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With the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which the United States and Canada established 57 years ago this month, together with our U.S. Northern Combatant Command (USNORTHCOM), established in October of 2002 for the defense of the North America, MDAA recognized with honor and dignity the 2015 NORAD & US NORTHCOM Missile Warning and Defenders of the Year. The event was held last Friday evening, May 29th in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the base of Cheyenne Mountain and the home of Peterson Air Force Base which houses both NORAD and USNORTHCOM’s command headquarters. At our ceremony, Commander of U.S. Space Command General John Hyten (USAF), USNORTHCOM Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Michael Dubie (USAF), and incoming NORAD Deputy Commander Major General Pierre St. Amand (RCAF) bestowed recognition and honor upon the four winners, the eight nominees, and one career achievement awardee, all of whom were selected by their respective commands for their excellence in leadership in 2015.

As one of our nation’s closest allies and neighbor, Canada is absolutely instrumental in the mission to detect and track airborne and space threats into North America. The validation and early queuing of these threats by the operators in NORAD to both operators manning U.S. defensive systems in NORTHCOM and strategic offensive systems under the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is the core foundation for our nation’s deterrence in preventing nuclear war. It is in this framework that we recognized both our missile warning operators and our missile defense operators in their battle management communications and control of these complex critical sensor and weapon systems that defend the 417 million people in Canada and the United States. These individuals have been singled out by their peers, commanders, and those under their command for this special recognition of their excellence in leadership and performance. They are shaping both the present and the future with their compelling ability to lead by action in their duties, setting standards of excellence for those that follow, and accomplishing their mission to keep North American secure.

“The people we have operating those systems are truly the ones who make the magic happen…. (w)hat they do day in and day out with our Canadian partners in particular is truly remarkable. –
General John Hyten, May 29, 2015

“NORAD has created a missile warning mission for many years and we have never failed for good reason that it is a hopeful mission. We have great capabilities, but the people really make a difference. We have many bright and talented men and women that are ready for anything that may come at us” –
Maj Gen Pierre St. Amand, May 29 , 2015

“So all the sophisticated radar and the satellites that we talk about, we have all of these really complicated things, but compared to the people… it is all about the people and it will always be about the people. It’s not about the technology. It’s about the people that do this every day and put their heart and soul into it. –
Lt Gen Michael Dubie, May 29, 2015

On behalf of our Alliance, we are proud to announce the nominees and award winners for MDAA’s third annual NORAD & USNORTHCOM Missile Warning and Defender of the Year for 2015:

USNORTHCOM Missile Defender of the Year (Military)

Lieutenant Colonel Scott M. Dellinger (USA)

Chief, BMD Employment and Execution Branch

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US NORTHCOM Missile Defender of the Year (Civilian)

Mr. Eugene C. Nixon (CIV)

USAF Civilian/Ballistic Missile Defense Future Operations Test Planner at USNORTHCOM

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US NORTHCOM Missile Defense Career Achievement Awardee

Mr. Steven G. Allen (CIV)

Deputy Division Chief, Ballistic Missile Defense Team

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NORAD Missile Warning Professional of the Year

Lieutenant Colonel Adam B. Curtis (USAF)

Branch Chief for Readiness and Sustainment Programs

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NORAD Missile Warning Professional of the Year Nominees

Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Patton (USAF)

Chief, NORAD/NORTHCOM Current Operations Center Standardization and Evaluations Branch

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Lieutenant Colonel David R. Meakins (USA)

Missile Defense Officer (MDO) Domain Chief

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Major William H. Bones (USAF)

Deputy Chief, Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment Branch, HQ Norad J36

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Major William L. Smith (RCAF)

Chief, Missile and Space Domain

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Captain Harry Thoms (USA)

Senior Evaluator, Missile and Space Domain (MSD) Standards, Training and Evaluations, Division J33

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Master Sergeant Carlos H. Cisneros (USAF)

Superintendent, NORAD/NORTHCOM Current Operations Center Standards, Training and Evaluations Division 

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Staff Sergeant Matthew A. Morse (USAF)

Missile and Space Domain (MSD) NCO

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Master Corporal Caroline Chartrand (RCAF)

Air Domain Technician and Missile and Space NCO

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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.