6th SWS captures NORAD award
The 6th Space Warning Squadron here is the 2004 North American Aerospace Defense Command’s most outstanding unit for its support of the common defense and partnership in protecting the U.S. and Canadian homelands.


By Tech. Sgt. Devin Fisher, NORAD Public Affairs
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2005

  
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CAPE COD AIR FORCE STATION, Mass. – The 6th Space Warning Squadron here is the 2004 North American Aerospace Defense Command’s most outstanding unit for its support of the common defense and partnership in protecting the U.S. and Canadian homelands.

NORAD commander Adm. Timothy J. Keating presented the unit with the Partridge-Slemon Award for “exceptional meritorious service” during the NORAD Commanders’ Conference held at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., April 28.

Admiral Keating said the 6th SWS should be proud of its accomplishments.

“It’s unusual for an organization like the 6th SWS – an organization out there by themselves in Cape Cod – to jump into the forefront” and receive the Partridge-Slemon Award, he said. “This is a small thanks for the critical mission you provide … we are counting on you for continued great service.”

The Partridge-Slemon Award is named in honor of the first commander and deputy commander of NORAD – Gen. Earle E. Partridge and Canadian Air Marshall C. Roy Slemon. It is presented annually to recognize the outstanding directorate, region, sector, Air Force Space Command warning unit or other contributing unit in support of the NORAD air defense mission.

In its citation, NORAD praised the 6th SWS for its “flawless execution of United States Strategic Command’s number one mission priority” – missile warning. The unit conducted 1,095 alerts on the East Coast’s only radar capable of detecting ballistic missile attacks and reported more than 8,500 missions on Air Force Space Command’s highest priority – low earth-orbiting satellites.

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award today,” said Lt. Col. Nina Armagno, who served as the 6th SWS commander from June 2003 until December 2004 and is now the 21st Space Wing Operations Group deputy commander at Peterson.

Colonel Armagno quickly noted the achievement is a result of the combined effort, hard work and dedication of the 140 Air Force military, civilian, defense contractor, and three Canadian military personnel assigned to the 6th SWS.

“The men and women of 6th SWS truly do operate in a bi-national manner,” she said. “Our Canadian members are fully integrated, critical members of the team … without whom we could not perform the mission day-to-day.”

She noted two-thirds of their Canadian Forces personnel directed the 6th SWS Exercise Control Team, which was directly responsible for the unit receiving the highest operations rating during its Operational Readiness Inspection.

“I am so very proud of Team 6’s accomplishments and am humbled to accept this prestigious award on their behalf,” Colonel Armagno said.

The 6th SWS is a geographically separated unit of the 21st Space Wing, Peterson AFB. The squadron guards the U.S. East Coast and is responsible for detecting sea-launched or intercontinental ballistic missiles, and determining the potential number and the probable destination. The 6th SWS reports detection information to NORAD, Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Colo.; U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt AFB, Neb.; and the National Command Authorities. Additionally, the 6th SWS helps detect the location of the more than 8,000 earth-orbiting satellites to guarantee national and international agencies can ensure new satellites will safely launch and orbit.


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