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Guardian Challenge 2010 Spotlights SYSW: Wing Ensures Nation's Space Superiority

Space Superiority Systems Wing shield

Space Superiority Systems Wing shield

Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. -- In sports, coaches often preach to their players: "The best defense is a good offense." Throw a really good defense in the mix and it's probably lights out, game over for the opponent.

If dominating space were a sport, the men and women of the Space Superiority Systems Wing, part of the Space and Missile Systems Center located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, would probably lay claim to ruling the field of play since their mission embodies both offensive and defensive prowess.

"We equip U.S. forces with offensive and defensive counterspace and space situational awareness systems to gain, maintain and exploit space superiority," said Col. J.R. Jordan, SYSW's Vice Commander.

SYSW will give the space community a sneak peek at how the acquisition portion of AFSPC's mission is accomplished behind the scenes to ensure space superiority for the joint warfighter and our nation. On April 28, six Wolves will represent the wing for the first time in Guardian Challenge's history.

The team will include two engineers, Maj. Jeremy Raley and Capt. Doug Sciortino (alternate); two program managers, Capt. John Carter and Maj. Nate Douglas (alternate); a contracting officer, Capt. John Turner; and a finance officer, Capt. Henry Garcia.

The team, hand-selected by the Wing Commander, embodies the core mission of SYSW in "developing, delivering and sustaining unrivaled space control capabilities," said Colonel Jordan. "We're in it to win!"

The wing is organized into two groups. The Space Situational Awareness Group provides the joint warfighter with "unrivaled space situational awareness, command and control (C2), and test capabilities," said Colonel Jordan, "whereas the Counterspace Group gives the warfighter both offensive and defensive capabilities."

Together, these two components make up the 300-person wing and 1,000-person industry team at multiple locations throughout the country to support operational systems worldwide, with a multibillion-dollar budget.

"Our wing directs the planning, development, testing, deployment and sustainment of a complex and dynamic portfolio of space-superiority capabilities of the highest national priority," said Colonel Jordan.

To that end, the GC 2010 SYSW team will compete in the Agile Acquisition event against other SMC acquisition wings. Team members will work together to analyze a given acquisition scenario to rapidly develop and brief an acquisition strategy to meet the urgent need or surge requirement with an accelerated timeline. The winner will bring home the Brigadier General William C. King Memorial Trophy and bragging rights.

"It is exciting to represent SYSW as a powerhouse in Acquisition Excellence," said Captain Garcia, SYSW GC program control officer. "This is a good opportunity to work on a team to develop the best solution to a scenario."

This is the first time that a SYSW team has participated in a Guardian Challenge competition. "It's great to see the acquisition arm of Air Force Space Command participate in such a prestigious competition that has traditionally been open only to the operational folks," said Captain Turner, SYSW GC contracting officer, who holds an SMC unlimited warrant.

"We love challenges," said Major Raley, director of engineering for the Rapid Reaction Squadron, and team lead for the 2009 Air Force Engineering Team of the Year. "This is also a chance to broaden our understanding of other acquisition disciplines on the team. Ultimately, our goal is to capture the King trophy."

The challenge is now laid out for other SMC's wings to take up the gauntlet and answer the call.