2nd SWS takes AFSPC’s best space warning squadron award
By Janet Watkins, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 23, 2011
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo- -- The 460th Space Wing recently carried off three of Air Force Space Command's most coveted awards - the General Seth J. McKee Award for AFSPC's Best Space Warning Squadron; AFSPC's Instructor/Evaluator of the Year, Officer Category I; and the AFSPC Instructor/Evaluator of the Year, Officer Category II.
On June 13, Gen. William L. Shelton, AFSPC commander, announced the 2010 AFSPC Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations Award winners. "The command takes great pride in announcing the winners of the 2010 Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations Awards. These awards honor AFSPC's most outstanding operations units and individuals."
The citation accompanying the General Seth J. McKee Award recounts the 2nd Space Warning Squadron's "comprehensive, timely and accurate missile warning during over 17,500 operational hours... Additionally, the unit implemented multiple quality initiatives extending constellation operations to over 278 percent of its design life... Furthermore, the 2nd Space Warning Squadron's excellence was evident when the wing was awarded an "Excellent" operations rating during the 2010 Air Force Space Command Inspector General no-notice Operational Readiness Inspection and Unit Compliance Inspection."
"The 2nd SWS is thrilled to close out the decade with the McKee trophy back where it belongs," said Lt. Col. Jennifer K. Jenkins, 2nd SWS commander, who was fired up about the awards. "It was an outstanding year for the squadron, breaking new ground in missile warning and message dissemination testing and operations.
"Earning the McKee trophy really represents all the great work of a larger Spaced Based Infrared System team: our Foreign Mission Partners; our reserve associate unit, the 8th SWS; the Operations Support Squadron and Evaluations team; our partners from the System Program Office; our Security Forces and Civil Engineering partners here behind the fence; and the great contractor team who works shoulder-to-shoulder with us across the many facets of our operations.
"The members of this squadron and the larger SBIRS team continue to be very proud of the important mission that 2nd SWS and the 460th Space Wing execute every day," said Colonel Jenkins.
1st Lt. Earl B. Alejandro, 2nd SWS, was conferred the AFSPC Instructor/Evaluator of the Year, Officer Category I Award. Lieutenant Alejandro was cited for skillful service and "sustained excellence" by Colonel Jenkins, who described the Lieutenant, "Lieutenant Alejandro is simply one of our best! An operator at heart, he has branched out into our engineering shop and further as a line instructor. He not only knows our system very well, but with a great attitude and big energy, Lieutenant Alejandro is a very effective instructor! We're very proud of him earning this well-deserved award!"
1st Lt. Christopher J. Barnes, 460th Operations Support Squadron, was bestowed the AFSPC Instructor/Evaluator of the Year, Officer Category II Award. Lieutenant Barnes was cited for his "top technical leadership skills," for his "amazing initiative," and as "a key contributor to the 2nd SWS AFSPC ORI 'Excellent' rating."
"Lieutenant Chris Barnes was recently named by the AFSPC/CC as the Major Command's Company Grade Officer Instructor of the Year for Category 2 (staff instructors)," said Lt. Col. Kyle Sanders, 460th Operations Support Squadron director of operations. "He was selected over more than 100 fellow Lieutenants and Captains from the cyber and space operations career fields. His outstanding accomplishments included being the number one of 54 SBIRS instructors, in charge of all aspects of operations training for over 160 operators. He was named the 460th SW Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Contributor Officer of the Year and his training program was identified by the 14th Air Force inspection team as a "Strength."