Col. Jennifer Sovada Takes Command Of Nuclear Treaty Monitoring Center At Patrick AFB
By Susan A. Romano, AFTAC Public Affairs // June 19, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA – Members of the Air Force Technical Applications Center said goodbye to one leader and hello to another at a change of command ceremony today.
Col. Christopher A. Worley relinquished command of the nuclear treaty monitoring center to Col. Jennifer P. Sovada in front of more than 350 people in attendance. Maj. Gen. John N.T. Shanahan, commander of 25th Air Force, officiated the ceremony.
Worley took command of the center May 15, 2012, on the steps of AFTAC’s old headquarters building, just a few hundred yards across from where today’s event took place.
It marks the first change of command to be held at the new $158 million facility, and second-largest gathering since the center’s ribbon cutting ceremony in March 2014.
A change of command recognizes the transfer of authority from one commander to another, and allows the men and women of the command to witness the formal event.
Today’s time-honored tradition showcased just how the change occurs with eight simple words – four by the outgoing, four by the incoming – and the passing of the unit’s guidon.
Prior to the official change, Shanahan presented Worley with the Legion of Merit, a military decoration given to those who have “distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service.”
The medal recognized Worley’s superior leadership, initiative and performance, citing his creation of an innovation laboratory, oversight of detection and reporting of the North Korean-declared nuclear test, and his leading the development and standup of the Air Force’s sole radiochemistry laboratory.
“During his tenure, Col. Worley directly impacted the evolution of national policy,” said Maj. Gen. John N.T. Shanahan, commander of 25th Air Force.
“His groundbreaking initiatives and strategic vision resulted in several major milestones in AFTAC’s history, and his solid performance prompted me to keep him in place for a third year – and I was not disappointed with my decision. He continued to deliver everything I wanted and more.”
“AFTAC Airmen, although you are saying goodbye to a great leader, you are gaining another, and Col. Sovada brings with her a record replete with enviable accomplishments,” said Shanahan.
After the medal presentation, Worley took a moment to thank those in attendance, and praise the men and women he’s commanded for the past three years.
“Looking to the future of AFTAC, and recognizing the brilliance of the men and women who work here, the evolution in technology and the breadth of our mission impacts, please know this: I don’t believe the past 56 years reflect AFTAC’s history,” said Col. Christopher A. Worley.
“Rather, those years are just the prologue. The real history of AFTAC – the incredible contributions to be made to our nation and international mission – that history begins today and you will be the ones to write it. Godspeed.”
After Worley’s remarks, AFTAC’s new commander took was introduced and offered a first-glimpse into what she’s looking forward to as the head of the nuclear treaty monitoring center.
“I am humbled and honored to be a part of AFTAC,” said Col. Jennifer P. Sovada.
“It has a history that is unparalleled in importance to the global nuclear detection and deterrence missions, and I am excited to work with the outstanding professionals who make up this organization and its vast, world-wide partners to ensure our decision makers are apprised of nuclear threat and nuclear treaty compliance.”
Sovada, who just completed her Chief of Staff of the Air Force fellowship at the Central Intelligence Agency, is a career intelligence officer and a Bronze Star recipient.
This will be her second command tour; her first was as the commander of the 22nd Intelligence Squadron at Fort Meade, Md., from 2010 to 2012.
Worley is moving to take an assignment at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Fort Belvoir, Va.