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Coast Guard Research and Development Center employee receives 2019 Secretary’s Award for Excellence

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Then Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, left, and then Acting Deputy Secretary David Pekoske, right, presented a Secretary’s Award for Excellence to Amy Cutting during the 2019 Secretary’s Awards. The ceremony took place Nov. 6, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognized Amy Cutting of the Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) with a Secretary’s Award for Excellence as part of its 2019 Secretary’s Awards. Then Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan and then Acting Deputy Secretary David Pekoske presented the award to Cutting during the annual Secretary’s Awards Ceremony held Nov. 6, 2019, at Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

The official citation from DHS states that Cutting received the award for her “skillful management of an inter-agency team to develop and deploy a Counter Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS), the first effective and user-friendly system to detect, identify and defeat illicit UAS from a moving maritime platform.” As the manager for the RDC’s Maritime C-UAS Project, Cutting led a team comprised of researchers from three military laboratories to successfully integrate various components specifically for the maritime domain. The team included scientists and engineers from the Air Force Research Lab, the Office of Naval Research, and Coast Guard RDC.

“It has been an honor to lead the joint effort that made this work possible,” Cutting said reflecting on the accomplishment. “The team is small, but highly skilled and motivated. Determination and grit got us through more challenges than I can count. I’m incredibly proud of the capability we’ve developed in only 18 months that will make a difference for the operational Coast Guard.