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    70th Airman receives ‘sword of honor’

    70th Airman receives ‘sword of honor’

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Veronica Pierce | U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Gwyddon Owen, 37th Intelligence Squadron commander, poses for...... read more read more

    WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES

    12.13.2018

    Story by Tech. Sgt. Veronica Pierce 

    70th ISR Wing

    During a ceremony hosted by the Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation (RAFMAF), Lt. Col. T. Gwyddon Owen, 37th Intelligence Squadron commander, was awarded the 2018 Sword of Honor, Oct. 11.

    According to the RAFMAF, the award is presented to a Royal Air Force (RAF) and U.S. Air Force (USAF) Exchange Officer each year whose contributions have most reflected the values that honor the veterans and the Foundation share: service, excellence, integrity and courage.

    Owen, a cyberspace operations officer, began working with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), Defence Science and Technology Laboratories (DSTL) in May 2016, as a Military Advisor as part of the Military Personnel Exchange Program (MPEP) for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

    “Each year the USAF and RAF select a member who has made the largest contribution to relationships between the two nations,” said Owen. “While MPEP traditionally assign pilots to the program, I was brought on to advise the MOD on cyber threats and capabilities.”

    During his time with the exchange program, Owen played a direct role in supporting in U.K. joint readiness by helping to develop a multinational mission assurance team. The team assessed and identified solutions to protect air, land and naval military equipment from cyber attacks.

    “As a military advisor for DSTL, I represented the end user in a largely civilian organization,” said Owen. “I helped the UK develop capabilities that have significant implications for how the U.S., UK and other allies will engage in the future; not just in the digital domain, but in all domains.”

    For example, his team identified threats to and fixes for national-level intelligence capabilities, Ministry of Defence logistics, multinational airpower platforms and fleet defense systems. Collectively, these represent over $7.1 trillion dollars of MOD, DoD and allied capabilities that are now substantially more protected.

    His work in design, development and testing of next-generation MOD capabilities was recognized during the ceremony. These systems enable previously impossible missions to take place in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

    These capabilities will cut certain Special Operations missions from weeks to hours, substantially lowering their risk and further increasing their effectiveness. They also boost naval assets’ effective combat range by over 100 kilometers for a 10 percent improvement with no modification to the vessels.

    Additionally, Owen worked with the MOD’s acquisition organization to ensure it was asking the right questions before contracting for new capabilities or equipment.

    Owen went on to explain that the UK assesses risk and brings in Subject Matter Experts to discuss potential platform/weapon system vulnerabilities before the final selection of a contract.

    “I provided impartial advice on what the contract should entail and what ‘right’ looked like,” said Owen. “But contract negotiations and the final decisions were entirely up the MOD.”

    Owen added, the MOD being smaller in numbers compared to the DoD, makes great effort to utilize their resources efficiently.

    “The perspective from the eyes of a foreign service is so different,” said Owen. “Getting the experience to see things from their side has helped change my current interactions as a commander that I have with our partners, it was a phenomenal experience.”

    He went on to explain that observing how the MOD applies talent management, prioritizes resources, lets employees know how they are making an impact, explaining the end state and letting your people make it happen, is something he translates into his current command position.

    When it comes to the exchange program, Owen is an advocate for any Airman, officer and enlisted, to apply for developmental duties through the Air Force Personnel Center website.

    “Professionally, the interaction I had with our partners was just phenomenal,” said Owen. “On a personal level, it was a life-changing experience and our family will be positively impacted for a lifetime.”
    Owen encourages Airmen, officer or enlisted, to apply for developmental duties through the Air Force Personnel Center website at: https://www.afpc.af.mil/Assignment/Developmental-Special-Duty/

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.13.2018
    Date Posted: 12.13.2018 15:42
    Story ID: 303478
    Location: WASHINGTON, DC, US 

    Web Views: 64
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    70th Airman receives ‘sword of honor’