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Winners and presenters at the 2018 Alaska Missile Defender of the Year Award Ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska on May 19, 2018.

Winners associate with Winners and we associated with the 49th State of Alaska and it’s absolute critical and reliable capability to track and defeat everything North Korea has to strike the 50 United States. In a historic time and past year that these missile defense systems in Alaska, the Cobra Dane Radar, Upgraded Early Warning Radar at Clear Air Force Station (AFS), and 40 Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) at Fort Greely have helped to stabilize the world from North Korea and enabled denuclearization and peace treaty talks next month between President Trump and Kim Jung Un. No time in history has this ballistic missile defense capability been more critical to our National Security and those of South Korea and Japan than over this past year.

These 2018 best crews were selected through competition and skilled merit of excellence amongst their peers and teammates and are made up of Alaskan National Guard Airmen and Soldiers. We along with Major General Laurie Hummel, the Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard and the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and Brigadier General Tim Lawson, Deputy Commanding General for Operations at U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, with the missile defense enterprise in Alaska associated with these 2018 best missile defense crews and their families in their honor on Saturday night in Anchorage, Alaska. 

Our distinguished Senator Ted Stevens award, that goes to the best leader in missile defense, solider or airmen, for the State of Alaska in 2018 is Lieutenant Colonel Keith Grimes of the U.S. Air Force. His father, a former U.S Navy Pilot, Louis Grimes, presented the Ted Stevens award to his son. The award is named after Senator Ted Stevens, that led the development and deployment of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System in Alaska, that stands today defending the United States from ballistic missiles. Senator Stevens was Senator for the State of Alaska from 1968 to 2009.


Ft. Greely Base Defenders

SPC Jonathan Dasta Cortes


SGT Bryan Gonzalez Nieves


Ft. Greely Top Crew

SGT Bethany Hendren


SSG Josef Carstens


1LT Benjamin Maye


CPT Gilberto Ortiz


MAJ Bernard Smith


Clear AFS Base Defenders

SSgt Justin Smythson


TSgt Robert Ives


Clear AFS Top Crew

TSgt Kit Dawson


2d Lt. Sebastian Moore


Capt. Sarah Atherton 


Ted Stevens Memorial Awardee

Lt. Col. Keith Grimes


We as a nation can rest assure that these remarkable men and women of the Alaskan National Guard defend us from over the top of our nation.

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.