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SMC Wing activation ceremony designates new organizations

Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel (left), Space and Missile Systems Center commander, welcomes aboard the 61st Air Base Wing commander, Col. Joseph Schwarz. The Wing stand-up took place at the Los Angeles Air Force Base?s Schriever Space Complex courtyard, July 31.

Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel (left), Space and Missile Systems Center commander, welcomes aboard the 61st Air Base Wing commander, Col. Joseph Schwarz. The Wing stand-up took place at the Los Angeles Air Force Base?s Schriever Space Complex courtyard, July 31.

The new wing and group commanders assemble at the Schriever Space Complex courtyard during the Wing activation ceremony. They are (front row, left to right); Brig. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing commander; Col. David O?Brian, representing Brig. Gen. (s) Edward Bolton, Launch and Range Systems Wing commander; Col. Allan Ballenger, Global Positioning Systems Wing commander; Col. Randall Weidenheimer, Space Based Infrared Systems Wing commander; Col. Michael Taylor, Space Superiority Systems Wing commander; Col. Richard White, Space Development and Test Wing commander; Col. John Wagner, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Systems Group commander; Col. Michael Coolidge, Satellite Control and Network Systems Group commander; Mr. Lou Johnson, Space Logistics Group director; and Col. Joseph Schwarz, 61st Air Base Wing commander. Their Senior NCOs stand solidly behind them.

The new wing and group commanders assemble at the Schriever Space Complex courtyard during the Wing activation ceremony. They are (front row, left to right); Brig. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing commander; Col. David O?Brian, representing Brig. Gen. (s) Edward Bolton, Launch and Range Systems Wing commander; Col. Allan Ballenger, Global Positioning Systems Wing commander; Col. Randall Weidenheimer, Space Based Infrared Systems Wing commander; Col. Michael Taylor, Space Superiority Systems Wing commander; Col. Richard White, Space Development and Test Wing commander; Col. John Wagner, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Systems Group commander; Col. Michael Coolidge, Satellite Control and Network Systems Group commander; Mr. Lou Johnson, Space Logistics Group director; and Col. Joseph Schwarz, 61st Air Base Wing commander. Their Senior NCOs stand solidly behind them.

Col. Joe Schwarz, 61st Air Base Wing commander addresses the crowd during the SMC Wing standup. Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, SMC commander (seated right), headed the historical ceremony at the Schriever Space Complex, July 31.

Col. Joe Schwarz, 61st Air Base Wing commander addresses the crowd during the SMC Wing standup. Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, SMC commander (seated right), headed the historical ceremony at the Schriever Space Complex, July 31.

LOS ANGELES AFB, CA -- The Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center has reorganized and renamed its organizations to mirror a more traditional Air Force structure following a ceremony, July 31.

The Center activated or "stood up" six subordinate wings, 21 groups, 12 squadrons, 20 divisions, two system offices and the 61st Air Base Wing, providing increased effectiveness and clearer command authority to better develop, acquire and sustain military space power capabilities for the nation and improve base operating support functions here.

Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, SMC commander, presided over the event. He reminded the audience members that SMC and its former organizations at the base are credited as the birthplace of military space and that 2006 is the year of "rebirth" with the move into its new Schriever Space Complex facilities earlier this year.

"The activation of these wings helps in building better teamwork, respect and organizational dependence," he said. "We are truly marking a new era for the Center."

The new (and their former) organizations include:

- Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing (formerly the MILSATCOM Joint System Program Office), commanded by Brig. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski;

- Launch and Range Systems Wing (formerly the Launch and Ranges SPO or JPO), commanded by Brig. Gen. (select) Edward Bolton;

- Global Positioning Systems Wing (formerly the Navstar GPS JPO), commanded by Col. Allan Ballenger;

- Space-Based Infrared Systems Wing (formerly the SBIRS SPO), commanded by Col. Randall Weidenheimer;

- Space Superiority Systems Wing (formerly the Space Superiority Systems Wing directed by Col. Michael Taylor), commanded by Col. Michael Taylor;

- Space Development and Test Wing (includes the former SMC-Detachment 12) located at Kirtland AFB, N.M., commanded by Col. Rich White;

- 61st Air Base Wing, commanded by Col. Joseph Schwarz;

- Satellite Control and Network Systems Group (formerly the AFSCN SPO), commanded by Col. Michael Coolidge

- Space Logistics Group (formerly SMC-Detachment 11, then the SMC Logistics Support Squadron) located at Peterson AFB, Colo., led by Mr. Lou Johnson, the first Air Force Space Command unit headed by a Department of the Air Force Civil Servant; and the:

- Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Systems Group (formerly the DMSP SPO), commanded by Col. John Wagner.

The number of people assigned to the new organizations and their unique missions and support does not change under the new wing designations. The wing structure will provide respective commanders with strengthened authority, accountability and responsibility.

"This fosters better communication with our customers, makes us more familiar across the Air Force and Joint community, enhances horizontal integration across our weapon systems and creates an environment for increased capability planning opportunities," said General Hamel.

"The new wing structure transforms SMC's SPOs by assigning authority, workload and resources and will posture us for much greater success in meeting the warfighters' needs," said General Hamel. "You have truly become another page in the history of this outstanding organization."

SMC is the Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems.

SMC manages more than $60 billion in contracts, has an annual operating budget of $7.8 billion (FY06) and employs more than 6,800 people worldwide.