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PAFB lieutenant named 2014 McCartney NDS award recipient

Col. Thomas Falzarano, 45th Operations Group commander, (center), and Mark Nappi, National Space Club Florida board member, (right), present 1st Lt. Joseph A. Chestnut, Jr., (left), with the 2014 Forrest S. McCarthy National Defense Space award recipient at Cape Canaveral, Fla., Jan. 13. The NSC said they are proud to recognize Chestnut for his contribution to the defense of our nation through his leadership and expertise of space capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens) (Released)

Col. Thomas Falzarano, 45th Operations Group commander, (center), and Mark Nappi, National Space Club Florida board member, (right), present 1st Lt. Joseph A. Chestnut, Jr., (left), with the 2014 Forrest S. McCarthy National Defense Space award recipient at Cape Canaveral, Fla., Jan. 13. The NSC said they are proud to recognize Chestnut for his contribution to the defense of our nation through his leadership and expertise of space capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens) (Released)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The National Space Club Florida committee named a Flight Mission Lead from the 5th Space Launch Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as the 2014 Forrest S. McCartney National Defense Space Award Recipient on Jan. 13 at a ceremony in Cape Canaveral.

First Lt. Joseph A. Chestnut, Jr. was recognized with this award for his leadership and expertise of space capabilities, and his contribution to national defense, said NSC-FL chairman, Mark Jager.

The Forrest S. McCartney National Defense Space Award was created in 2005 by the National Space Club Florida Committee to recognize significant achievements and contributions made by Department of Defense personnel while on duty in the state of Florida. The award celebrates major contributions of active-duty military members, DOD civilians and DOD contractors in space-related areas that significantly contribute to the defense of the nation.

"Just being nominated for this award puts you in a select group," said Col. Thomas G. Falzarano, 45th Operations Group commander. "Winning this award puts you in an exceptional category."

Chestnut manages the launch site operations and integration effort for the $46 billion Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program, coordinating launch contractor and space vehicle operations with the Eastern Range. He is responsible for launch campaign activities including booster operations, rehearsals, headquarters readiness reviews and launch day activities.

"It's humbling to be selected for this award," said Chestnut. "I've read about Gen. McCartney and his contributions, and having my name associated with his is amazing. It makes me stop and realize the importance of what we do here."