Two AFIT instructors within the School of Strategic Force Studies’ National Security Space Institute (NSSI) were selected as the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) nominees for 2018 Air Force Space Operator of the Year Awards. These awards are given annually to recognize individuals who made the most significant contribution to space operations.
MSgt Patrick Parsons, Flight Chief for NSSI’s Space 300 course, was selected as the AETC nominee for the 2018 AF Space Operator of the Year Award in the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer category. In 2018, MSgt Parsons was key to executing the Secretary of the Air Force’s initiative to include additional foreign partners for DOD’s only Capstone Space Professional Continuing Education course by conducting a 50 hour foreign disclosure review. He updated over 2,000 line items, 113 critical space systems, and ensured database sharing with the joint intelligence community. Additionally, MSgt Parsons conducted 96 hours of instruction, preparing 512 joint and international students for the emerging contested environment.
“It is an honor and a privilege to win such an outstanding award at this level. There are many space professionals that accomplish amazing things and to be recognized as one of the best is truly an honor. I am humbled to know that leadership has entrusted me to be the best professional I can be to ensure success of our future space professionals as they are contributors toward this amazing accomplishment,” said MSgt Parsons.
TSgt Angelica Montoya, Flight Chief for NSSI’s Space 100 course, was selected as the AETC nominee for the 2018 AF Space Operator of the Year Award in the Non-Commissioned Officer category. In 2018, TSgt Montoya executed Air Force Space Command’s strategic priority by initiating the total force advanced training program for 170 Air Force members. She oversaw the creation of the threat tracker for 11 weapon systems, managing 160 mitigation planning actions for the 50th Space Wing. In addition, TSgt Montoya wrote the academic script for a 312 hour operation exercise for United States Strategic Command to include the Joint Forces Space Component Commander for the first time.
“This award means so much to me! I was shocked because the competition is intense. I am so honored and thankful to have a leadership team that gave me the opportunity to do great work and trusted me to get the job done,” said TSgt Montoya.