Colonel Dennis O. Bythewood is the Director, Special Programs, at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. In this role, he equips US forces with highly classified space systems to conduct multi-domain warfare in and through space, and across the Earth. He leads a 900-person program office and 4,000-person industry team at multiple locations, managing a multi-billion dollar budget to execute the planning, development, testing, deployment and sustainment of a complex and dynamic portfolio including numerous operational systems both in space and around the world.
Previously, he was the Program Executive Officer for Space Development, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. While there, he was responsible for establishing and exploiting opportunities for continuous, iterative and innovative capability improvements through rapid prototyping, experiments, demonstrations, technology maturation, and pre-production efforts for 25 programs valued in excess of $11B annually.
Colonel Bythewood received his commission in 1992 upon graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in electrical engineering. His career has spanned numerous acquisitions and satellite operations positions in the United States Space Force, Air Force Materiel Command and the National Reconnaissance Office. He has commanded space operations at the squadron and group level and led acquisitions as a squadron level Materiel Leader and three times as a wing equivalent Senior Materiel Leader.
1992 Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT.
1998 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL.
2003 Air Command and Staff College (correspondence), Maxwell AFB, AL.
2004 Master of Business Administration, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, CO.
2007 Air War College (correspondence), Maxwell AFB, AL.
1. October 1992 – June 1996, Range System Manager, 501st Range Squadron, Hill AFB, UT
2. July 1996 – August 1999, Electric Combat Analyst and Chief, Unmanned Air Vehicle Branch, Detachment 1, 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron, Kirtland AFB, NM
3. August 1999 – June 2002, Chief, Test and Certification, System Test Division, Milstar Joint Program Office, Los Angeles AFB, CA
4. July 2002 – October 2005, Chief of Engineering, Operations Support Flight Commander and Operations Officer, 4th Space Operations Squadron, Schriever AFB, CO
5. November 2005 – July 2007, Chief, MILSATCOM Operations Branch, HAF/DCS, Air, Space and Information Operations, Plans, Requirements, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
6. August 2007 – May 2009, Executive Officer, SAF/SO, Air Forces Smart Operations, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
7. June 2009 – June 2011, Commander, Space Communications Operations Squadron, Network Operations Group, Mission Operations Directorate, National Reconnaissance Office, Los Angeles, CA
8. July 2011 – July 2013, Materiel Leader, Space Based Infrared System Production, Infrared Space Systems
Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, CA
9. August 2013 – June 2014, Director, Ground Frontiers Office, Ground Enterprise Directorate, National
Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly, VA
10. July 2014 – June 2016, Commander, 50th Operations Group, Schriever AFB, CO
11. July 2016 – December 2016, Special Assistant to the Director, Remote Sensing Systems Directorate, Los Angeles
12. December 2016 – October 2018, Senior Materiel Leader & Director, Remote Sensing Systems Directorate, Los
Angeles AFB, CA
13. October 2018 – July 2020, Director, Space Development Corps and Program Executive Officer for Space
Development, Los Angeles AFB, CA
14. July 2020 – Present, Senior Materiel Leader and Director, Special Programs, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los
Angeles AFB, CA.
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
National Defense Service Medal with device
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air & Space Campaign Medal with device
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTIONS
Second Lieutenant 15 May 1992
First Lieutenant 1 June 1994
Captain 1 June 1996
Major 1 Feb 2003
Lieutenant Colonel 1 Feb 2008
Colonel 1 April 2014
(Current as of July 2020)