Fort Sill Soldier Army's top air defender

By Cannoneer staffJanuary 24, 2013

Capt. Kirkpatrick
Capt. Kyle Kirkpatrick was named the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance Army Missile Defender of the Year 2012, during a ceremony Jan. 11 at Arlington, Va.
Kirkpatrick is assigned to A Battery, 3rd Air Defense Regiment (Joint Land Attack Elevated-Nett... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

FORT SILL, Okla. (24 Jan. 2013) -- A Fort Sill air warrior was named the Army Missile Defender of the Year 2012 by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance during a ceremony Jan. 11, in Arlington, Va.

Capt. Kyle Kirkpatrick, A Battery, 3rd Air Defense Regiment (Joint Land Attack Elevated-Netted Sensor) at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, won the award. The MDAA also recognized a Sailor, Airman and National Guard air defender.

"He's an outstanding officer and air defender," said Lt. Col. Matthew Rauscher, 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery commander, and Kirkpatrick's supervisor. Although working in Utah, Kirkpatrick is assigned to the 2-6th ADA, 30th ADA Brigade here.

At Dugway, Kirkpatrick oversees the new JLENS testing. He was selected to go to there and has turned it into one of the best units in the brigade, Rauscher said. JLENS are aerostats, like blimps, that are used to track cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, etc.

"He's taking Patriot (missile) Soldiers and turning them into JLENS experts," the commander said.

Rauscher also recommended Kirkpatrick for the Army 2012 Brig. Gen. James Shipton Award. It recognizes an ADA professional for outstanding individual thought and innovation that results in significant contributions to the ADA's warfighting capabilities, morale, readiness or maintenance. Kirkpatrick won that elite award, too.

Kirkpatrick was born in Longview, Wash. He graduated with a bachelor's of science degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho. In 2000, he enlisted in the Idaho National Guard as a cannon crewmember. He attended Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill. Kirkpatrick was among the first of three to commission as second lieutenants from BYU-I into the Army, where he was selected for the ADA branch.

Kirkpatrick was first assigned to 2nd Battalion, 44th ADA at Fort Campbell, Ky. He also served as the first executive officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Space Brigade at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. He later went on to serve as the 1st Space Brigade's vice chief of brigade plans. After attending the Captains' Career Course, Kirkpatrick was assigned to the 6th ADA as the brigade adjutant during its BRAC move from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Fort Sill. After 21 months commanding B Battery, 2-6th ADA at Fort Sill, he was selected to command A/3rd ADA JLENS.

Also honored during the MDAA ceremony were National Guard Sgt. Aric Wilkins, Air Force Capt. Gregory Tengco, and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Barbee.