COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The commander of the 21st Space Wing, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, has died. Colonel Thomas G. Falzarano was found at his home on Tuesday.
Col. Falzarano appears to have died of natural causes, though a thorough investigation is happening. There are no indications that there was a positive COVID-19 case.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss for our Air and Space Force family,” Gen. Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, said in a news release. “Tom was an incredible leader, mentor and friend who will be remembered for his warm personality and dedicated service to our nation. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to his family, friends and all members of the 21st Space Wing.”
“We were shocked to learn of the death of Colonel Falzarano,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said. “Since he assumed command at Peterson, he was a great partner in working with the city on a variety of matters. As an example, he organized the rest of the area base commanders to work with the city on Coronavirus issues. This is a tremendous loss for our community and our hearts go out to his family.”
Col. Falzarano took command of the 21st Space Wing in July 2019. He was poised to be one of the top officers in the new United States Space Force.
Colonel Sam Johnson will now assume command.
Col. Falzarano was a 1994 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He had served at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. Before his posting at Peterson Air Force Base, he was the executive officer to the Commander, Air Force Space Command and the Joint force Space Component Command. He commanded Peterson Air Force Base and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, and supported four other Air Force installations around North America and Greenland.