Malmstrom commander, GBSD program chief nominated for brigadier general

Col. Ron Allen, 341st Missile Wing commander at Malmstrom Air Force Base, has been nominated for his first star.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced Thursday that the president had nominated Allen for brigadier general. A number of other military officers were also nominated for general officer promotions.

The nomination requires Senate approval.

The nomination was announced to Malmstrom airmen during a celebration of their achievements at Air Force Global Strike Command’s 2017 Global Strike Challenge.

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Allen is the third consecutive Malmstrom commander to be nominated for a star.

His predecessor, Col. Tom Wilcox, was nominated in 2015 and pinned on the rank in May 2017 He’s currently serving as the director of strategic plans, programs and requirements, Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

Before Wilcox, Col. Rob Stanley was nominated for a star, but the confirmation was put on hold and Stanley resigned in 2014 during a cheating investigation of officers stationed at Malmstrom.

The Air Force is authorized a total 198 general officer positions under U.S. Code.

Allen assumed command at the 341st in 2016 and is  responsible for about 4,000 personnel who are responsible for base support, maintenance, security and operation of 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles located throughout a 13,800 square-mile complex in central Montana.

Allen was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at Texas A&M University in 1994. He has served in a variety of positions within missile and space launch operations, including crew commander, instructor, senior evaluator, flight commander, emergency war orders plans officer and group executive officer. His staff assignments include the Joint Staff, Headquarters Air Force and Air Force Space Command. He was selected for both the Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency intern programs.

Before coming to Malmstrom, he was the vice commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming.

Also nominated for a star this week is Col. Health Collins, the system program manager for the acquisition of the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent at the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.


Col. Heath Collins of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, U.S. Air Force photo


Since February 2016, Collins has headed the effort to replace the current Minuteman III missile system, which will be the first intercontinental ballistic missile to be developed since the 1980s.  His program office at Hill AFB in Utah and manages the development, deployment and sustainment of next-generation ICBM systems, an estimated $85-billion portfolio.

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Prior to his current assignment, Collins was the deputy director for Remote Sensing Systems at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, California. While there, he provided the nation space-based missile warning and defense systems, as well as battlespace, intelligence and weather-monitoring capabilities.

His career has spanned a wide variety of assignments, encompassing tactical air-to-air missiles; electronic countermeasures; space; radar; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Collins also served in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, overseeing the department’s Airborne ISR, Space and Special Programs.

Collins is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He has master’s degrees from Florida State University, Air University and National Defense University.

A native of rural Plattsburgh, New York, he entered the Air Force in 1993, receiving his commission through the ROTC program at Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.