Major Awarded Forrest S. McCartney Award
By 2nd Lt. Alicia Wallace, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 11, 2013
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The first annual Forrest S. McCartney National Defense Space Award was presented to Maj. Kenneth Holmes, Air Force Special Operations Command chief of space training, at the National Space Club luncheon Tuesday.
The award and recognizes significant contributions of Department of Defense personnel on duty in Florida and is newly named for a retired Air Force lieutenant general and former director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Major Holmes was selected for the award based on his ability to provide and integrate space capabilities to support in-garrison and deployed special operations forces world-wide. His contribution during his over 140-day deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, as the Special Tactics Officer Chief and Space Officer In Charge for a Joint Task Force earned him praise as a leader and a technical expert.
Under his leadership, the JTF was able to support over 19,400 task force personnel during 384 direct action missions. He was able to significantly disrupt thousands of hours of enemy lines of communication, which resulted in 1,471 enemies captured or killed, including 166 high value individuals. Major Holmes' technical expertise made possible near real-time updates for task forces that enhanced planning and execution of missions and resulted in the capture of targets and significantly restricting enemy movement.
"It is humbling to receive this award," said Major Holmes. "I'm honored to be able to support those on the ground who risk their lives every day."
Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, 45th Space Wing commander, emphasized the important role the National Space Club has in recognizing the individuals who support both the space mission and helping Airmen.
"The National Space Club helps connect us all," said General Cotton, "and recognize the achievements of excellent performers."