Air Force Major General Michael Guetlein will serve as the next deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office.

“I have always admired the NRO in many ways; I’ve admired the mission, the global situational awareness and making sure we provide information to our national security decision makers in real time,” said Guetlein during an Assumption of Command ceremony July 8 at NRO headquarters. “No one else on the planet can do what the NRO does.”

The NRO is the agency in charge of acquiring and maintaining satellites on behalf of the Intelligence Community. As deputy director, Guetlein will assist incoming Director Christopher Scolese and Principal Deputy Director Frank Calvelli in day-to-day operations at the NRO.

Guetlein is coming to the NRO from the Missile Defense Agency, where he served as the program executive for programs and integration. In that position, Guetlein oversaw military construction, ballistic missile defense deployments and logistics and transportation in support of the MDA’s mission.

Before joining the MDA, Guetlein served as the director of the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, where he was in charge of the nation’s space-based missile warning and environmental monitoring systems. He has also previously served as the commander of the Rapid Reaction Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base and before that he was the military assistant to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition.

“Mike is a man with an impeccable record and undeniable leadership skills,” said Lieutenant General David D. Thompson, vice commander of Air Force Space Command, who called Guetlein “the perfect person to join the NRO and lead the Air Force element as we face the war-fighting challenges of today and the future.”

Guetlein’s placement comes as part of a major leadership change at the NRO. Christopher Scolese was confirmed by the Senate June 27 as the new director of the NRO. Scolese has worked at NASA for more than three decades and most recently served as director of the Goddard Space Flight Center.

Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.

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