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Riki Ellison (left), Brigadier General Kirk Pierce (back left), and Congressman Doug Lamborn (right) (CO-5) with the awardees at the 2018 NORAD & USNORTHCOM Missile Warning and Defender of the Year Award Ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 1, 2018.

Along the Colorado Rockies, a mountain range that spans North America, upon the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain and Pikes Peak, we honored North America’s best Missile Warning and Defenders of this past year in their vital roles of leadership for the safety of the North American Continent under the commands of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), and Strategic Command (STRATCOM). Based out of Peterson Air Force Base (AFB) in Colorado Springs and Buckley AFB, Colorado, these Airmen, Soldiers, and Civilians whom span both Canadian and American services provide the space tracking and identification of ballistic missile threats for NORAD and STRATCOM, and the firing solutions for NORTHCOM, the operational command authority for this “No Fail” mission. It is a critical collection of team cross COCOM capability and leadership that has provided stability and peace to the population of North American over the past year from the North Korean nuclear ballistic missile threat. The excellence exemplified and recognized last Friday night is enabling the upcoming June 12 talks of peace and denuclearization between President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and whatever the outcomes and ramifications from these talks will be to North America.

This marks the sixth annual NORAD & USNORTHCOM Missile Warning and Defender of the Year award ceremony and the first time Airmen from the 460th Operations Group, out of Buckley AFB who fall under STRATCOM, have been recognized at this event. The NORAD & USNORTHCOM Missile Warning and Defender of the Year was established around NORAD’s anniversary on May 12 and President Ronald Reagan’s 1979 visit to Cheyenne Mountain, where he learned the U.S. had no defenses against Russian nuclear ballistic missiles.

We bring forward the recognized North American leaders of excellence in a “No Fail” mission for the populations of North America.

 

460th Operation Group Awardees 

SrA Jacquelynne Kidd

SrA Julianne Loli

SrA Roy McDavid

SSgt Diego Rojas

TSgt Bradley Bahley

MSgt Jonathan Lubuguin

1st Lt. Marques Stevenson

1st Lt. John Bierman

Capt. Nathan Beckler

Capt. Mark Conque 

NORAD Awardees and Nominees 

MSgt Clint Gust
NORAD NCO Missile Warning Professional of the Year Awardee 

Lt. Col. Mark Payton
NORAD Officer Missile Warning Professional of the Year Awardee 

TSgt Michael Benson
NORAD NCO Missile Warning Professional of the Year Nominee 

TSgt Jeremiah Grenfell
NORAD NCO Missile Warning Professional of the Year Nominee 

Maj. Justin Jones
NORAD Officer Missile Warning Professional of the Year Nominee 

Lt. Col. John Ferko
NORAD Officer Missile Warning Professional of the Year Nominee 

NORTHCOM Awardees and Nominees 

Mr. Anhtuan Wilson
NORTHCOM Civilian Missile Defender of the Year Awardee 

Maj. Michelle Olinger
NORTHCOM Military Missile Defender of the Year Awardee

MAJ Edward Ziembinski
NORTHCOM Military Missile Defender of the Year Nominee 

LTC Michael Tobey
NORTHCOM Career Achievement Awardee 

COL John Wanat
NORTHCOM Career Achievement Awardee

Click here to see the event program, listen to audio of the event, and see more pictures from the event.

 

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Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.

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