AFRL Space Vehicles, Directed Energy Directorate personnel honored

  • Published
  • By Santana Ortiz
  • Air Force Research Laboratory
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL) - The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles and Directed Energy Directorates honored the outstanding achievements of 70 Air Force and Space Force individuals and teams during their 2020 Phillips Research Site Annual Awards. 
The virtual ceremony was held February 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 (AFRL/RD), and Col. Eric Felt, Director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV), honored the achievements of the winners and commended the work taking place in the laboratories.
250 members of the AFRL workforce tuned in to the ceremony that featured 40 award categories that ranged from mentorship to technology transfer, highlighting the outstanding efforts in both the Directed Energy and Space Vehicles 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 Directed Energy Director position, and in my nine years in the front office, I don’t think the teaming between Directed Energy and Space Vehicles 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 (CKMA) 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 Directed Energy and Space Vehicles 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.

AFRL Annual Directed Energy and Space Vehicles Award Winners
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)

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) 

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 to 
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
RV Strategic Deterrence Ground Research Team (RVB)
About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: