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46th Annual AFA Salute to SMC

Members of the Space and Missile Systems Center and the 61st Air Base Group attend the 46th Annual Air Force Association “Salute to SMC” event at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Oct. 27, 2020. Fifteen members were honored during this year’s ceremony for their dedication, ingenuity and contributions to the U.S. Air and Space Force mission. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van De Ha)

Members of the Space and Missile Systems Center and the 61st Air Base Group attend the 46th Annual Air Force Association “Salute to SMC” event at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Oct. 27, 2020. Fifteen members were honored during this year’s ceremony for their dedication, ingenuity and contributions to the U.S. Air and Space Force mission. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van De Ha)

Members of the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and the 61st Air Base Group gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of fifteen recipients during the 46th annual Air Force Association Salute to SMC. (U.S. Space Force graphic by Chip Pons)

Members of the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and the 61st Air Base Group gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of fifteen recipients during the 46th annual Air Force Association Salute to SMC. (U.S. Space Force graphic by Chip Pons)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander, addresses attendees of the 46th Annual Air Force Association “Salute to SMC” event at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Oct. 27, 2020. Thompson outlined the accomplishments of the fifteen honorees and the impact they’ve each had on the U.S. Air and Space Force mission. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van De Ha)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander, addresses attendees of the 46th Annual Air Force Association “Salute to SMC” event at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Oct. 27, 2020. Thompson outlined the accomplishments of the fifteen honorees and the impact they’ve each had on the U.S. Air and Space Force mission. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van De Ha)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- Members of the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and the 61st Air Base Group gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of fifteen recipients during the 46th annual Air Force Association Salute to SMC, here.

Emceed by retired U.S. Air Force Col. Arnie Streland, attendees watched, both in-person and virtually, as Lt. Gen. John Thompson, SMC commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Lisa Arnold, SMC command chief, presented this years’ recipients their much deserved awards.

“Today, we celebrate the accomplishments of military and civilian personnel within the SMC community,” said Streland. “Our chapter began a close affiliation with SMC over forty years ago, and in due course, we began a formal recognition of the dedication, ingenuity, and hard work of SMC personnel. While we honor specific individual and team achievements, it’s important to remember what you, the U.S. Space Force, SMC and our industry partners do every day in service of our nation.”

The 2020 AFA Salute to SMC Award Recipients are:

Col. Dennis Bythewood, Lt. Gen. John W. O’Neill Award for Outstanding Senior Leader

Lt. Col. Stephen Brogan, Lt. Gen. Kenneth W. Schultz Award for Outstanding Program Manager

Capt. Carlo Viray, Lt. Gen. Richard C. Henry Leadership Award for Outstanding Officer or Senior Non-Commissioned Officer

Lt. Marcy Gouri, Gen. Samuel C. Phillips Award for Outstanding Young Engineer/Scientist

Dr. Roberta Ewart, Dr. Alfred Rockefeller Jr. Award for Outstanding Civilian

Capt. Hannah Best, Lt. Gen. Forrest S. McCartney Award for Outstanding Company Grade Officer

Staff Sgt. Katie Baker, Lt. Gen. Roger G. DeKok Award for Outstanding Airman

Aaron Schlom, Gen. Bernard A Schriever Chapter’s Award of Excellence

Maj. Anna Fedotova, Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Grade Officer

Tech. Sgt. Tia Morgan, President’s Award for Outstanding Non-Commissioned Officer

Capt. Jennifer Nerlinger, Gen. Schriever Chapter’s Award for Outstanding Company Grade Officer of the Year (Under four years)

Maj. Jordan Way, Maj. Gen. Thomas D. Taverney Award for Outstanding Reservist

Cross Mission Ground and Communications Enterprise, Gen. Schriever Chapter’s Unit of the Year Award

Dr. Raymond Warriner, Kathleen L. Landis Award for Outstanding Volunteer

Maj. Richard Lanser, Col. Larry C. Jackson Award for Mission Assurance Excellence

“As the Commander of SMC I get to participate in a whole host of events each year but this is one of my favorites,” Thompson said during his remarks. “I am honored to be able to recognize these individuals and teams who are doing incredible things for the mission, the people, and the community.”

“Your achievements are truly impressive,” he continued. “The capabilities and systems you all enabled are key elements of our national security strategy and provide unmatched capabilities to our warfighters. This has been a challenging year. As the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the world, we’ve had to rethink how we operate, how we do business with our partners in industry and other organizations and develop new strategies for executing the mission.”

Speaking directly to the award recipients, Thompson challenged the honorees to pass on the knowledge they’ve obtained as they progress in their careers.

“Share your insights, perspectives and lessons learned,” Thompson said. “Don’t leave your current job without passing along your hard-earned knowledge to those around you. The challenges we face are complex and dynamic. We must be a learning organization - one that is capable of quickly and effectively sharing knowledge and insights between peers and up and down the chain of command.”