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50 OG welcomes new commander

Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, presents the guidon to Col. Toby Doran during the 50th Operations Group change of command ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, June 27, 2016. Doran assumed group command from Col. Dennis Bythewood. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, presents the guidon to Col. Toby Doran during the 50th Operations Group change of command ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, June 27, 2016. Doran assumed group command from Col. Dennis Bythewood. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

Col. Toby Doran, 50th Operations Group commander, salutes his group during a change of command ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, June 27, 2016. Doran addressed his new team explaining how blessed and honored he felt to expand his family. He also charged them with a call to be ready to maintain space superiority. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

Col. Toby Doran, 50th Operations Group commander, salutes his group during a change of command ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, June 27, 2016. Doran addressed his new team explaining how blessed and honored he felt to expand his family. He also charged them with a call to be ready to maintain space superiority. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

The 50th Operations Group bid “goodbye” as well as “welcome” during a change of command ceremony June 27, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.

Col. Toby Doran, coming from Air Force Space Command as Space Mission Force Lead at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, assumed command of the group from Col. Dennis Bythewood, who is scheduled to report to the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.

“Change of commands are tough because we say goodbye to a big part of our family. But we do have the joy of welcoming new members to our family,” said Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander and presiding officer, during her opening remarks.

Doran was a former 1 SOPS commander who helped build SMF before moving to AFSPC headquarters to work the policy and implementation of the program.

“He is intimately familiar with what we’ve been building and working on here at the 50th,” said Burt. “So he is absolutely the right guy to lead this. He’s a weapons officer and a school of advanced air and space studies graduate so he understands warfighting from the strategic to the tactical level. He will get us there and take us to the next level.”

Doran addressed his new team explaining how blessed and honored he felt to expand his family. He also charged them with a call to be ready maintain space superiority.

“As space technology proliferates, the resolution of international security problems in space will certainly rely on American enforcement capability. We will make sure that space superiority is never lost. Men and women of the 50th Operations Group, we are Airmen, we are warfighters and you were born to be in battle. Ma’am, if the 50th Operations Group is called, we will be ready,” said Doran.

On the space frontier, Burt said Bythewood’s leadership through SMF was met with challenges and doubts, but his dedication to the mission unified the six squadrons under his command to count the costs, weigh their options and press on with the program.

“We are changing our offensive strategy. We are changing what we do day in and day out in the space business, and Dennis was at the forefront of that. I don’t think many people recognize the transformation that Colonel Bythewood has led within the 50th (Operations) Group,” said Burt.

In addition, Bythewood’s leadership accomplishments also included overseeing the transition of Air Education and Training Command’s space operator training and consolidating it to the 50 SW. Bythewood also led the 50 OG through the first-ever continuity of operations exercise, where all forces relocated to back-up locations in a no-notice situation – a feat that required large-scale coordination.

Bythewood ensured he wasn’t the only one being recognized for the OG accomplishments as he thanked his team, all 50 SW groups, Schriever mission partners and the Schriever community for what they do to keep the mission going.

“It is these men and women out here (who) knocked it out of the park, those strong partnerships are critical to our success. It is what has built this Schriever community and it has been phenomenal. I have been honored to serve as your commander over the last few years. It has been a phenomenal opportunity for me, but it’s also just been incredible to see you guys operate day-in and day-out to really push this organization forward. I know that you’re going to continue to do that under Colonel Doran’s leadership,” said Bythewood.

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