COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, UNITED STATES, December 26, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Space Force Association (SFA) is pleased to announce the winners of the first SFA awards program. The program is designed to recognize the “best of the best” in military space operations and will be an annual event. Individual award categories include Senior Officer of the Year, Junior Officer of the Year, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, Junior Enlisted of the Year, Senior Civilian of the Year, Mid-Tier Civilian of the Year, and Junior Civilian of the Year. Team award categories are Space Operations Crew of the Year and International Space Operations Crew of the Year. The 2022 Winners are listed below.
Bill Woolf (Col. USAF, ret.), founder and president of the Space Force Association commented on the award winners, “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. We are proud of all of our Guardians. They are all exceptional. The award winners represent the dedication and expertise of Space Force Guardians, they are the “best of the best”. Mr. Woolf continued, “The SFA is dedicated to supporting Guardians, and recognizing those who are doing exceptional work on behalf of our country’s warfighter efforts is part of that commitment. SFA is the only military organization whose sole focus is supporting the mission of the United States Space Force, its Guardians, and the partnerships necessary to achieve and maintain space superiority for the United States, its partners, and allies.”
Senior Officer of the Year: Major Kenneth M. Jenkins, 73rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron, Detachment 2, Osan AB, Republic of Korea. Maj. Kenneth M. Jenkins II is the Commander of the 73rd Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron, Detachment 2 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. He leads 31 Airmen and Guardians in a selectively manned, geographically separated United States Space Force unit, conducting Space Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) in support of six combatant commands shaping the National Defense Space Strategy.
Junior Officer of the Year: First Lieutenant Lt Benjamin D. Hagan, 4th Electromagnetic Warfare Squadron, Peterson SFB Colorado. First Lieutenant Benjamin D. Hagan is the Officer in Charge of Tactics Development at the 4th Electromagnetic Warfare Squadron. He is responsible for writing/updating the 3-1 for the Counter Communication System, writing tactics improvement proposals, mission planning/debriefing, and developing advanced training. Lt Hagan also leads Joint and Coalition integration efforts for the unit. While deployed, he commanded a four-member crew that executed over 4K hours of non-kinetic support to 23 missions in support of Operation JUNIPER SHIELD.
Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Senior Master Sergeant Daniel J. Hill, 8th Combat Training Squadron, Schriever SFB, Colorado. Senior Master Sergeant Hill serves as the Senior Enlisted Leader for the 8th Combat Training Squadron, Space Delta 8, Schriever SFB, Colorado. The 8th Combat Training Squadron provides qualification, upgrade, currency, continuation, and advanced training for Space Delta 8 personnel and ensures the delta’s orbital warfighters develop and maintain combat mission-readiness for all Space Delta 8 weapon systems. The 8 CTS provides training for four Operational Units and 226 students per year. SMSgt Hill provides leadership and guidance to the officer and enlisted forces of the 8 CTS while serving as an advisor to the unit commander on issues regarding readiness, training, and morale.
Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Technical Sergeant Wesley E. Bear, 57th Space Aggressor Squadron, Schriever SFB, Colorado. TSgt Wesley E Bear is originally from Cinnaminson, NJ. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in January of 2011 and transferred into the U.S. Space Force in Feb 2021. He deployed to Al Udeid AB, Qatar where he was vital to executing cyber requirements to advance the vetting process and aided with transitioning over 57K personnel through Al Udeid during Operation ALLIED REFUGE. Also, he filled as the Squadron Superintendent and was vital to driving expansive changes to orbital warfare training across the USSF.
Junior Enlisted of the Year: Senior Airman, Hanna Rica A. Tolfo, 71st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron, Detachment 4, Buckley SFB Colorado. Senior Airman Hanna Tolfo is an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Trainer for 71st ISR Squadron, Detachment 4 at Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado. She is responsible for instructing intelligence professionals within three Deltas and other units that support the Space-Based Infrared Systems satellite constellations and ground-based radar network. She conducts mission planning and intelligence support for the USSF’s $34 billion missile warning network.
Senior Civilian of the Year: Ms. Patricia M. O’Sullivan, 73rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Mrs. O’Sullivan serves as the Assistant Director of Operations for the 73rd ISR Squadron. She steers worldwide space ISR leading 228 personnel and managing $240 million of equipment and contracts across four geographically separated sites. She leverages her 20 years of service to propel partnerships and forge operational relationships across Space Operations Command Deltas and USSPACECOM to satisfy space intelligence needs and mission requirements.
Mid-tier Civilian of the Year: Ms. Michelle J. Madrid, Headquarters Section, Delta 2, Peterson SFB, Colorado. Michelle Madrid is the Budget Analyst for Space Delta 2 Headquarters, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. She is responsible for a $66M budget across 12 geographically separated units supporting worldwide operations of 10 weapon systems valued at $4.7B. She guided Delta 2 through the standup of 2 squadrons and the realignment of 5 detachments ensuring account transfers. She is referred to as the most experienced Budget Analyst across the Deltas by FIELDCOM S8.
Junior Civilian of the Year: Ms. Nadia E. ReyesCruz, 319th Combat Training Squadron, Peterson SFB, Colorado. Ms. Nadia ReyesCruz is an Air Force veteran, assigned to the 319 Combat Training Squadron as a unit Resource Advisor. She is a highly qualified, results-oriented individual with leadership experience in business administration, finances, quality assurance, and military training. Ms. ReyesCruz is responsible for creating and managing the squadron’s $12.3 million budget, liaising with squadron leadership on limiting factors and shortfalls pertaining to the squadron’s finances.
Team of the Year, SZIX Space Operations Team, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. The SSC/SZIX is a team of 15 Space Officers, 25 Space Enlisted, 2 Government Civilians, and 187 contractors that are responsible for all R&D pre-launch, launch, early orbit, and on-orbit satellite activities, as well as crew mission readiness activities, training, and certification for a unique $3B R&D satellite portfolio. This team performs these measures for 17 different classified missions for the DoD, NASA, IC, and multiple classified mission partners.
Congratulations to all of the SFA Award Winners.
About the Space Force Association:
The Space Force Association (SFA) is the only independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves as a professional military association whose sole focus is supporting the United States Space Force, United States Space Command, U.S. national spacepower at large, and our global partners and allies’ efforts in space exploration. Its core functions are to research, inform, and advocate to achieve superior spacepower by shaping a Space Force that provides credible deterrence in competition, dominant capability in combat, and professional services for all partners. In addition, the SFA has an essential function to provide support for the men and women of the U.S. Space Force. Membership is open to both military and civilians. For more information on the SFA, please visit ussfa.org
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