505th CCW's change of command season concludes

  • Published
  • By Deb Henley, 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs
  • 505th Command and Control Wing

The 505th Command and Control Wing had a very busy summer with nine new detachment, squadron, group, and wing commanders from Beale Air Force Base, California, to Robins AFB, Georgia, all uttering “I assume command,” April – July 2023.

Summer is typically the busy season for Air Force change of commands. This year’s schedule of new orders being executed, singing of the National Anthem, guest lists verified, flowers ordered, plaques and medals shined, and fine-tuning speeches was busier than normal.

Change of command ceremonies are purposefully formal and conducted with great dignity and symbolic activities. This activity signals to the unit’s Airmen that they are never without official leadership and extends the continuation of trust.

With so many new 505th CCW leaders, we are sharing this summer’s CoCs that you may have missed.

505th Command and Control Wing

Col. Ryan “APE” Hayde took command of the 505th CCW on July 20, 2023, at Hurlbut Field, Florida.  The wing oversees the operations of the 505th Combat Training Group, 505th Test and Training Group, and 505th Command and Control Wing, Detachment 1.  Hayde earned his commission in 2001 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy.  He has served as an instructor pilot in the A-10 Thunderbolt II at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School; Hayde has more than 2,000 flight hours, including 500 combat hours in the A/OA-10, A-10A, and A-10C.


505th Combat Training Group

Col. Robert “Slip” Smith took command of the 505th CTG on June 30, 2023, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.  The group conducts operational assessments/experimentation, develop advanced tactics, and train warfighters for multi-domain integration.  They accomplish their mission by being the Combat Air Forces’ recognized experts on integrating, experimenting, and evaluation command and control, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance weapons systems and sensors for combat employment within the joint all-domain construct.  The 505th CTG oversees operations of the 805th Combat Training Squadron at Nellis, the 505th Communications Squadron and the 505th Combat Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and the 705th Combat Training Squadron, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. Smith is a prior enlisted C-141B loadmaster and now an air battle manager with more than 3,900 flying hours, including more than 1,700 combat hours supporting Operations ALLIED FORCE, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, ODYSSEY DAWN, UNIFIED PROTECTOR, INHERENT RESOLVE, and Freedom’s Sentinel.

505th Test and Training Group

Col. James “Denzel” Fields II took command of the 505th TTG on June 15, 2023. The 505th TTG is headquartered on Hurlburt Field, Florida, conducting premier testing, evaluation, training, and tactics development across command and control, sensors, and battle management weapons systems.  The group’s vision is to ensure dominance in any domain by providing the best systems, training, and tactics to joint and coalition forces.  The group oversees operations of the 705th Training Squadron, 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, and 505th Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and the 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah. Col. Fields is a master air battle manager with more than 2,200 flight hours, including 225 combat hours and 344 combat support hours. 

505th Command and Control Wing, Detachment 1

Col. John Schmidtke took command of the 505th CCW, Detachment 1 on June 21, 2023.  Detachment 1, a subordinate unit of the 505th CCW, is located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Detachment 1 is the principal airpower advisor to the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command, Combined Arms Center for present and future weapons systems, capabilities, ordinance, tactics, procedures, and limitations as they influence U.S. Army force structure, doctrine, concepts, training, modeling and simulation, acquisition, and analysis programs. Col. Schmidtke is a master navigator and electromagnetic warfare officer with more than 2,700 flight hours in the E-8C, RC-135S, and T-43.

505th Combat Training Squadron

Lt. Col. Michael “BAGL” Power took command of the 505th CTS on June 15, 2023.  The squadron, home of the Blue Flag exercise program at Hurlburt Field, Florida, provides cross-major command, high-fidelity synthetic operating environment simulations, and world-class exercise control to joint and coalition warfighter activities at the strategic and operational levels of war as well as operational environments for testing and experimentation.  Power has flown more than 1,500 hours as an evaluator air weapons officer on the E-3 airborne warning and control system, or AWACS, and delivered more than 2,500 hours of tactical airspace control as an evaluator air surveillance officer and senior director in the Control and Reporting Center.

505th Training Squadron

Lt. Col. Jason “Chappy” Gossett took command of the 505th TRS on May 12, 2023.  The 505th TRS executes the Air Operations Center Initial Qualification course with 13 tracks, six times a year and four Joint Air Operations Command and Control Courses, or JAOC2C, that annually generate 1,600 graduates for global geographic and functional AOCs and operations centers. As a senior combat systems officer, Gossett has more than 2,500 flying hours in the C-130E, C-130H, and MC-130H, including more than 725 combat hours, flying in support of Operations IRAQI FREDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.

705th Training Squadron

Lt. Col. Benjamin “Dragon” Lee took command of the 705th TRS at Hurlburt Field, Florida on June 2, 2023.  The 705th TRS is the focal point for advanced AOC and Air Force forces education and C2 process improvement, including teaching the C2 Warrior Advanced Course, or C2WAC, the USAF’s premier operational level multi-domain planning course. The squadron’s newest mission provides wing-level C2 training, in preparation for Expeditionary Air Base and wing operations centers and Air Combat Command's lead wings to effectively generate and sustain airpower from distributed locations in an Agile Combat Employment environment. Lt. Col. Lee combines his operational experience from U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Pacific Air Forces Command with his ten years of F-15E Strike Eagle weapon systems officer and North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s mission commander experience to form the Air Force’s next generation of joint operational planners.

605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Detachment 2

Lt. Col. Kevan “Caveman” Seamans took command of the 605 TES, Detachment 2 on May 19, 2023, at Robins AFB, Georgia.  The detachment is responsible for the operational test & evaluation for a suite of ground-based command and control programs across the U.S. Air Force.  Detachment 2 develops test plans, executes test events, and manages tactics development and evaluation to determine combat effectiveness.  Seamans’ operational experience includes more than 120 combat missions flown in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, Freedom’s Sentinel, and INHERENT RESOLVE in addition to Sensitive Reconnaissance Operations flown in the Pacific and European areas of operation. 

605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Detachment 3

Lt. Col. Christopher Coville assumed command of the 605th TES, Detachment 3 on June 7, 2023, at Beale AFB, California.  The detachment is responsible for the operational test & evaluation of the Department of the Air Force’s next generation C2, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. The detachment serves as Air Combat Command's test organization for the Common Mission Control Center, or CMCC, an advanced tactical battle management C2 prototype designed for use in contested, degraded environments.  Coville, a master navigator, with more than 2,500 flying hours, including more than 101 combat missions and 1,000 combat hours in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and Freedom’s Sentinel.

The 505th CCW is the U.S. Air Force's only wing dedicated to operational-level command and control.  The wing reports to the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nevada, a direct reporting unit to Air Combat Command.