Simply the best: Innovative achievements lead SWEG to top DOD award

  • Published
  • By April McDonald
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The “Stanley Cup of the software engineering world” has a new home at Tinker Air Force Base.

In a Dec. 14, 2021, ceremony, members of the 76th Software Engineering Group were officially presented with their hardware for winning the Department of Defense’s 2021 Rear Admiral Grace M. Hopper award for Software Maintenance Excellence.

Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Commander Maj. Gen. Jeff King said it is incredible to see the 76th SWEG recognized as the best in the DOD.

“This trophy proves what we already knew,” the general said. “Your impact on the warfighter and our warfighter capability is truly immense.”

The 76th SWEG team provided the warfighter and contractors with training and tools to implement Open Mission Systems across the enterprise. This included a government-developed Critical Abstraction Layer, a multimillion-dollar piece of software, which allowed the warfighter and smaller contractors to design Open Mission Systems Compliant systems.

The group’s efforts enabled 11 programs and 12 contactors to successfully apply Open Mission Systems to improve warfighter efficiency and reduce the risk of vendor lock.

“That is absolutely critical,” King said. “The fact that you all found a way to avert vendor lock and level the playing field is huge. You saved the DOD tremendous amounts of time and funding by leveraging our organic software engineering capabilities.”

The DOD award comes at the culmination of SWEG Director Rick McIver’s 33-year civil service career.

“This is such an honor. When you think of all the organizations in the DOD that do software, out of all of them, you guys are the best,” McIver told his team.

McIver highlighted accomplishments of the SWEG’s Extreme Digital Development Group-Enterprise Team that leads innovation efforts for weapon systems software across the DOD.

“We are the standard bearers for the Air Force and DOD for all the mission systems,” he said. “That’s our team here. They are the experts.”

The award is part of the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards Selection Program that recognizes the DOD’s most outstanding military maintenance units in four categories: Sustainment Training, Advice, and Assistance of Foreign Military Forces Award; the Robert T. Mason Award for Depot Maintenance Excellence; the Rear Admiral Grace M. Hopper Award for Software Maintenance Excellence; and the field-level awards.