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19th SOPS receives new commander

Col. Stephen Slade, 310th Operations Group commander, passes the 19th Space Operations Squadron guidon to Lt. Col. Beth Stargardt as she takes command of 19 SOPS, June 3, 2018.

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Stephen Slade, 310th Operations Group commander, passes the 19th Space Operations Squadron guidon to Lt. Col. Beth Stargardt as she takes command of 19 SOPS, June 3, 2018. During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Karen Slocum relinquished her role of commander for 19 SOPS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Laura Turner)

Col. Stephen Slade, 310th Operations Group commander, receives the 19th Space Operations Squadron guidon from Lt. Col. Karen Slocum as she relinquishes command of the squadron, June 3, 2018.

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Stephen Slade, 310th Operations Group commander, receives the 19th Space Operations Squadron guidon from Lt. Col. Karen Slocum as she relinquishes command of the squadron, June 3, 2018. During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Beth Stargardt joined the squadron as the new commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Laura Turner)

Members of the 19th Space Operations Squadron pose for a group photo with incoming commander, Lt. Col. Beth Stargardt, before the 19 SOPS Change of Command, June 3, 2018.

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Members of the 19th Space Operations Squadron pose for a group photo with incoming commander, Lt. Col. Beth Stargardt, before the 19 SOPS Change of Command, June 3, 2018. Lt. Col. Karen Slocum was bid farewell by 19 SOPS during the ceremony at the Schriever AFB Event Center as they welcomed Stargardt to the squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Laura Turner)

Members of the 19th Space Operations Squadron pose for a group photo with outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Karen Slocum, before the 19 SOPS Change of Command, June 3, 2018.

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Members of the 19th Space Operations Squadron pose for a group photo with outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Karen Slocum, before the 19 SOPS Change of Command, June 3, 2018. Lt. Col. Beth Stargardt will be moving into the position of commander as the squadron bids farewell to Slocum. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Laura Turner)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

The 19th Space Operations Squadron, a classic Reserve associate unit to the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, 50th Space Wing, received a new commander Sunday, June 3. The squadron performs launch, early-orbit, anomaly resolution and disposal operations for the Global Positioning Satellite constellation. 19th SOPS also provides an operational and strategic Reserve capability by supporting daily operations alongside their active duty partners.

Col. Stephen Slade, 310th Operations Group commander, presided over the ceremony and gave both the outgoing and incoming commander’s words of advice and encouragement.

“Lt. Col. [Karen] Slocum appreciates how times have changed, demanding closer and stronger partnerships,” Slade said. “She knows what it means to provide trained and ready operators to fly, fight and win in space, alongside our [regular Air Force] counterparts.”

The unit’s success, said Slade, has a great deal to do with Slocum’s leadership.

“We will miss you. You have watched over this unit, the 19th SOPS, with their best interests at heart,” Slade said. “We’re all very grateful for your tireless dedication to the welfare of your people.”

Slocum bid farewell to the 19th SOPS, describing the day as both an exciting and a sad one for her.

“I’m excited for all the opportunities and challenges the squadron will have over the next several years,” Slocum said. “I’m also very sad to go. I love GPS and this squadron. This has been the most satisfying and fun job I’ve ever had.”

Slade welcomed Lt. Col. Beth Stargardt as the incoming commander, stating that her leadership abilities are second to none.

“My charge to you is pretty simple, and it’s three things,” Slade said. “Know your stuff, take care of your people and be a person of character.”

While meeting the members of 19th SOPS, Stargardt said she was amazed by the professionalism seen throughout the squadron.

“You have a history of excellence and are integral to the positioning, navigation and timing mission,” Stargardt said. “I look forward to working for every one of you. And if you need me, I’m here for you.”

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