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50th Space Wing welcomes new commander
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Terry Djuric addresses the audience after taking command of the 50th Space Wing during a ceremony here May 22. Colonel Djuric succeeds Col. John Hyten as 50th SW commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lorna Gutierrez)
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50th Space Wing welcomes new commander

Posted 5/23/2007   Updated 5/24/2007 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Don Branum
50th Space Wing Public Affairs

5/23/2007 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Terry Djuric assumed command of the 50 Space Wing here in a ceremony May 22, making her the most recent in a succession of leaders to command one of the world's best space command-and-control teams. 

Colonel Djuric, formerly vice commander of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., succeeds Col. John Hyten, who will become director of plans and requirements at Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB. 

"I'm so proud to be here today and share this event with my family, friends, former commanders, fellow wing commanders, El Paso County community leaders and, of course, the Airmen of 50 SW who stand with us here at Schriever and across the world," Colonel Djuric said. 

Maj. Gen. William Shelton, 14th Air Force commander, officiated the change of command. 

"We welcome Colonel Djuric, her husband, Warren, and her children, Hayley and Hayden, to her new 50 SW family," General Shelton said. "We are very picky about who we choose for this particular job, because this wing's role is critical to our national security and ultimately to our way of life. Colonel Djuric joins a long line of outstanding leaders who have commanded this great wing." 

General Shelton outlined a few of the challenges Colonel Djuric will face as 50 SW commander: upgrading communications infrastructure and the Air Force Satellite Control Network and modernizing all of the wing's satellite systems and some of its ground systems, all while maintaining older satellite constellations and without gaining significantly more people for the job. 

"That sounds like a lot of challenges to me, but the truth is that you are assigned a wonderful mission that is so important to our national security ... and you inherit an incredible team that's ready to follow you to the next level," General Shelton said. "I know you are ready to lead this great wing, and I truly look forward to working with you and your team." 

Colonel Djuric emphasized 50 SW's proud heritage, both in terms of its achievements since it activated in 1992 and its history as the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing and 50th Fighter-Bomber Wing dating back to World War II. She highlighted the leadership of Lt. Gen. Roger DeKok, the first 50 SW commander who challenged the Air Force to integrate air and space to meet the nation's needs. 

"Today, combatant commanders depend on integrated space effects to successfully execute their missions," she said. "You and the combat effects you provide are already well-respected across the Air Force, combatant commands and America's global economy." 

Colonel Djuric encouraged the wing's Airmen, civilians and contractors to take pride in the wing's history and let that carry them through to the limitless horizons ahead. 

"Be proud that the Airmen of 50 SW are acknowledged experts and leaders in employing and supporting space power," she said. "Be proud that our security forces defend Schriever and our associate units and their strategic missions. Be proud that our civil engineers maintain an aging infrastructure and prepare to expand our existing facilities, and that our contracting squadron executes new million-dollar contracts. 

"Be proud that our expeditionary experts in the 50th Logistics Readiness Flight support increased deployments; that our mission support and services teams improve our quality of life at Schriever. And be very proud that our families are always there to bridge the gap between work and family. 

"Together, we maintain an unparalleled advantage for our armed forces by recapitalizing and modernizing our systems while becoming a more effective and efficient force," she concluded. 

Colonel Djuric was commissioned through Officer Training School at Lackland AFB, Texas, in 1983. She has operated space systems at North American Aerospace Defense Command; the 5th Space Warning Squadron in Woomera, Australia; the 21st SW at Peterson AFB; and the 614th Space Operations Squadron at Vandenberg AFB. 

Additionally, from July 2001 to June 2003, Colonel Djuric served as the U.S. Space Command liaison, then as the U.S. Strategic Command representative, to U.S. Pacific Command at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii. She was the first director of space forces for U.S. Central Command in Southwest Asia, deploying from April to August 2004, and she served as chief of the Air Force's Space Superiority Division at the Pentagon from May 2005 to September 2006.

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