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By Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey
, 168th Wing Public Affairs
Lt. Col. Christopher Castle assumes command of the 13th Space Warning Squadron during a change of command ceremony, June 16, 2022, at Clear Space Force Station, Alaska.
Family, friends, and community members gathered to witness the tradition of a Change of Command ceremony presided over by Col. Miguel Cruz, Space Delta 4 commander.
In Cruz’s opening remarks, he welcomed Castle and recognized his extensive joint and staff knowledge.
“I have to say Chris is uniquely qualified for the position of Squadron commander at 13 SWS,” said Cruz. “He has an abundance of missile warning experience. He frankly has done almost everything you could in the Missile Warning business. He has been a Crew Commander at the 2nd Space Warning Squadron, Chief of Training at the 460th Operations Support Squadron, the US Air Force Liaison Officer at RAF Fylingdales, and the Director of Operations at the 12th Space Warning Squadron.”
These assignments grant Chris exceptional knowledge of the Missile Warning Enterprise, with the expertise of operating our complex and diverse systems, leading a geographically separated unit, and dealing with the needs of our operators, their families, and their loved ones.
Castle was formerly stationed in California as the Plans Branch Chief of the Combined Space Operations Center.
“Chris not only demonstrates but exemplifies the characteristics of a great commander: empathy, self-discipline, tenacity, team building, solid work ethic, keen judgment, and resiliency. I have no doubt that you will build on the momentum with continued success for 13 SWS and the Frontier Sentinels.”
Cruz emphasized the importance of the work done by Lt. Col. William Hassey, the outgoing commander, as he bid him farewell on his next assignment at the Pentagon.
“You have faced the challenges of a global pandemic, and despite these and other challenges, the Frontier Sentinels of Clear have been crushing our mission of providing critical missile warning and missile tracking data to our National Command Authorities without skipping a beat, 24/7."
He understood the importance of his Total Force Partners as critical team members to the mission and morale.
Hassey reminded the unit, “As you can see, none of what was done in the past year was accomplished by one individual or one organization. It was done as a team, but most importantly, Team Clear’s social fabric came together, whether active duty, Guard, civilian, or contractor. No matter who you worked for, you were a human being at Clear Space Force Station, and you were an integral part of our family.”
As Castle addressed the audience, he expressed he was honored and humbled to take the flag and be the commander.
“And so, Team Clear, together we will execute outstanding radar and SATCOM operations, bring new capabilities online, move out on our upcoming construction projects, advance our individual and professional competencies, and foster an atmosphere of excitement, excellence, and mutual respect. Our journey begins now.”
Castle thanked Team Clear and the community partners. “I cannot wait to work with each of you to continue taking the Clear mission to new heights.”
The 13th SWS, located at Clear SFS, Alaska, provides strategic missile warning and space domain awareness by operating and maintaining the Upgraded Early Warning Radar.