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AFRL celebrates research for nation’s defense

  • Published
  • By Jeanne Dailey
  • Air Force Research Laboratory

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL) - The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, held ceremonies Feb. 8-9, 2023, to recognize its 2022 annual award recipients and nominees for the Space Vehicles Directorate and Directed Energy Directorate.

More than 300 nominees and winners were recognized for their leading-edge research in the development of technologies supporting the warfighter and national defense during 2022.
Acting Director of the AFRL Directed Energy Directorate Col. Clark Allred presented trophies to 36 awardees at the Phillips Space Conference Center.
“It is great to see a big turnout for the Directed Energy annual awards ceremony,” Allred said. “These nominations and awards reflect credit on the individuals and the broader teams supporting them. The winners and nominees have much to be proud of— congratulations to all!”
Col. Jeremy Raley, the director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, awarded trophies to 34 scientists, engineers and technical and support staff, while colleagues cheered.
“Join me in congratulating our award winners and nominees,” Raley said. “It is important that we set aside time to honor those who made significant contributions to our directorate and the nation over the last year. We thank the winners and the nominees—they can all take pride in this recognition and their accomplishments.”
The directorate-level winners will compete for the AFRL enterprise-wide awards. The annual AFRL awards ceremony will be held March 2, 2023, from 12:30–2:30 p.m. EST at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Kenney Hall, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The ceremony will also be livestreamed via YouTube.

The 2022 AFRL Directed Energy Directorate award winners
Mentorship Award: Dr. Christopher Wilcox
Giller Award:  Dr. Travis Garrett
Publication of the Year Peer Reviewed:  Dr. Max Cubillos-Moraga
Publication of the Year Non-Peer Reviewed:  Dr. Shadi Naderi
Technology Transfer/Transition Achievement Award Individual:  Dr. Timothy Fleming
Technology Transfer and Transition Achievement Team Award:  Test and Operations Support Team
Leadership Award:  Lori Sciabica
Senior Leadership Award:  Leanne DeLange
Supervisory Award:  Martha Navarro
Junior Mission Support Award:  Jeffery Ochoa
Mission Support Award Individual:  Brian Young
Mission Support Team Award:  Security Team
Innovation Award:  Capt. Christopher Coury, Jr.
International Award Individual:  Dr. Wilkin Tang
International Team Award:  Novel High Energy Laser Sources Project Agreement Team
Scientific/Technical Technician Award Individual:  John McCullough, Jr.
Scientific/Technical Technician Team Award:  High Power Electromagnetics Test Team
General Raymond A. Gilbert Jr. Scientific/Technical Achievement Award Individual: Capt. Andrew Vanden Berg 
Scientific/Technical Achievement Award Individual:  Dr. Mala Mateen
Scientific/Technical Achievement Team Award:  Pacific Ecosystem for Cyber Team
Scientific/Technical Management Award:  Dr. Nader Naderi
Airman of the Year:  Senior Airman Avery Chisolm
Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:  Tech. Sgt. Matthew Erfman II
Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:  Master Sgt. Matthew Walsh
IMA Field Grade Officer of the Year:  Lt. Col. Jeremy Franke
Company Grade Officer of the Year:  Capt. Luis Sepulveda
Field Grade Officer of the Year:  Maj. Joshua Reding
Civilian Category I:  Kyle Webb
Civilian Category II:  Jeremy Vorenberg
Civilian Category III:  Dr. Theodore Ortiz
Director’s Cup Junior Force Award:  Capt. Alexandria Mihaylova
Director’s Cup Sparks Award:  Dr. James Schrock
Director’s Cup R. Earl Good Team Award:  Tactical High Power Operational Responder, or THOR, Team
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Award Junior Individual:  Capt. Jack Waller
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Award Senior Individual:  Christina Osmon
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Award Team Award:  Starfire Optical Range NOTT Team
AFRL 2022 Space Vehicles Directorate award winners
Mentorship Award:  James Winter
Wingman of the Year Award:  Jeanette Van Den Bosch 
Publication of the Year Individual:  Dr. Evgeny Mishin
Publication of the Year Team:  Advanced Electro-Optical Space Sensors Team
Technology Transfer and Transition Achievement Award Individual:  Capt. Tommy Hernandez
Technology Transfer and Transition Achievement Award Team:  Integrated Structural Systems Team
Leadership Award:  Michael Lopez
Senior Leadership Award:  Dr. Jesse Mee
Supervisory Award:  Debra Fogle
Junior Administrative Excellence Award:  Dawn Quisenberry
Junior Mission Support Excellence Award:  Steven Hawley
Senior Mission Support Excellence Award:  Stacy Schramm
Mission Support Excellence Team Award:  Infrastructure Management Support Function Team
Innovation Award:  Dr. Jeffrey Ganley
International Individual Award:  Dr. Jay Albert
International Team Award:  Hybrid Architecture Demonstrations Team
Scientific/Technical Technician Award: Timothy Myers
General Raymond A. Gilbert Junior Scientific/Technical Achievement Award:  Capt. Colton Mott
Senior Scientific/Technical Achievement Award Individual:   Dr. Kenneth Obenberger
Scientific/Technical Achievement Team Award:  CEASE-3 Team
Scientific/Technical Management Award:  Dr. Madeleine Naudeau
Civilian of the Year Category I:  Jennifer Moreno
Civilian of the Year Category II:  Bryce Halter
Civilian of the Year Category III:  Melody Martinez
IMA Company Grade Officer of the Year:  Capt. Ronak Patel
IMA Field Grade Officer of the Year:  Lt. Col. Julio Villafuerte
Company Grade Officer of the Year:  Capt. Tyler Hussey
Field Grade Officer of the Year:  Maj. Adam Murphy
Director’s Cup Junior Force Award:  Dr. Kimberly Frey
Director’s Cup Dan Wilhelm Award:  Dr. Gretchen Phelps
Director’s Cup Dr. Harold Gardiner Team Award:  W/V-band Satellite Communication Experiment-Beacon, or WSCE-B, Team
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Senior Individual:  Dr. Thomas Peng
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Junior Individual:  Dr. Vincent Cowan
Director’s Cup Richard J. Neal Special Recognition Team Award:  Gryphon Team

Photos of the award presentations are available at these links:

AFRL Directed Energy Directorate:
AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate:
About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit