Innovative SPAWAR Leader and Dedicated Navy Officer Receives 2018 Copernicus Award

Story Number: NNS190523-10Release Date: 5/23/2019 12:49:00 PM
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By Elisha Gamboa, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A superior leader and technical expert at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), Space Field Activity (SSFA), was presented with the 2018 Copernicus Award May 15 at the TechNet Cyber Conference in Baltimore, Md. at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Lt. Cmdr. Jason Vining accepted the award, presented by Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the commander of the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense (DoD) Information Network; Lt. Gen. (ret) Robert Shea, president and chief executive officer of the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEA); and Mr. Bill Hamblet, U.S. Naval Institute editor-in-chief of Proceedings Magazine. 

Co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, the Copernicus Award recognizes individual contributions to naval warfare in the disciplines of command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I), information systems or information warfare.

“A truly innovative leader in the highly technical field of overhead signal intelligence, Lt. Cmdr. Vining embodies the ideals of the U.S. Navy, Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer Community, Navy Space Cadre and Intelligence Community,” said SSFA Commanding Officer Capt. Andy Berner.

Vining was recognized for his effective program management skills, strategic foresight, keen knowledge of C4ISR acquisitions and technical expertise in space and signal intelligence (SIGINT) systems.

As the Deputy Program Manager at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) for a national signal intelligence (SIGINT) research, development, test and evaluation satellite system, Vining paved the way for a phased growth and development plan. He targeted cutting-edge technologies and techniques that will have an immediate positive impact on the National Defense Strategy in overhead intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) as well as non-traditional space-based SIGINT.

Additionally, Vining oversaw the initiation of a new project that will allow the Intelligence Community unprecedented access to the radio frequency spectrum in an effort to meet the C4ISR goals of the U.S. Navy and all other services across the DoD.

“It is an honor to be selected to receive such a prestigious award, as I am dedicated to the innovative development and delivery of information warfare technologies,” said Vining. “The battle field for information warfare knows no boundaries and using innovation to leverage our Space Based assets is a critical component in enabling a Fleet that can fight and win in today’s information driven environment.”

Copernicus Award recipients are selected annually based on their sustained superior performance in a C4I or IT-related job. A board of judges reviews applications from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, including active duty and civilians.

The entire list of 2018 winners, can be found at:

SSFA was established to coordinate naval space and warfare systems activities within the NRO. SSFA personnel provide tactical maritime operational expertise, acquisition acumen and technical engineering competence to the NRO to develop superior and affordable space systems in support of national, joint and naval operations.

SPAWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities supporting naval, joint, coalition and other national missions. SPAWAR consists of more than 10,000 active duty military and civil service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet to keep SPAWAR at the forefront of research, engineering and acquisition to provide and sustain information warfare capabilities to the fleet.


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Innovative SPAWAR Leader and Dedicated Navy Officer Receives 2018 Copernicus Award
Lt. Cmdr. Jason Vining from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), Space Field Activity (SSFA), is presented with the 2019 Copernicus Award, for achievements in 2018, May 15 at the TechNet Cyber Conference in Baltimore, Md. at the Baltimore Convention Center. (l-r) Capt. Bill Hamblet, USN (Ret.), U.S. Naval Institute editor-in-chief for Proceedings Magazine; Lt. Cmdr. Jason Vining; Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director of Defense Information Systems Agency/Commander, Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network; and Lt. Gen. Robert Shea, USMC (Ret.), president and CEO for AFCEA International.
May 22, 2019
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