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601st AOC welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • 601st Air Operations Center

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – U.S. Air Force Col. Clayton Schaefer took command of the 601st Air Operations Center from U.S. Air Force Col. Greg Krane during a ceremony held here on June 1, 2022.

The age old military tradition, passing of the flag during the ceremony symbolized the change in leadership as Krane relinquished command and Schaefer assumed command. The change of command ceremony was presided over by U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region – 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern and Air Forces Space) commander.

Pierce praised Krane for his 21 years of dedicated service and leadership to 601st AOC and welcomed Schaefer to his new assignment as commander.

“With more than twenty years in the AOC family, you’ve [Krane] done everything here, and thank you for all you have done to make this an elite AOC,” said Pierce.

The 601st AOC is responsible for detecting, deterring, defending and if necessary defeating any aviation threat to the citizens of the continental United States and to U.S. critical infrastructure.

“Today is a happy day, as we embrace Col. Schaefer as the AOC commander,” said Pierce. “I have all the trust and confidence in him and I know he will do a phenomenal job.” 

Prior to commanding the 601st AOC, Schaefer served in several positions throughout the AOC including chief of the Combat Operations Division, chief of the Strategy Division, and as a Chief of Combat Operations on the AOC’s operation floor.

“I do not take this privilege lightly,” said Schaefer.  “Thank you Lt. Gen. Pierce for your trust in me to lead this fantastic organization and team.” 

After serving as the 601st AOC commander, and as the 101st Air and Space Operations Group commander, as well as multiple other leadership positions throughout the AOC, Krane is moving on to serve as the deputy director of Air National Guard Plans and Execution at the ANG Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

“With Col. Schaefer’s leadership, and the talent and dedication from each and every one of you, the 601 AOC will continue to grow and evolve to be the best AOC in the Air Force,” said Krane.

During his time as 601st AOC commander, Krane oversaw the planning and execution of more than 18,000 Operation Noble Eagle and VIP air defense sorties. Additionally, Krane in support of Operation Capitol Response, supported 272 missions that delivered 5,573 personnel and 458 short tons of supplies to the national capital region, guaranteeing the timely delivery of critical resources to safeguard the nation’s capital.  

Then Krane expressed his gratitude to the members of America’s AOC stating “every success was a team effort.”

“To the men and women of America’s AOC, you are the heart and soul of this AOC and it has truly been an honor and the highlight of my Air Force career to be your commander,” said Krane. 

For additional information on the 601st AOC visit or