By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The 50th Network Operations Group welcomed its new leadership during a change of command ceremony May 28 at the 50th Space Wing headquarters building.
Lt. Col. Jason Sutton took over the group’s reigns from previous commander, Col. Jonathan Sutherland. Col. Bill Liquori, 50 SW commander and presiding officer, highlighted the 50 NOG’s impressive list of achievements under Sutherland’s leadership.
“Jon had a huge impact from day 1 and it hasn’t stopped,” Liquori said. “In the military, we talk about leaving an organization better than you found it…Jon, mission accomplished. He has taken good care of the men and women of the 50th Network Operations Group and has taken the mission to new heights.”
As the Air Force’s largest network operations group, the 50 NOG is responsible for assuring access to space and cyberspace through the Air Force Satellite Control Network while providing critical information to the warfighters through the Global Broadcast Service.
During Sutherland’s term, the 21st, 22nd and 23rd Space Operations Squadrons scheduled, operated and maintained the AFSCN to support the busiest two years in that network’s history, which included more than 300,000 satellite contacts, 30 satellite launches and support to countless satellite emergencies.
“As the outgoing guy, this day is really my opportunity to say thanks to those who have enabled me to do what I have done for the past couple of years,” Sutherland said.
He extended his appreciation to his family, wing leadership and squadron commanders as well as the men and women of the 50 NOG.
Liquori recognized the incoming commander for his achievements and wished him great success in leading the group.
“Thankfully, the Air Force does a great job of identifying high-quality inbound commanders as well,” he said. “And today is absolutely no exception. We are excited to welcome Jason and Christy Sutton to the family and look forward to the next two years.”
Prior to his assignment here, Sutton served as the senior executive officer for the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief Information Officer, Chief of Information Dominance in Washington D.C. Additionally, he has served in various assignments at the tactical level of Air Force Special Operations Command, the unit level of Air Combat and Pacific Commands, the major command, joint and air staffs.
“I wish I could say (being here) was a dream come true, but this opportunity in this place, with these people is so far beyond the dreams of a little boy who once led his faithful dog and imaginary soldiers to the remote woodlands of Montana,” Sutton said. “I must instead say this is an opportunity beyond my wildest dreams.”
Sutton also emphasized the ideals to which he wants the men and women of 50 NOG to look up to: honor, innovation and zeal.
“Ours is a tradition of leading,” Sutton said as he addressed the 50 NOG. “We are strong in character. We are strong in purpose and part of a team with a heritage that holds honorable expectations of greatness for our future regardless of how difficult the circumstances we face. I am not immune to all that is reportedly ahead of us in terms of grand fiscal choices. But I choose to press through and keep a positive attitude and I trust you will as well.”