Retired June 1, 1992.
Brigadier General Kenneth F. Keller is director of command control, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
General Keller was born in 1938, in San Antonio. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1961, and a master of public administration degree from The George Washington University in 1981. He completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1981 and the executive program at the University of Michigan in 1987.
The general was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1961. He entered active duty in April 1962 and was awarded his pilot wings in May 1963 at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz. He then was assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., and entered the first class to qualify in F-4s. The general flew F-4B's, C's, D's and E's during the next eight years, first with the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, then as assistant officer in charge, 836th Air Division, Tactical Weapons School, both at MacDill. In May 1965 he moved to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where he served as officer in charge of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing Weapons School. While assigned there, he also served as flight test pilot for the SUU-23 gun pod program.
In April 1966 he was assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as squadron and wing weapons and tactics officer. In January 1967 he transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Lindsey Air Station, West Germany, where he served initially with the operational readiness inspection team, and later as an operations staff officer and F-4 flight examiner in the Standardization and Training Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. General Keller moved to the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing at Torrejon Air Base, Spain, in January 1970 as part of the F-4 cadre for conversion of the wing to F-4E's. He served as squadron scheduler, wing standardization and evaluation pilot, and as air combat tactics instructor.
The general was assigned to the initial FB-111 cadre of the 380th Bombardment Wing, Plattsburg Air Force Base, N.Y., in April 1971. He served with the 528th Bombardment Squadron, and in wing standardization and evaluation.
Moving to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in January 1974, he served as plans and policy staff officer in the European/North Atlantic Treaty Organization Division, Directorate of Plans, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations. In November 1977 he was assigned to the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., where he was operations officer for the 522nd Tactical Fighter Squadron during the first overseas deployment of the F-111D. Later he became special assistant for initiation and development of the Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Training Program, and commander of both the 481st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron and the 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
From August 1980 to June 1981 General Keller attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. His next tour of duty was as special assistant to the chief of staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium. From June 1983 to May 1985 he served as vice commander of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. During this period the wing brought the first EF-111 squadron to full operational status and operated two F-111A squadrons.
In June 1985 the he transferred to Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, West Germany, where he served as executive officer to the deputy commander in chief. In August 1988 General Keller was assigned as commander, SAC's 14th Air Division, Beale Air Force Base, Calif. He was responsible for operations in the United States and at several locations overseas, of the 6th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, flying RC-135s and operating a tanker task force that supports missions in the Alaskan theater; the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale, flying KC-135Q's, SR-71s, TR-1s and U-2s; and the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt, flying E-4s, EC-135s, RC-135s and various other command support aircraft. He assumed his present position in September 1989.
The general is a command pilot with more than 3,800 flying hours, including 125 combat missions over Southeast Asia. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 1, 1988, with same date of rank.