SMC Directorates win Scowcroft Awards

  • Published
  • By James Spellman, Jr
  • Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs
Two directorates within the Space and Missile Systems Center were recently honored with individual and team awards March 16 at the 28th annual Air Force Association Brent Scowcroft Awards banquet at the Eccles Conference Center in Ogden, Utah.

Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, deputy chief of staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters Air Force, Washington, D.C., presented Mike Estira from the Global Positioning Systems Directorate, and the Remote Sensing Directorates’ Space Based Infrared Systems Team with the AFA 2017 Brent Scowcroft Award for Space and Air Dominance Acquisition and Sustainment – Individual and Team awards, respectively.

Originating in 1989, the Scowcroft Awards recognize military and civilian nominees from Air Force Material Command, Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Force Space Command, ranging from Hill AFB, Utah to as far away as Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, Los Angeles and Vandenberg AFB, California. The awards are named after Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, former national security advisor to Presidents Gerald R. Ford and George H. W. Bush. His 1980 Scowcroft Commission report mapped the future of, and reaffirmed America's need for, the ICBM to provide nuclear deterrence.

Individual nominees were judged on the degree of job difficulty they perform; the importance of that job to the success of their units; individual job performance, leadership, education and self-improvement efforts; and off-duty contributions to their base and community. Team nominees were judged with an emphasis on their contribution of the team to the Air Force mission.

"The GPS Directorate is proud to have Mike Estira recognized as a 2017 Brent Scowcroft Award winner as a top performer in the space community," said Col. Steve Whitney, director of SMC’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate. "Mike's professionalism and dedication is critical to ensuring product support as we modernize our GPS space, ground, and user equipment which continues to expand GPS capabilities for position, navigation, and timing not just for our military forces, but for all global civilian customers of our GPS services," said Whitney.

The SBIRS Team was recognized for their superior job performance, outstanding leadership and exceptional contributions in support of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, Space, Air Dominance, and Munitions missions. Maj. Nicholas Jamroz, deputy branch chief of the SBIRS Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Satellite office, accepted the award on behalf of the directorate.

“I can’t overstate what our team has accomplished here. They’ve developed solutions that will extend the useful life of two space sensors, provided our users with valuable data from new space sensors, and leveraged other efficiencies that will ultimately lead to fewer required launches and save the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Col. Ricky Hunt, chief of SMC’s Remote Sensing Directorate’s Satellite Production Division. “And they’ve done this while also increasing polar surveillance coverage and boosting technical intelligence collections substantially. Well done team, and well deserved.”

Hosted by the Northern Utah Chapter 235 of the Air Force Association, the Scowcroft Awards honor top performers and teams in the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, Space, and Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) communities in five individual and two team categories for their performances during 2016.

“It’s a real privilege to have been a part of a team working a program that is vital to global strategic defense and essential to the warfighter and our nation’s leaders,” stated Capt. Krystin Cooper, systems engineering, integration, and test lead for the SBIRS team. “Winning this team award is fantastic, but also a bit of a surprise when you consider all of the great work that is being done throughout Air Force Materiel Command and Air Force Space Command.”

The Scowcroft Awards were originally established to honor the top performers in the ICBM arena only. It has since expanded to include the top acquisition, sustainment, maintenance and logistics performers in the space and C3I communities.

“What the team did here is especially impressive when you consider the positive impact their work has had on the overall space warfighting construct. I’m talking about Air Force Space Command’s top priorities – enhancing space resiliency initiatives as well as spacecraft and launch modernization with a focus on cost savings,” said Col. Dennis Bythewood, director of SMC’s Remote Sensing Systems Directorate. “These military, civil service, and contractor space professionals helped successfully launch the Air Force’s newest $1.5 billion Space Based Infrared System satellite and ensure a 50 percent missile warning capability increase for our nation’s warfighters. I’m honored that the AFA recognized their unique talents and hard work with this very prestigious award.”

“Congratulations to our GP and RS team. This is great recognition indeed!” stated Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, SMC commander and Air Force program executive officer for Space. “Tough competition in this category serves to amplify the significance of the award and recognition.”

Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the U.S. Air Force's center for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.