Well first off colonel is an O-6 and the next rank higher after that is brigadier general so yes it is a very high rank. 0-6s usually are in positions where they have a lot or responsibility although they may not be in command positions or commanders over a large number of people.
In the normal Air Force though 0-6s are pretty much God and can really make or break your career and so the relationship for junior enlisted can be a tough one in some ways especially if that 0-6 is not happy about something. That's unfortunate in some ways though as not all jobs and assignments are like that.
My last ten years with the military had me in an Air Force Operations center with a lot of senior enlisted and senior officers and several generals. Their the job was management by objective driven and there was always a general down the hall or on call if you needed to maybe get authorization to do something that normally wasn't done or outside the scope of things. The enlisted and officers there had a very good and close working relationship but most assignments and work centers are not that way with them being that closely aligned.
0-6s get out into the war zone a fair amount but you generally don't see them kicking down doors, patrolling the parameter, or maintaining an access control point.
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