By 2nd Lt Jeffery Brown
4th Space Operations Squadron
Once a former deputy crew commander of the 1st Space Operations Squadron and former squadron commander of 4 SOPS, Col. John E. Shaw is now the 50th Operations Group commander.
Colonel Shaw succeeded Col. Stanford Kekauoha as the commander of the 50 OG in a change of command ceremony in front of the Dekok Building July 1. Colonel Kekauoha will be heading to US Strategic Command located at Offutt AFB, Neb.
As the 50 OG commander, Colonel Shaw will be responsible for more than 1,000 military and Department of Defense civilian personnel serving in five squadrons with units located around the world. These units perform 24 hour satellite tracking, telemetry and commanding functions, providing global warfighters with precision, navigation and timing, survivable and protected communications and space situational awareness.
Colonel Shaw returns to Schriever after his previous assignment as director for the Commander’s Action Group, Headquarters U.S. Strategic Command, at Offutt, Neb. Colonel Shaw entered the Air Force as a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in 1990. He currently holds one bachelor’s and three master’s degrees.
His career includes executive officer to the Director of Aerospace Operations, and speechwriter for the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. He also served as a spacecraft systems engineer, flight commander, operations officer, and squadron commander.
“Today’s 50 OG is, in my view, the nation’s, the world’s, leader when it comes to providing decisive effects from space,” said Colonel Shaw. “When UAVs across the far reaches of the globe need the connectivity to warfighters to provide winning combat effects, the 50 OG is there to ensure they have it. When our nuclear deterrent forces around the world need protected communication for effective command and control, the 50 OG ensures they have it. When just about anyone on the planet needs to know where they are, or where they’re going, the 50 OG provides those now-essential global capabilities.”
“I believe that the best job I’ve ever had in my Air Force career is the one I’ve been given today — the opportunity to command the 50th Operations Group,” said Colonel Shaw.
Colonel Shaw’s major awards include five Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, and a Kosovo Campaign Ribbon with a Campaign Service Star.