Col. Doug Schiess Assumes Command of 45th Operations Group

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  • 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
Colonel Douglas A. Schiess took the reins of the 45th Operations Group in a change of command ceremony held Monday afternoon at the Tides. He is succeeding Col. Denette Sleeth, who will be moving to a new position at Ramstein AB, Germany.

As the Operations Group commander he oversees the Eastern Range's military, commercial, NASA, and ballistic missile launch operations from  Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to Antigua, West Indies and Ascension Island, South Atlantic.

The 45th Operations Group operates and maintains $20B in instrumentation and infrastructure for the 15-million square mile Eastern Range, operates three airfields, and supports 10,000 customers with communications services. A recent graduate of the National War College, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C., Col. Schiess brings a wealth of launch and space experience and knowledge with him.

His past assignments include tours as an ICBM Crew Commander, Deputy Flight Commander, Instructor and ICBM Deputy Crew Commander, 446th Missile Squadron, Grand Forks AFB, N.D., Chief of Training, Launch Crew Commander and Launch Controller, 2nd Space Launch Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Chief, Space and Missile Programs, Weapon Systems Division, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., and Commander, 4th Space Operations Squadron, Schriever AFB, Colo., from June 2009-June 2011.

The 45th Space Wing commander is glad to have him onboard. "We are thrilled to have Colonel Schiess join the 45th Space Wing team," said Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, 
commander 45th Space Wing. "While we are sad to see Colonel Sleeth leave, we all know that's a fact of life in the Air Force. The important thing is I am sure we are replacing quality with quality and we wish both of them all the best," he said.

For Col. Schiess taking command of the 45th Operations Group is a dream come true. "I have been in the space business most of my Air Force tenure (he entered the Air Force in 1992) and everywhere people praise the talent and professionalism here at the 45th Space Wing. We found out immediately how very true that is," he said.

"My family and I are very excited to become part of Team Patrick and we look forward to becoming a part of this great community," Col. Schiess said.