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Colorado Army National Guard to welcome new commander 
By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
Col. Joel Best 
Col. Joel Best will assume command from Brig. Gen. Robert Balster as the Colorado Army National Guard Land Component Commander May 19, 2012. (Stock Photo)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, May 18, 2012

CONTACT:
Gate Access: Maj. Earl Brown, 719-510-4714
Interview Coordination: Spc. Bethany Fehringer, 303-882-1935 


CENTENNIAL, Colo. (5/19/12) – As we recognize the 150th Anniversary of the Colorado National Guard entering the Civil War the CONG will honor two great Soldiers during a change of command. 

On May 19 at 1p.m. Col. Joel Best will assume command from Brig. Gen. Robert Balster as the Colorado Army National Guard Land Component Commander in a ceremony to be held at Founders Field on Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colo.  

The LCC is responsible for supporting the readiness of the COARNG and the nearly 4,000 Citizen-Soldiers serving under this command. The LCC provides guidance and policy concerning personnel, training, logistics, and safety and advises the Assistant Adjutant General for Army on any matters concerning the COARNG. 

Best has held all levels of command and served as the commander for the High Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site in Eagle, Colo., from 1995-2005.  HAATS instructors have trained rotary wing pilots from all parts of the world on the importance of power management and high altitude flying.  

Best also served as the COARNG Director of Aviation and Safety from 2005-2011. During his deployment to Pakistan, Best served as the Pakistan Aviation Panther Team Chief for Army Central Command.  

In 2011, Best returned to HAATS as the Director of Training and commanded the 168th Regional Training Institute on Fort Carson. 

Balster is relinquishing command after a decorated 43 years of military service having served as the LCC since 2008.  

For more than 150 years, the men and women of the Colorado National Guard have served the nation in wartime and are the first military responders during state emergencies. CONG Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen are always ready, always there to support civil authorities. 

FOR ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Media interested in covering this event should RSVP to the Fort Carson Public Affairs Office at (719) 526-7525 by 4 p.m. today. If calling after normal business hours, please contact the 24-hour Fort Carson Operations Center at (719) 526-5500 and ask for the on-call Public Affairs Officer.

Media will meet outside Gate 1 no later than 12:30 p.m. to be escorted to the parade field.

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5/17/2012