National Reconnaissance Office
Aerospace Data Facility Colorado (ADF-C) welcomed new leadership during a change-of-command ceremony held at the ADF-C August 29.
Major General Michael Guetlein, deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), presided over the ceremony, which transferred the ADF-C reins to Colonel Jacob Middleton from previous Commander, Brigadier General Chris Povak.
“We are here today to pass the guidon from Brig. Gen. Chris Povak to Col. Jacob Middleton,” said Maj. Gen. Guetlein. “We say farewell to a leader who has contributed so much to the ADF-C over the last three years and welcome a new commander who will ensure our team continues to conduct and support the critical space missions of the National Reconnaissance Office.”
Change of command ceremonies are a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility from one commanding officer to another. The passing of the guidon from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures the unit and its service members are never without official leadership, demonstrating a continuation of trust. It also signifies an allegiance of service members to their unit’s commander.
“What an honor to be here with you all today, I am extremely excited about this opportunity.” Col Middleton said. “ADF-C is without a doubt, the best of all the Wings. I am grateful for this incredible opportunity to re-join the men and women that support the very important mission of being the eyes and ears of the Intelligence Community.”
Col. Jacob Middleton returns to the ADF-C where he previously served as the commander of Space Operations Squadron from 2012 through 2014. Prior to his arrival at ADF-C, Col. Middleton served as the U.S Air Force director of Space Forces, U.S. Air Force Central Command, and vice commander of the 50th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
As the new ADF-C Commander, Col Middleton will be responsible for leading thousands of members of a joint-agency and multi-mission intelligence operations center that conducts collection, analysis, reporting and dissemination of vital intelligence information. The ADF-C provides data to defense, intelligence, and civil agencies supporting the U.S. Government and its allies.
Outgoing Commander, Brig. Gen. Povak thanked the ADF-C workforce and his family and friends that were in attendance and publicly reflected his time as commander. “Three years have definitely flown by. However, it has been an amazing ride being part of your team. Together, we have accomplished a great deal; from adding new intelligence missions to our site, shoring up the resiliency of our infrastructure, to delivering innovative professional development programs to our workforce.”