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NCO named AFSPC's Outstanding Space System Operator

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Tech. Sgt. Christian Pardue, formerly of the 1st Range Operations Squadron, is Air Force Space Command's Outstanding Space Systems Operator Non-Commissioned Officer for 2006.

"It feels excellent," said Sergeant Pardue. "It feels pretty good to know you're the best in your job."

As a member of the 1st ROPS, Sergeant Pardue served as an aerospace control officer, his role being to keep the skies clear of aircraft on days when a rocket was being launched.

Sergeant Pardue would also keep in contact with Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Colo., where launches across the entire world are monitored, and ensure that the rocket was recognized as friendly.

"We're very proud of him," said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Walker, 1st ROPS superintendent. "He did some great stuff here and over at CENTCOM [where Sergeant Pardue was deployed for 19 weeks]."

Sergeant Walker specifically mentioned Sergeant Pardue leading an 80-person team at 13 geographically separated units, providing theater missile warning.

Other items in Sergeant Pardue's long list of accomplishments include the development of an improved system for finding downed aircrews using satellites. The process' time was cut by 25 percent and is credited with saving 40 men from enemy capture.

Sergeant Pardue also provided GPS data for the aircraft that conducted the air strike that resulted in the death of the infamous Abu al-Zarqawi.

"A positive attitude, peers and good leadership" are what Sergeant Pardue credits his success to in 10 years of Air Force service. Recently transferred to the 45th Operations Support Squadron, Sergeant Pardue is now noncommissioned officer in charge of weapons and tactics, while still retaining his status as an ACO. 

To the Airmen who come after him, Sergeant Pardue said, "Step up to the plate and take advantage of opportunities as they come to you, but seek out opportunities as well."