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Wright-Patterson research psychologist wins award for innovative training

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, left, presents the 2015 Harold Brown Award to Dr. Lisa Tripp during a ceremony June 6, 2016, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The award, the highest given by the Air Force to a scientist or engineer, was for Tripp’s efforts in creating innovative and cost-saving training methods and platforms for the Air Force intelligence community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, left, presents the 2015 Harold Brown Award to Dr. Lisa Tripp during a ceremony June 6, 2016, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The award, the highest given by the Air Force to a scientist or engineer, was for Tripp’s efforts in creating innovative and cost-saving training methods and platforms for the Air Force intelligence community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) -- A research psychologist from the 711th Human Performance Wing here was presented with the 2015 Harold Brown Award by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James during a ceremony here June 6.

Dr. Lisa Tripp, who works in the Airman Systems Directorate's Continuous Learning Branch, received the award for her efforts in creating innovative and cost-saving training methods and platforms for the Air Force intelligence community.

"Being presented this award by the secretary of the Air Force and the United States Air Force chief scientist is the highlight of my career," Tripp said. "This award represents a momentous achievement not just for myself, but for my team -- a team dedicated to the mission of providing state-of-the-art research and development in the area of training for the Airman."

In her nomination package, Lt. Col. John Matuszak, her branch chief at the time, stated: "Tripp has been a leader and key player in enabling the U.S. Air Force to support innovative C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) training techniques through research, invention and innovation. Her expertise and leadership have been crucial in developing new training methods and technologies to support the Intelligence community with more effective training methodologies and capabilities."

The Harold Brown Award, the highest award given by the Air Force to a scientist or engineer, recognizes significant achievement in research and development that led to or demonstrated promise of a substantial improvement in operational effectiveness for the Air Force.

"Unlike the fighter community, which has been using simulators for decades for mission rehearsal and training, the only comparable training for the intelligence community was on the job," Tripp said. "That means, the first time an analyst was likely to support an Airman in contact situation or combat search and rescue was on the job."

Tripp went on to explain that after collecting data and interacting with operators in the intelligence arena, her team uncovered an area where they could improve training.

"We put together a team of program managers, training researchers, engineers, and domain subject matter experts to work together," she said. "The result is the Distributed Common Ground System weapons system trainer, a successful collaborative effort across major commands including Air Force Materiel Command and Air Combat Command to develop the first of its kind trainer for the Air Force intelligence community."

Matuszak also praised Tripp's contributions and discussed the specific impact she made to not just training, but the economic impact of her efforts as well.

"Through her expertise, intelligence analysts' knowledge and experience with a variety of mission scenarios will be drastically increased while decreasing the amount of time required altering mission sets and training scenarios," he said. "This is expected to save thousands of man-hours and dollars annually."

The award is named after a physicist who served as secretary of the Air Force from 1965 to 1969 and secretary of defense from 1977 to 1981.

The winner of the award receives a brass medallion embedded with a distinctive Lucite block, and a certificate signed by the Air Force secretary and chief of staff. Tripp's name will also be engraved on a plaque permanently displayed near the secretary’s office in the Pentagon.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to work for a service so committed to ensuring their research and development focuses not only on the technology, but on the Airman," Tripp said.

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