Awarded in recognition of an exceptional and innovative contribution to aviation.
2018 awarded to: Air Vice-Marshal Simon "Rocky" Rochelle OBE DFC RAF
In March 2017, AVM Simon ‘Rocky’ Rochelle initiated a paradigm shift in the application of air and space power. Seizing the initiative within Departmental underspend, demonstrating ambition to begin a narrative that would continue through our next 100 years, and evidencing a peerless innovative approach, Rocky placed onto contract an earth observation small-satellite in one week. Some 8 short months later, the small-satellite was launched into low earth orbit and is now transmitting full motion video (a technical first) and colour imagery. In delivering what is now known as ‘Project Primus’, Rocky has transformed the Ministry of Defence’s space capability and standing across the space community.
Rocky’s innovative approach has been underpinned by unmatched energy, a willingness to take risk, empower subordinates, and an advocacy for disruptive thinking. Rocky’s vision to energise the RAF’s space ambition has inspired colleagues, industrialists and international partners and has necessitated Ministerial engagement, international stakeholder management, and the mentoring of Defence’s emerging space cadre.
Evidencing an altogether exceptional contribution to Air Power, and despite responsibility for a substantial portfolio, Rocky has successfully positioned Air as the 4* lead for space governance and himself as Senior Responsible Officer for the space capability. In doing so, he has developed a broad international stakeholder network, established Space-related Programme Boards and securing resources that will ensure this capability endures. Thinking wider, Rocky linked project PRIMUS with the requirement for an Enhanced Space Operation’s Centre.
Whilst ‘Project Primus’ was initiated to design, develop, deliver and operate a future warfighting constellation of small-satellites, the enhanced operations centre will fuse data from multiple sources and delivers warnings, forecasts and analysis to a variety of customers across Defence and other Government Departments. Under Rocky’s leadership, the space operations centre will become essential as Air Command moves to exploiting emerging space capabilities, including UK launch, and as understanding of our growing reliance on services delivered from and through space for all military activities spreads across Defence.
As a result of AVM Rocky Rochelle’s efforts, the Royal Air Force finds itself at the forefront of thinking on acquisition agility, disruptive thinking and innovation. AVM Rocky Rochelle is accordingly recognised for his innovative approach and individual and exceptional contribution to aviation by the award of the Sir Barnes Wallis Medal.
1979/80 Gabe Rob (Jock) Bryce
1980/81 Captain John Archibald Cameron OBE1982 Not Awarded
1982/83 John A Denyer
1983/84 HMS Endurance Flight
1984/85 Air Commodore Peter Howard
1986 Not Awarded
1986/87 Peter F Cedervall
1988 Not Awarded
1988/89 Jeffrey Kindersley Quill OBE1990 - 1992 Not Awarded
1992/93 A J Smith
1994 Not Awarded
1994/95 Michael Foale PhD
1996 Not Awarded
1996/97 Keith Perrin
1997/98 Group Captain John Cunningham
1998/99 Wing Commander K H Wallis
1999/2000 Peter Holding
2000/01 Professor Kay Young PhD
2001/02 Lieutenant Commander Paul C J Stone RN and Squadron Leader Justin Paines
2002/03 Dr Martin (Dill) Faulkes
2003/04 Squadron Leader Charles W (Bill) Thompson
2004/05 Kenneth Peter Ross Smart
2005/06 5 Regiment Army Air Corps
2006/07 Sam Wells OBE2008 Not Awarded
2008/09 Timothy Prince OBE FRAeS
2010 Not Awarded
2010/11 Major David Amlôt MBE
2011/12 Michael John Miller-Smith
2012/13 Nicholas Dean Lappos
2013/14 Hybrid Air Vehicles
2014/15 Dr Richard Raistrick OBE
2016 - 2017 Not Awarded
2018 Air Vice-Marshal Simon "Rocky" Rochelle OBE DFC RAF