SM leadership changes hands

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Samuel Earick
  • National Air and Space Intelligence Center Public Affairs
Col. Jay Stewart passed the guidon of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center’s Space, Missiles and Forces Intelligence Group to Col. Katharine Barber as part of a July 6 change of command ceremony held at NASIC.

Col. Parker H. Wright, National Air and Space Intelligence commander, officiated the ceremony in front of a crowd of more than 100 NASIC employees gathered in the center’s Intelligence Production Complex.

“If I were going to design the perfect SM Group Commander to replace Jay Stewart, she’d look a lot like Kate Barber,” Wright said. “I will tell you that (she) was in high demand during the bidding process. I’ve talked to a number of wing commanders who were aggressively pursuing her, but, to our good fortune, we won.

Prior to taking command, Barber served as the Chief of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division at the 609th Combined Air and Space Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

“I am excited to join such a renowned group of individuals. This is my first opportunity to work in NASIC directly but had a remarkable introduction through my recent assignment at the 609 AOC at Al Udeid,” said Barber. “The NASIC liaison officer was often my ‘easy button’ to answer the three star’s questions influencing his decisions on a regular basis.”

Regarding the outgoing SM commander, Stewart, who is now the 24th Air Force’s Director of Intelligence at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, Wright noted that the accomplishments of the Group under Stewart’s leadership were numerous but it was his dedication to his people that truly stood out.

“Jay put his people front and center,” Wright said. “His teams were recognized with four Air Force level awards, no less than 26 Center level awards, and they earned a prestigious National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation.”

SM is responsible to deliver integrated, predictive intelligence on space, ballistic missile, regional and future threat capabilities to enable U.S. decision-making advantage in the air, space and cyber domains.