Ramstein captain wins AF science award

Staff Sgt. Brian Hill
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Capt. Terry Scott, 86th Airlift Wing executive officer, reported for his four-month rotation at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in September 2005 and was handed leadership of a project featuring a technology known as Radio-Over-Internet Protocol Routed Network, or RIPRNET. On his watch, this technology was put into practice, safeguarding high-value assets and the lives of coalition members in Iraq.

“The Air Force is extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated professional, such as Capt. Terry Scott,” said Col. Rich Johnston, KMC and 86th Airlift Wing commander. “He took only a vision and ran it through to execution in a very short time period.  The end result led to approximately 300 personnel being redeployed from small communication feeder sites along supply routes in Iraq.  I am very proud of Captain Scott.”

For their efforts, the 26-member RIPRNET team earned the 2006 Air Force Science and Engineering Award.

As special projects officer for the Combined Air Operations Center’s command, control, communications and computer systems directorate, Captain Scott directed the planning and execution of all communications resources for the air defense of Baghdad – uniting Air Force and Army command and control agencies in the process.

“It was great to work with the allied coalition over there,” said Captain Scott, who served 11 years as enlisted before being commissioned. “It was, and remains, a team effort. I’m happy we were able to provide this technology to the troops who lay their lives on the line every day. Reducing their risk was our motivation.”

According to Col. Greg Touhill, Air Mobility Command director of communications and a member of the deployed team, RIPRNET provides a new technology for use in the combat environment – leveraging the ability to convert radio signaling to an IP-based transmission.

“[Captain Scott’s] technical vision in the combat zone produced exceptional results and undoubtedly saved an unknown number of lives,” said Colonel Touhill.

Captain Scott has an extensive background in computers. In addition to bachelor’s and masters’ degrees in computer information systems, he has 18 years of Air Force experience in areas such as network security and information operations, including an assignment at the Air Force Information Warfare Center in San Antonio.

According to Gen. Ronald Keys, Commander of Air Combat Command, military members generally don’t win this award; it usually goes to civilian researchers who spend years in the lab.

“RIPRNET was one of those situations where we were thrown into a new area, saw a shortfall, and figured out how to do it – now, not ten years from now at a billion dollar cost,” said General Keys.

Winning this award authorizes the winners to wear the U.S. Air Force Recognition Ribbon.