The White Sands Missile Range community welcomed incoming White Sands Test Center Commander Col. Eric Rannow during an assumption of command ceremony held at the Cox Range Control Center July 16.
“It’s great to be here on this day celebrating 70 years of the opening and dawning of the nuclear range. It opened a new set of dynamics,” said WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin. “Today we have another bright flash. It will have a long range impact in the dynamics here.”
“I am honored for the amazing opportunity to lead the White Sands Test Center,” Rannow said. “(My family and I) sincerely appreciate the hospitality and are excited to join the White Sands team. I look forward to keeping the organization on the awesome glide path of success.”
“We’re going to challenge him in many different ways and he’s going to take us to newer and greater heights. We look forward to that time and the opportunity,” Coffin said of Rannow. “We’re glad that he’s here to join the team.”
Rannow took over the position from Frank Chavez, whose new role will be to serve as White Sands Test Center Executive Director. Chavez served in the interim after the departure of Col. James Winbush in May.
“We have such confidence in Frank, we knew we would not miss a heartbeat at his helms,” Coffin said of Chavez. “You will continue to be leaned on heavily as Eric steps into position.”
During the ceremony, Chavez took the time to thank the leadership for the opportunity to serve in such a capacity and welcomed Rannow to the team.
“Welcome sir, you’re getting a new group of professionals whose main goal is to support the warfighter,” Chavez said.
A meet and greet was held following the ceremony as an opportunity for the workforce to officially welcome Rannow and his family to the WSMR community.
Rannow, who has served in the Army since 1992, arrived as a recent graduate from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He holds two Master’s degrees, one in Material Acquisition Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and another in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. Rannow transitioned into the Army Acquisition Corps in early 2000 and holds a level III certification in Program Management. Rannow’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Iraqi Campaign Medal, among several others.