Sergeant Matthew Critchley, United States Space Force

2023 U.S. Missile Defender of the Year

Sgt Matthew N Critchley is a Space and Missile Warning Technician in the Space Watch Cell, Space Forces Indo-Pacific, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Sgt Critchley is part of an eight-member team responsible for providing 24/7 theater missile warning and space effects support to the USINDOPACOM Commander. Sgt Critchley is also responsible for ensuring Space Domain Awareness, Personnel Recovery actions, and Dynamic Targeting space support within the INDO- PACIFIC area of responsibility.

As the S33 Space Watch Cell Space and Missile Warning Technician, Sgt Critchley significantly contributed to missile defense through his superior warning of missile launches and revising operational procedures.

From 1 Jan 23 to 12 Sep 23 Sgt Critchley led a Sensor Management team with the 10th Missile Defense Battery, 1st Space Brigade as a Sensor Control Officer. During this time, Sgt Critchley executed Operational Function Control of two AN/TPY-2 Forward Base Mode radars through the Command and Control Battle Management system (C2BMC) delivering over 2,000 hours of Ballistic Missile Defense support. This directly contributed to Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense in support of USSTRATCOM, USNORTHCOM, USSPACECOM, and USINDOPACOM.

Additionally, Sgt Critchley began serving as a Space Technician in the SPACEFOR-INDOPAC (SFIP) S33 Space and Missile Warning Cell on 13 Sep 23 to the present date. During this period, Sgt Critchley’s aptitude, professionalism, and dedication to the mission yielded over 700 hours of missile defense operations through the 24/7/365 utilization and monitoring of Processing and Display Subsystem-Migration and Global Command and Control System. Sgt Critchley’s contributions ensured SFIC, PACAF, and USINDOPACOM senior leaders were provided with timely missile warning and threat assessment information for 584 missile activities across the DoD’s largest area of responsibility. His actions directly contributed to the successful missile defense of 36 nations and the United States homeland.

Finally, Sgt Critchley’s innovative thinking led to an increase in administrative efficiency in the S33 Space and Missile Warning Cell. Sgt Critchley showed initiative by modernizing the reporting procedures and organization of critical information utilized within the S33. This alignment ultimately reinforced the SFIP architecture of Missile Warning and Space Effects in USINDOPACOM.

Sgt Critchley entered the Army in 2016 from Poteet, TX. He transferred to the United States Space Force on 13 Sep 2023.

Defenders of the Year