Lieutenant excels beyond rank

1st Lt. Yousuke Zen Matsui, 460th Operations Support Squadron satellite engineer, stands in front of a satellite at the Mission Control Station Aug. 1, 2017, on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Matsui’s job includes monitoring the state of health of the Space-Based Infrared Systems satellite constellations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Deatherage)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Fresh eyes can detect flaws in a system that others may not see.

One Airman on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., spotted issues with the congruency of current 460th Operations Group projects in space.

“The project I work on is called Constellation Optimization and Sensor Management for Overhead Persistent Infrared Synergy, which essentially boils down to managing the Space-Based Infrared Systems constellation by leveraging all of our satellites, antennas and ground system capabilities to enhance the performance of our missile warning mission,” said 1st Lt. Yousuke, 460th Operations Support Squadron satellite engineer.

While collecting inputs for this project, it became apparent that the 460th OG would need to accomplish multiple efforts simultaneously, ranging from launching a new geosynchronous satellite to upgrading Buckley’s ground weapon system.

“Due to the concurrency of all these projects, it was identified that the 460th Space Wing needed to make a change to the schedule of when these upgrades and new satellites were going to be delivered to the 460th OG,” said Yousuke.

Yousuke, whose job includes monitoring the state of health of the SBIRS constellation, helped identify the possible risks of the operational posture and reorganize how the program office was going to deliver future capabilities in a way that maximizes the satellite posture, ground system and antenna status.

“My job was to present this information to our leadership, up to the 14th Air Force commander, so they could engage with the program offices in charge of delivering us these capabilities,” said Yousuke. “I was a second lieutenant at the time, so it was a good learning opportunity for me. It’s not very often a second lieutenant gets the chance to brief a three-star general.”

The risks that were raised to Lt. Gen. David Buck, 14th Air Force commander, helped sustain Buckley’s mission so they will have the required support to fulfill the no-fail missile warning mission.

“Lt. Yousuke has been one of our flight’s top performers and is by far one of the best engineers I’ve worked with in the Air Force,” stated Capt. Timothy, 460th OSS SBIRS satellite engineer chief. “His ability to aggregate, process and deliver the huge amounts of information needed to fulfill all the missile warning requirements has been astonishing and a major asset to the 460th OG.”