WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/
-- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy
Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org,
hosted the inaugural Missile Defender of the Year Award Ceremony on
January 14, 2011 in Alexandria Virginia honoring the best U.S. Armed
Service members in the field of Missile Defense for 2010. Mr. Ellison's
comments are below:
On January 14th, 2011 MDAA was honored to
host the inaugural "Missile Defender of the Year Award Ceremony." The
Missile Defender of the Year is awarded to the best U.S. missile defense
Solider, Sailor, Airmen and National Guardsmen for the year. The event
was held on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the first successful war
time use of active U.S. missile defenses to protect and defend our armed
forces and allies.
On January 15th, 1991 soldiers from the 11th
Air Defense Artillery Brigade changed modern day warfare forever when
they successfully intercepted an Al Hussein Missile launched from Iraq
headed towards Dhahran, Saudi Arabia with a Patriot Missile Defense
Battery. This heroic act was played out multiple times in Dhahran,
Riyadh and Tel Aviv. This validation of "active missile defense" by
United States Soldiers under the harshest combat conditions laid the
groundwork for what we have today: multiple layered, joint
service-missile defense that protects tactical, operational and
strategic assets from hostile missile attacks.
The award ceremony
held in Alexandria, Virginia recognized and honored members of our
military who command fully operational and deployed missile defense
systems. The award is given to a United States Armed Forces service
member from each branch that currently deploys a U.S. missile defense
system. The Defenders of the Year are selected by their peers and
commanding officers from the United States Army, United States Navy,
United States Air Force and the National Guard. These select individuals
represent the best in leadership and personal effort, demonstrating
their commitment to excellence and their critical role in missile
defense. They are an inspiration to their subordinates, peers and
The 2010 Defender of the Year Award winners are:
First Lieutenant Ted M. Kimmey Jr., United States Army.
Lieutenant Ted M. Kimmey, Jr. serves as the Fire Control Platoon Leader
for Charlie Patriot Battery, 5-7 ADA, Kaiserslautern, Germany. He
previously served as the Headquarters Platoon Leader, Charlie Patriot
Battery, 5-7 ADA, deploying in support of Operation Juniper Cobra 2010.
First Lieutenant Kimmey was born in Newark, Delaware and graduated from
University High School in Orlando, Florida in 2004. Upon graduation from
the United States Military Academy in 2008, he was commissioned in the
United States Army's Air Defense Artillery. His military awards include
the Army Commendation Medal. First Lieutenant Ted M. Kimmey received his
award from Lieutenant General Michael Vane, United States Army.
Petty Officer First Class Shawn Andre Walker, United States Navy.
Officer First Class Shawn Andre Walker is the Acting Systems Test
Officer/AEGIS Weapons System Supervisor on the US Aegis Destroyer USS
O'KANE/DDG 77 deployed in the Persian Gulf. Petty Officer Walker was
born in Los Angeles, California in 1978 and majored in Biology at
Michigan State and Rider University before enlisting in the Navy in
January 1997. Originally serving as Leading Petty Officer (LPO), he
assumed the duties of Leading Chief Petty Officer (LCPO) in January 2010
due to a gapped Chief billet. In June 2010, he further assumed duties
as Systems Test Officer (STO) to fill a critical gapped billet normally
assigned to a Chief Warrant Officer or Limited Duty Officer. His
decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Petty
Officer First Class Shawn Andre Walker received his award from the Vice
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert.
First Lieutenant Brian K. Yoakam, United States Air Force.
Lieutenant Brian K. Yoakam is a Space Officer assigned to the 460th
Operations Group at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. Lieutenant Yoakam
was born in Norfolk, Virginia on December 11, 1984. He was commissioned
from the University of Virginia in 2007 to the United States Air Force
as a Second Lieutenant. Lieutenant Yoakam was personally selected to
deploy to the Combined Air and Space Operations Center at Al Udeid Air
Base in Qatar to work as the Space Duty Officer. Lieutenant Yoakam
earned the 460th Operations Support Squadron Company Grade Officer of
the Quarter in 2009, the 2009 Space-Based Infrared System Crew of the
Year, and the Company Grade Officer of the Quarter 2010 at his deployed
detachment. His military awards include the National Defense Service
Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Commendation
Medal. First Lieutenant Brian K. Yoakam received his award from
Brigadier General Jane Rohr, United States Air Force.
Major Michael A. Tobey, National Guard.
Michael A. Tobey is the Assistant Operations Officer (Assistant S-3)
for the 100th Missile Defense Brigade of the United States Homeland
Missile Defense system. Major Tobey is a native of Midland, Michigan. He
graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1995 with a
Bachelor's of Science degree in Engineering Management. He received his
commission into the Air Defense Artillery branch that same year. Major
Tobey's decorations and awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious
Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (with
three Oak Leaf Clusters), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraq
Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Medal, Parachutist Badge, Air
Assault Badge, and the U.S. Air Force Senior Space Operations Badge.
Major Michael A. Tobey received his award from Brigadier General Kurt
Story, United States Army.
On behalf of our membership throughout
the nation and the American public, we are honored to recognize the
best of the best in missile defense for 2010. These four outstanding
young men represent their unit, ship and air wing as extensions of all
those that they work with and the missile defense systems they operate.
They represent the best of the military's current and future missile
defense capability to make our nation and world safer. We commend their
role and those of our military war fighters who bring these missile
defense systems to life to operate, command, defend and protect against
the growing and current threats of nuclear proliferation and ballistic
The 2nd annual "Missile Defender of the Year Award Ceremony" will be held in Alexandria, Virginia on January 13, 2012.