Colby Eagles Alumni Association
Joseph Schwarz, 1979
Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
Nominated by Craig Hansen and Tom Lawless
From July 2009 – July 2010 he served at the Pentagon as Division Chief, Asset
Management & Operations, and Office of the Civil Engineer. During this assignment
he led staff in providing policy, oversight, and support for the Air Forces’ $243B
installation portfolio including environmental, energy, housing, real property and
asset management. He oversaw development of asset management strategic roadmap for 166 Air Force installations, as Director of Planning and Strategic Development for the Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Air Force Installations; Colonel Schwarz was senior military advisor for planning and strategic development of Air Force installations. He also developed strategies and policies and coordinated efforts with DOD and other military services for all installation issues.
From 2006 – 2008 Colonel Schwarz was the Commander of the Los Angeles Air Force Base, leading 1,100 personnel in support of the Space and Missile Center. Colonel Schwarz served as Mission Support Group Commander of Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, 2004-2006, which included leading bed down operations for rescue operations following Hurricane Rita. At the US Strategic Command in Omaha, 2002-2004 he served as Chief of the Global Consequence Branch developing national level policy providing senior government leadership with the capability to quickly and accurately determine the status of military and national resources following a national emergency situation such as Weapons of Mass Destruction
(WMD). He also provided critical comparative analysis of WMD and real time situational awareness concerning chemical, biological and radiological weapons for the Commander USSTRATCOM during Operation Iraqi Freedom. From 1984 to 2002, in preparation for these command level positions, Colonel Schwarz completed tours at several Air Force Bases in the US and overseas. He was a Base Civil Engineer in North Dakota. He led recovery efforts at Tyndall AFB, Florida following Hurricane Opal. He was the construction project manager for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) Peace Shield, Peace Sun and Peace Hawk programs, providing facility engineering assistance for $1.6B construction program for command, control and communications and aircraft maintenance and operations facilities for RSAF F-15 and F-5 aircraft bed downs.
Following retirement from the USAF, Joe became a Managing Principal for HDR Engineering in Colorado Springs. With HDR Engineering he manages an office of 90 personnel focusing on military planning for DOD installations. He is a Registered Professional Engineer, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and past president of the Pikes Peak Post of the Society of American Military Engineers. Joe is the son of Herman and JoAnn Schwarz and the oldest of 7 kids. He is currently married to Holly and they have 5 kids and one grandchild.
After graduating at the top of the Class of 1979, Joe Schwarz excelled as a Cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, graduating as a Distinguished Graduate and the top Civil Engineering graduate in the class of 1983. He followed this with a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering as a Guggenheim Fellow, Columbia University, NY.
Throughout his career in the USAF he continued his professional and military education by completing Master of Science, National Resource Strategy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces; Air Force Chief of Staff Fellows Program; Air War College; Air Command and Staff College; Squadron Officers School (Distinguished Graduate). Colonel Schwarz culminated a long and successful Air Force career as the Deputy Director for Installations & Mission Support, AF Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colorado, July 2010 – July 2013. During this assignment he directed security, emergency services, environmental, base development, contracts and construction across the enterprise. He also directed worldwide mission support for cyber, space lift and satellite operations installations and infrastructure.
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