SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Two Schriever Airmen were recognized by Brig. Gen. DeAnna Burt, Headquarters Air Force Space Command director of operations and communications, at the conclusion of Space Flag 19-3 at Aerospace Corporation’s facility, Colorado, in August.
Staff Sgt. Zachary Beachy, 1st Space Operations Squadron orbital analyst, and 1st Lt. Joseph Shiver, 4th Space Operations Squadron mission planner, were both highlighted as superior performers during the week-long exercise.
Beachy said, Space Flag is an exercise conducted three times a year, allowing space operators to maneuver in a robust, physics-based modeling and simulation environment.
This particular iteration was significant because of attendance from Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force Gen. Stephen “Steve” Wilson, and other senior space military leaders from the United States, Australia, Canada and Great Britain, making Space Flag 19-3 the first exercise with coalition partners in Air Force Space Command’s, Fight Tonight, exercise.
“The exercise focused on using current capabilities to deter, deny and disrupt adversarial actions in the space domain, going over tactics we could use and applying them against a [simulated threat],” Beachy said.
Beachy said his job during the exercise was to come up with maneuver plans, offensive and defensive tactics for the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program to use if a war in space ever occurred.
“Our exercise consisted of scenarios emulating various stages of warfare,” he said. “It requires [our teams] to brainstorm and create solutions in real-time situations.”
Capt. Christopher Hatzl, 1st SOPS mission planning cell chief and Beachy’s supervisor, said Beachy showcased the 50th Space Wing priority of innovating and executing today’s operations during the exercise.
“[Beachy] oversaw the execution of multiple orbital engagements in three different scenarios against simulated aggressors, led the development of a new tactic for orbital engagements and was selected to brief the vice chief of staff of the Air Force, Air Force Space Command commander and other coalition distinguished visitors during the exercise,” Hatzl said. “It lends credence to the type of Airman he is.”
Beachy said the environment created during the exercise allowed him to showcase his intimate knowledge of orbital mechanics.
“It can be easy to gloss over the finer details of orbital mechanics when it isn’t in your wheelhouse,” he said. “I think being allowed to speak my mind on orbital mechanics helped in being recognized for my performance.”
Beachy said it’s not just about him, the recognition also reflects highly upon the 50th SW and 1st SOPS.
“We all work very hard to accomplish our mission,” he said. “If you think about it, 20 years ago an enlisted Airman would not be in my position.”
Capt. Lauren Hill, Air Force Space Command Public Affairs, contributed to this article.