Forces Committee, and served as the volunteer executive director of the Kentucky Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve from 1993 to 2001. 

He is a master navigator with more than 5,000 of flight time in a variety of aircraft, including the C-130 and the EA-6B. 

Colonel Bullard's major awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster.