Lieutenant Colonel Walter H. Priebe III
Lieutenant Colonel Priebe is the Commander of Detachment 045, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Professor of Aerospace Studies at San Jose State University, California. He is responsible for the recruiting, education, training, motivation, selection, and commissioning of officer candidates through a comprehensive college program. Detachment 045 serves AFROTC cadets from nine different colleges and universities in the Silicon Valley region.
Lt Col Priebe’s career began as an enlisted member working in the Electronic Warfare Systems career field. During his nine-year enlistment time he served as an electronic attack pod technician and then a line replaceable unit backshop maintainer. He attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, graduating in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics and 2006 with a master’s degree in Aeronautical Science. He received his commission as a second lieutenant via Officer Training School (OTS), Maxwell AFB, Al in 2002.
Following his commission from OTS, Lt Col Priebe conducted Missile Combat Crew (MCC) duty and was certified as both an Evaluator and Instructor, eventually becoming Chief of MCC Upgrade Training. His next assignment was to the 17th Test Squadron where he was the AFSPC lead for operational test/evaluation of the Global Positioning System, the Command and Control System-Consolidated and the United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System.
Lt Col Priebe next transitioned to Headquarters Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) were he served as Chief of the Operational Testing and Evaluations Office. There he managed the policy, guidance and instructions for operational testing and evaluation of space and cyberspace systems ensuring they met operational requirements. He prioritized operational test resources across AFSPC testing organizations and reviewed/approved test documents/processes for AF and DoD level coordination.
Lt Col Priebe was then selected as Commander, Det 2, 21st Operations Group. As commander he was responsible for operations and maintenance of a Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS) responsible for the accurate and timely transmission of space event data in support of Headquarters United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) missions. He evaluated system contract performance and ensured effective use of the sites $840K annual budget while strengthening support relationships with the host British and U.S Navy forces.
Following Det command, Lt Col Priebe stood up the Space Liaison Officer (SLO) position for the 1st Air Support Operations Group. He provided space support to Air Force and Army mission planning, execution and exercise elements while assisting with the integration of space force enhancement, space control, and special programs. Lt Col Priebe interfaced with the Director of Space Forces (DIRSPACEFOR), Army Corps/Division Space Support Element (SSE), Army Space Support Team (ARSST) and the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) on the employment of space forces and resolution of space-related support issues.
- 1999 Associate of Science in Electrical Technology, Community College of the Air Force
- 2001 Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Aeronautics, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
- 2003 Aerospace Basic Course, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Al
- 2006 Master's Degree in Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
- 2008 Squadron Officer School, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Al
- 2012 Air Command and Staff College, Air University Non-Res
- Nov 1994-Oct 1998, 16th Test Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fl
- Oct 1998-Apr 2002, RC-135 Ground Shop Maintenance, RAF Mildenhall, UK
- Apr 2002-Nov 2002, Missile Initial Qual Training student, 392 TS, Vandenberg AFB, Ca.
- Nov 2002-Nov 2003, ICBM Combat Crew Deputy Commander, 490 MS, Malmstrom AFB, Mt.
- Nov 2003-Nov 2004, ICBM Combat Crew Eval Deputy CC, 341 OG, Malmstrom AFB, Mt.
- Nov 2004-Oct 2005, ICBM Combat Crew Commander, 490 MS, Malmstrom AFB, Mt.
- Oct 2005-Oct 2006, ICBM Chief Upgrade Training, 341 OSS, Malmstrom AFB, Mt.
- Oct 2006-Feb 2007, Assistant Current Operations Flt CC, 341 OSS, Malmstrom AFB, Mt.
- Feb 2007-Feb 2008, Test Manager, 17 TS, Schriever AFB, Co.
- Feb 2008-Jan 2009, Assistant Flt CC Test Operations Flt, 17 TS, Schriever AFB, Co.
- Jan 2009-Feb 2011, Test Director, 17 TS, Schriever AFB, Co.
- Feb 2011-May 2012, Chief Ops Test & Eval, HQ AFSPC A3TO, Peterson AFB, Co
- May 2012-May 2013, Commander, Det 2, 21st Operations Group, Diego Garcia, BIOT
- May 2013-Jul 2017, Assistant Dir Operations/Chief, Space Operations/Program Manager, 1 ASOG, JBLM, Wa.
- Jul 2017-Present, Commander, Det 045, ROTC, San Jose State University, Ca.
Major awards and decorations
- Air Force Meritorious Service Medal (2 oak leaf cluster)
- Air Force Commendation Medal (2 oak leaf cluster)
- Air Force Achievement Medal (1 oak leaf clusters)
- AF Outstanding Unit Award (11 oak leaf clusters)
- AF Organizational Excellence Award
- Combat Readiness Medal
- AF Good Conduct Medal (2 oak leaf clusters)
- National Defense Service Medal (1 star)
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal (1 star)
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- AF Overseas Ribbon Short (1 oak leaf cluster)
- AF Overseas Ribbon Long
- Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon
- AF Longevity Service (3 oak leaf clusters)
- USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon
- AF Training Ribbon (1 oak leaf cluster)
- NATO Medal (2 stars)
Effective dates of promotion
- Second Lieutenant Apr 5, 2002
- First Lieutenant Apr 5, 2004
- Captain Apr 5, 2006
- Major Feb 1, 2012
- Lieutenant Colonel Jan 1, 2017