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SecDef Presents Packard Award to SMC's AEHF Team

The AEHF Team receives the 2014 DoD Packard Award at a ceremony at the Pentagon, May 21.  Pictured from left to right are: Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Col. Stephen Purdy, Col. (ret) Rodney Miller, William Althoff, Maj. Darrell Grob, Maj. Alicia Abrams, Col. (sel) Shawn McCamish and Undersecretary of Defense (AT&L)  Frank Kendall.

The AEHF Team receives the 2014 DoD Packard Award at a ceremony at the Pentagon, May 21. Pictured from left to right are: Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Col. Stephen Purdy, Col. (ret) Rodney Miller, William Althoff, Maj. Darrell Grob, Maj. Alicia Abrams, Col. (sel) Shawn McCamish and Undersecretary of Defense (AT&L) Frank Kendall.

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall presented the U.S. Air Force's Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite team with the 2014 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award at a Pentagon ceremony.

The Packard Award is the DoD's highest acquisition team award recognizing DoD organizations for innovation and best acquisition practices.  The award, first established in 1997, is named after David Packard who co-founded Hewlett-Packard and served as the deputy defense secretary from 1969 to 1971.  As deputy defense secretary, he made excellence in DoD acquisition practices a top priority. 
 
The AEHF program office was recognized for implementing a revolutionary Block Buy space acquisition strategy to procure the fifth and sixth AEHF satellites as one buy.  This strategy, coupled with additional affordability initiatives, resulted in a net savings of $1.6 billion compared to buying the two satellites separately.  In addition to this work, the AEHF team operationally accepted the Increment 5 ground system software along with launching, checking-out and transferring operations of the third AEHF satellite.  The cost savings enabled the initiation of the Military Satellite Communications Space Modernization Initiative.  The initiative represents the investment plan to sustain and enhance current program-of-record systems while progressing to more affordable and resilient future systems, ensuring the nation will continue to have the most advanced satellite communications capabilities in the world. 

The AEHF Team is the first Space and Missile Systems Center team to win the award since 1999 when the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle System Program Office won.  AEHF provides survivable, secure, protected, and jam-resistant communications for high-priority users, including the President of the United States, strategic and tactical warfighters, and international partners- Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.