19th Space Operations Squadron receives new commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Laura Turner
  • 310th Space Wing Public Affairs


The 19th Space Operations Squadron, a classic Reserve associate unit to the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, 50th Space Wing, received a new commander on Sunday, June 3. The squadron performs launch, early-orbit, anomaly resolution and disposal operations for the Global Positioning Satellite constellation. 19 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,” said Slade. “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, 19 SOPS, with their best interests at heart,” said Slade. “We’re all very grateful for your tireless dedication to the welfare of your people.”

Slocum bid farewell to 19 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,” said Slocum. “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,” said Slade. “Know your stuff, take care of your people and be a person of character.”

While meeting the members of 19 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,” said Stargardt. “I look forward to working for every one of you. And if you need me, I’m here for you.”