By Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, received the Gen. Jerome F. O’Malley Distinguished Space Leadership Award during the Air Force Ball at The Broadmoor Friday.
The award was established by the Lance P. Sijan Chapter of the Air Force Association. It recognizes leader’s contributions in achieving O’Malley’s vision of “providing an intensified space focus, and reorienting United States Air Force philosophy toward an operational approach by advocating the operational use of space systems at the highest levels of the Air Force.”
As the 50 SW commander, Burt provides key leadership to the Department of Defense’s largest space operations wing, enabling the operations of more than 175 Department of Defense, civil and allied spacecraft and associated cyber networks to deliver global combat effects.
In addition, Burt executed Air Force Space Command’s first Space Mission Force initiative, preparing the wing to conduct operations in a contested, degraded and operationally-limited environment.
Upon receiving the award, Burt thanked the AFA leadership and expressed the significance of what it means to her.
“Many of the people who have previously won this award and in this room tonight, are people who I wanted to be just like growing up,” said Burt. “Gen. O’Malley was the foundation to AFSPC and to even have my name associated with his, is a huge honor and it means the world to me.”
During the awards presentation, O’Malley’s daughter, Sharon O’Malley-Burg, shared her father’s legacy and expressed her gratitude to all the Airmen who have made contributions to the development of the AFSPC.
“My father was the most visionary, cogent, courageous, engaging and patriotic person I’ve ever known,” said O’Malley-Burg. “For me, one of the best things about this award is that I get to see the attributes of my father live on in the people who win.”
Burt also emphasized the real winners of the award are the AFSPC Airmen who continue to carry out the mission day in and day out.
“To be able to achieve certain things recognized by this award is because I was empowered and given the opportunity to lead,” Burt said. “It is a privilege and honor to lead the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force.”