Former Bedfordite Will Moonan receives 2013 U.S. Army Contractor Tester of the Year Award

Will Moonan (right) receives the U.S. Army Contractor Tester of the Year award in Washington, DC from James C. Cooke, Assistant Deputy, Under Secretary of the Army, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army, Test and Evaluation.
Will Moonan (right) receives the U.S. Army Contractor Tester of the Year award in Washington, DC from James C. Cooke, Assistant Deputy, Under Secretary of the Army, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army, Test and Evaluation. – Courtesy image

Update submitted to The Bedford Citizen

Former Bedford resident Will Moonan has been awarded the U.S. Army Contractor Tester of the Year Award.  The presentation was made by James C. Cooke, Assistant Deputy, Under Secretary of the Army, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army, Test and Evaluation, at a recent ceremony in Washington, DC.

Will Moonan in front of the White House after receiving the U.S. Army Contractor Tester of the Year award. - Courtesy photo
Will Moonan in front of the White House after receiving the U.S. Army Contractor Tester of the Year award. – Courtesy photo

Moonan, 27, is the son of Selectman Chairman William Moonan and former State Senator Carol Amick of Bedford.

Three awards are presented every year from each military service (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) as well as from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The awards are presented to outstanding individuals in the field of Test & Evaluation, and offer OSD and each military service Test & Evaluation Department the opportunity to select recipients for recognition as the Tester of the Year in specific categories. The three categories recognized are: Military, Civilian and Contractor.

Moonan was nominated for the Contractor Tester of the Year Award by the U.S. Army Redstone Test Center at Redstone Arsenal (Huntsville, Alabama), where he was employed as an Army contractor in the Systems Engineering Group of QinitiQ North America.  He has since left the employ of QinitiQ to work as a civilian employee of the Department of the Army, performing the same flight test engineering work at Redstone Arsenal that he had done as a contractor.
The following citation was given in recognition of Moonan’s accomplishments:

“Mr. William Moonan is awarded for leading a team of five flight test engineers to successfully complete the Highlighter Communication and Navigation Assessment.  Faced with the challenge to keep one of two Other Government Agency (OGA) airplanes executing its critical mission in support of the Warfighter, Mr. Moonan accepted significant personal sacrifice to test the second OGA asset as quickly as possible to redeploy that asset to its theatre of operations.  He served as lead flight test engineer in safely planning, executing, and reporting on a successful test to meet airworthiness data requirements.

“During this rapid reaction developmental test program, Mr. Moonan and his teammates conducted over 80 hours of flight test (approximately 40 sorties) in a four week period.  This was an amazing operational tempo considering the hours of work required to sufficiently document results and pre-plan for the next day’s events.

“In addition to the nearly flawless execution of the Highlighter test program, Mr. Moonan contributed significantly to validating a new fixed wing communication performance test methodology to be used by the U.S. Army.  The new methodology reduced required test flight time by one-third while increasing the quantity of data collected by three.

“The professional execution, compilation, and presentation of the results from the Highlighter test proved the ability to drastically reduce costs for future fixed wing communication performance flight tests.  Mr. Moonan demonstrated tremendous poise, confidence, teamwork and leadership in dealing with the pressure of a highly visible program and impact of test planning and scheduling.  In only his second year of flight testing, his superior intellect and dedication to support the Aviation Flight Test Directorate mission has brought great credit to himself and the United States Army Redstone Test Center.”

Moonan earned a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and a Master’s in Engineering from the University of Tennessee Space Institute.  He lives in Huntsville, Alabama.


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