Col. Lewis “Mike” Ballard is the Deputy Commander, 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. The wing is equipped with eight C-130H3 cargo aircraft that support joint service and multinational airlift missions in the United States and around the world. The wing is comprised of nearly 2,000 personnel, and includes a headquarters element, three groups, and 13 squadrons.

Col. Ballard received his commission in 1995 from the Air Force ROTC program at the University of North Carolina. After completing Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, he spent eight years on active duty as a C-130H navigator, instructor, and flight examiner. In 2003, he joined the Air Force Reserve at Dobbins ARB, Ga., serving as a Formal Training Unit Instructor, Tactics Officer, FTU Registrar, and Operations Support Squadron Director of Operations. Prior to this assignment, Col. Ballard served as the Vice Commander, Air Force Reserve Command Force Generation Center, Robins AFB, Ga. He is a veteran of five deployments supporting Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, JOINT GUARDIAN, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM.

Col. Ballard is a master navigator with more than 4,000 flying hours in the T-34, T-43, T-1, and C-130E/H2/H3.

1995 Bachelor of Arts degree in Peace, War, and Defense, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.
2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 Mobility Electronic Combat Officer Course, Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, Mo.
2011 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2016 Air War College, by correspondence
2018 Master of Arts degree in Executive Leadership, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va.

1. June 1995 - December 1995, Special Assistant to the Commander, AFROTC Det. 590, Chapel Hill, N.C.
2. January 1996 - August 1996, Aviation Preflight Indoctrination and Initial Navigator Training, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
3. September 1996 - July 1997, Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, Randolph AFB, Texas
4. August 1997 - December 1997, C-130 Navigator Initial and Mission Qualification, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
5. January 1998 - June 2002, C-130 Evaluator Navigator, 50th Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
6. June 2002 - August 2003, Chief Navigator, Airlift Group Standardization and Evaluation, 463rd Airlift Group, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
7. September 2003 - December 2004, Formal Training Unit Instructor Navigator, 700th Airlift Squadron, Dobbins ARB, Ga.
8. December 2004 - March 2011, Tactics Officer, FTU Registrar, and Director of Operations, 94th Operations Support Squadron, Dobbins ARB, Ga.
9. March 2011 - September 2014, Command C-130 Evaluator Navigator, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
10. September 2014 - October 2015, Branch Chief, Aircrew Standardization and Evaluation, HQ AFRC, Robins AFB, Ga.
11. October 2015 - October 2018, Branch Director, Mobility Operations Division, HQ AFRC, Robins AFB, Ga.
12. October 2018 - April 2019, Acting Chief, Mobility Operations Division, HQ AFRC, Robins AFB, Ga.
13. May 2019 - November 2019, Chief, Mobility Operations Division, HQ AFRC, Robins AFB, Ga.
14. November 2019 - June 2021, Deputy Director of Air, Space, and Information Operations, HQ AFRC, Robins AFB, Ga.
15. June 2021 - July 2023, Vice Commander, AFRC Force Generation Center, Robins AFB, Ga. (February - June 2022, Chief of Air Mobility Division, 609th Air Operations Center, Shaw AFB, S.C.)
16. July 2023 - Present, Deputy Commander, 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins ARB, Ga.

Rating:  Master Navigator
Flight hours:  more than 4,000
Aircraft Flown:  T-34, T-43, T-1, C-130E/H2/H3

Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air and Space Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air and Space Achievement Medal

Second Lieutenant   May 31, 1995
First Lieutenant   May 31, 1997
Captain   May 31, 1999
Major   April 15, 2004
Lieutenant Colonel   October 1, 2011
Colonel   May 1, 2019        
(Current as of August 2023)