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Remote Sensing Personnel Give Back to Their Communities


The California- and Colorado- based military, civilian and contractor team who make up the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Remote Sensing Directorate  are known for their mission to provide global, persistent, infrared surveillance and environmental monitoring capabilities to our warfighters and the nation. But when they’re not working this global mission, their focus is on giving back to their local communities in a myriad of different ways.

Helping those most in need is a priority for the RS team.  Olga Chachere is a member of the African America Quilters of Los Angeles, whose Caring Hearts mission is to make and donate quilts and blankets.  Tena Cessna supports her church by growing and distributing fresh produce for local food banks.  Steve Pressey from Colorado and a team of officers in California volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.  Lt. Jordan Streby donates his time with “at risk” youth as part of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, and Robby Lewis was recently featured in an ABC news story for his work to raise money for a local food kitchen. 

Additionally, RS personnel focus on educating children, some of whom will likely be among the next generation of space professionals, through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities. Among those giving of their time and talents are 1st Lt. Staci Rouse, who volunteers as a middle and high school math tutor and Timothy Cassidy-Curtis, who represents the U.S. Space Exploration Program by explaining various aspects of the space program to the public.  More than a dozen RS team members, including Capt. Willie Haw, volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club’s STELLAR XPLORERS program which immerses children in simulated aspects of the space program through a space system design competition. 

The RS team also works with the veteran community.  2nd Lt. Jesse Nguyen volunteers monthly at the Bob Hope USO located at Los Angeles International Airport, providing morale and recreation services to traveling military families and retirees.  Capt. Mark Topino and 1st Lt. Daniel Jones spend time with injured veterans at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital’s spinal cord unit bingo night.  And many RS team members took part in the recent POW/MIA Torch Relay run.  This 24-hour, 54-mile run honors our country’s POW/MIA personnel by demonstrating that they will never be forgotten. 

The many ways the RS team is involved with the local community are too numerous to capture in a single story.  RS volunteers come from all ranks, grades, and geographic locations.  The common thread is that the volunteers believe that the sense of pride and accomplishment they receive from their volunteerism proves that it is truly better to give than to receive.