Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Close friends participate in 4th SOPS change of command

Lt. Col. Douglas Schiess, right, accepts the 4th Space Operations Squadron guidon from Col. Stanford Kekauoha, 50th Operations Group commander, during the 4th SOPS change-of-command ceremony in front of the DeKok building June 19. Colonel Schiess succeeded Lt. Col. Tommy Roberts, who will attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

Lt. Col. Douglas Schiess, right, accepts the 4th Space Operations Squadron guidon from Col. Stanford Kekauoha, 50th Operations Group commander, during the 4th SOPS change-of-command ceremony in front of the DeKok building June 19. Colonel Schiess succeeded Lt. Col. Tommy Roberts, who will attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

By Staff Sgt. Stacy Foster

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Two former wing executive officers and close friends came full circle as one passed command of the 4th Space Operations Squadron to the other in a change-of-command ceremony in front of the DeKok building June 19.

Lt. Col. Douglas Schiess, previously the 2nd Space Operations Squadron operations officer, succeeded Lt. Col. Tommy Roberts, who will attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

The two have been friends since 1998 when they participated in the Air Force Intern Program in Washington, D.C. They were later reunited as captains while serving as executive officers for the 50th Space Wing commander in 2001.

“We’ve known each other for almost 11 years,” said Colonel Schiess. “It’s an honor to follow one of my closest friends and command this squadron.”

As commander of 4th SOPS, Colonel Schiess will be responsible for the $31 billion Milstar communications satellite system executing fixed and mobile satellite operations, payload management, systems engineering and ground systems maintenance.

The squadron provides the complete range of secure, survivable, strategic and tactical communications for the president, secretary of defense, combatant commanders and global warfighters.

Colonel Schiess entered the Air Force as a distinguished graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of California at Los Angeles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and master’s degrees in human resources management, space systems and organizational management.

He is a command space operator with assignments operating Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, Delta II launch vehicles, Global Positioning System and now the Milstar communications satellite system.

Colonel Schiess’ achievements include a Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, an Air Force Commendation Medal and an Air Force Achievement Medal.

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