Air Force GIS developers honored

A team of systems developers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado won the United States Geospatial Foundation's 2007 achievement award in the military category for creating a system that planners can use to respond to homeland security incidents, among other tasks.

'The four members of the Space and Naval Warfare Center C4I Engineering Support Team ' Dave McKinley, Chris Mayfield, Dave Gokey and Gary Koch ' spent about a year creating the Situational Awareness Geospatial Enterprise [SAGE] system,' according to an announcement by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).

SAGE uses geospatial data from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency's Homeland Security Infrastructure Program.

The data SAGE displays was already available via an existing system, but accessing it was difficult, time-consuming and required extensive training, said McKinley, the project manager.

The system development team made the data more accessible by creating user tools that reduced training time to only a few minutes, the Air Force said.

SAGE already has been fielded to some users in NORAD and USNORTHCOM directorates, including operations, logistics, intelligence and the surgeon general. The service plans to roll out SAGE to additional users during the Vigilant Shield '08 homeland security exercise this month, the Air Force said.

NORAD brings together Defense Department and Canadian military assets to carry out air defense and maritime warning for North America. USNORTHCOM is responsible for defending the homeland and providing defense support to civil authorities.

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