2nd SWS earns 2016 Seth J. McKee award

Members of the 2nd Space Warning Squadron pose for a photo March 10, 2017, around the Gen. Seth J. McKee award sign on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The McKee award was presented to the 2nd SWS for being recognized as the best missile warning squadron of 2016 in the Air Force Space Command. The “2016” is yet to be installed on the sign. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jacob Deatherage/Released)

Members of the 2nd Space Warning Squadron pose for a photo March 10, 2017, around the Gen. Seth J. McKee award sign on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The McKee award was presented to the 2nd SWS for being recognized as the best missile warning squadron of 2016 in the Air Force Space Command. The “2016” is yet to be installed on the sign. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jacob Deatherage/Released)

Gen. Seth J. McKee was a four-star general who was the highest ranking survivor of the D-Day invasion of France in World War II. He later retired after serving as the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. (Courtesy photo)

Gen. Seth J. McKee was a four-star general who was the highest ranking survivor of the D-Day invasion of France in World War II. He later retired after serving as the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. (Courtesy photo)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 2nd Space Warning Squadron won the 2016 Gen. Seth J. McKee Award for the sixth time since the year 2000.

McKee, a four-star general who was the highest ranking survivor of the D-Day invasion of France in World War II, led a group of fighter planes providing air support for troops invading the beach at Normandy. He later retired after serving as the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson AFB, Colo.

The McKee Award, presented annually, recognizes the best missile warning squadron, both space-based and ground-based in the 14th Air Force and Air Force Space Command.

“This award justifies all of the hard work, long hours and the time away from family that our Airmen have done over the previous year,” said Maj. Brendon, 2nd SWS operations officer.

The 2nd SWS competed with 10 other units for the award, was recognized by the key factors of mission accomplishment, meritorious achievement of service, quality initiative and other tangible and quantifiable factors that affect the unit's mission.

Some of the achievements in 2016 allowing the 2nd SWS to stand out exponentially were the successful Block 10 transition and operations acceptance, which detected a record amount of missile launches, a unit deployment to fully operate their backup location, the launch of the GEO-4 satellite, and cyber testing of the squadron’s capabilities.

“If you looked at our award package, a lot of our bullets could have been number one bullets for any other squadron,” said Brendon.

But the success of the 2nd SWS’s outstanding year could not have been done without the support of Buckley AFB.

“The way I look at it, we are supported by the 460th Operations Support Squadron, the 460th Operations Group, Standardization and Evaluation, and if you went to my operations groups today, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between 2nd SWS, 8th SWS, OSS or OGV,” said Brendon. “Yes it’s given to 2nd SWS and 8th SWS, but in my mind, everybody has earned that award.”

Just because it’s a 2nd SWS award, doesn’t mean they did it by themselves, added Tech Sgt. Mark, 2nd SWS operations superintendent. We have an entire base here supporting the mission that 2nd SWS does.

With an increase in global threats, it is more important than ever for the 2nd SWS to continue performing at a high level.

“We’re going to continue doing what we’re doing,” said Mark. “Our guys have been operating 24/7 for decades, performing perfect, timely and accurate theatre missile warning.”