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GPS Directorate Welcomes New Commander

Colonel William Cooley assumes the leadership of the GPS Directorate from Col. Bernard Gruber at a change of leadership ceremony held here, June 13.  Pictured from left to right are Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, SMC commander; Col. William Cooley, incoming GPS director; and Col. Bernard Gruber, outgoing director. (Photo by Jim Gordon)

Colonel William Cooley assumes the leadership of the GPS Directorate from Col. Bernard Gruber at a change of leadership ceremony held here, June 13. Pictured from left to right are Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, SMC commander; Col. William Cooley, incoming GPS director; and Col. Bernard Gruber, outgoing director. (Photo by Jim Gordon)

Colonel Bernard Gruber, outgoing director, hands the keys to the GPS directorate to Col. William Cooley, incoming GPS director,  at a ceremony held here, June 13. (Photo by Jim Gordon)

Colonel Bernard Gruber, outgoing director, hands the keys to the GPS directorate to Col. William Cooley, incoming GPS director, at a ceremony held here, June 13. (Photo by Jim Gordon)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Colonel William Cooley became director of the Space and Missile Systems Center's Global Positioning Systems Program Office in a change-of-leadership ceremony held here, June 13. The former director, Col. Bernard Gruber, who had been with the directorate since July 2010, retired from the Air Force after 26 years of service.

A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Colonel Cooley comes to SMC from Kirtland AFB, N.M., where he was the director of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate, and commander of the Phillips Research Site--the nation's center of excellence for military space science and technology, research and development as well as advanced technologies integration and demonstration.

His assignments include system program director for operational command and control programs including the Air and Space Operations Center; program manager Air Force Distributed Common Ground System; defense sector program manager, Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan; and program element monitor for Military Satellite Communications at the Pentagon.

"I would like to thank the men and women of the GPS directorate for their past accomplishments with Colonel Gruber, but most of all the future contribution that we'll make together for the national security enterprise," said Colonel Cooley. "I am aware of the challenges that we have in front of us and we must do our best to make the GPS service resilient and affordable."

During Colonel Gruber's tenure as director, the GPS directorate was responsible for a multiservice, multinational systems directorate that conducted the development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of all GPS space segments, satellite command and control (ground) and military user equipment.

Under Colonel Gruber's watch, the directorate made some significant accomplishments in all of these areas; four GPS IIF satellites were launched, the GPS III program received authorization to initiate long lead parts procurement for the first two production vehicles, the Next Generation Operational Control System continued development and user equipment underwent tremendous modernization.

In his farewell comments, Gruber said "the GPS constellation remains healthy and is getting better all the time. I've been proud to be a part of this program, the service it provides to the world, and the incredible economic benefit it has for our country."