AFRL Honors 70 Air Force And Space Force Individuals, Teams During 2020 Phillips Research Site Awards Ceremony

Col. Eric Felt delivers remarks to a live Zoom audience during the Phillips Research site’s Annual Awards Ceremony as Dr. Kelly Hammett listens at left. Courtesy/AFRL

AFRL News:

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE — Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles and Directed Energy Directorates honored achievements of 70 Air Force and Space Force individuals and teams in their 2020 Phillips Research Site Annual Awards. 

The virtual ceremony was held Feb. 24. It illustrated how personnel from both directorates enabled the discovery, development and delivery of warfighting technologies for United States air, space and cyberspace forces. 

Dr. Kelly D. Hammett, Director of the AFRL Directed Energy Directorate, or RD, and Col. Eric Felt, Director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, or RV, honored the achievements of the winners and commended the work taking place in the laboratories.

Nearly 250 members of the AFRL workforce tuned in to the ceremony that featured 40 awards categories that ranged from mentorship to technology transfer, highlighting the outstanding efforts in both the RD and RV directorates. Winners went on to compete at the AFRL headquarters level, and brought back 11 victories for the New Mexico-based labs. 

“We’ve found a way today, to collectively celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of the Phillips Research Site’s workforce over the last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hammett said. “I’m extremely proud of both the nominees and the winners. In the five years in the RD Director position, and in my nine years in the front office, I don’t think the teaming between RD and RV has ever been better. It’s great to see the crossflow between the directorates.” 

“I am blown away by the quality of work being done across the whole organization,” Felt said. “We are in a great place in making contributions to the nation, and that’s due to the hard work and dedication of these teams who are able to produce incredible technologies, and it paid off with the impressive number of wins at the headquarters level!” 

Capt. James Schrock was the winner of the Director’s Cup Junior Force Award, and also prevailed at the competition at the headquarters level. He was honored for his efforts in Counter electronic Non-kinetic Microwave Attack technology, and for leadership as Chief of the Computational Physics Section.

“Our team invested many long and intense hours of work into CKMA, and it feels great to have that work recognized,” Schrock said. “I am separating from active duty this June, and I hope to stay on as a civilian here within the High Power Electromagnetics Division where I can continue working on fun and impactful projects. I have a strong desire to see high power electromagnetic weapons transition into the hands of the warfighter, and I want to be involved in that process.”  

Both Hammett and Felt expressed that it was an exciting time to be working in RD and RV considering all of the new and innovative opportunities arising, with the workforce prevailing during a worldwide pandemic.

“We were able to work and accomplish and do things this year, and not just hunker down and survive,” Hammett said. “We wouldn’t be sitting here celebrating these major accomplishments if we weren’t at work getting tremendous things done.” 

The Directed Energy Directorate leads the discovery, development, and integration of directed energy warfighting technologies in high energy lasers, electromagnetics and electro-optics for the nation’s air, space, and cyberspace forces.

Work at the Space Vehicles Directorate includes developing the latest space component technology, flying state-of-the-art satellite space experiments and ensuring that the United States Space Force maintains superiority in space. 

“We have unprecedented power to direct energy in a way that serves, protects and champions freedom. From powerful electromagnetics to electro-optics, we’re always exploring new ways to give our warfighters the upper-hand,” Hammett said.

Mentorship Award

  • RD Chung-Jen Tam (RDL)
  • RV Andrew Sinclair (RVS)

Directed Energy Directorate (RD) Giller Award

  • RD Solid State Laser Team (RDL)

Space Vehicles Directorate (RV) Wingman of the Year Award

  • RV Jeannette van den Bosch (RVB) 

Publication of the Year (Individual)

  • RD Robert Trevino (RDS)
  • RV Thomas Peng (RVS)

Publication of the Year (Team)

  • RD Brazed Cathode Team
  • RV VLF and Lightning Whistler Wave Modeling Team (RVB)

Technology Transfer and Transition Achievement Award (Individual)

  • RD Jason Hammond (RDH)
  • RV Apoorva Bhopale (RVS)

Technology Transfer and Transition Achievement Award (Team)

  • RD Dynamic Optical Telescope System (DOTS) Transition Team (RDS)
  • RV EAGLE Team (RVE)

Leadership Award

  • RD Capt. Benjamin Fried (RDS)
  • RV Capt. David Buehler (RVS)

Senior Leadership Award

  • RD Brad Hoff (RDH)
  • RV Stephanie Eddy (RVB) and AFRL HQ Winner

Supervisory Award

  • RD Maj. Ashley Hazel (RDH) and AFRL HQ Winner
  • RV Kevin Bryant (RVE)

Senior Administrative Excellence Award

  • RD Teresa Garcia (RDL)

Administrative Excellence Award

  • RD Nina LeBlanc (RDL)

Junior Mission Support Award

  • RD Billy Paney Jr. (RDS)
  • RV Diana Gonzalez (RVF)

Senior Mission Support Award

  • RD Courtney Smith (RDS)
  • RV Andrea Loper (RVB)

Mission Support Team Award

  • RD JWICS Cyber Team (RDM) 
  • RV Team RVF

Innovation Award

  • RD 1st Lt. Michael Sherburne (RDH)
  • RV Jonathan Allison (RVS) and AFRL HQ Winner

International Individual Award

  • RD Anthony Sanchez (RDL)
  • RV Capt. Jacob Singleton (RVS) and AFRL HQ Winner

International Team Award

  • RD International Fiber Laser Development Team (RDL)
  • RV Hybrid Architecture Demonstrations Team (RVE)

Scientific/Technical Technician Award

  • RD James Gardner (RDS)
  • RV Timothy Myers (RVB)

Scientific/Technical Technician Team Award

  • RD High Power Electromagnetic Testing Team (RDH)

General Raymond A. Gilbert Junior Scientific/Technical Achievement Award 

  • RD Brian Anderson (RDL)
  • RV Maxwell Gregoire (RVB)

Senior Scientific & Technical Achievement Award 

  • RD Chi Yang (RDL)
  • RV James Frith (RVS)

Scientific and Technical Achievement Team Award

  • RD Counter-electronic non-Kinetic Microwave Attack Team (CKMA) (RDH)
  • RV Very Low Frequency Propagation Mapper (VPM) Team)

RD Director’s Special Recognition Award

  • Susan Heidger Leadership of CKMA Team 

Scientific &Technical Management Award

  • RD John McCord (RDL)
  • RV Madeleine Naudeau (RVB) and AFRL HQ Winner

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year

  • RD TSgt Sofai Faumuina (RDS) 

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year

  • RD MSgt Christopher Lindsey (RDS)

Individual Mobilization Augmentee Field Grade Officer of the Year

  • RD Maj. Jay Hensley (RDH) and AFRL HQ Winner
  • RV Maj. Daniel Higgins (RVB)

Individual Mobilization Augmentee Company Grade Officer of the Year

  • RD Capt. Christopher O’Daniel (RDH) and AFRL HQ Winner
  • RV Capt. Kaitlin Zimmerman (RVS)

Company Grade Officer of the Year

  • RD Capt. Jennifer Ramos (RDL)
  • RV Capt. James Carpenter (RVB)

Field Grade Officer of the Year

  • RD Maj Devin Leong (RDS)
  • RV Maj. Gordon Lott (RVB)

Civilian of the Year Category I

  • RD Police Sgt Jeremy Maxey (RDS) and AFRL HQ Winner

Civilian of the Year Category II

  • RD Olivia Byrd (RDS)
  • RV Michael Lopez (RVE)

Civilian of the Year Category III

  • RD Michael Sheyka (RDL)
  • RV Melody Martinez (RVE)

Director’s Cup Junior Force Award

  • RD Capt. James Schrock (RDH) and AFRL HQ Winner
  • RV Andrew Metcalf (RVB)

Director’s Cup Sparks Award (RD Only Award) 

  • Amber Anderson (RDH)

Director’s Cup Dan Wilhelm (RV Only Award)  

  • Gabriel Mounce (RVS)

Director’s Cup R. Earl Good Team Award (RD Only Award)

  • VIDER Team (RDH) and CONUS/OCONUS Field Test Team (RDM)

Director’s Cup Dr. Harold Gardiner Team Award (RV Only Award)  

  • DSX Mission Team (RVB/RVE)

Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Senior Individual

  • RD Darren Luke (RDL)
  • RV Julie Smith (RVB) and AFRL HQ Winner

Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Junior Individual

  • RD Sean Baumann (RDS)
  • RV Benjamin Urioste (RVS)

Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Team Award

  • RD NOTT Team (RDS/RDH/RDM) and AFRL HQ Winner
  • RV Strategic Deterrence Ground Research Team (RVB)