Maj. Gen. Donna D. Shipton assumed command of the NRO Space Force Element and officially became the deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in a change of command ceremony Aug. 9. As the deputy director, she will manage the strategic and tactical operations of the NRO, and serve as the senior advisor to the director on all military matters.
Maj. Gen. Shipton comes to NRO from Air Force Material Command where she served as director of Strategic Plans, Programs, Requirements, and Analyses. She also served as the vice commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, among many other distinguished positions within her 30-year Air Force career, to include two previous assignments to the NRO.
“I am honored to follow in the footsteps of General Ellen Pawlikowski, Maj. Gen. Susan Mashiko, and Betty Sapp, among many other influential leaders who have graced these halls,” Maj. Gen. Shipton mentioned in her first speech as deputy director of the NRO.
Maj. Gen. Shipton proceeds Maj. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein who was confirmed to become the first commander of United States Space Force Space Systems Command later this month. “It has been the most amazing assignment and I count myself lucky to have served with such a great bunch of professionals,” said Maj. Gen. Guetlein in his farewell email to the workforce.
Maj. Gen. Guetlein was presented with the Distinguished Serve Medal and the NRO’s Gold Service Medal by Gen. David Thompson, United States Space Force vice chief of space operations at the Change of Command ceremony.