Winning through R&D advancements and teamwork

  • Published
  • By Jeanne Dailey
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Research Laboratory Public Affairs
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL) - The Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate and Space Vehicles Directorate located at Kirtland AFB, held their annual awards ceremonies January 31 and February 9, respectively. Dozens of nominees and winners were recognized for excelling in the development of technologies supporting the warfighter and national defense, during 2021.
“Occasions like this are always humbling when we celebrate your amazing research and accomplishments,” said Col. Eric Felt, who leads the Space Vehicles Directorate. “It’s the teams working together to make each other a success – no one shines by themselves.”
Felt further elaborated that those recognized should not be surprised if they receive even more work because they have been seen for getting things done.
“You are accomplishing the mission I’ve given you to ‘go beat China’ with your great innovations,” he continued.
Dr. Kelly Hammett, who leads the Directed Energy Directorate, complimented each of his nominees and winners for their many accomplishments during the past year.
“2021 was an incredibly successful year for the Directed Energy Directorate, and I am proud of you and the work you are doing for the Air Force and Space Force,” Hammett said. “It’s thrilling to see the advancements you have made this year in all of our technical areas – high power electromagnetics and laser system development, and in our space electro-optics operations, as we protect the nation through space domain awareness.”
Hammett and Felt expressed their thanks to the supervisors who took the time to nominate their scientists, engineers, technical and support staff, while recognizing it was a tough year as their directorates maneuvered through COVID-19 constraints.
AFRL 2021 Directed Energy Directorate award winners
Mentorship Award:  Dr. Mark Spencer 
Giller Award:  Dr. Jeanne Riga 
Publication of the Year Individual Award:  Dr. Jake Grosek 
Publication of the Year Team Award:  Falquon Team 
Technology Transfer/Transition Achievement Individual Award:  Amber Anderson 
Technology Transfer/Transition Achievement Team Award:  THOR Deployment Team 
Junior Mission Support Award:  Jeffrey Ochoa 
Gen Raymond A. Gilbert, Junior Scientific/Technical Achievement Award:  Dr. Kelsey Miller 
Leadership Award:  Capt. Samuel Kent 
Senior Leadership Award:  Millay Petersen 
Supervisory Award:  Capt. Joseph Connelly 
Senior Administrative Excellence Award:  Sandi Ortega 
Mission Support Individual Award:  Mona Lisa Villegas 
Mission Support Team Award:  Facilities Team 
International Award Individual:  Dr. Wilkin Tang 
International Award Team:  Guidestar Team 
Innovation Award:  Hugh Pohl 
Scientific/Technical Technician Individual Award:  Jason Grabke 
Scientific/Technical Technician Team Award:  Effects Field Test Logistics Team 
Senior Scientific/Technical Achievement Individual Award:  Dr. Timothy Fleming 
Senior Scientific/Technical Achievement Team Award:  Semiconductor Laser Team 
Scientific/Technical Management Award:  Jose Chacon
Director’s Cup Junior Force Award:  Dr. Noah Van Zandt 
Director’s Cup Sparks Award:  Dr. Susan Heidger 
Director’s Cup R. Earl Good Team Award:  AMOS Team 
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Junior Force Achievement Award:  Capt. Jack Waller 
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Senior Achievement Award:  Dr. Stephen Massey 
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Team Award:  Rapid Response Team 
Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:  Tech. Sgt. Jesse Reyes 
Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:  Master Sgt. Matthew Walsh 
Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) Company Grade Officer of the Year:  Capt. Christopher O’Daniel 
IMA Field Grade Officer of the Year:  Maj. Kelly Sibert 
Company Grade Officer of the Year:  1st. Lt. Tylar Hanson 
Field Grade Officer of the Year:  Maj. Nathan Haluska 
Civilian of the Year Category I:  Police Sgt. Timothy Cooley 
Civilian of the Year Category II:  Heather Sommerdyke 
Civilian of the Year Category III:  Dr. Jason Hammond
AFRL 2021 Space Vehicles Directorate award winners.
Mentorship Award:  Dr. Frederick Schult
Wingman of the Year Award:  2nd Lt. Simone Smith
Publication of the Year Individual:  Dr. Khanh Pham
Publication of the Year Team:  ASETS Team
Technology Transfer/Transition Achievement Award Individual:  Dr. Lauren Hunt
Technology Transfer/Transition Achievement Award Team:  Thermal Team
Leadership Award:  Dr. Andrew Metcalf
Senior Leadership Award:  Gabriel Mounce
Supervisory Award:  Maj. Matthew Booth
Junior Mission Support Excellence Award:  Jennifer Butler
Senior Mission Support Excellence Award:  Stacy Schramm
Mission Support Excellence Team Award:  RVFC Team
Innovation Award:  Dr. Brian Kasch
International Individual Award:  Ronald Caton
International Team Award:  Hybrid Architecture Demonstrations-Microsatellite Military Utility Team
Scientific/Technical Technician AwardTimothy Myers
General Raymond A. Gilbert Junior Scientific/Technical Achievement Award:  Adam Reinelt
Senior Scientific/Technical Achievement Award:  Dr. Spencer Olson
Scientific/Technical Achievement Team Award:  XVI Team
Scientific/Technical Management Award:  Arron Layns
Civilian of the Year Category I:  Jesse Holly
Civilian of the Year Category II:  Jesse Olson
Civilian of the Year Category III:  Larry Parten
IMA Company Grade Officer of the Year:  Capt. Dustin Strickland
IMA Field Grade Officer of the Year:  Lt. Col. Julio Villafuerte
Company Grade Officer of the Year:  1st Lt. Samuel Kreimier
Field Grade Officer of the Year:  Lt. Col. Stephen Jimenez
Director’s Cup Junior Force Award:  Apoorva Bhopale
Director’s Cup Dan Wilhelm Award:  Dr. Steven Lane
Director’s Cup Dr. Harold Gardiner Team Award:  Bermuda Triangle Experiment Team
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Junior Individual:  Maj. Timothy Allen
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Senior Individual:  Bianca Prumo
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Team Award:  Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Team
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 11,500 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: