Tuesday, November 03, 2015

General Lance W. Lord Award recognizes top 21st OG Airmen

By Senior Airman Rose Gudex
21st Space Wing Public Affairs

11/3/2015 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- The 2014 General Lance W. Lord Awards for Superior Space Operational Leadership was held Oct. 26 at the Peterson Club to recognize members and units for going above and beyond.

The General Lord Award annually recognizes an outstanding unit, civil service employee, enlisted member and company grade officer assigned to the 21st Operations Group who performed ahead of their peers in job performance, professionalism and dedication, resulting in successful completion of the group's mission.

Col. Troy Endicott, 21st OG commander, began the event reminding us of a General Lord quote that said "if you're not in space, you're not in the race." He added it's not the older generation of Air Force commanders and senior level leaders who are going to come up with new changes to how things are done in space. It's the young Airmen and NCOs who will do so.

General Lord, who retired in 2006 as the commander of Air Force Space Command, was in attendance to present the awards. Before recognizing the award winners, Lord took time to share stories of his experiences and highlight the importance of each Airman, no matter the rank.

"This is not a top-down organization - it's front to back," he said. "Whether you're a civilian, an Airman or an officer, you're in an important position,"

The 2014 General Lord Award winners for each category include: Ken Stahura, 7th Space Warning Squadron, civilian category; Staff Sgt. Robert Lammi, 16th Space Control Squadron, enlisted category; 1st Lt. Benjamin Brinich, 6th Space Warning Squadron, officer category; 20th Space Control Squadron, unit category.

Stahura directed four main projects worth $45 million and were key to the unit's "highly effective" wing inspection team rating. He executed the budget of $234,000 for 21st OG's newest training detachment and locked in $30,000 for a new classified computer switching system, which improved the secure communications for a 40 percent increase in capability.

Lammi supported a U.S. Embassy evacuation mission by protecting eight Rwandan Patriotic Army links within the Libya area of responsibility, allowing 100 State Department members to return safely from the country. He also supported the first ever F-22 Raptor combat sorties by protecting vital targeting links, resulting in the destruction of an Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham Headquarters facility.

Brinich directed a subject matter expert team to produce 78 hours of advanced training to instruct operations personnel on adversary threats. He built 18 mission plans and custom tactics for high-interest launches, which resulted in the optimal tracking of 15 foreign threats. Brinich also developed a 260-hour mission commander program for experienced operators, which allowed for 18 successful launches.

The 20 SPCS collected 11 million observations on earth-orbiting satellites, including debris, allied systems and adversary systems. They increased lost object detection by 200 percent by creating specialized radar search fences based on orbital predictions and founded a multi-national space situational awareness working group, which identified more than 30 cutting edge initiatives and optimized space operations for the joint fight.

Wrapping up the awards ceremony, Col. Douglas Schiess, 21st Space Wing commander, talked about his experiences working with Lord at a previous assignment and how the space world is still reaping the benefits of Lord's initiative and innovation.
Lord, the nominees and each award winner set the bar high for others following in their footsteps, making excellence the standard in space.

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