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Space for the Win: Air Force Officer Recognized for Excellence in Space Operations

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A former Schriever Air Force Base unit commander recently received the General Bernard Schriever Award during the 60th annual National Space Club memorial dinner March 10 at Washington, D.C.

Lt. Col. Kyle Pumroy, the former 527th Space Aggressor Squadron commander and now the chief of Space Force Structure Plans for the Space and Cyberspace Superiority Division, Directorate of Strategic Plans, Headquarters Air Force, received the award for his contribution to space activity.

“Being selected for the Schriever award is a tremendous and humbling honor, and is a testament to the incredible global impact the men and women of the 527th and 26th Space Aggressor Squadrons have as they train joint warfighters,” said Pumroy.  “Though I was selected for the award, my old Space Aggressor teammates and my current headquarters Air Force teammates deserve all the credit.”

In his current assignment, Pumroy’s space domain and threat expertise paid huge dividends in formulating the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s fiscal 2019 Planning Choices for Space Superiority. 

His advocacy laid the foundation to further the Air Force’s Space Enterprise Vision.  These efforts were designed to transform the resiliency of future space systems, and prepare space forces to prevail in a conflict that extends into space.

His professional achievements set the bar high for the year.

“This summer, I'll attend Air War College,” said Pumroy.  “From there, I'm looking forward to doing what I can to help the Air Force continue to build a warfighter mindset (what I like to call a "spirit of attack") in space training and operations.”

Pumroy spent the first half of 2016 leading the space aggressors’ many “firsts” as they met the Department of Defense’s demand for live space threat replication, which only the squadron can provide. 

Under his command, the space aggressors supported their first ever Polish exercise, replicating adversary threats during the highly publicized Exercise Anakonda 2016. 

The space aggressors replicated satellite communications and GPS jamming capabilities for the first time with the Army’s 10th Special Forces Group prior to their deployment to Eastern Europe. This training primed more than 200 Soldiers for regional threats as they trained and advised partner nations. 

Pumroy advocacy helped to transition control of a demonstration satellite to use for live on-orbit threat training for space operators – also a first for the space aggressors. 

In addition, Pumroy led his unit’s electronic warfare training with MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and RQ-4 Global Hawk units and drove development of new tactics and countermeasures. He also worked to nearly double his unit’s operations manpower capacity and paved the way for building our nation’s first Navy and Army Space Aggressors.

Numerous successes led to this distinguished award, and Pumroy is cognizant of paying forward how he did it with the junior Airmen on his team.

“Learn how to take risk, and understand that it's OK to fail,” said Pumroy.  “In fact, failing is necessary if we're to learn meaningful lessons.  I attribute the greatest successes I've enjoyed to my previous failures. I worry at times that we have a culture which causes junior career grade officers and Space operators to avoid failure at all costs, which inhibits learning and keeps us from being an effective fighting force.  I believe tomorrow's space leaders will be today's junior folks who get that.”

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