2015 Alaska Missile Defender of the Year

Anchorage, Alaska / May 16, 2015

The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance held its second annual Alaska Missile Defender of the Year Award Ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, May 16, honoring those members of the Alaska Army and Air National Guard who operate the U.S. Ground Based Midcourse System.

The top award presented was the Ted Stevens Memorial Award for missile defense, in honor of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, a champion for national missile defense.

The Winners of the Ted Stevens Memorial Award in 2015 are:

Captain Eric L. Vantrease

Chief Standardization and Evaluation Officer, 213th Space Warning Squadron

Alaska Air National Guard

 Master Sergeant Thomas E. Wright II

Assistant Operation Superintendent, 13th/23th Space Wing Squadron

Alaska Air National Guard

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The Winners of the 2015 Missile Defender of the Year of the Alaska Air National Guard are:

First Lieutenant Micah Hanauer

Crew Commander, Missile Warning Operations Center, 213th SWS

Technical Sergeant Brian C. Rowbotham

Crew Chief, Missile Warning Operations Center, 213th SWS

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The Winners of the 2015 Missile Defender of the Year Award for Best Crew are:

Alpha Crew, 49th Missile Defense Battalion, Alaska Army National Guard

Major Jeremy Shepherd

Senior Tactical Director

Captain Gilberto Ortiz

Battle Analyst/Deputy Director

First Lieutenant Cody J. Hennelly

Sensor Operator

Staff Sergeant Michael Diachenko

Engagement Control Team Leader

Sergeant Josef R. Carstens

Communications Operator

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Distinguished guests and presenters included U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK); Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Admiral James Syring; Commander of U.S. Alaska Command, Lieutenant General Russell Handy; Assistant Adjutant General of the Alaska Army National Guard Colonel Joseph Streff; Commander of the 213th Space Warning Squadron Lieutenant Colonel John Oberist; and the publisher of the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Dispatch, Ms. Alice Rogoff.

Defenders of the Year

International Cooperation