AFLCMC-Hanscom personnel shine at command excellence awards

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Three Air Force Life Cycle Management Center employees here won their respective categories during the Air Force Materiel Command’s Annual Excellence Awards at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, March 8.

Brett Castle, an energy management technician for the 66th Air Base Group, won the Civilian Category I of the Year award. Brian Carr, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization deputy Radar Integrated Product Team lead, captured the Civilian Category II of the Year award. Lt. Col. Timothy M. Helfrich, Communication Systems Quick Reaction Capability Branch materiel leader who manages the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node program, won the Field Grade Officer of the Year award.

“At Team Hanscom we have incredible talent that does amazing work each and every day for the warfighter,” said Col. Roman L. Hund, installation commander, who attended the event with other senior leaders from Hanscom. “The three LCMC-Hanscom winners – as well as the four others from Hanscom who competed in their categories – represent a diverse mix of specialties, yet they all share a common thread, they are the epitome of our Air Force core values.”

Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, AFMC commander, hosted the awards ceremony. After congratulating all the nominees and winners on a job well done, she commented on how fortunate she felt to be the commander of such Airmen.

"I am the luckiest commander in the Air Force," said Pawlikowski. "No other place in the Air Force other than AFMC will you find Airmen who have such a direct effect on protecting our freedoms."

In total, more than 60 Airmen from throughout AFMC’s headquarters, centers and wings were nominated to compete in nine separate categories — airman, noncommissioned officer, senior NCO, first sergeant, company grade officer, field grade officer, civilian category I, civilian category II and civilian category III.

Civilian Category 1 of the Year

As an energy management technician, Castle “carried the energy program to new heights.”

“Brett is credited with helping cut energy intensity at Hanscom by more than 20 percent over the previous fiscal year,” said Thomas Schluckebier, 66th Civil Engineering Division director. “In addition, he implemented Hanscom’s first-ever tiered metering program that resulted in a 50 percent cut in data analysis saving more than 40 man-hours per month.”

Off duty, Castle tutors middle school students in math and volunteers as an on base STARBASE speaker.

Civilian Category 2 of the Year

Carr executed six contracts worth $138 million to reduce risk for the $2.9 billion engineering, manufacturing and development phase.

“Brian was instrumental in building a $130M acquisition strategy that won Defense Acquisition Executive approval,” said Steve Wert, Battle Management program executive officer. “Additionally, he identified mitigations for program risks that resulted in two contracts awarded in less than two months.”

Carr has completed nine master’s courses towards Air Command and Staff College, maintaining a 3.6 grade point average.

Field Grade Officer of the Year

While deployed overseas, Helfrich led a 38-member joint team providing life support to seven special operations units at locations across the area of operation in a deployed environment.

“Lt. Col. Helfrich is a program management leader and deployed warrior,” said Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, PEO for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks. “As the BACN program manager, he ensured critical battlefield airborne communications support, expanding operational range by 150 percent, enabling combat sorties, and delivering kinetic strikes against the enemy.”

Off duty, Helfrich volunteered at a local school teaching scientific processes to 20 fifth-graders. In addition, he raised more than $17,000 by running fitness challenges for cancer and diabetes research.