AFNWC team captures acquisition awards

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Experts from the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Hill Air Force Base recently received Air Force acquisition excellence awards. These awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence in managing, developing and implementing Air Force acquisition programs.

The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent’s Model-Based Systems Engineering team, led by Karl Rogers, chief engineer for GBSD, was recognized for setting future acquisition program standards with the 2016 Acquisition Excellence Continuous Process Improvement Award.

Some of the team’s accomplishments include the use of 3D modeling techniques for low-cost designs and training and the stand up of the first intercontinental ballistic missile analytics lab that established a revolutionary MBSE approach that integrates requirements, architectures and designs. They also crafted a cyber security strategy that is extremely vital to the safety and security of nuclear command and control, according to Rogers.

Along with the MBSE team, Col. Heath Collins, AFNWC’s GBSD system program manager at Hill Air Force Base, was also recognized with the 2016 Air Force Outstanding Program Manager ACAT I Award.

According to the citation accompanying his award, Collins expertly led the GBSD program through its initial Acquisition Strategy approval and Milestone A certification, the first step in starting a major defense acquisition. The GBSD program will be the next-generation replacement for the Minuteman III ICBM weapon system, which has provided uninterrupted nuclear deterrence capabilities to the President since going operational in the 1970s.

“The MBSE approach we are putting in place for GBSD charts a new course on how to execute acquisition and own the technical baseline using 21st Century technology. I’m very proud of what the team has already accomplished and excited to see where we take MBSE and GBSD in the future,” Collins said.

“Colonel Collins and his team are leading the way in DoD acquisition with their implementation of MBSE as part of an overall acquisition strategy to improve cost, schedule and performance outcomes. Through owning the technical baseline, the Air Force will be able to ensure competition, innovation and affordability throughout the program lifecycle. I am very pleased with their efforts, which have poised the GBSD program for success in recapitalizing the nation’s ICBM force, guaranteeing a safe, secure, reliable and effective land-based leg of the nuclear triad through 2075,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson, AFNWC commander and program executive officer for strategic systems.

The following individuals from AFNWC’s ICBM Systems Directorate were part of the award-winning team:

Team Lead Rogers, Roy Ramey, 1st Lt. Jorge Martinez, Kyle Fox, Michael Petri, Maj. Marcus Wells, Casey Sherman, Robert Watson, Justin Hinman, Paul Stoker, Sean Reiter, Darren Rabosky, Nicholas Maughan, Capt. Christopher Benson, Bruce Dennison, Alex Landon, Michael Hensley, Bruce Arnold, Paul Chisholm, Jim Webster, Phillip Ingraham, Irvin Jacobs, Laine Rupper, Maj. Nicholas Ferry, and Mark Elkins.

In addition, the directorate also had two award winners for the 2016 Air Force Nuclear Deterrence Operations Award: Mykenzie Hamblin, who won Category I Civilian of the Year, and Richard Cross, who won Category III Civilian of the Year.

Hamblin’s accomplishments included creating a contract modification tool for a $23-million program’s audit, which streamlined the process and reduced it by three weeks. Cross was the driving force behind the first-ever programmed depot maintenance for a Minuteman III, cementing Air Force processes that will extend the life of the missiles to 2036.

“The NDO awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments of these two individuals and their contributions to improving the directorate’s processes and to the nation’s nuclear deterrence as a whole,” said Col. Scott Jones, director of ICBM Systems.

The AFNWC is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command. Headquartered at Kirtland AFB, the center has about 1,100 personnel assigned to 17 locations worldwide, with about 600 at Hill AFB who deliver, sustain and support ICBM nuclear weapon systems.