WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
Behind protective masks and computer screens, members of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center bid farewell to Col. Parker H. Wright, Friday, May 8.
Steering away from the typical change of command ceremony because of the ongoing COVID-19 response, the center’s outgoing commander instead addressed the NASIC workforce through a live, virtual town hall.
“Welcome to those of you who may be dialing in from home, to those who will be watching later and to the small crowd that is here in the renovated NASIC Forum,” said Wright. “We were supposed to be gathered at the U.S. Air Force Museum this afternoon where General O’Brien would have passed the guidon from me to Col. Calabrese. But these aren't normal times, and this isn't your normal ceremony."
Participating from Washington D.C., Lt. Gen. Mary O’Brien, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations, opened the ceremony by talking about Wright’s accomplishments and leadership during his two year tenure at NASIC.
“During his tour, Parker overhauled processes and structures to meet the challenges of the National Defense Strategy,” said O’Brien. “He established clear priorities to scan the horizon for high-end future threats that ensure that NASIC remains laser-focused on its core mission that it does better than anyone else – creating foundational scientific and technical intelligence.”
"This mission focus generated new insights into on-orbit threats, hypersonic vehicles and fifth-generation fighters,” she said. “It ensured overwatch for North Korean ICBM testing and development, support to Iran crisis operations, and the tracking of global aviation threats.”
Wright took command of NASIC in June 2018. This was his second assignment here, having previously served as the commander of the Signals Analysis Squadron from 2010 to 2012.
“Without a doubt Parker was a superb commander during what’s proving to be one of the most pivotal moments in NASIC history,” said O’Brien. “During his command, Parker demonstrated steady, calm and confident leadership during multiple times of crisis, through the tornado outbreak that hit the area last year, following the tragic mass shooting in Dayton, and now during the COVID-19 global pandemic.”
At the conclusion of her remarks, O’Brien called for the narrator to publish the orders as Wright was awarded the Legion of Merit for his distinguished accomplishments as the NASIC commander.
Wright ended the virtual ceremony by expressing how proud he was of the way the team responded to the coronavirus crisis. He gave gratitude to the people who made it possible to have a successful tour, to his family for their constant support and to the workforce for tackling challenges.
“When I took command nearly two years ago, I laid out a set of expectations of how we would operate. I asked you to act with urgency in the face of unpresented adversary weapons development, as we return to great power competition and declared space a war fighting domain,” said Wright.
“I asked you to be good teammates, challenging you to work together to create world class scientific and technical intelligence and to build teams of teams to tackle our toughest challenges. I asked you to always strive to get better, operating on the simple premise ‘we are not as good as we should or could be’ and I'm so pleased that you have done just that.”
Wright, who has been confirmed for appointment to the rank of brigadier general, will be leaving NASIC to go to the Air Staff where he will serve as Director of ISR Operations.
Inbound NASIC commander Col. Maurizio “Mo” Calabrese is slated to arrive next month and will assume command during a live, streamed ceremony. Calabrese currently serves as the commander of the 544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.