Air Force A3 Receives Award for Space

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  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information
The Air Force Association presented the General Thomas D. White Space Award to the Headquarters U.S. Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations for outstanding contribution to American aerospace progress on Nov. 20. 

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III nominated Lt. Gen. John Raymond for this award for his role as the commander of 14th Air Force, Air Force Space Command; and commander of Joint Functional Component Command for Space, U.S. Strategic Command.

“General Raymond's tireless leadership, persistent dedication to excellence, and innovative efforts have enabled the delivery of unrivalled space effects to nine unified combatant commanders and assured our nation's continued asymmetric advantage in the space domain,” Welsh said.

According to the award citation, Raymond distinguished himself by leading more than 20,500 Airmen and commercial contractors, providing unrivalled space effects to nine unified combatant commanders. His team tracked 260 foreign missile launches and 95 worldwide space launches, detected 345 on-orbit spacecraft maneuvers, and executed more than 335 days of space control missions for Operation Enduring Freedom, supporting 400 joint task force operations.  

Under Raymond’s guidance, operations and intelligence reached new levels of integration in the standup of the joint space intelligence enterprise and joint exploitation and fusion cell. Additionally, in partnership with the commercial space industry, Raymond led the stand-up of the Commercial Integration Cell at the Joint Space Operations Center.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to accept this coveted award,” Raymond said. “In fact, the only way I can accept this award, is to do so on behalf of the 22,000 Airmen of 14th Air Force and JFCC Space that I was privileged to lead. These Airmen professionally operate the space capabilities that fuel our American way of life and our American way of war … they make it look easy and it’s not.”

When Gen. Thomas D. White retired in 1961, the National Geographic Society established an annual award in his name, to be given to an Air Force military or civilian person for outstanding contribution to American aerospace progress. The first recipient was Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, a pilot of Mercury Liberty Bell 7, for the 15-minute suborbital flight.  

The sponsorship of the award passed from the National Geographic Society to AFA and the General Bernard A. Schriever Chapter 147 in 1996.