MDA general awards medals to three Vandenberg officers
By Senior Airman Stephen Cadette , 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 11, 2008
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Three company grade officers in the 1st Air and Space Test Squadron received joint service medals from a Missile Defense Agency program director on March 7.
Brig. Gen. Gary Connor, Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Joint Program Office director, presented 1st Lt. Derek Gilman with the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Capt. Jeremy Weiss and 1st Lt. Daniel Carroll with Joint Service Achievement Medals for their work with MDA on the FTG-03a interceptor mission back in September 2007.
The mission was made possible through their work as launch mission managers, said Lt. Col. Steve Behrens, 30th Launch Group deputy commander.
"One thing I love to foot-stomp is our launch mission managers. You could say they're at the pointy end of the spear. Together with the program support manager under the ops group, the launch mission manager is the launch mission leader from the wing. They are the workers behind the scenes making it all happen - young officers empowered with a lot of responsibility," Colonel Behrens said.
Lieutenant Gilman was launch mission manager on the FTG-03a interceptor mission. As lead integrator for the 30th Space Wing, he was the go-between for the wing and Missile Defense Agency. His weekly launch operations working groups made an open forum for all wing agencies to discuss and resolve issues. Lieutenant Gilman then represented this information to Ground-based Mid-course Defense working groups. Responsible for $9 million in GMD funding, Lieutenant Gilman directed the recovery and redistribution of $321,000 to mission costs, according to his award citation.
Captain Weiss and Lieutenant Carroll served as deputy launch mission managers.
As the lead for scheduling, Captain Weiss deconflicted many pre-mission tests within the Western Range. He saved over $100,000 and reduced equipment usage by 30 percent, according to his award citation. He also helped solve a challenging telemetry transmission problem throughout the Western Range, providing real-time boost vehicle health and status at the Launch Control Center.
Lieutenant Carroll was the lead for interceptor data systems expansion. He planned, documented and implemented several communications and data systems expansion efforts. During exercises he sat on console to ensure requirements were fully implemented. His focus on the mission during countdown-training and readiness tests helped identify and resolve communications anomalies.
On launch day Lieutenant Carroll's efforts in maintaining a fully-operational state of all communications hardware, software and pathways enabled flawless execution of the FTG-03a intercept. Captain Weiss' consolidated reports of pertinent interceptor and Western Range readiness provided the Ground-based Interceptor Project manager the necessary information to recommend proceeding through the launch countdown. And Lieutenant Gilman provided essential recommendations enabling the joint management team to make a well-informed go or no-go decision.
"I feel honored that Lieutenant Gilman, Lieutenant Carroll and I were recognized by the Missile Defense Agency for all the hard work we did for their FTG-03a launch campaign," Captain Weiss said. "It was especially nice that they realized how much work is done somewhat behind the scenes besides the on-console tests and launch day. It was great being a part of that mission, and I feel proud to be able to work with all the great people who had a part in making the mission a success."
Vandenberg successfully supports MDA interceptor launch