AFRL senior execs receive Presidential Rank Awards

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Five Air Force Research Laboratory senior staff members have been awarded 2015 Presidential Rank Awards.

Established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, these awards recognize a select group of career members of the Senior Executive Service for exceptional performance over an extended period of time.  The Rank Award statute was later amended in order to extend eligibility to senior career employees with a sustained record of exceptional professional, technical, and/or scientific achievement recognized on a national or international level.

Receiving Meritorious Executive awards are Mr. Ricky L. Peters and Dr. John S. Wilcox. Peters served as AFRL executive director, from 2013 until his retirement in September 2015.  He is being recognized for his management of AFRL's $4.4 billion portfolio and delivering science and technology breakthroughs to the warfighter.  Wilcox is the former Director of AFRL's Munitions Directorate who is being recognized for his leadership in the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting conventional air-launched weapon technologies for the Air Force.  Wilcox also retired in September 2015.

Three additional AFRL team members were awarded Meritorious Senior Personnel awards.

Dr. Robert E. Peterkin, chief scientist for AFRL's Directed Energy Directorate, is responsible for all Air Force research and development of high energy lasers, high power microwaves/dense plasmas, and advanced optical technologies.

Dr. Gregory G. Spanjers is chief scientist for AFRL's Space Vehicles Directorate and capability lead for science and technology investments in both Space Superiority and Nuclear Deterrence.

Dr. Steven K. Rogers is senior scientist for automatic target recognition and sensor fusion with AFRL's Sensors Directorate.  He has pioneered efforts in advancing machine intelligence for Air Force data-to-knowledge challenges in an effort to defeat terrorist networks and cyber attacks.

"A Presidential Rank Award is among one of the highest honors a SES or senior personnel can achieve," said AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello.  "The recognition of these five senior staff members reaffirms the fact that AFRL has had and continues to have one of the most talented and dedicated workforces in the world."