AFCEA International and U.S. Naval Institute
Copernicus Award


2011 Copernicus Award Winners

STG1 Thomas R. Barbour, USN

Naval Ocean Processing Facility (NOPF), Dam Neck

Sonar Technician First Class Barbour is the Information Assurance Officer (IAO) for NOPF, Dam

Neck, and leads six information system technicians. Petty Officer Barbour consistently demonstrated

relentless dedication, superior technical skills and unsurpassed knowledge during the transfer

of Information Assurance responsibilities to NOPF, Dam Neck. While working outside his rating,

he quickly identified requirements and developed the infrastructure to create and train a new

Information Systems department when Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) relinquished

responsibility due to decentralization within the Type Commander (TYCOM). Petty Officer Barbour

designed and engineered a network where users access a multi-level cross-domain solution network

through CITRIX, which is used to provide a virtual Windows environment. Virtualization was used to

save $40,000 in additional equipment costs, and will provide immeasurable savings over the lifetime

of the network. Petty Officer Barbour was assigned temporary additional duty to NOPF Whidbey

Island, WA, to provide technical assistance in the creation and mitigation of their releasable-allied

(REL) network. Petty Officer Barbour was able to configure, mitigate and train command personnel

in one week’s time. His knowledge and expertise were vital during the creation of the command’s

first Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process package.

This lengthy process was completed without any formal training while inheriting an extremely

compressed timeline. In addition, NOPF’s REL network was the first accepted network in the Pacific

Fleet claimancy to have a host based security system installed and configured in accordance with

direction and policy set forth by the Defense Information Systems Agency. Lessons learned will

provide invaluable knowledge and save countless time, money and additional resources for their

sister command and future Navy accepted network architectures.


1stLt Glenn W. Berdela, USMC

26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU)

Lieutenant Berdela is the Joint Task Force Enabler Officer in Charge, the Network Operations

Officer, and Data Plans Officer for the 26th MEU based at Camp Lejeune, NC. In addition, as

the MEU’s Information Systems Security Officer, he is responsible for directing and coordinating

information assurance and security training for the 2,500 deployed Marines and Sailors of the

26th MEU on board the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), USS Ponce (LPD-15) and USS Carter Hall

(LSD-50). He served as the lead Marine communications expert for the Everything over Internet

Protocol (EoIP) operational test and evaluation between Camp Lejeune, NC, and Scott Air Force

Base, IL, in Dec 2009. His technical expertise was cited by the Defense Information Systems

Agency and the II Marine Expeditionary Force as a key contributing factor to the successful

resolution of systems integration challenges. Extending this test to the waterfront, Lieutenant

Berdela successfully extended logical networks linking mobile Marine and Navy assets over an

IP infrastructure, a first for the Department of Defense. This allows the Marines to support double

the number of users on a footprint 15% smaller and using 10% less electrical power. Lieutenant

Berdela pursued the efficient restructuring of the Landing Force’s network on the first GIG-E

network upgrade on the East Coast for the Kearsarge. His architecture recommendations are now

the standard for all amphibious deployed units. He drafted, tested, proposed and implemented

the Navy standard for the inclusion of Voice over Secure Internet Protocol (VoSIP), thus

immediately and dramatically improving coordination and support by Navy shipping and Marine

air assets to Operation Enduring Freedom and other named operations and exercises. Lieutenant

Berdela led the joint Navy/Marine coordinated justification to use Internet-Based Capabilities across

all Navy ships. This resulted in Commander, Fleet Cyber Command, establishing Navy policy and

improving relief efforts in Pakistan and capitalizing on the lessons learned from Operation Unified

Response in Haiti.


LT Danny R. Bouie, USN

U.S. Second Fleet

Lieutenant Bouie is responsible for 24 military and contractor personnel in the management

and delivery of communications requirements for Commander, U.S. Second Fleet’s Maritime

Headquarters and Maritime Operations Center. Lieutenant Bouie increased Second Fleet’s

decision superiority and cyber security through his input on the command’s first mission analysis

brief that provided an in-depth view of potential cyber threats to communications systems and

recommendations on how to effectively command and control in a communications-denied

environment. He also expertly collaborated with the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) and the

supporting defense contractors to create a database tool which provides watch standers a vital

situational awareness of current and future outages. This directly improved headquarters’ ability to

coordinate with units in Second Fleet’s task organization. Lieutenant Bouie successfully deployed

the first-of-its-kind Maritime Afloat Deployable Joint Command and Control System (DJC2) to

support the Haiti Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief efforts in January 2010. He managed

ten military and nine civilian personnel in the on load, setup and operation of the communications

package. His efforts enabled media personnel to cover real-time events and updates in Haiti

disaster relief efforts.


CDR William M. Carter, USN

Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA)

Commander Carter is the Deputy Director CJ-6, C4 and Information Systems, CJTF-HOA. He

is responsible for the operations, maintenance, and plans for C4 Information Systems in direct

support of a Combined Joint Operations Area (CJOA), which encompasses 13 East African

Nations. Commander Carter’s superb leadership of a 140-person joint communications team

resulted in the seamless delivery of communications services to more than 3,000 personnel

operating across the CJOA. He was key in the development, training and operational deployment

of the African Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) data-sharing network, providing information

sharing for Ugandan People’s Defense Forces operating in Somalia. His attention to detail was

instrumental to MQ-1 Predator communication suite installation in Djibouti, resulting in enhanced

intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations across the CJOA. In addition, he led the

expansion of the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC) for Djibouti, providing maritime

domain awareness for 3,900 square miles of territorial waters. Commander Carter revamped

CJTF-HOA’s Joint Network Operations Control Center, providing 24x7 situational awareness on

C4 status for 15 forward-operating locations. He led CJTF-HOA in successfully completing both a

Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Package (DIACAP)

Inspection and a Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI), the first expeditionary site

worldwide to complete a CCRI. Commander Carter also led a communications detachment to

Exercise Africa Endeavor 2010, serving as lead U.S. representative and Officer-in-Charge for 35

U.S. communications specialists from U.S. Africa Command and its components. Commander

Carter revived a challenged Electronic Key Management System (EKMS) vault, which provided

services to 42 local elements, ensuring strict compliance with all directives and instructions.

LCDR David S. Dees, USN

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117

Lieutenant Commander Dees is the Operations Officer for the Carrier Airborne Early Warning

Squadron (VAW-117) in charge of the daily and long term operations of the squadron as well as

the primary liaison to the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) and Carrier Strike Group staffs. He is responsible

for the training and tactical development of 27 squadron aircrews. Commander Dees served as

the lead planner for a command and control (C2) plan developed for the U.S. Fifth Fleet/Naval

Forces Central Command. He developed a construct to allow the rapid reconfiguration of theater

tactical assets from one mission set to another. In addition, he identified numerous deficiencies

in the theater C2 structure and provided a solution to rapidly overcome these deficiencies by

leveraging existing infrastructure while also providing a long term structure. The concepts

developed were integrated into the Central Command Maritime Operation Center (MOC) and

resulted in the re-alignment of its elements and refinement of the MOC data flow. Commander

Dees validated these improvements during exercise SHAMAL 10-01. During the exercise the

C4I processes were tested, allowing the evaluation of current capabilities and the exploration of

new manners of employment. Commander Dees oversaw this process, coordinated the imagery

and data testing, and flew as the CVW-11 strike lead for the exercise. He also proposed a new

method of employing a second E-2C in strike operations that fully integrates the ALQ-217 and

organic electronic support measures into the Hawkeye, allowing the E-2C to serve as a ground/

early warning battle manager. This method of employment resulted in a 50% reduction in detection

time during Air Wing Fallon, and the results were published in the Winter 2010 Naval Strike and Air

Warfare Center (NSAWC) Journal tactical article. In addition, he developed a new manner of using

the E-2C for both detection and C2 in antisubmarine warfare operations. The tactical outcome was

evaluated as “outstanding” by Commander Destroyer Squadron 23 and the Naval Mine and AntiSubmarine Command. He authored a Spring 2010 NSAWC Journal article which outlined how to

accomplish this.


Kristofor B. Gibson

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Pacific

Mr. Gibson is the Software Engineer for the Electro-Optic Surveillance Integrated Product

Team (IPT) within the Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Information Operations

Competency of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific. Mr. Gibson is also the lead

video and imaging processing expert, overseeing all filter enhancement efforts, for the IPT.

Mr. Gibson has demonstrated outstanding technical leadership and expertise in the development

of near real-time video enhancement filters for use by the Navy in the maritime environment.

These filters are used to remove fog and haze from live video streams while increasing the

visual contrast of the image. The technology is leading to better intelligence data and is of critical

importance to national security. In addition to his engineering and team leadership duties,

Mr. Gibson was pursuing his Ph.D. in image processing from the University of California, San

Diego (UCSD). During this development effort, he continued to act as the software lead and

leveraged the knowledge he was learning in school to design a filter algorithm. While there are

many cutting-edge techniques for performing image enhancements, they are all focused on

post-processing techniques and require a significant amount of processing time. To overcome

these limitations, Mr. Gibson eloquently devised a new method of processing video which took

advantage of the best aspects of several different post-processing image enhancement techniques.

By leveraging these techniques he designed a new algorithm which performed better enhancements

at near real-time speed. Ultimately, Mr. Gibson’s algorithm resulted in a 50% decrease in processing

time and improved image contrast.


James A. Granger

Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command

Mr. Granger is the Capabilities and Readiness Director within Navy Cyber Defense Operations

Command (NCDOC). Mr. Granger is responsible for providing Navy enterprise computer network

defense (CND) capabilities to enable NCDOC to successfully execute its mission as the Navy’s

CND Service Provider (CNDSP) in support of Fleet Cyber Command/Commander 10th Fleet

(FCC/C10F) and United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) to operate and defend the

Department of Defense (DoD) Information Network. A recognized CND expert, he is routinely

sought out by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), FCC/ClOF, Naval Network

Warfare Command (NNWC), and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)

to provide corporate CND expertise on Navy networks and to provide critical input to highlevel

operational plans, concept of operations, DoD instructions, national and service level

directives, and planning memoranda. As a steadfast Navy representative to the DoD Information

Assurance (IA)/CND Enterprise Solutions Steering Group, Mr. Granger has been a critical force

in the practical implementation of the DoD Information Network IA Portfolio and the National

Cyber Security Initiative. His expertise has proven invaluable to ensuring that joint initiatives

seamlessly integrate into service solutions providing the most efficient return on DoD investments

and making the Navy a leader in the evolution of the DoD CND mission. He spearheaded the

development of a hierarchal data roll up capability to enable DoD Service Tier 2 CNDSP’s to

receive Host Based Security Suite (HBSS) event and asset data and then provide that data to

the Tier 1 USCYBERCOM. This Navy-driven DoD solution is being considered for implementation

by the other services because of the efforts of Mr. Granger. His resource management skills

were critical to the command’s success in its first Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)

Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI). NCDOC achieved scores of outstanding on both

the Non-classified Internet Protocol Routing Network (NIPRNet) and the Secret Internet Protocol

Routing Network (SIPRNet) and was documented as a benchmark for all of DoD. Mr. Granger was

responsible for the Navy extended sensor grid initiative that will enable more effective and efficient

Navy network defense.

LT Matthew E. Gray, USCG

Telecommunication and Information Systems Command

Lieutenant Gray is the Secure Network Services Branch Chief for Telecommunication Operations

Division, Telecommunications and Information Systems Command (TISCOM). He is responsible for

the testing, evaluation, and implementation of the integrated information technology (IT) systems

on board the Coast Guard’s new National Security and Fast Response Cutters. He orchestrated

the first underway unit Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system, as well as the installation

of the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), the Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU)

and Secret Internet Protocol Routed Network (SIPRNET) computer systems. Lieutenant Gray

centralized management efforts in testing, validating, and sustaining the integrated IT systems

on board the Coast Guard’s newest fleet of cutters. Lieutenant Gray established the Coast

Guard’s Asset IT Integration Team (TIS 421). As lead project officer, Lieutenant Gray coordinated

all post-delivery IT and communications gear installations on the USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750)

and Waesche (WMSL-751). Lieutenant Gray orchestrated the installation of 100 unclassified

workstations, a complete suite of SIPRNET equipment, VoIP telephones, and a record messaging

solution. His approach resulted in compressing the installation timeline from 32 to 18 days, saving

thousands of dollars in temporary additional duty funds, hundreds of contractor labor hours, and

providing the cutters with increased capabilities needed for operations and administration work

two weeks early. Lieutenant Gray was able to mitigate security vulnerabilities that resulted in swift

accreditation for both the Bertholf and the Waesche. Lieutenant Gray worked with the Coast Guard

Assistant Commandant for Acquisitions in the development, architecture, and accreditation of

the Coast Guard’s first SCIF compartment on board an afloat unit. As a result, the first National

Security Cutter (Bertholf) received her SCIF outfit and accreditation in FY10, enabling the Coast

Guard to communicate sensitive data over Department of Defense and Department of Homeland

Security intelligence SCI classified networks.


LT Adam T. Humphrey, USN

Navy Information Operations Command - San Diego

Lieutenant Humphrey is the Officer-in-Charge of the Navy Information Operations Command San

Diego Information Operations (IO) Detachment in the USS Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready

Group (PELARG). He is responsible to the Information Warfare Commander (IWC) for all facets of

IO to include the tactical control of assigned ships in the core competencies of electronic warfare,

military information support operations, operational security, computer network defense (CND),

and military deception. During a high-visibility, overseas visit by the President of the United States,

Lieutenant Humphrey provided Pacific Command a comprehensive communications and radar

frequency deconfliction plan. He coordinated among a multitude of commands to ensure flawless

synchronization and execution across multiple Department of Defense and U.S. Government

Agencies. In concert with staff and ship communication organizations, he led a coordinated

effort to eliminate potentially catastrophic network casualties. Lieutenant Humphrey’s CND tactics

resulted in zero network outages. Moreover, he created a CND tracking tool that captured vital

data on the health of PELARG’s networks. This facilitated the management and defense of more

than $4.5 million of C4I infrastructure and provided commanders a timely, clear synopsis of

PELARG’s C4I systems. This method is now used to brief C4I network status on every Pacific Fleet

Amphibious Ready Group and Carrier Strike Group. In addition, he ensured the early completion

of all IWC administrative actions as the PELARG changed operational commanders during its

transit through three areas of responsibility. During eight counter-targeting evolutions, Lieutenant

Humphrey expertly maneuvered three ships into optimal battle formations. His tactical expertise

was cited by Commander, Strike Force Training Pacific, as “the best ever seen.”

ET3 John B. Iams, USCG

Electronic Systems Support Detachment – Miami

Electronics Technician Third Class Iams is the Duty Electronics Technician stationed at Electronic

Systems Support Detachment (ESD) Miami Beach, FL. Petty Officer Iams went beyond his normal

duties to identify and engineer solutions to historical Coast Guard high frequency (HF) connectivity

challenges. His work has resulted in a low-cost and field-implementable Cellular Over-The-Horizon

Enforcement Network/Automatic Link Establishment (COTHEN/ALE) connectivity solution for a

host of HF radios. Petty Officer Iams engineered critical upgrades to the Sunair RT-9000/B HF

radio. Initially, Petty Officer Iams discovered the programming for the timing synchronization was

incorrect in the HF radio and re-engineered the hardware to allow full radio functionality using ALE

via COTHEN. He then installed this modification in a radio prototype used on board the USCGC

Sitkinak (WPB-1329) with fantastic results, increasing the operational command-and-control ability

of the Sitkinak and Sector Miami. Petty Officer Iams submitted improvements to the COTHEN

remote control console, including specifications that provide encrypted voice transfer and reengineering

of the push-to-talk (PTT) and audio connections. Both proposals are being evaluated

by Coast Guard Headquarters. In addition, Petty Officer Iams prepared and presented a brief of

the chip reprogramming and cryptographic use to high-ranking personnel from various USCG

centers of excellence, commercial vendors, and interagency partners to be considered for Coast

Guard wide implementation. Command and Control Engineering Center is using and implementing

his findings. He continued to serve the C4IT field with the development of a laptop and software

application to save and program “code plugs” for the Micom-3T and Sunair RT-2400 HF radios,

saving the Coast Guard hundreds of man-hours per month. Petty Officer Iams also engineered

a chip upgrade on earlier model RT-2400 radios, allowing memory retention of the code plug

after securing radio power. Petty Officer Iams also developed thorough operator and technician

reference guides that are used throughout the fleet.


David M. Johnson

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

Mr. Johnson is assigned as the Director of the Spectrum, Electromagnetic Environmental Effects

(E3) and Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Information Dominance Directorate, within the Concepts,

Strategies and Integration Division, NetCentric

Capabilities Business Sector. Mr. Johnson has led

the way in the formation of the X-KU bandwidth working group to enhance cross-system command

interoperability in the fielding of commercial-off-the shelf command, control, communications

and computer (C4I) systems, including installation, maintenance, and operational issues in

coordination with Naval Sea System Command, Program Executive Office C4I, Fleet Forces

Command, Numbered Fleet and Type Commander representatives. His dedication to ensure each

system be thoroughly designed and tested highlighted the critical paths and enhanced underway

operations. As a key action officer for the possible transition of portions of the electromagnetic

spectrum from Department of Defense to civilian use he expertly briefed senior OPNAV and

Fleet staffs on possible courses of action to minimize impacts on Fleet operations. In addition,

he spearheaded a study on the state of Fleet EMP protection. He was a key participant in

educating senior Fleet staffs on the impacts of fielding wireless technologies, impacts of topside

corrosion control on antenna maintenance, and the relationship and impacts of C4I and combat

systems operating in the same frequency band. He further highlighted key budget shortfalls in

the electromagnetic interference area and worked to obtain the required funding. His outstanding

performance as the senior U.S. representative for several international and coalition spectrum

working groups has resulted in improved cooperation among participating nations.


James L. Matney

United States Pacific Command – Iraq

Mr. Matney is a Department of Navy civilian employee assigned to United States Pacific

Command, deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. He serves as the IT Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of

Defense (IMOD). Mr. Matney confronted an assortment of problems related to the Iraqi human

resources systems. He developed an immediate course of actions and convinced the IMOD not

to shut down the new enterprise programs pending his continued research. Within four months,

Mr. Matney assisted the Iraqis in delivering error-free payroll processing, a reliable, ministrywide

human resources management system, reports management capability and, ultimately,

transitioned the successful program from the Chief Information Officer (CIO) to the Director

General of Programs and Budget. Mr. Matney also used his skills to transition logistics oversight

from Coalition forces to Iraqi control. Demonstrating remarkable resourcefulness, Mr. Matney

convinced the IMOD to adopt an Iraqi Asset Management Program (IAMP), transitioned the entire

program to the Iraqi Defense Network, provided system security and required core services and

then further transitioned the system to a low-cost/high capability worldwide interoperability for

microwave access solution. In addition, he continued to evaluate Iraqi government-initiated asset

management initiatives that waste resources or undermine asset accountability. Next, the Iraqi

CIO asked Mr. Matney to negotiate an ongoing workforce development controversy between

U.S. and Iraqi leaders. In a clear demonstration of Mr. Matney’s credibility, the U.S. Forces/J6

and the Iraqi Director General of Communications have engaged him to broker an agreement on

signal and communications officer training, an approach that will endure following the departure

of U.S. forces. Mr. Matney’s next contribution was to advocate WorldVista, an enterprise software

solution to Iraqi health care. He gained CIO and IMOD support and sponsored a memorandum of

agreement between the IMOD, the Minister of Health and the Kurdistan Minister of Health.


Rhonda D. Maluia

Naval Special Warfare Development Group

Ms. Maluia is assigned as the Command Information Assurance Manager for Naval Special

Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), Virginia Beach, VA. In this capacity, she serves as the

commander’s primary advisor and subject matter expert for all matters of network security. Her

comprehensive information assurance (IA) program addresses current network vulnerability

and existing threats, while she provides technical and policy-based solutions solving the most

challenging network security issues. Ms. Maluia identified the significant threat that web-based

social networking technologies posed against the Department of Defense’s desire to allow access.

Ms. Maluia first addressed the users of social networking sites by beginning a command-wide

training campaign for the use of social networking sites. The campaign continues today, creating

a more socially aware network capable of identifying and avoiding threats associated with social

networking sites. Ms. Maluia then worked to develop a secure architecture capable of resisting

unauthorized modification, infection, and compromise while providing the user with desired

processing capability. She solicited the assistance of a national laboratory to develop a client

capable of wireless operation in the most cyber hostile environments. This system lessens the

system administration burden and fights the disease of malicious logic and intrusion by removing

the ability to write or modify the operating system. Ms. Maluia then moved to the backend

architecture, seeking a method to monitor and take action against operational security violations.

She identified a system and vendor popular in the banking industry with extensive experience in

data loss protection. The system’s capability to monitor and react to social network postings in real

time provided operational security monitoring usually missing in most security architectures. The

results of her extensive research and development efforts shall have far reaching impact on the

future of secure client and architectural design.

LT Harold L. McCarter, USCG

Coast Guard Cyber Command

Lieutenant McCarter is the C4ISR Advisor for Coast Guard Cyber Command (CGCYBERCOM).

He is responsible for standing up all C4ISR aspects of CGCYBERCOM, including the alignment

of current C4IT missions and goals, and fusing them with the operational and intelligence needs

of the Coast Guard. Lieutenant McCarter was the lynchpin for programmatic and technical

successes during the first year of CGCYBERCOM’s existence. He led planning and secured

funding for a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) for the Coast Guard’s Computer

Network Defense-Service Provider. Lieutenant McCarter handled all requests for operating, SCIF

construction, and network re-architecture costs as well as establishment of military and civilian

billets. In spite of the declining budget environment, he successfully obtained military billets to

establish the command and secured more than $9M annually to move internet access points to a

more secure configuration that leverages Department of Defense network sensors. Applying his

personal experience from a recently completed post-graduate degree in information assurance

(IA), Lieutenant McCarter was instrumental in the development of a new IA postgraduate program

for Coast Guard officers. He developed a preliminary career path and workforce pyramid for the

new specialty and was able to get a need assessment for the skill set within the Coast Guard

approved for implementation in FY 2011. In addition, he coordinated the planning of a Coast

Guard Internet Access Points (IAP) re-architecture with the Coast Guard’s Telecommunication and

Information System Command. This change will route all internet traffic through the Non-Classified

Internet Protocol Router Network, increasing the visibility of malicious traffic and adding security to

the network.


LT Scott B. Mehaffey, USN

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126

Lieutenant Mehaffey is assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126 (VAW-126)

as a naval flight officer. His primary billet for 2010 has been Aircraft Division Officer where

he led the squadron’s largest division through an arduous combat deployment in support of

Operation Enduring Freedom. As the E-2C Hawkeye community wide subject matter expert on

its new Organic Chat System, he has made immeasurable contributions in command, control,

communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I). While the E-2C has effectively executed

combat airborne command and control missions since 2001, the maturation in the theater C2

structures resulted in an inherent reliance on Internet Based Chat. Without a system capable

of integrating into this network, the Hawkeye was being under used in theater. Identifying this

capability gap, for the past two years, Lieutenant Mehaffey has worked to ensure operational

success and integration of this most needed system. Working with Naval Test Squadrons,

Naval Strike and Air Weapons Center, civilian contractors, Carrier Strike Group 10, and joint C2

experts, his vision and ability to articulate the operational user’s needs resulted in funding for

custom experimentation for this community combat deficiency. Lieutenant Mehaffey was able

to identify errors in the system, and after countless hours testing the system on deck, he led the

first successful connection of the Organic Chat System in theater. He single-handedly trained 28

aircrew personnel on the system, and his efforts resulted in VAW-126 becoming the first carrier

aviation squadron to operationally employ Chat in combat. This capability already is providing

immediate effects in disseminating critical information throughout the battle space.

Maj David K. Norton, USMC

Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity

Major Norton is assigned as Branch Head, Operating Forces Tactical Systems Support Center

(OFTSSC), Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity (MCTSSA). The Support Center, the

Marine Corps’ 24x7 C4I Help Desk, serves as the single point of contact for technical support and

troubleshooting for all Marine tactical command, control, computers, communications, intelligence

(C4I) systems employed by the operating forces. Prior to his assignment as Branch Head of the

Marine Corps’ 24x7 C4I Help Desk, Major Norton served as MCTSSA’s Deployed Support Branch

Head from October 2009 through January 2010. Major Norton assembled and trained a team of

MCTSSA technical experts, then led these experts to Afghanistan to provide support to Marine

combat units in theater during the period November 2009 to January 2010. Major Norton and his

team of government civilians, contractors, and active-duty Marines provided the bridge between

operational requirements and technical solutions for these combat units. Major Norton led the

team to austere, forward-deployed locations where the units did not have access to technical

support. He ensured that tactical systems at these sites were restored to operational status and

optimal condition, allowing combat units to use their C4I systems more effectively. Returning from

Afghanistan, Major Norton was appointed Branch Head of the OFTSSC. He led his team of 39

C4I Analysts to provide technical expertise to operating forces worldwide. Major Norton recently

served as the Forward Site Commander for Combined Endeavor 10, the world’s largest multinational

interoperability and communications exercise. Because of Major Norton’s superb leadership and

superior technical skills, the Marine Corps has been asked to play an increasing role in future

Combined Endeavor coalition network planning and multinational interoperability testing efforts.


SSgt Juan Padilla, USMC

26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU)

Staff Sergeant Padilla is assigned as the MEU Radio Chief for the 26th MEU based at Camp

Lejeune, NC. He is responsible for planning, installation, operation and maintenance of all Marine

radio communications architecture ashore and afloat in support of exercises and operations in

garrison, on board Navy ships, and while forward deployed. He is also the MEU Radio Frequency

Hazard Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge. An innovator by nature, Staff Sergeant Padilla

has broken from the ranks of more traditional radio chiefs and has pursued the extension of data

over all radio frequency circuits. Neatly turning even the most current thinking on its head, he has

pursued the use of Internet Protocol over Everything (IPoE) and has managed to develop robust

methods of transmitting data bursts. This use of IPoE overcomes the challenges that require

expensive high-quality circuits and physical links. The deployed communications network has

grown to its greatest extent under Staff Sergeant Padilla, including the use of multispectral radios

and lofted communications suites. Using modern waveforms such as the Harris High Performance

Waveform and Satellite TDMA Capability, Staff Sergeant Padilla has made it possible to allow even

the most remote forward observation base data and voice capability on one set of equipment.

Staff Sergeant Padilla’s use of high-altitude ultra-high frequency retransmission balloons to support

over-the-horizon reach-back is another indicator of his industriousness. The employment of lofted

communications suites allows the commander to extend communication links over large expanses

of unimproved terrain and holds great potential for humanitarian assistance and other operations.

Staff Sergeant Padilla also spearheaded a dramatic reduction of the equipment and support

footprint and significant cost-savings through the use of green technologies. His initiative to adopt

rechargeable batteries has seen the command save approximately $50,000 in battery costs.

ITC Carlos A. Pelaez, USN

Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG-3)

Chief Information Systems Technician Pelaez is the Information Assurance Manager, Interim

Spectrum Manager, and Communications Planner of Expeditionary Strike Group. He also is the C5I

Department Leading Chief Petty Officer. He is responsible for the information security policies and

practices, the management of all cryptographic material and equipment, and is the communications

planner/spectrum manager during all operations and exercises of ESG-3. As the spectrum

manager for ESG-3, he developed the complex communications and spectrum management

plans for Exercise Dawn Blitz 2010 and was instrumental in the redevelopment of the standard

amphibious communications plans used by the Navy’s Afloat Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations

Program (AESOP). During the same time period, Chief Pelaez assisted eight amphibious ships in

preparation for their In-Service Material Inspection, a task normally reserved for experienced ET

or IT limited duty officers. His efforts were vital for ensuring that each ship was in a high state of

communications readiness for deployment. Chief Pelaez’s most brilliant accomplishment was his

detailed development of ESG-3’s OPTASK Network Operations (OPTASK NETOPS), the first such

document used by the Navy. An OPTASK NETOPS allows a ship or embarked unit to safely and

properly operate their local area network, and for Amphibious Readiness Groups to manage their

wide area networks. Through his diligent studies, Chief Pelaez was able to create an overarching

policy document that operationalized the arc of network operations and gave each ESG-3 unit a one

stop shop for all information regarding effective network operations. This made it easy for network

managers to find the information to safely operate their networks and communicate requirements

back up their chains of command. The immediate impact of the OPTASK NETOPS was a significant

drop in the incidence of noncompliance to network security requirements in all 12 ships of ESG-3.


SSgt James R. Rambo, USMC

1st Marine Division Forward – Delaram, Afghanistan

Staff Sergeant Rambo is serving as the Data Systems Chief, S-6 Regimental Combat Team 2

(RCT-2). He is responsible for engineering, design, planning, operation, troubleshooting, and

protection of the Regiment’s information systems network. The Regimental Combat Team’s battle

space is approximately the size of Vermont and contains more than 10,000 combat and support

personnel with highly kinetic operations ongoing hourly. Staff Sergeant Rambo has employed

every available resource to ensure his data architecture is flexible, reliable, and redundant

providing overlapping coverage and connectivity throughout this extremely large area. Due to

the restricted, dispersed and compartmentalized nature of the terrain in the area, the information

systems network engineered by Staff Sergeant Rambo has proven crucial to the success of

the Regiment in the counterinsurgency efforts. Through the diligent actions of Staff Sergeant

Rambo the Commander was able to synchronize efforts in even the most remote areas, to

bring maximum possible combat power to bear on the enemy. Without the personal efforts of

Staff Sergeant Rambo, the Regimental Combat Team’s support of three Marine battalions and

two Coalition battalions would not have been possible. Staff Sergeant Rambo integrated three

separate networks into the data architecture over a variety of transmission media. Introducing

new technologies into a combat environment has proven critical to the success of the network

as resource shortfalls have required creative solutions to difficult challenges. Staff Sergeant

Rambo is responsible for the distributed data capabilities in the subordinate battalions. Never

before has the Marine Corps pushed such a wide variety of information applications and

services down to the platoon level and in some cases to even lower levels.

LT Jason M. Stephens, USN

USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77)

Lieutenant Stephens is assigned as the Combat Systems Maintenance Officer (CSMO) and Systems

Test Officer on board USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) and serves as the Principal Assistant to

the Combat Systems Officer, a position normally held by a senior lieutenant commander. Lieutenant

Stephens was the driving force behind Combat System Department’s exceptional performance during

the ship’s Flight Deck Certification and Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Combat

Systems and Information (C5I) as well as Combat Systems Ship’s Qualification Trials (CSSQT). His

knowledge of communication, cryptological, intel, and radar systems has accelerated the transition

of Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) CVN-77 to the Navy’s newest and most capable C5I platform to

ever set sail. During CVN-77’s $400,000,000 post-shakedown availability, he directly managed and

coordinated more than 300 C5I installations and upgrades, and approved all final system testing and

diagnostics associated. In addition, he designed and implemented a comprehensive C5I system lightoff

plan, invaluable to CVN-77 and Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Newport News being able to deliver

a 100% operational C5I suite to Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic. As Combat Systems Training

Team Technical Leader, Lieutenant Stephens developed and implemented more than 100 Combat

Systems Casualty Control Evolution drill guides. His efforts directly contributed to CVN-77’s completing

her basic phase of training, and the Combat Systems Technical team was recognized for superior

performance and well above fleet average scores. Directly interfacing with Surface Warfare Center

Port Hueneme during CVN-77’s most recent CSSQT, Lieutenant Stephens’ efforts led to a perfect

NATO Certification and a successful missile-firing exercise, making CVN-77 the first East Coast CVN to

successfully load and launch the MK 162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile.


LTJG Sean D. Thompson, USN

U.S. Navy Information Operations Command – Whidbey Island

Lieutenant Thompson is the Air Department Operations Officer and Airborne Cryptologic Special

Evaluator Weapons and Tactics Instructor (Level 5). He coordinates and manages information warfare

(IW) airborne operators’ aircrew readiness program, trains and assesses Commander Tenth Fleet

EP-3E aircrew, provides for Joint Common Configuration EP-3E equipment certification, and develops

and validates EP-3E IW tactics techniques procedures. He drafted both the initial Cyber Forces

(CYBERFOR) training manual input for airborne signals intelligence and the Tenth Fleet’s standing

Airborne Operational Tasking (OPTASK) Cryptology Supplement to the Navy-wide OPTASK Cryptology.

These documents established the first comprehensive certification requirements for CYBERFOR

EP-3E aircrews and the baseline for Tenth Fleet’s guidance on airborne cryptological collection

operations respectively. Lieutenant Thompson was hand selected for a short-notice deployment to the

Central Command’s area of responsibility to test, validate, and certify emerging airborne information

operations capabilities needed for immediate combat operations. His efforts improved EP-3E targeting

competence and removed at least eight high-value individuals from the battle space. He is certified

as a Level 5 Weapons and Tactics Instructor (the highest qualification level achievable) in the EP-3E

Fleet Air Reconnaissance (VQ) community and as a Patrol Squadron (VP) 30 Fleet Naval Air Training

and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Instructor. His diligence and adherence to the

aircrew Advanced Readiness Program ensured competent certification and assessment of 246 aircrew

during 1,400 hours of EP-3E Special Intelligence Mission Avionics System Trainer Fleet Synthetic

Training missions. Lieutenant Thompson led a CYBERFOR team through a series of operational and

developmental tests and certifications on emergent EP-3E communications intelligence subsystems,

enabling an earlier-than-expected system initial operating capability during the Air Force Weapons

School Mission Employment Phase exercises. Lieutenant Thompson coordinated all aspects of

a highly successful Tenth Fleet aircrew leadership summit, which was instrumental in articulating

community shortfalls, corrective actions, and established a roadmap for the future of the Tenth Fleet

airborne information operations mission.

2010 Copernicus Award Winners

2009 Copernicus Award Winners


2008 Copernicus Award Winners


2007 Copernicus Award Winners


2006 Copernicus Award Winners


2005 Copernicus Award Winners


2004 Copernicus Award Winners