by Dave Smith
6/12/2015 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col.
Douglas A. Schiess took command of the 21st Space Wing from Brig. Gen.
John E. Shaw in a change of command ceremony June 12.
Lt. Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, commander, 14th Air Force (Air Forces
Strategic) and Joint Functional Component Command for Space, presided
over the transfer of command, receiving the guidon from Shaw and passing
it to Schiess.
"Sir I assume command," Schiess told Raymond. He set the tone for his
command by quoting the sixth President of the United States John Quincy
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader," he said.
Schiess said he was glad to be back in Colorado Springs and ready to
lead and serve in his new position. A mentor once told him the more you
talk, the less time you have in command, and Schiess said the clock is
"Getting an opportunity to command is very rare; getting to do it again
is awesome. It's a dream come true," he said, referring to previous
assignments as commander of the 4th Space Operations Squadron at
Schriever AFB, Colo. and 45th Operations Group at Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, Fla. Schiess also noted excellent teamwork between the
21st Space Wing, community leaders and mission partners to provide
services needed by the nation.
"We will be an integral part of 14th Air Force and Air Force Space
Command, working hard together with our sister wings and other mission
partners to fulfill the AF mission to Fly, Fight, and Win," said
Schiess. "We will work hard every day to provide space superiority to
defend the United States and our allies and to provide needed mission
and medical support to our many mission partners."
Before concluding his speech, Schiess gave his first official command to the total force personnel of the 21st SW.
"So, I charge every member of the 21st Space Wing to inspire others to
dream more, to learn more, to do more and to become more. Be the leader
we all hope to serve with," he said.
The 21st SW plays a vital role in protecting space for the nation and
its allies. The wing provides missile warning and space control to North
American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Strategic Command through a
network of command and control units and ground based sensors operated
by geographically separated units around the world.
The 21st SW is the Air Force's fifth largest wing with consists of a
work force of about 4,300 officer, enlisted, civilian and contract
employees. The wing covers the globe with locations in seven countries,
across 13 time zones, consisting of five groups, wing staff agencies,
and 38 units at 21 locations. Along with those components there are 53
mission partners including HQ NORAD, HQ NORTHCOM, HQ Air Force Space
Command, and the 302nd Airlift Wing. The wing boasts the largest
comptroller's squadron responsible for more than $2 billion annually.
Before taking command of the wing, Schiess was Director of Space Forces,
U.S. Air Forces Central Command, U.S. Central Command. This is not
Schiess' first time in the area. He served in the 50th Space Wing,
Schriever AFB from 2000-2002 and again from 2007-2011. He also served at
Headquarters Air Force Space Command from 2002-2003.