Aerial Networks Division welcomes new leader

  • Published
  • By K. Houston Waters
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Col. Christopher Ward assumed leadership of the Aerial Networks Division during a ceremony at the Minuteman Commons here June 23.

Maj. Gen. Michael Schmidt, then program executive officer for the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, presided over the ceremony, in which Col. Shane Louis relinquished command. Louis served as senior materiel leader of the Aerial Networks Division from July 30, 2018, to June 23, 2022.

“This division is essential to connecting the people and systems that support Joint All-Domain Command and Control and the Advanced Battle Management System, so running the Aerial Networks Division is a big deal,” said Schmidt. “It’s large amounts of money and important  decisions that impact people’s lives, not just those within the organization, but all the warfighters out there. The person in this position has a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.”  

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center named Louis their 2021 Boss of the Year. For his service to the Aerial Networks Division, he received the Legion of Merit.

“I could talk forever about Shane,” said Schmidt. “He’s had a spectacular career, mostly in acquisitions, and I am very proud of him, and this whole team, for everything they’ve done together over these past few years.”

Louis is continuing his 27-year Air Force career by supporting the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

“I am proud of what the Aerial Networks Division has been able to accomplish since I arrived here,” said Louis. “Chris, I wish you the utmost of luck as you go forward. You are going to do great here.”

For Ward, this is his third assignment at Hanscom. He most recently served as chief of the Missile Defense and Missile Warning Systems branch, a combined United States Space Force and Missile Defense Agency unit, here at Hanscom.

“I have to thank Shane for all the work he did with this division,” said Ward. “This is a great team and I’ve already met with many of them. I am really looking forward to embarking on this journey leading this division.”

The Aerial Networks Division is a component of the C3I&N directorate, headquartered here. Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo assumed command of C3I&N during a ceremony here June 28.

Schmidt received a promotion to lieutenant general, also on June 28. He assumed command of the Joint Strike Fighter Program, Office of the Secretary of Defense, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, July 5.