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AFSPC salutes essay contest winners

2nd Lt. George Edmund from the 566th Intelligence Squadron shares ideas from his essay, “Command of Space,” at Headquarters, Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 10, 2019. Edmund was named Gen. Bernard Schriever Memorial Essay Contest Airman/NCO Division First Place Winner. Edmund was recently was recently commissioned at a 2nd Lt.—he was a Staff Sgt. when he submitted the essay. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dave Grim)

Winners of the Gen. Bernard Schriever Memorial Essay Contest are recognized at Headquarters, Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 10, 2019. Honorees include (from left) Michael Forbis, Open Division Honorable Mention; 2nd Lt. Tucker Hutchinson, Open Division Runner Up; Tech. Sgt. Matthew Calhoun, Airman/NCO Division Runner Up and 2nd Lt. George Edmund, Airman/NCO Division First Place. Not pictured are 1st Lt. Peter Loftus, Open Division 1st Place and Maj. Michael Trimble, Open Division Honorable Mention. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dave Grim)

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Calhoun of the National Reconnaissance Office summarizes his essay, “American Space Capabilities: How Do We Stay Ahead?”, at Headquarters, Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 10, 2019. Calhoun was named Gen. Bernard Schriever Memorial Essay Contest Airman/NCO Division Runner Up. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dave Grim)

Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. -- The Lance P. Sijan Chapter of the Air Force Association and Air Force Space Command announced the winners of the 2018 Gen. Bernard A. Schriever Memorial Essay Contest here January 10.

The annual contest, begun in 2014, was created to stimulate thought, discussion and debate on issues relating to how the Air Force and Air Force Space Command provide space and cyberspace capabilities for the joint force and the nation.

“Some of our youngest Airmen have some of the very best ideas,” said AFSPC Deputy Commander Maj. Gen. John Shaw. “Sometimes that can really be an inspiration.”

Thirty-six competitors wrote about the return to great power competition and what mix of strategies, policies and systems are needed to maintain and strengthen U.S. dominance and deterrence in space.

2018 winners include:

Open Division (open to all past and present Airmen and civilian personnel)

First Place: “Counter & Cooperate:  How Space Can Be Used to Advance U.S.-China Cooperation While Curbing Beijing’s Terrestrial Excesses” Author:  1st Lt. Peter Loftus, 75th Expeditionary Fighter Wing, currently deployed

Runner-Up: “An Economic Approach to Deterrence” Author: 2nd Lt. Tucker Hutchinson, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, California

Honorable Mention: “The Space Fight:  An Examination of the Space Warfighting Domain & What it Takes to Win” Author: Mr. Michael Forbis, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Detachment 4, Peterson AFB, Colorado

Honorable Mention: “Trajectory: Recent U.S. Policy and the Challenges of Deterrence” Author: Maj. Michael Trimble, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon

Airman/NCO Division (open to Airmen E-1 through E-6)

First Place: “Command of Space” Author: 2nd Lt. George Edmund (Staff Sgt. at time of submission), 566th Intelligence Squadron, Buckley AFB, Colorado

Runner-Up: “American Space Capabilities: How Do We Stay Ahead?” Author: Tech. Sgt. Matthew Calhoun, National Reconnaissance Office, Fort Meade, Maryland

Several of the honorees shared ideas from their essays at the awards ceremony.

“I’m extremely grateful that the views of someone as low-ranking as myself, from outside of the space community, are valued,” said Loftus via a message that was read on his behalf.

The two top essays in the Open Division will be published in the Air and Space Power Journal.

“My background is definitely not in space,” said Calhoun, who says he did a lot of research.  “I was thinking, what a great way to step out, especially as an NCO.  If I have a chance to have a voice, why not take a chance?”

“I’m really pleased with the essays we got in 2018,” said Shaw, “but I’m even more excited about the essays we’re going to get in 2019, and the years after that, because the ideas are going to keep on coming—and we’re going to need them.”

The announcement for the 2019 contest is expected this spring.

The Lance P. Sijan Chapter of the Air Force Association sponsors the Gen. Bernard A. Schriever Memorial Essay Contest.  Winners and runners-up receive cash prizes and plaques.

The Airman/NCO Division essays are abailable on the AFSPC Website:

-“Command of Space” by 2nd Lt. George Edmund:

https://www.afspc.af.mil/News/Commentaries/Display/Article/1731255/2018-gen-bernard-a-schriever-memorial-essay-contest-airmannco-category-winner-c/

-“American Space Capabilities: How Do We Stay Ahead?” by Tech. Sgt. Matthew Calhoun:

https://www.afspc.af.mil/News/Commentaries/Display/Article/1728869/2018-gen-bernard-a-schriever-memorial-essay-contest-airmannco-division-runner-u/

Prior Gen. Bernard A. Schriever Memorial Essay Contest winning essays are available here:

https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/ASPJ/Schriever/

Additional contest information is available here:

https://www.lancepsijanafa.org/schriever-essay-contest/