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53rd Signal Battalion Change of Command

Incoming 53rd Signal Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Glenn O. Mellor (left) receives the 53rd Signal Battalion colors from 1st Space Brigade Commander Col. Thomas L. James May 20, 2016, during a change of command ceremony at the Peterson Air Force Base headquarters.(Photo by Dottie White)

Incoming 53rd Signal Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Glenn O. Mellor (left) receives the 53rd Signal Battalion colors from 1st Space Brigade Commander Col. Thomas L. James May 20, 2016, during a change of command ceremony at the Peterson Air Force Base headquarters.(Photo by Dottie White)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado – -- Lt. Col. Glenn O. Mellor assumed command of the 53rd Signal Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, from the unit’s outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Thomas L. Meccia, during a change of command ceremony conducted May 20 at U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command headquarters here.

Col. Thomas L. James, commander, 1st Space Brigade, USASMDC/ARSTRAT, hosted the ceremony for the 53rd Signal Battalion.

The 53rd is the oldest operational battalion in the 1st Space Brigade and the only unit in the Department of Defense that conducts payload and transmission control of the Defense Satellite Communications System and Wideband Global System satellite constellations. The management of these constellations by the battalion ensures continuous communications connectivity for mission critical subscribers from the president to Warfighters and national agencies.

After passing the battalion’s colors to the new commander, James in his remarks said," The 53rd has an incredible story of support to the Army and United States government. Their motto is ‘we control the high ground.’ There is tremendous meaning hidden behind those deceptively simplistic words.

“The Soldiers before you today represent worldwide support across many mission sets, ongoing operations with Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, other DoD organizations, interagencies, civilian non-governmental, and numerous coalition countries,” James continued. “They support training and exercises at the highest levels, and they are involved in critical modernization efforts for some of the most sophisticated satellite technologies in the U.S. military.

“The Soldiers of the 53rd are very serious about their mission interfacing with supported units 24/7,” James said. “They have become masters at getting our strategic message to the highest levels of leaders with their mission accomplishment attitude and competencies and expert understanding of their satellite communication capabilities.

“Tom Meccia has been responsible for all of this for the past two years. The 53rd’s list of accomplishments under his leadership is extensive.”

James then turned his attention to the new commander.

“The Mellors are no strangers to the 53rd. Glenn was assigned to the G-6 of SMDC here in Colorado Springs,” James said. “He is familiar with the 53rd, which means he knows what he is getting himself into. It’s a hard job, but he is the right guy to lead the battalion in the next phase of its history. The 53rd is lucky to have someone of his experience stepping in to lead this incredible unit.”

During his farewell remarks, Meccia thanked the unit and the entire chain of command for making this one of the most rewarding experiences in his career.

Upon taking command, Mellor thanked James for the opportunity to lead such a great battalion and thanked the Soldiers of the 53rd for such a warm welcome.

“I am proud to be part of this team, and I am committed to your well-being and quality of life,” said Mellor. “I will do everything I can to build upon what Tom Meccia has worked to develop. Specifically to the 53rd, I will work to ensure Soldiers and civilians of the battalion are prepared to face the many challenges that are ahead.

“In order for us to be successful with our extremely valuable mission sets we must continue to develop highly disciplined, well-trained Soldiers led by caring leaders,” Mellor continued. “I am confident we will be successful as a team, and I will continue the traditions of excellence.”

Prior to the official ceremony, awards were presented to Meccia and his wife. James presented the Meritorious Service Medal to Meccia for his service as commander of the 53rd Signal Battalion.

James then awarded Meccia’s wife, Regan, with a certificate of appreciation for her contributions and efforts to the Soldiers and families of the battalion.

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