White Sands Missile Range welcomed a new Deputy for the Air Force during a Change of Command ceremony as outgoing Detachment 1, 586th Flight Test Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Paul Dolce relinquished command to incoming Commander Lt. Col. Roman Underwood June 11 at WSMR.
The Air Force Detachment coordinates and sponsors all United States Air Force testing on WSMR.
The presiding officer Commander of the 586th Flight Test Squadron Lt. Col. Hans Buckwalter welcomed guests and employees to the ceremony.
Dolce thanked WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. David Trybula and White Sands Test Center Commander Col. David Cheney and other WSMR partners for attending.
"I also want to thank Lt. Col. Buckwalter for having the trust and confidence in me and allowing me to lead the Detachment."
"The National defense strategy is the focus of the department of defense, the national defense strategy dictates that we need to prevent our near peer adversaries from closing the capability gap."
Dolce went on to say that during his command, the accomplishments of the Detachment led to several urgent operational needs being answered. He said that over 700 test missions are being conducted for over 45 different National Defense Partners while establishing a new Eglin Air Force Base to WSMR mission bridge during COVID-19.
"These times currently don't allow us to meet face to face, but you handled it well and we saw negligible mission degradation," Dolce said.
Dolce also went over some highlights of his time at WSMR.
"I would be remised not to mention my top two, Shawn and Fred, both of you clearly took the vision and fostered the detachments culture and mission effectiveness. Not sure if I could have gone on the many TDYs and leaves without you two around."
"Our team is crucial to the modernization of the United States Air Force and Department of Defense."
Dolce also thanked his chain of command for allowing his team to do their job. "I thank our WSMR joint partners, I thank my wife and family who were as much a part of this family as I was. Finally, I thank the men and women of Detachment 1, it was an honor and privilege to be a part of this team."
Addressing Underwood, Dolce welcomed him and his family to WSMR.
"You are lucky to be taking over a team that in my observation is highly motivated, professional and fun. Good luck to you."
Dolce's next assignment is commanding the 846th Test Squadron at the Holloman Hi-Speed Test Track at Holloman Air Force Base.
Underwood, who comes to WSMR from the United States Air Force Research Laboratory in Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, said he is excited to join the WSMR team.
Underwood thanked family, friends, employees and community leaders for attending the event.