21st SW to say ‘farewell’ to commander

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Col. Stephen N. Whiting is scheduled to relinquish command of the 21st Space Wing to Col. Chris Crawford here in a 10 a.m. ceremony at June 28.

During his tenure at the 21st SW, Colonel Whiting oversaw precise missile warning, missile defense and space control operations, while space operators tracked 22,000 unique space objects, 39 missile launches and identified 120 missile events.

He also watched the wing execute nearly 11,000 direct support tasking, support 282 missions and monitor 100,000 joint signals, sustaining the Air Force's defensive space control systems. The wing also deployed more than 500 Airmen to countries around the world to support Operations New Dawn, Enduring Freedom and others.

Under Colonel Whiting's leadership, the wing captured 21 Air Force-level awards and more than 130 awards in Air Force Space Command, including the 2009 Curtis E. LeMay award for Best Large Force Support Squadron. His guidance and expertise led to the Secretary of the Air Force presenting the 21st Operations Group the Meritorious Unit Award in 2010 for more that 735 days of continuous deployment in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 21st OG was also the first space unit to lead a Red Flag mission, integrating air, space and cyber warfare.

Just recently, the wing won the coveted General Thomas S. Moorman, Jr. award for being AFSPC's overall outstanding wing, and the General Robert T. Herres award for AFSPC's most outstanding wing with a space mission.

The 21st SW is the Air Force's largest wing geographically and organizationally. It consists of a work force of about 5,000 officer, enlisted, civilian and contract employees.
Spanning the globe, this team provides missile warning and space control for combat forces and the national command authorities of the United States and Canada.

The 21st SW commander is responsible for leading 39 units on six installations in 29 locations in six different countries through 14 time zones. These worldwide units operate 13 weapons systems. In addition, wing units on Peterson AFB support 53 mission partners, including NORAD/Northern Command and U.S. Air Force Space Command.

Colonel Whiting's next assignment is in the Pentagon as the Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Media interested in attending the change of command ceremony should RSVP to the 21st SW public affairs office by noon, June 27, by calling (719) 556-5185 or via email to 21sw.pa@peterson.af.mil.