Lieutenant-Colonel Lisa Baspaly-Hays, Commander of 9 Wing Gander, receives the United States’ Defense Meritorious Service Medal

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News Article / October 20, 2020

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Royal Canadian Air Force Public Affairs

On September 21, 2020, Brigadier-General Edward Vaughan, Deputy Commander, Canadian NORAD Region, presented the United States’ Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) to Lieutenant-Colonel Lisa Baspaly-Hays, Commander of 9 Wing Gander, (Newfoundland and Labrador), for her distinguished service as Intelligence Manager and Deputy Chief, Directorate of Intelligence, while at North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Headquarters from June 2017 to June 2019.

Lieutenant-Colonel Baspaly-Hays’ outstanding leadership and ceaseless efforts strengthened collaboration between the United States’ and Canada’s intelligence forces focusing on core command missions. In addition, she was instrumental in designing and maintaining an integrated bi-national intelligence structure that spanned all aspects of intelligence from collection and analysis, to mission management.

Lieutenant-Colonel Baspaly-Hays’ contributions to the Intelligence Enterprise of NORAD and United States Northern Command greatly enhanced intelligence capabilities at headquarters, as well as at component, regional, and subordinate unit levels.

The DMSM is awarded in the name of the United States Secretary of Defense to members of the armed forces who, while serving in a joint activity, distinguish themselves by non-combat outstanding achievement or meritorious service. In 2014, President Barack Obama extended eligibility of the DMSM to include any member of the armed forces of a friendly foreign nation, thus authorizing recognition of those NATO, Allied and Coalition personnel assigned to Unified Combatant Commands and associated Joint Task Forces.



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Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators use advanced electronic sensor systems to operate airborne sensors onboard long-range patrol aircraft, maritime helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

They are responsible for detecting and tracking submarines, providing support for search and rescue operations/medical evacuations, and assisting other government departments and agencies in the collection of evidence and counter-narcotics patrols.

Their primary technical functions are to:

         - Operate radar, electrooptic/Infrared systems, magnetic anomaly detection, and electronic warfare equipment
         -  Take airborne photography
         - Load and arm airborne weapons, and search stores systems
         - Operate the helicopter-mounted machine gun system
         -  Operate unmanned aerial vehicle electronic sensor systems
         - Communicate with internal and external agencies; both civilian and Allied forces
         - Collect evidence

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