Colonel Dennis O. Bythewood
Col. Dennis O. Bythewood is Director of the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. He is responsible for a $50 billion space systems portfolio and leads a program team of more than 14,000 government and contractor personnel. He oversees the development, deployment, and sustainment of the nation’s Overhead Persistent Infrared enterprise as well as the sustaining and fielding of affordable space and terrestrial weather systems. The Overhead Persistent Infrared portfolio includes missile warning, missile defense, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence capabilities through the Defense Support Program, the Space Based Infrared System, and the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared System. The weather systems portfolio includes the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program and consists of Space Based Environmental Monitoring systems, space weather systems, and ground sensors. These systems are critical for protection against global and theater threats against the United States, its deployed forces, and its allies.
Prior to assuming this role, he was Commander of the 50th Operations Group, Schriever AFB, Colorado, where he was responsible for more than 1,000 military and Department of Defense civilian personnel serving in six squadrons and one detachment. These units perform around-the-clock global satellite operations on more than 60 satellites across diverse orbital regimes, providing warfighters and other users worldwide with position, navigation and timing capabilities; military satellite communications; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products; and environmental and space situational awareness.
Colonel Bythewood received his commission in 1992 upon graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in electrical engineering. His career has included numerous acquisitions and satellite operations positions in Air Force Space Command, Air Force Materiel Command and the National Reconnaissance Office.
1992 Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT.
1998 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL.
2003 Air Command and Staff College (correspondence), Maxwell AFB, AL.
2004 Master of Business Administration, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, CO.
2007 Air War College (correspondence), Maxwell AFB, AL.
1. October 1992 – June 1996, Range System Manager, 501st Range Squadron, Hill AFB, UT
2. July 1996 – August 1999, Electric Combat Analyst and Chief, Unmanned Air Vehicle Branch, Detachment 1, 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron, Kirtland AFB, NM
3. August 1999 – June 2002, Chief, Test and Certification, System Test Division, Milstar Joint Program Office, Los Angeles AFB, CA
4. July 2002 – October 2005, Chief of Engineering, Operations Support Flight Commander and Operations Officer, 4th Space Operations Squadron, Schriever AFB, CO
5. November 2005 – July 2007, Chief, MILSATCOM Operations Branch, HAF/DCS, Air, Space and Information Operations, Plans, Requirements, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
6. August 2007 – May 2009, Executive Officer, SAF/SO, Air Forces Smart Operations, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
7. June 2009 – June 2011, Commander, Space Communications Operations Squadron, Network Operations Group, Mission Operations Directorate, National Reconnaissance Office, Los Angeles, CA
8. July 2011 – July 2013, Program Manager, Space Based Infrared System Production, Infrared Space Systems Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, CA
9. August 2013 – June 2014, Director, Ground Frontiers Office, Ground Enterprise Directorate, National Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly, VA
10. July 2014 – June 2016, Commander, 50th Operations Group, Schriever AFB, CO
11. July 2016 – December 2016, Special Assistant to the Director, Remote Sensing Systems Directorate, Los Angeles AFB, CA
12. December 2016 – present, Director, Remote Sensing Systems Directorate, Los Angeles AFB, CA
Awards and Decorations
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
National Defense Service Medal with device
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air & Space Campaign Medal with device
Effective Dates of Promotions
Second Lieutenant 15 May 1992
First Lieutenant 1 June 1994
Captain 1 June 1996
Major 1 Feb 2003
Lieutenant Colonel 1 Feb 2008
Colonel 1 April 2014