11/23/2009 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center commander received the 2009 Gen. Thomas D. White Air Force Space Trophy Nov. 20 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Sargeant received the trophy, which is awarded annually to a military or civilian employee of the Air Force for the most outstanding contribution to the nation's progress in aerospace during the preceding year.
The trophy was established by the National Geographic Society in 1961 and was named in honor of then Air Force Chief of Staff General White. Previous recipients have included aerospace luminaries including astronauts, major command commanders, secretaries of the Air Force, and a chief of staff.
When notifying General Sargeant of his selection for the trophy, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said, "Your inspiring leadership as commander of the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center makes you a deserving recipient of this award. Your untiring dedication to excellence and innovative efforts to improve space acquisition, test, and evaluation has helped assure our nation's continued asymmetric advantage in the space domain. "
As the AFOTEC commander, General Sargeant leads 625 military and civilian personnel and more than 200 contractors at 12 different locations responsible for the operational test and evaluation of more than 70 major programs valued at more than $650 billion. There are 17 programs related to space and missile defense capabilities that total $270 billion. General Sargeant revolutionized space acquisition by creating a new Space Operational Test and Evaluation Model that ensures decision makers receive timely and accurate decision-quality data concerning the operational effectiveness, suitability, and mission capability of these systems. The Space Operational Test and Evaluation Model has been incorporated into DOD Instruction 5000.02, Operation of the Defense Acquisition System, and Air Force Instruction 99-103, Capabilities Based Test and Evaluation.
"I am both honored and humbled to receive the General Thomas D. White U.S. Air Force Space Trophy," General Sargeant said. "The AFOTEC team made tremendous progress in a short period of time integrating developmental and operational testing, and creating agile analysis and reporting of aerospace capabilities with great effect. As a result of these efforts, we delivered warfighting capabilities to our Airmen and joint partners 18 months ahead of schedule and saved more than $36 million in dedicated test costs. "