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GPS Wing changes command

Col. David Madden, new GPS Wing commander, accepts the flag from Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, SMC Commander, at the wing’s change of command ceremony held June 18. (Photo by Stephen Schester)

Col. David Madden, new GPS Wing commander, accepts the flag from Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, SMC Commander, at the wing’s change of command ceremony held June 18. (Photo by Stephen Schester)

Outgoing GPS Wing Commander Col. Wesley Ballenger addresses the crowd at the wing’s change of command ceremony held June 18. Col. David Madden is the wing’s new commander. (Photo by Stephen Schester)

Outgoing GPS Wing Commander Col. Wesley Ballenger addresses the crowd at the wing’s change of command ceremony held June 18. Col. David Madden is the wing’s new commander. (Photo by Stephen Schester)

New GPS Wing Commander Col. David Madden salutes the wing’s Airmen at the wing’s change of command ceremony held June 18. (Photo by Stephen Schester)

New GPS Wing Commander Col. David Madden salutes the wing’s Airmen at the wing’s change of command ceremony held June 18. (Photo by Stephen Schester)

Los Angeles Air Force Base -- Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, commander, Space and Missile Systems Center, officiated over the Global Positioning Systems Wing Change of Command ceremony here in the Schriever Space Complex court yard. Col. David Madden, who served as vice commander of the GPSW since July 2006, assumed command of the wing from Col. Wesley Ballenger Jr., June 18.
 
Colonel Madden has over 26 years of experience in the acquisition, engineering and operations arena. He has evaluated foreign aerospace technology capabilities, chaired a National Level Intelligence Community committee, developed space-related advanced C3I systems, was a director of engineering, defined and documented operational requirements for the future transformational space systems, and commanded both a space operations squadron and a material acquisition group.
 
Some of his major awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement.
 
Colonel Madden is poised for change and emphasized teamwork with the GPS Wing. "I look forward to the challenges ahead, we will celebrate achievements, work through issues, and face new challenges, but we will do it  as a team," said the colonel.

"I plan to develop new processes and procedures to effectively and efficiently manage GPS. I am committed to GPS, and together  we will continue to provide the world's premier position, navigation and timing standard to our military and civil users around the globe."
 
Colonel Ballenger has served as the GPS System Program Director and commander for the GPS Wing for over 4 years. He was responsible for the multiservice, multinational systems wing which conducts development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of all GPS space segment, satellite command and control (ground) segment, and GPS military user equipment.
 
Under his command, the GPS Wing fielded the first next-generation military handheld GPS receiver with now over 100,000 Defense Advanced GPS Receivers in the hands of the warfighter.  He fielded over 3,000 Combat Survivor Evader Locator radios, a handheld survival radio with an embedded GPS receiver to support rescue missions and special operations and launched nine successful GPS Block IIR/IIR-M missions, to include the first modernized satellite providing improved capabilities to military and civilian users around the globe.

 Also, under his leadership, the GPS Wing attained the first satellite navigation agreement; completed the development of the Legacy Accuracy Improvement Initiative with National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, providing warfighting forces and civilian users worldwide with increased accuracy; retired the Transportable Ground Antenna, which marked a major milestone in GPS history, a passing from the old to the new; and  planned and developed acquisition strategies for space, ground and user equipment.
 
Colonel Ballenger thanked the men and women of the GPS Wing for their continued support and expressed his gratitude for the achievements the GPS Wing accomplished under his leadership.

 "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the Commander of the GPS Wing.  We've led the charge to improve our military and civil navigation capabilities to ensure GPS remains the gold standard for precision navigation and timing," he said.

"GPS has achieved new heights of success, and the achievements we've accomplished are due to the hard work by this team of dedicated professionals. Your tireless efforts and dedication have ensured GPS remains the world's premier space-based navigation system well into the 21st Century."