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Robert J. Krist was born March 29, 1957 in Omaha, Ne. He graduated with honors from Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha in 1975. He then attended the University of St.Thomas in St. Paul, MN where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. He then obtained a Master of Arts Degree in business administration and Human Relations from Webster University in St. Louis, MO in 1982.
Krist served in the United States Air Force from 1979 to 2000 and retired as a Lt. Col. after flying more than 100 combat sorties.
Still an active pilot, Krist has flown more than thirty different fixed and rotary wing aircraft, logging over 14,000 hours.
During his 21 years in the Air Force, Krist held key leadership positions directing critical missions including the high visibility Looking Glass mission at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Ne. Krist scheduled operations and flew missions on the Looking Glass EC-135 aircraft, the Airborne Command Post for Strategic Air Command. When he retired he had flown all models of the RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft.
Among other operations, Krist served in both Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His first Command was as an operational squadron commander flying combat reconnaissance sorties over Southwest Asia. In 1997, he was appointed as Chief of Plans and Programs for the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB where he coordinated Wartime Plans and Logistics Movements of over 4,000 personnel and billions of dollars of resources in the largest air wing in the United States Air Force.
In 1998, he was chosen as an Active Duty Air Force Advisor to then Nebraska Governor Ben Nelson and advised the Adjutant General of Nebraska.
Krist is a recipient of the Air Force Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Aerial Achievement Medal among other honors.
He was appointed to the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature by Governor Dave Heineman on September 11, 2009. Krist is currently the Contract Manager for the United States Army Corps of Engineers Northwest Division Aviation Program and where he served as a pilot since 2000 and the Chief Pilot since 2002.
Senator Krist introduced and passed Legislative Bill 140 (LB 140) in 2013 to more accurately define an airport’s hazard area and extend the instrument approach zones from three to 10 miles at all Nebraska airports, thereby protecting the lives of pilots, their families and passengers, as well as those on the ground.
Senator Krist also co-sponsored LB 845 in 2014 to add an enforcement provision to the existing Meteorological Evaluation Tower (MET tower) laws and amend the required MET tower markings to correspond with those outlined in 76 Federal Register 36983 by the Federal Aviation Administration.