By Jennifer Thibault
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
By The Tennessee Ernie Ford Chapter of the Air Force Association recognized one of Schriever’s own during their annual awards banquet in Santa Clara, Calif., Oct. 29.
Capt. Otto Meyer, 3rd Space Operations Squadron, is now one of the 11 members inducted into this chapter’s Space Operations Hall of Fame, according to the chapter’s website.
Captain Meyer earned the award for his duties as the Defense Satellite Communications System Engineering chief. In his role, he leads a seven-person engineering section in charge of all execution and planning from launch to disposal.
But it was his technical expertise and innovation that led to the development and successful first-ever test on DSCS of a design improving spacecraft control that really set him apart for the nomination.
“To tell you the truth, I was really surprised and deeply humbled. While I love running these innovative tests and pushing the bounds of conventional operations, I honestly didn’t expect to win awards for that. It’s just a blast to do it and that’s award enough,” said Captain Meyer on the honor.
Captain Meyer led a joint military and contracting team to develop an on-orbit test on DSCS to show that both sun capture and earth capture can be done using reaction wheels alone. The test was successful and implementation of this procedure on all vehicles will potentially save fuel and extend the operational mission of the entire constellation for eight years.
“Capt Meyer’s innovative and carefully considered plans for our DSCS satellites contribute to the strategic viability of the constellation. It’s this aspect of his work at 3 SOPS that is so noteworthy for the 50th Space Wing and the Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Karahalis, 3 SOPS operations officer.
Captain Meyer was in good company among those recognized during the banquet,,as the main theme for the event was honoring Lt. Gen. Larry D. James, 14th Air Force commander. The chapter used the event to recognize General James for his outstanding leadership for more than 32 years, according to their website.
“I’ve never really been to a full-up awards ceremony, so it was pretty cool to see the pomp and circumstance about it. Lt. Gen. James is also a great speaker and an inspiring leader, so getting a chance to hear him talk was a real privilege,” said Captain Meyer.
Other awards were presented to personnel of Onizuka Air Force Station, Defense Logistics Agency and NASA as well as other agencies.