News | May 20, 2019

NRO's space launch director receives satellite reconnaissance award

By Staff National Reconnaissance Office

Col. Matthew E. Skeen, director, National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO) Office of Space Launch (OSL), was recognized as the 2019 Jimmie D. Hill Award recipient during a National Military Intelligence Foundation (NMIF) banquet in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia on May 19, 2019.


Col. Skeen is recognized for his exemplary dedication and professional excellence in support of military intelligence.


As director of OSL, Col. Skeen’s launch team successfully placed six satellites into orbit, the first four in a demanding seven-month period. Col. Skeen also led the creation and installation of a resilient command and control system that ensures uninterrupted intelligence capabilities in a potential conflict that extends to space.


“You can clearly see that this award is really an acknowledgement of the importance of OSL’s contributions to the NRO,” said Col. Skeen. “Each of the achievements listed were accomplished by all of us working together as a team. I am thrilled to be a member of the OSL team.”


Presenting the Jimmie D. Hill Award to Col. Skeen was Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander, U.S. Cyber Command, director, National Security Agency and chief, Central Security Service; Lt. Gen. (ret.) Mary Legere, U.S. Army, NMIF chairwoman; and Mr. Frank Calvelli, acting director, NRO.


The National Military Intelligence Association (NMIA), now known as NMIF, established the Jimmie D. Hill Award in 1997 to recognize NRO professionals whose excellence, innovation, dedication, and exceptional contributions support the advancement of satellite reconnaissance.

The award is named in honor of former NRO Deputy Director Jimmie D. Hill who vigorously sought bold advancements for space-based reconnaissance with tenacious leadership and renowned technical acumen. Individuals awarded this honor follow Mr. Hill’s example with their long-term dedication and tireless efforts to dramatically enhance the productivity, viability, and utility of space-based reconnaissance systems. This award is one of 19 awards presented annually by NMIF to outstanding leaders in military intelligence. 


Previous Jimmie D. Hill Awardees include: Colonel Timothy T.A. Gillespie, USAF (2018); Colonel Dean C. Bellamy, USAF (2017); Colonel Clint H. Hunt, USAF (2016); Colonel Shiaonung D. Kuo, USAF (2015); Captain John Hood, USN (2014); Colonel Daniel D. Wright, III, USAF (2013); Ernesto V. Benavides, USAF (2012); Colonel Alan D. Davis, USAF (2011); Colonel Karl E. Eager, USAF (2010); Mr. Larry Bell (2009); Lieutenant Colonel Jameson R. Johnson, USA (2008); Colonel William A. Hite, USAF (2007); Mr. Lance M. Killoran (2006); Captain Daniel R. Gahagan, USN (2005); Mr. Robert A. Brodowski (2004); and Dr. J. Michael Fletcher (2003).


NMIF, established in 1974 as NMIA, was organized to advance public awareness of the roles and contributions intelligence professionals make to society, military intelligence organizations, disciplines, and enhancements in analytical methods and techniques.