The Director of the ORS Office – Colonel John Anttonen

The ORS Technical Director – Dr. Thomas Atwood

Col John S.R. Anttonen, USAFColonel John S.R. Anttonen is the Director of the Operationally Responsive Space Office, Kirtland AFB, NM. In this role Colonel Anttonen oversees the development, demonstration, and fielding of space capabilities focused on timely satisfaction of Joint Force Commanders’ needs. ORS is focused on providing affordable, resilient, and rapid solutions that fundamentally change the way space power is used across the Department of Defense. Prior to this position Colonel Anttonen served as the Chief of the Space Test and Operations Division, Space Development and Test Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center; responsible for the Research and Development Space and Missile Operations Program, operating five R&D satellites and a deployable satellite control network for the Air Force. Colonel Anttonen was commissioned in 1989 through the ROTC program at Oregon State University where he studied Mechanical Engineering. During his career, Colonel Anttonen has served in a variety of space research and development positions including Propulsion Development, Test Resource Management, Military Spaceplane Technology Development, DARPA Deputy Program Manager for the Falcon Spacelift Program, and at the National Reconnaissance Office. Colonel Anttonen is a graduate of the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he earned a Doctorate in Aeronautical Engineering. His dissertation was entitled “Techniques for Reduced Order Modeling of Aeroelastic Structures with Deforming Grids”. In 2007, he attended the prestigious Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington DC where he earned Distinguished Graduate honors and the Department of Homeland Security award for Excellence in Research for his paper entitled “The Three Computer War”. Colonel Anttonen was deployed twice as a United Nations Ballistic Missile Expert for Arms Control to Iraq. Additionally, he was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and served in the Office of Security Assistance, Logistics in Kabul, Afghanistan. Colonel Anttonen is married to the former Dee C. Peters from Reedsport Oregon. They have two children, John 21 and Christina 19.


1989 Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University, Oregon
1993 Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering, West Coast University, California
1996 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
2001 PhD, Aeronautical Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio
2004 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama (Masters of Military Operational Arts and Science)
2006 Air War College, by correspondence
2008 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair Washington DC (Masters of National Resource Strategy)


1. June 1990 to March 1991, Mechanical Engineer, 4393 Engineering Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, California
2. March 1991 to July 1992, Missile Engineer, 730 Civil Engineering Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, California
3. July 1992 to March 1993, Chief, SABER Section, 730 Civil Engineering Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, California
4. March 1993 to July 1994, Propulsion Test Engineer, Space and Missile Systems Center, Detachment 9, Vandenberg AFB, California
5. July 1994 to June 1995, Chief, Propulsion Development Branch, Space and Missile Systems Center, Detachment 9, Vandenberg AFB, California
6. June 1995 to August 1998, Chief, Technology Development Branch, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico
7. August 1998 to October 2001, Student, Aeronautical Engineering PhD, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
8. October 2001 to August 2003, Branch Leader, Aerodynamics Research Team, Eglin AFB, Florida
9. August 2003 to November 2004, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
10. November 2004 to July 2007, Deputy Program Manager, Falcon Program, DARPA, Pentagon
11. July 2007 to July 2008, Student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair, Washington DC
12. July 2008 to May 2010, Group Operations Director, Advanced Technology Group, Advanced Systems and Technology, National Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly Virginia
13. May 2010 to January 2013, Senior Material Leader and Chief, Space Test and Operations Division, Space Development and Test Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico
14. February 2013 to present, Director, Operationally Responsive Space Office, Space and Missile Systems Center, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico


Master Space Badge
Master Acquisition Badge
APDP Program Management Level III, Test and Evaluation Level II, SPRDE Level II


1990 Honor Graduate, Introduction to Base Civil Engineering
1991 Company Grade Officer of the Quarter, Los Angeles AFB
1993 Professional Mechanical Engineer, California
1994 Company Grade Officer of the Year, Vandenberg AFB
1994 Outstanding Graduate Student, West Coast University
1996 Outstanding Laboratory Team of the Quarter, Air Force Research Lab
1996 Distinguished Graduate Squadron Officer School
2008 Distinguished Graduate Industrial College of the Armed Forces
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with one gold star
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal


Second Lieutenant, March 18, 1990
First Lieutenant, March 18, 1992
Captain, March 18, 1994
Major, May 01, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel, March 01, 2006

Dr. Thomas Atwood Dr. Thomas Atwood is assigned to the NASA/Ames Research Center under the Dr. Thomas Atwood, Technical Director ORSIntergovernmental Personnel Act, detailed by NASA/Ames to the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office at Kirtland AFB, NM as the ORS Technical Director. From March 2012-1 Feb 2013 he served as the Acting Technical Director for the ORS Office. He was previously assigned to the ORS office on an Interagency Personnel Assignment as a member of the Concepts and Solutions Branch from December 2010-March 2012. Dr. Atwood has been with Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) since 1987. He was the Space Segment Project Manager for the Nuclear Detonation Detection (NuDet) Analysis Package (NAP) from 1995-2001. The system, composed of a space segment placed on GPS satellites and ground segment, is used by the US Air Force for Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Monitoring and Verification. Dr. Atwood was Project Manager on a collaborative project between AFRL, NGA, NRO and USSOUTHCOM to develop space-based capabilities for use in triple canopy jungle during 2004. In recognition of Dr. Atwood’s career he was promoted to Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in October 2006. This recognition is only given to 10% of the technical staff at SNL. He was the Program Manager for Sandia’s Advanced Radar Systems from 2005-2009. This $20M/year Research and Development program develops, fields and operationalizes radar systems for Nuclear Proliferation detection. Systems developed through this program are in use throughout many of the airborne and spaceborne radar systems in use today. Dr. Atwood was the Principal Investigator for an Office of Naval Research (ONR) funded effort to develop an extensible, modular architecture for RF Space Payloads. That effort, called Software Reconfigurable Payloads, has led to the adoption of the architecture as the basis for all RF systems at ORS during 2010.


BSEE – Southern Illinois University
MSEE – New Mexico State University
PhD Engineering – University of New Mexico


Feb 13-present: Technical Director, ORS Office, Kirtland AFB, NM
Mar 12-Feb 13: Acting Technical Director, ORS Office, Kirtland AFB, NM
Dec 10-Mar12: Concepts and Solutions Branch, ORS Office, Kirtland AFB, NM
1987-present: Sandia National Laboratories, Kirtland AFB, NM


2006-Distinguished Member of Technical Staff
Professional Memberships and Associations
Tau Beta Pi – National Engineering Honor Society
Senior Member IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


Dr. Atwood also holds an appointment as a Research Professor at the University of New Mexico and as an Adjunct Professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, Ohio.