Honoring one of its own: Madden receives Hall of Fame award during GPS Partnership Council

  • Published
  • By Tamry L. McCauley
  • SMC Public Affairs

David Madden, retired Air Force colonel, former member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service, past director of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Military Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Directorate and the Satellite Communications Systems Directorate, former executive director, senior civilian executive and Deputy Program Executive Officer for Space was inducted into the Global Positioning System Hall of Fame during the 2018 GPS Partnership Council. The event was hosted by the Los Angeles chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Association, held at the Gordon Conference Center in SMC’s Schriever Space Complex.

“It takes an integrated team to deliver ensured capabilities to protect the warfighter,” said Col. Steven Whitney, current director of SMC’s Global Positioning Directorate. “For the innovators who created GPS, such as Dr. Brad Parkinson, Roger Easton and Ivan Getting, David Madden, along with these pioneers not only changed the military, but made significant contributions that affected the world.”

“Dave Madden also changed the culture of how GPS is seen on the base.  He started the GPS Partnership Council and his contributions started the conversation of ‘What Comes Next’ for GPS,” said Whitney before presenting Madden with his plaque.

Madden’s tenacity and perseverance turned GPS modernization concepts into approved requirements, strategies, and acquisition programs. While working on the GPS Combat Survivor Evader Locator at the Electronic Systems Center, he overcame serious development issues to deliver new search and rescue technologies. As director of GPS Requirements at Air Force Space Command, he championed GPS modernization to address critical warfighter threats and civil needs.

In 2007 as the GPS Wing Commander at SMC, he led the Architectural Evolution Plan control system transition, launched six GPS IIR-Ms and the first GPS IIF satellite, completed source selection of a $4 billion GPS III satellite program and $1.4 billion Next Generation Operational Control System, and kept the Military GPS User Equipment alive before retiring from the U.S. Air Force Military in May 2010.

His insistence on timely contract obligations and expenditures turned programs “Green” and was the genesis of the GPS mascot, “The Green Monsters.” From June 2010 to Aug. 2015 as SMC director of MILSATCOM and later SMC Executive Director and Deputy Program Executive Officer for Space, Madden consistently advocated GPS modernization, including his strong leadership during a series of critical program “Deep Dives” with the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.   

“While working in GPS, we had a great team, we were like family, who wanted to do good work,” said Madden. “These folks dedicated their lives to making sure the system worked for the warfighter.”

Madden encouraged people to “dream big” and take GPS to the next level.