Captain Nolan Hebein, United States Air Force

2019 U.S. Missile Defender of the Year

Capt Hebein is an Acquisition Manager assigned to the Small Launch and Targets Division (ECLX), Launch Enterprise, Space and Missile Systems Center as the Operations Branch Deputy Chief and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Mission Manager, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. Capt Hebein is from Illinois and graduated from Grant Community High School in May 2010. He graduated and commissioned from the United States Air Force Academy in May 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Area Studies with a focus on Latin America. In 2018, while assigned to ECLX, Capt Hebein deployed to the 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, Al Udeid AB, Qatar. Capt Hebein was a Current Operations Advisor that tracked and reported over 3000 missions across 4 AORs including over 40 million pounds of fuel delivered, over 450 bombs dropped, and 198 members medically evacuated. As the Operation Branch Deputy Chief, Capt Hebein oversees 13 government and commercial space launch missions, including multiple Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and target vehicle missions. Capt Hebein led the development of a highly successful MDA Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Flight Target Missile and two U.S. Army Lower Tier Projects Office Target Missiles missions. Specifically, Capt Hebein directly served as the program manager and target vehicle lead, in which he led the development of the MDA’s Flight Test THAAD-23 (FTT-23) target missile mission and two Patriot target missiles to conduct threat-representative Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) for each weapon system. For FTT-23, Capt Hebein led integrated process team meetings over the past 18 months to ensure the target missile presented a true, threat representative target. The FTT-23 mission was highly successful, due to the high-fidelity threat representative target that Capt Hebein developed. In his second mission, Capt Hebein led a target design review, kicked-off an 18-month build, and synchronized two new qualification programs which expanded Patriot target range to match real-world, threat scenarios. He built a strategic procurement plan that permitted a new baseline Patriot OT&E and expedited the U.S. Army’s OT&E by three years. Capt Hebein’s military awards include the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service, and the Air Force Training Ribbon.

Defenders of the Year