In the heart of Germany along the banks of the Rhine River, is Cologne a majestic city landmarked by one of the most historic cathedrals ever to be built. Cologne is home to the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, who command the ballistic missile defense and air defense for Germany. It is on the Air Force Barracks Cologne that we hosted together with Germany – Brigadier General Michael Gschossmann, Commander of the base and the Ground-based Units Air Forces Command and Lieutenant General Dieter Naskrent, the Vice Chief of the German Luftwaffe – for a historic first time the 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year. Eight outstanding leaders of excellence in the mission of ballistic missile defense of Europe, defending 750 million Europeans, were honored for their tremendous impact to their unit and their commanders in their execution, leadership and initiative. These sailors, soldiers, airmen and civilians, from the rank of Specialist to Commander, came from four NATO nations – Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and the United States, along with NATO – that represent the tip of the arrow and the heart of the mission for the ballistic missile defense of Europe.
Led by General Tod Walters, Commander, U.S. Air Force in Europe, U.S. Air Forces Africa, Allied Air Command, Director, Joint Air Power Competence Centre and Admiral Michelle Howard, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, were the NATO BMD leaders and commanders present acknowledging and providing recognition of the magnificent eight European Missile Defenders. This included Lieutenant General Dieter Naskrent, Major General Martin Wijnen, Deputy Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army, Military Governor of the Capital (Amsterdam), Inspector of the Reserve Personnel of the Royal Netherlands Army, Brigadier General Michael Gschossmann, Brigadier General Kevin Huyck, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at NATO’s Headquarters Allied Air Command, Brigadier General Timothy Daugherty, Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Army Europe, Brigadier General David Baczewski, Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. European Command, Colonel Maurizio Pennarola, Deputy Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Program Office and Services at the NATO, Italy, Communications and Information Agency, and Mr. Peter Woodmansee, Chief, Integrated Air & Missile Defense & Program Manager, Headquarters U.S. European Command.
Setting the environment and tone of the event, Mrs. Gisela Manderla, Parliamentarian Member of the Deutsche Bundestag and member of the defense committee, provided the opening remarks.
As NATO pools its air and missile defense capabilities and resources to face the challenges of today and the future, it is the human element of trust and relationship building between the 28 NATO nations that is the most critical factor of success for this mission in the defense of 750 million Europeans.
Click here to learn more about the event and awardees, see additional pictures from the event, and listen to an audio recording of the event.
We are honored to introduce to you the 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year Award Winners.
2017 European Missile Defender of the Year Award Winners
Mr. Paul C. Enderle – NATO’s Civilian 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year
Commander Giuseppe Musolino – Italy’s 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year
Specialist Robert W. Clinger – U.S. Army’s 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year
Lieutenant Colonel Thorsten Stratemann – NATO’s 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year
Chief Master Sergeant Günter Rösler – Germany’s 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year
Major Johan Hendrix – Netherland’s 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year
Lieutenant Colonel Brian K. Koch – U.S. Air Force 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year
Commander Jonathan Lipps – U.S. Navy 2017 European Missile Defender of the Year