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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

SU Graduate is Honored by U.S. Air Force

SU Grad Honored by U.S. Air Force

By Monique Lewis

Staff Writer
The Daily Times

SALISBURY -- The U.S. Air Force honored a Salisbury University alumnus Tuesday for his collaborative work on technology that advances military communication.

Maj. Jason Quigley received the Air Force Outstanding Scientist Award during an evening of honoring science, engineering and education at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

"It's a surprise and great honor," Quigley said of his first U.S. Air Force award.

Quigley helped a 20-plus team develop Combat SkySat, the first ultra-high frequency repeater in near space -- about 65,000 feet and higher -- attached to a weather balloon. Combat SkySat improves ground communication on handheld mobile radios extending their range from 7 miles to 60 miles, Quigley said.

Combat SkySat can be used for homeland defense, natural disaster response and other military operations.

Quigley, 35, and his team developed the Combat SkySat payload at the Space Innovation and Development Center at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Col.

The Annapolis native has served 10 years in the military.

Although his family has military blood -- a younger brother who served four years in the Marines, a grandfather who served 22 years and a great-uncle who also was a career Marine -- his mother, Cathy Quigley, said she never expected her oldest son to join the Air Force.

"He was interested in physics and science," she said from her Annapolis home. "I thought he would become an archaeologist. We're very proud of him."

When Jason Quigley graduated in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in physics at SU, his parents said to he should give the military a try because "it looks good on your resume and it can't hurt."

From SU, Jason Quigley moved to Monterey, Calif., to pursue a master's degree in system engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Jason Quigley has had the opportunity to be part of various projects for the military such as using ultra short pulse lasers to see through camouflage netting and other obscurants and operational testing of Web assistance for personnel on active duty.

Today, he is chief of the command in control branch at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M.

His grandfather, Allen Stallings, has followed his grandson's career.

"I'm impressed with Jason," Stallings said from his Salisbury home.

Jason Quigley's wife, Tina Quigley, said the award came at a perfect time for all the wonderful contributions and work her husband has done for the Air Force.

Reprinted courtesy of The Daily Times



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