805th CTS changes command

  • Published
  • By Deb Henley, 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs
  • 805th Combat Training Squadron

Lt. Col. John Ohlund became the commander of the 805th Combat Training Squadron on the Shadow Operations Center-Nellis operations floor during a change of command ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, June 24. 

Col. Aaron Gibney, 505th Combat Training Group commander, virtually presided as Lt. Col. David Spitler relinquished command after serving as the commander since 2020.

Gibney talked about the ground-breaking innovation within the ShOC-N.

“The Air Force needs an instrumented facility for command and control, and Nellis Air Force Base, specifically ShOC-N, is the right location. ShOC-N has a great lineage with its partners from joint and coalition units,” said Gibney.  “With the proximity to the experts from air, space, and cyber domains on the installation, the 805th CTS can bring new technology, warfighters, and industry all together.”

In his last speech as commander, Spitler began, “For four years, I’ve had the absolute privilege of working with the men and women of the 805th Combat Training Squadron. We have a unique blend of active duty, civilians, and contractors who make the mission successful every day. I have never seen a more cohesive and productive team.”

Spitler continued, “This unit was asked to undertake massive organizational and cultural changes to deliver a one-of-a-kind experimentation environment necessary to usher in the future of Joint All-Domain Command and Control. Change is always difficult. However, change on this scale and in such a short timeline is staggering. The men and women of this unit have consistently delivered and set the pace for the Air Force.  Moreover, they did it with the utmost professionalism and respect for each other and our mission partners. They have established an enduring culture of innovation that will continuously deliver improvements to the Air Force for many years.  It’s been my honor to serve on this high performing team.”

Ohlund is a senior air battle manager with experience on multiple systems, including the E-3 airborne warning and control system aircraft, control and reporting centers, and air operations centers.

As director of operations, Ohlund was responsible for the leadership, supervision, and tasking of over 97 personnel. He directed the integration of air, space, and cyberspace technologies for various government agencies such as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Missile Defense Agency, various industry partners, and federally funded research and development centers.

"I am honored to work for the professionals of the ShOC-N and look forward to the future as the Air Force continues to evolve the plans for Joint All-Domain Command and Control and Advanced Battle Management System,” remarked Lt. Col. John Ohlund, 805th CTS commander.  “This squadron has an incredible reputation leading the way in multi-domain integration. I am looking forward to the squadron's involvement and contributions towards improving technology and processes for the warfighters."

As the 805th CTS commander, Ohlund will lead over 198 air, space, cyberspace, intelligence, and non-kinetic professionals, and the integration of software development, command and control systems, and networking for the tactical and operational levels of war. Additionally, the Shadow Operations Center-Nellis is the U.S. Air Force's warfighter-centric focal point for experimentation, rapid development, and test support for the Joint Staff’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control and the USAF’s Advanced Battle Management System sustainment of emerging concepts, applications, and architecture for the Multi-Domain Operations Center of the future.

The change of command was also the last official event for Spitler as the outgoing 805th Combat Training squadron commander and the first official event for Ohlund as the incoming commander.  Spitler will become a joint observer/trainer, Joint Staff, Joint Force Development, Suffolk, Virginia.