REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- A farewell ceremony was held for U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center Director James Lackey at the Bob Jones Auditorium Jan. 19.

During the ceremony, Lackey received the Superior Service Award from the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, Maj. Gen. Douglas Gabram. He also received the Army Aviation Association of America's Order of St. Michael Award from retired Brig. Gen. E.J. Sinclair of AAAA, as well as a U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command "coin map" from RDECOM Director, Jyuji D. Hewitt.

"Trust, relationships, pride, teamwork and collaboration is what this leader stands for," said Gabram. "He understands coming together and moving forward for the Army and for the team. I can't tell you professionally how much you've meant to this team."

Lackey began his career at AMRDEC in January 2013, as the director of the Engineering Directorate. He was selected as the AMRDEC director the following year in August 2014. Lackey has more than 30 years of experience in engineering with an extensive background in army aviation, tactical missiles and air missile defense. He became a member of the Senior Executive Service in January 2011, while serving as the director for Air Warfare Programs at the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington D.C.

"My experiences as director have been amazing and it's all been about the people," said Lackey. "Yes, we have great technologies in development, but it's the people who make it all happen. This is a world-class research, development and engineering organization. I have sincerely enjoyed serving the workforce as the director of AMRDEC."

Lackey said he plans to stay within the Redstone community, working for a defense contractor.

"I look forward to staying engaged with Redstone as a member of the local industry community. My family really enjoys Huntsville and the great quality of life features associated with the Tennessee Valley region. AMRDEC has and will continue to have incredible enduring value in enabling warfighting capability for the Army and larger DOD Enterprise."

The AMRDEC director is responsible for managing the center, planning and executing technical research and engineering programs and demonstrations including exploratory development, advance concept technology demonstrations and field support engineering functions of the center.

AMRDEC's Systems Simulation, Software and Integration Directorate Director, Jeff Langhout, will serve as the interim director until a permanent director has been selected.

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The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.