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MCTSSA Interoperability Branch manager wins Copernicus Award

By Wil Williams, MCTSSA | Marine Corps Systems Command | February 11, 2015


An information technology specialist at Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity received the 2015 Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association Copernicus Award Feb. 10 in San Diego, California.

David Vierra leads the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System/Multi-functional Information Distribution Link-16 Network Design Facility for the Marine Corps. He was awarded the Copernicus for his sustained, superior performance in the field of interoperability and command, control, communications, computers and intelligence/information technology.

“I was surprised I was selected,” Vierra said. “I didn’t expect to get an award for what I do… I’ve worked tactical data systems for 35 years, but I do appreciate being selected.”

MCTSSA is a subordinate command to Marine Corps Systems Command and a Marine Corps focal point for technical expertise, engineering, testing, certification and support of command, control, communications and computer systems. Vierra, who has worked for MCTSSA since 2002, led Link 16 network design efforts and provided subject matter expertise in the development and fielding of JTIDS/MIDS Link-16 networks. His day-to-day contributions in these air defense network operations and air C2 operations ensured Marines have the right information, at the right time and place to meet their command and control needs. 

“We’re very proud of Mr. Vierra being selected for the Copernicus Award,” said Col. Benjamin Stinson, MCTSSA commanding officer. “It truly reflects the outstanding contributions he has provided to Marines and the joint community through his Link 16 network expertise.”

The Copernicus Awards, established in 1997, were named for the Copernicus Architecture used as the blueprint for the future command, control, communications, computers and intelligence structure of the Navy. AFCEA and the U.S. Naval Institute present the Copernicus Award to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional initiative, leadership and insight in jobs related to C4I/IT. This year, judges reviewed applications from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard—including active-duty military and civilian nominees—and selected 25 awardees.