Rutherford assumes command of the 13th Space Warning Squadron

CLEAR AIR FORCE STATION, Alaska – Retired Air Force Maj. Don Rutherford pinned the commanders pin on his son Lt. Col. Jeffrey Rutherford during his change of command ceremony, June 13, 2018, at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska. Rutherford succeeds outgoing commander Lt. Col. Joel Lane as 13th Space Warning Squadron commander.

CLEAR AIR FORCE STATION, Alaska – Lt. Col. Jeffrey Rutherford addresses the audience during his change of command ceremony, June 13, 2018, at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska. Rutherford succeeds outgoing commander Lt. Col. Joel Lane as 13th Space Warning Squadron commander.

CLEAR AIR FORCE STATION, Alaska -- Col. Devin Pepper, 21st Operations Group commander, passes the 13th Space Warning Squadron guidon to Lt. Col. Jeffrey Rutherford during a change of command ceremony, June 13, 2018, at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska.

CLEAR AIR FORCE STATION, Alaska -- Lt. Col. Jeffrey Rutherford assumes command of the 13th Space Warning Squadron during a change of command ceremony, June 13, 2018, at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska.

Rutherford succeeds outgoing commander Lt. Col. Joel Lane in a ceremony presided over by Col. Devin Pepper, 21st Operations Group commander, 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
In his opening remarks Pepper recognized Lane’s accomplishments as commander over the past year and wished him well on his next assignment.

“Thank you for your calm, reasoned demeanor and being a consummate professional,” said Pepper. “Take pride in all you have accomplished.”

Pepper spoke on the unique dynamics Rutherford will encounter as commander of the 13th SWS total force team. He stated the job is a lot of responsibility for one commander, but with a team consisting of active duty, Air National Guard, department of defense civilians and contractors, they aren’t alone.

Rutherford most recently served as the 21st Space Wing’s Inspector General at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
During his remarks, Rutherford expressed his gratitude to team Clear for the warm welcome he received and to Lane for his leadership as commander.

“You are going to be a hard act to follow,” said Rutherford. “I will strive to grow and cultivate the great relationships you have started as I know it takes the entirety of team Clear to do the mission.”

Pepper charged Rutherford to take care of his people, use sound judgement and enjoy his time as commander.

The 13th SWS provides space situation awareness and tactical warning of ballistic missile attacks against the United States and Canada as part of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. The squadron is a geographically separated unit of the 21st SW.