By Staff Sgt. Amanda Delisle
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Hokett relinquished his command of the 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron to Lt. Col. Joseph Prue during a ceremony at the Air and Space Museum here May 26.
The change-of-command ceremony, held to emphasize the continuity of leadership and unit identity with change in individual authority and to symbolize the transfer of responsibility and accountability, began with the singing of the national anthem and a prayer for the two commanders as they each take on new challenges.
Col. Stephen Latchford, 595th Space Group commander and presiding officer, welcomed attendees and gave a special thanks to all the family members, guests and men and women of the 3rd SES. Colonel Latchford also pointed out the amazing job Colonel Hokett did leading the squadron.
“You brought mission focus at a time when it was needed,” Colonel Latchford said to Colonel Hokett. “There was no room for failure and you left none. When other units were shrinking, you expanded.”
Colonel Latchford noted that Colonel Hokett’s remarkable accomplishments will not be forgotten. He wished him and his family well before turning his attention to welcoming Colonel Prue and his family to the squadron.
Along with best wishes, Colonel Latchford told attendees about Colonel Prue’s background and years of experience. He also noted his reputation for excellence, ability to handle emergency situations and dedicated drive for the mission.
Colonel Hokett, who served as the squadron’s commander for two years, addressed the audience, thanking his friends and troops for coming.
“Two years ago I joined this amazing team and what a journey we’ve had.”
He asked his troops to stand as he read an adapted excerpt from Henry V, calling the squadron a band of brothers. He also thanked his wife and children, noting each one’s accomplishments and how proud he was of them all.
The colonel will go on to attend the Joint Advanced Warfighting School, Norfolk, Va., for senior developmental education.
Colonel Latchford then took the 3rd SES guidon from Colonel Hokett and passed it on to Colonel Prue, symbolizing the squadron’s change of command.
The new commander kept his address short and sincere. He gave thanks for his opportunity to lead the 3rd SES and said he has been quite lucky, which he defines as “when skills meet opportunity.” He said he was pretty lucky to have his family and for the chance to be part of the 3rd SES. Afterward, his wife Lisa presented him with the commander’s pin.
Colonel Prue may be new to the 3rd SES, but he is no stranger to Schriever with roots dating back to the 1996 when he was a Global Positioning System operator at the 2nd Space Operations Squadron. He also served as a payload systems operator, recurring training chief, training chief and crew commander.
He came to Schriever from Headquarters Air Force Space Command where he was the Space Protection and Information Operations Division deputy chief.
The 3rd SES was activated on Schriever March 10, 2006. It conducts operationally promising demonstrations, pathfinders and experiments with assigned emerging technologies. The squadron focuses on developing a core cadre of space professionals to serve as experts for all future AFSPC space-based endeavors, developing initial concepts of employment, training and standardization programs, command and control infrastructures, intelligence support frameworks and lessons learned for use in future initiatives.