Articles

ASMDA 2014 Awardees

On February 3, 2015, the Air Space and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) held their 20th Annual Membership and Award Luncheon at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville Alabama. Lieutenant General David L. Mann, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Forces Strategic Command was the event’s guest speaker.  The luncheon was also highlighted by the presentation of ASMDA's Space and Missile Defense Technical Achievement and Service Excellence Awards for both Government and Contractor employees and Teams in recognition of exceptional achievement in the development, test, and deployment of air, space, and missile defense systems.  Awards were presented by LTG Mann and Mr. Doug Allen, the outgoing 2014 ASMDA President.  Mr. Al Kemmet, the incoming 2015 ASMDA President, narrated the event.  There were over 300 people in attendance.


 Missile and Space Intelligence Center

Mr. Billy (Ben) Pierce

The Technical Achievement Award in the Government Category was awarded to Mr. Billy (Ben) Pierce, General Engineer (Missile Systems)Defense Intelligence Agency/Missile and Space Intelligence Center, an outstanding professional, who throughout his career has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the highest standards of technical excellence in support of the US and allied missile defense communities. The quality of his analysis, depth of analytical insights, and unique intelligence findings have provided some of the most exquisite data needed by US and allied force developers to design and field robust, missile defense capabilities.

Mr. Billy (Ben) Pierce Mr. Billy (Ben) Pierce


PEO Missiles and Space

Mr. Steve Crowell - The Technical Achievement Award in the Government Category was awarded to Mr. Steve Crowell, Deputy Project Manager, Cruise Missile Defense Project Office, Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, who has consistently demonstrated dedication and professionalism in execution of his mission to provide short to medium range air defense capability into the National Capitol Region (NCR) for the protection of strategic government assets and other important programs and projects. Following 9/11, the Cruise Missile Defense Project Office was directed by the Secretary of Defense to deploy medium range air defense capability in the NCR. He has willingly volunteered to take on an incredibly difficult and critical mission of national importance.

 Mr. Steve Crowell


 US Army Space & Missile Defense Command / Army Forces Strategic Command

Mr. Joel L. Shady, Technical Center -The Technical Achievement Award in the Government Category was awarded to Mr. Shady, SMDC Technical Center, Space & Strategic Systems Directorate, Hypersonic Division, who serves as the Systems Test & Evaluation Lead and Flight Test Director for the USASMDC/ARSTRAT’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapons’s (AHW) Program. The AHW is a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle designed to fly within the earth's atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range. As System Test & Evaluation Lead, Joel has developed valuable working relationships with numerous external organizations.  These include the AHW OSD Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) customer, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Conventional Strike Missile (fellow CPGS portfolio programs), National Test Ranges (Pacific Missile Range Facility, Reagan Test Site, Vandenberg AFB, White Sands Missile Range), higher command (USSTRATCOM), National Agencies (NSA, MSIC, NSWC-Dahlgren), auxiliary sensor providers (Missile Defense Agency, NAWC-WD), and AHW performers (Sandia National Labs, AMRDEC, MILTEC Corporation, OSD & AHW Program Office support contractors).

 Mr. Joel L. Shady

Mr. Terrence Bauer - The Technical Achievement Award in the Government Category was awarded to Mr. Bauer, SMDC Technical Center, Directed Energy Division.  Mr. Bauer is the program manager for the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD).  The HEL MD comprises a state-of-the-art beam control system, a commercial-based 10 kW laser and supporting power and thermal management subsystems, and a BMC4I system all integrated into a container on an Army vehicle.  Mr. Bauer was responsible for vehicle subsystem development and integration as well as planning and execution of three major campaigns over the past year.  These highly successful demonstrations stirred considerable interest, leading to requested briefings to myriad layers of the Army.  Moreover, these successes have led to the Fires Center of Excellence recently establishing a team to assess and develop the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership & Education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTMLPF) that will be required to support deployment of a high energy laser weapon.

 Mr. Terrence Bauer

USASMDC/ARSTRAT  Advanced Hypersonic Weapons Team - The Technical Achievement Award in the Team Category was awarded to the Advanced Hypersonic Weapons (AHW) Program Office.  Ms. Penny Cash, AHW Director, accepted the Team Award.   Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) is a U.S. effort to provide conventional payload delivery capability within specified timeline requirements.  The Department of Defense is using the AHW program to develop and demonstrate technologies to support CPGS.  On November 17, 2011, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) conducted the first successful test flight of the AHW, designated Flight Test-1A (FT-1A).  The AHW is a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle designed to fly within the earth's atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range.  The vehicle was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii and flew a non-ballistic glide trajectory at hypersonic speed to the planned impact location at the Reagan Test Site, U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll.  A challenging flight safety solution was successfully implemented to support this mission.  Mission emphasis was aerodynamics; navigation, guidance, and control; and thermal protection technologies. The AHW program is managed and executed by the USASMDC/ARSTRAT Program Office (located in Huntsville, Alabama) that includes a small group of dedicated, diligent and capable Government civilian and military personnel.  The AHW Government team is responsible for overall program technical management, flight vehicle design and development, systems engineering, software and simulations and flight test execution/test and evaluation.  The AHW Government team provides direction to Sandia National Laboratories (booster system and glide vehicle developer) and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (thermal protection system developer).

Ms. Penny Cash


 Missile Defense Agency

Mr. Keith Creekmore, Ground-based Midcourse Defense Program Office - The Technical Achievement Award in the Government Category was awarded to Mr. Creekmore, Chief Engineer, Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), Missile Defense Agency….As the GMD Chief Engineer, Mr. Creekmore managed all GMD and system risks for the Flight Test Ground-based Interceptor-06b (FTG-06b) test event.  A critical return-to-intercept flight test of the GMD system, the test was successfully conducted on June 22, 2014.  Mr. Creekmore poured through past observations and detailed failure modes effects analyses to identify 65 major risks to the test related to the GMD system; Sea-based X-band radar; Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications; Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense systems, target system; and the overall test infrastructure.  He developed and implemented mitigation plans for 51 risks involving the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI), Capability Enhancement-II Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), and GMD ground systems.  Mr. Creekmore successfully eliminated, mitigated, or lowered the overall risk likelihood enough to recommend acceptance for the flight test event. 

 Mr. Keith Creekmore

FTG-06b Flight Test Execution Team - The Technical Achievement Award in the Government Team Category was awarded to the Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor-06b (FTG-06b) Flight Test Execution Team.  Mr. Jim Zibas, Mission Director, accepted the Team Award. Following eighteen months of intense planning and preparation, the FTG-06b Flight Test Execution Team, comprising 34 team members, conducted the first successful test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system since 2008.  Their dedication to technical excellence and willingness to resolve competing requirements in good faith underscored mission planning and live-fire test operations.  Their commitment and teamwork greatly contributed to the overall success of this historically significant mission.  FTG-06b, completed on June 22, 2014, was the first intercept using the new capability enhancement II (CE-II) version of the exo-atmospheric kill vehicle (EKV), which proved GMD’s ability to match evolving threats. The team provided exceptional leadership and ensured the success of this extremely important flight test.

 Mr. Jim Zibas

Ms. Anna Norton, Synectic Research & Analysis (SRA), Incorporated, supporting the Test Planning & Design Directorate, Director for Test - The Technical Achievement Award in the Contractor Category was awarded to Ms Anna Norton –SRA, Incorporated. Ms. Anna Norton’s exemplary exceptional technical achievements, professionalism, and dedication to the MDA mission have consistently demonstrated unmatched technical insight, expertise, and professionalism.  She is a truly gifted, inspirational expert who enhanced Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and Flight Test program through hard work and ingenuity.  She is widely recognized as a leading expert in many technical fields including chuff and Post-Intercept Debris (PID), Truth data analyses, and data collection requirements.  During the past five years, she was deeply involved with the modeling & simulation of solid fuel debris for each of the target systems utilized in flight tests.  She provided unmatched expertise and oversight to many Truth pre-mission deliveries and products, and Truth Data Analysis efforts.  She is a recognized expert in analyzing post-mission Truth data, specifically optical data to include High Altitude Observatory and Cast Glance analysis.  Her optical data analysis directly resulted in updated models which led to improved target models used in pre-mission analysis. She analyzed data collection requirements for every Ballistic Missile Defense System flight test.  Due to Ms. Norton's technical expertise and leadership, she is one of the most sought-after experts within MDA, providing invaluable, distinguished service to accomplish the 2013-2014 MDA Goals of “Prove the power of missile defense through testing” and “Inspire professional excellence.

Mr. Loren Dickinson accepting for Ms. Anna Norton

Mr. David Weithop, Test Planning & Design Directorate, Director for Test -The Service Excellence Award in the Government Category was awarded to Mr. David Weithop.   Mr. Weithop was recognized for his significant contributions in managing the life-cycle development of the Integrated Master Test Plan (IMTP), providing a singularly vital contribution to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) test program.  His exceptional display of leadership, teamwork, and technical acumen in light of unprecedented technical and fiscal challenges was vital to MDA.  He completely restructured MDA's ground test campaign IMTP schedule and authored a novel, time saving approach to the IMTP delivery cadence to ensure rigorous and efficient testing of ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) capabilities that will protect our troops and our Homeland.  During the past several years, IMTP development faced unprecedented challenges to include publishing the IMTP to support Presidential Budget-14 (PB-14) and PB-15, and to include a rapid revamping of the entire BMDS test plan to comply with the 10 percent cut forced upon MDA by sequestration.  Taking the initiative, Mr. Weithop authored a plan to change the way MDA does business by revising the cadence to a proposed single published IMTP per year while still meeting critical PB Review and PB commitments to Congress and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  His plan potentially saved MDA 16,800 estimated personnel hours and numerous executive reviews each year. Mr. Weithop resolved the complex problem of delayed delivery of hardware and software resulting from budget cuts, requiring a major overhaul of the ground test baseline.  He quickly organized and led a Test/Engineer Team, and completely revamped the Fiscal Year 2014-2019 MDA Ground Test (GT) program. Approval of Mr. Weithop’s revamped ground test plan was a testament of his highly qualified operational leadership skills and capabilities. Mr. Wiethop’s dedication and persistence in face of unprecedented budgetary constraints and meeting multiple DoD stakeholder requirements are unparalleled in the Agency.  Mr. Wiethop's demonstration of exceptional leadership, teamwork, and technical acumen while developing the MDA test baseline was and is vital to the development of the BMDS and ultimately to the safety of our Nation’s homeland. 

 Mr. David Weithop

Mr. Rene De La Pena – Parsons, supporting the Test Resources Directorate, Director for Test.  The Service Excellence Award in the Contractor Category was awarded to Mr. Rene De La Peña – Parsons.  Mr. Rene De La Peña provided outstanding support throughout the past eighteen months to the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Ground Test Resources Team (DTRG) in upgrading and building the ground test infrastructure.  When the elements began using Extremely High Frequency (EHF) communications, he promoted the possibility of implementing this capability in the lab using communication emulation.  Though this was not a popular approach, through persuasion, he moved the idea forward to design, build, and implement emulated EHF communications into the ground test infrastructure.  This implementation saved thousands of dollars and allowed testing on a parallel test network, without impacting operational communications.  This provided a significant qualitative and monetary contribution to MDA. Mr. De La Peña regularly exhibited an ability to think along practical lines to introduce new technologies.  As the Space-Based Infrared System Program Office worked the implementation of Increment two, he worked with them, the developer’s prime contractor, and the Azusa laboratory to bring that new capability to the ground test infrastructure.  After a long stalemate, he provided options that improved relationships and brought the stakeholders together.  He introduced concessions and began working to integrate new capabilities for higher-fidelity threat representations, making the cooperation a win-win for all parties.  Mr. De La Peña led the DTRG effort to provide multiple instantiations of Patriot in hardware-in-the-loop events.  Current ground test infrastructure only has two Patriot laboratories, simulating two fire units.  Each of the two Patriot laboratories cost five million dollars.  He proposed a partnership with the Patriot Program Office and their contractors to define a low cost solution to add Patriot representations to test events.  The resulting concept used a Patriot System Engineering Model and integrated the Communication Data Link Integrator to form an assembly that represented six Patriot fire units.  The initial use provided operationally realistic representations (multiple battalions/fire units) and saved millions of dollars on equipment and facility construction costs.

 Mr. Rene De La Pena

FTG-06b Flight Test Engineering Team - The Service Excellence Award in the Contractor Category was awarded to the FTG-06b Flight Test Engineering Team, Director for Engineering.  Ms. Linda Palmer. The MDA FTG-06b Engineering Team’s exceptional and noteworthy contributions underpinned the success of FTG-06b, a critical return-to intercept flight test of the GMD system.  Conducted on June 22, 2014, the test resulted in the intercept by a Capability Enhancement (CE)-II Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) of an intermediate-range ballistic missile target that presented a complex threat scene to the supporting radars and the EKV sensor.  Over a three-year period, the government-led team completed the critical test design, planning, pre-mission testing, technical execution, and analysis efforts to achieve profound and lasting advances in missile defense development.  The Team involved personnel from across MDA, including Engineering; Test; Ground-based Missile Defense (GMD); Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD); and the Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), comprising Sensors, Space Systems, and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC). The team coordinated extensively with the BMDS Operational Test Agency (OTA) and warfighters to build maximum operational realism into the test and to instill confidence in our missile defense capability.  This critical event provided the technical basis for a limited production authorization decision for the upgraded GMD Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) and paved the way to meet the Secretary of Defense commitment to emplace 44 GBIs by 2017.  Team personnel supported target operations at the Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein and interceptor operations at Vandenberg AFB, with execution and analysis personnel at the Missile Defense Integration Operations Center (MDIOC) Colorado Springs, Huntsville, SPAWAR, Dahlgren, and Fort Belvoir throughout the event.  This critical demonstration of the key Homeland Defense system surprised critics and impressed Allies and opponents worldwide.  It demonstrated the successful capability of the GMD system in its Homeland Defense role.

Ms. Linda Palmer 


Marshall Space Flight Center

Mr. Joseph E. Price, Jacobs Engineering, supporting the Marshall Space Flight Center - The Technical Achievement Award in the Contractor Category was awarded to Mr. Joseph E. Price, Marshall Space Flight Center. Joseph Price, a contractor with Jacobs Engineering, supports the Avionics Systems Integration Branch at NASA/MSFC. He is a senior electrical engineer and technical co-Lead and integrator expert in the field of avionics and software systems design for Space Launch System (SLS) Program.  His expertise has enabled NASA to meet established mission goals in its continued endeavors to deliver quality products for science investigations, exploration initiatives, and human space flight. In leading the efforts to continue service to the International Space Station (ISS) and beyond, the SLS launch vehicle is being built to support those efforts.  As the co-lead avionics and software integrator for the Space Launch System team, Mr. Price coordinated and effectively directed a technical task team assigned to develop a plan that identifies and defines all Flight Software (FSW) dependencies along with associated responsible providers, establishing FSW dependency milestones tied to each FSW release, and coordinating deliveries of FSW dependencies to support on-time delivery of FSW releases with required To execute all of the tasks above, Mr. Price continues to provide outstanding technical team coordination and integration as they relate to avionics and software system integration.  He has shown a high degree of personal dedication and has gone above and beyond the call of duty in developing and implementing skilled teams within Engineering, in leading the Systems Engineering teams' technical work to develop state-of-the-art avionics and software systems.  Mr. Price continues to demonstrate a high degree of dedication, technical excellence, engineering professionalism, and leadership ability in coordinating and communicating to multi-agency discipline teams, the prime contractor, Marshall Center engineering and management, and the project team. 

 Mr. Joseph E. Price

Mr. Geoffrey Beech -The Service Excellence Award in the Government Category was awarded to Mr. Geoffrey Beech Mr. Beech has dedicated his career and served NASA for over 24 years.  His expertise in launch vehicle system engineering, specifically mass properties, has elevated the nation’s technological advancement of space exploration.  Currently assigned to the MSFC Engineering Directorate’s Technical Management Branch, Cross-Cutting Technical Management Team, Mr. Beech has demonstrated exceptional effectiveness in developing complex technical requirements for the Space Launch System (SLS).  He demonstrated superior leadership while communicating essential systems-level technical information across a diverse, multi-discipline, cross-organizational team.  He made incisive recommendations, while establishing trusting working relationships and orchestrating consensus in an environment where stakeholders have potentially divergent positions.  Mr. Beech has earned a high degree of confidence and trust from the SLS Program senior leadership team, and other external program and Headquarters stakeholders.  He has consistently represented the SLS Program’s Verification and Validation (V&V) position, effectively advocating and negotiating to reach consensus on the approach with ESD and the other programs.  Mr. Beech also has performed essential tasks outside his usual realm, including having: served as the Contracting Officer Technical Representative for the Chief Technical Editor Services’ Aerospace Corporation task; exercised essential SLS technical leadership for a U.S. General Accountability Office audit on TPMs, as well as for ESD and NASA Agency audits on the SLS mass forecasting approach, mass margins, and Mass Growth Allowance status; and coached, mentored, and guided new employees, helping to develop their leadership skills while they completed their SLS TPM product tasks.

 Mr. Geoffrey Beech