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SMC’s Special Programs Directorate Claims Two 2019 Air Force Acquisition and Excellence Award Wins

Capt. Chante N. Barber successfully established a first-of-its-kind OCONUS test bed to build out advanced capabilities.  She also led a $60M effort that enabled 16 space control systems to be world-wide deployable and ready to counter America’s adversaries in space. (Courtesy Photo)

Capt. Chante N. Barber successfully established a first-of-its-kind OCONUS test bed to build out advanced capabilities. She also led a $60M effort that enabled 16 space control systems to be world-wide deployable and ready to counter America’s adversaries in space. (Courtesy Photo)

Lt. Col. Stephen Brogan led the way on getting advanced electronic warfare (EW) and counter-communication systems tested and deployed in multiple COCOMs.  His work has set the stage for USSF’s future EW efforts. (Courtesy Photo)

Lt. Col. Stephen Brogan led the way on getting advanced electronic warfare (EW) and counter-communication systems tested and deployed in multiple COCOMs. His work has set the stage for USSF’s future EW efforts. (Courtesy Photo)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.--The Air Force has awarded the 2019 Acquisition and Excellence Awards to two members of the United States Space Force’s (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center’s Special Programs (SP) Directorate.

The first Outstanding Air Force Program Manager Award (ACAT II or Equivalent-Military) recipient is Lt. Col. Stephen Brogan, who blazed a trail in accelerating advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) systems and acquisition of the Counter-Communications Systems (CCS) for the USSF.

Brogan was responsible for 25 military and civilian members who led a 260-member industry team on a $910 million high priority program.  His achievements included driving $300 million Initial Operations Capability (IOC) for CCS Block 10.2, delivering the very first counter communications space system to the USSF.

As the architect of a 16-organization program rebuild, he resolved system, training and power deficiencies to deliver an executable baseline program.  Included in this rebuild was a shift to an agile software development approach.  In just 45 days, he and his team completed this transformation, prioritized program issues, and identified product owners to achieve a new program delivering six times the capability - two years early.  Brogan’s leadership of the CCS program resulted in system deployment to multiple combatant commands (COCOMs) and has established the basis for future USSF EW efforts.

Because of his efforts, $350 million for future programs was secured to enable remote operations and 10 new missions.  By driving counter-communication requirement definitions, unit costs were cut by 75%, crew size reduced by 50 percent, $10 million was saved and about two years was slashed from the budget and acquisition schedule. 

“This award truly recognizes the countless efforts across the total force of active duty and Air National Guard space EW community. It has been an incredible opportunity to team with space acquisition, operations and testing organizations, alongside industry partners to innovate and deliver relevant weapon systems to the U.S. Space Force,” said  Brogan.

In addition to the honor bestowed upon Brogan, another SP superstar was also recognized for her outstanding contributions to CCS; Capt. Chante Barber.

The Outstanding Air Force Program Manager Award (ACAT III or Equivalent-Military) was awarded to Capt. Barber, Program Manager, Advanced Capabilities for CCS, who established a revolutionary outside-the-Continental-United-States (OCONUS) test bed to build out advanced capabilities. Leading a 120-member team in the acquisition of two advanced satellite communications jamming prototypes, her team enabled a 35 percent capability increase for the warfighter.  In addition to this remarkable feat, she  led a $60 million effort to enable 16 space control worldwide deployable Ultra High Frequency Interference Recognition and Targeting Monitoring Systems which prevented network decertification as well as averting a U.S. Strategic Command three-month capability gap.

Barber’s revamping of the system testing process reduced the overall test schedule by 50 percent.  She was also able to cut operational crew training by 50 percent, saving the government $2 million.   

“I am honored and grateful to have received this award. I truly cannot accept it without recognizing the outstanding leadership and team that I have had the great fortune of working with every day,” said Barber.

The exceptional accomplishments of Lt. Col. Brogan and Capt. Barber reflect the high levels of expertise and efficiency in providing exceptional space capabilities to the joint warfighter.

SMC’s Special Programs Deputy Director Lani Smith said, “We are proud of the exceptional work Lt. Col. Brogan and Capt. Barber have contributed to the SMC/SP mission.  Recognition from Air Force acquisition leadership is further proof that SP has the people to get the space mission done.  Congratulations to the winners!”