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One last time: Col. Schiess presents final Commander’s Call

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Col. Doug Schiess, 21st Space Wing commander, and his wife, Debbie, are presented the 2017 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award during a 21st SW commanders call at the base auditorium, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 21, 2017. The award acknowledges their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and the communities during Schiess’s time leading the 21st SW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Col. Doug Schiess, 21st Space Wing commander, and his wife, Debbie, are presented the 2017 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award during a 21st SW commanders call at the base auditorium, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 21, 2017. The award acknowledges their leadership and contributions to Air Force families and the communities during Schiess’s time leading the 21st SW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — During his last commander’s call, June 21, Col. Doug Schiess, 21st Space Wing commander, said he will miss being part of a wing environment most as he heads to his new assignment in the Pentagon.

“What I will miss most is being at a wing and being at that level,” Schiess said. “I’ll miss talking to defenders at the gate who are working a 12-hour shift, I will miss the travel to all of our far flung locations. I’ll miss that part of being in the wing the most.”

Schiess took a brief look back at the two years since he took charge of the 21st SW. He mentioned the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence video called “Commitment”; and how it was fitting since he talked about commitment during his first commanders call two years earlier.

“My commitment to you then was to get up every day and work toward helping you get the mission done and taking care of your families,” said Schiess.

Over the past two years as a team, he said he believed the commitment was seen on both his side and the wings.

“We hit that commitment pretty darn well,” he said.

Schiess recounted mission rate, ability to care for mission partners and geographically separated units as evidence, along with numerous awards the wing received, including the coveted Omaha Trophy recognizing U.S. Strategic Command’s premier space or cyberspace unit for global operations.

He is also proud of the community work accomplished by the 21 SW Knights. Reinvigorating community and deployed family dinners and increases in the number of Key Spouses were some of the particular events Schiess named.

“We’ve deployed more people from this wing in the last two years than we have in a really long time,” he said. “We’ve shown that we can do it and still take care of families.”

He mentioned Staff Sgt. Austin Bieren, a member of the 21st SW who died while serving in Syria.

“We brought him home to his family, took care of his family and still are,” Schiess said.

There were other events, such as the crash of an Air Force Thunderbird south of our runway following the 2016 U.S. Air Force Academy graduation and Peterson Air Force Base being struck by a massive hail storm that wreaked havoc on the base.

“We took care of that,” he said. “And made sure the mission kept going through it all.”

Col. Eric Dorminey, 21st SW vice commander and Chief Master Sgt. Mark Bronson, 21st SW command chief, presented Schiess, and his wife, Debbie, with the Air Force Space Command’s General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award. The award is given to the wing commander and spouse team whose contributions to the nation, Air Force and local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple serving in a key Air Force position.

“Sharon and I have gotten to know Col. Schiess and Debbie really well in the nine months we’ve been assigned here. When you hear them speak about the compassion and care they have for Airmen, I can tell you it is genuine. They demonstrate servant leadership day in and day out. They care deeply about each and every Airmen, accomplishing the mission and our nation. Serving their country is a calling for their family” Bronson said. “There is no other couple more deserving of this award.”

Schiess expressed appreciation for his time as wing commander.
“I want to say thank you for what you’ve done for the last two years,” he said. “This has been an honor for me and Debbie. I will miss every day coming to work and being a Knight of the 21st Space Wing. I am so proud of you.”

The change of command ceremony for incoming commander, Col. Todd Moore, will be held July 11, 2017.