It started with a team working on a project to help allies communicate intelligence. The system was built; they just needed to learn it and make it better.
Then, world events pushed their program’s efforts to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Matthew Sion, 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron’s European Partner Integration Enterprise system support chief, and his team ensured the EPIE provided the United States and partnered allied nations with the necessary systems to deliver coalition intelligence in the European theater.
For his role in the EPIE system, the Department of Defense awarded Sion the 2015 DOD Chief Information Officer Award for Cyber and IT Excellence. Other accomplishments included special operations forces exploitation in the European theater and constructing a coalition standardized desktop image.
“I am very excited Matt received recognition at the highest level of the DOD,” said Maj. Brian Carpenter, 1st ACOS commander. “His work is at the cutting edge of technology, coalition partnership and intelligence support. This award really shows what those of us who work with him already know: Matt is one of the finest communicators in the DOD.”
The award recognizes individuals who are in charge of a section, programs, servers or people for their work protecting the warfighter, securing government networks, and identifying millions of dollars in savings.
“What we were working on became highly visible very fast,” Sion said. “Whereas before, it was ‘Hey, let’s see if we can do this neat thing to make things better!’ Then events in the world changed.”
Sion also supported unmanned aerial vehicle operations and maintained thousands of intelligence products and hours of video for the 435th Air and Space Communications Group.
“People make the mission happen, and the 435th ACOMG has the best people,” said Col. Glen Genove, 435th ACOMG commander. “ACOMG continues to ‘punch above its weight class’ on the most frequent and technical missions across Europe and Africa. It does so, and makes it look easy, because of its phenomenally talented leaders, both civilian and military. Mr. Sion leads teams to ensure a continued legacy of success for not just ACOMG but all of the DOD.”
Even after working on a complex project and being recognized as one of the best, Sion wants to remain humble and keep making things around him better.
“It was a huge surprise, and it was definitely an honor,” Sion said. “I take my job seriously. I try to make a change; I want to make things better. I don’t want to walk in and walk out. I work with a lot of smart people. I was given a team that is fantastic as well as the support of the organization.”
The system Sion and his team developed continues to operate and keep the U.S. and partner allied nations well-informed. Sion said he was grateful for the opportunity not only to make a large impact on the mission but also to be recognized for it.