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James Tipton
Department of Defense | U.S. Air Force

James Tipton, Lead Engineer for three B-1 ACAT III programs and Software Sustainment program for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, was awarded the Gears of Government President’s Award for his innovative approach to the Air Force’s B-1 Bomber modernization and sustainment activities.

“I’m honored to be recognized for this prestigious award. This achievement, I believe, is really a reflection of the dedication and hard work across the entire B-1 Division,” Tipton said.

With his strong software background, Tipton established a modular software concept to promote modular testing, reducing flight tests by 30 percent. He validated threat response leveraging modeling/simulation, reducing range requirements by 16 percent. Additionally, he reformulated the test practice to maximize ground-based testing and operational tests, ultimately saving eight percent in test efforts.

He aggressively worked on three significant acquisition programs for the B-1, including a warfighter Joint Urgent Operational Need, while integrating them into the software sustainment cycles.

“The B-1 is one of the backbones that Air Force Global Strike Command relies on every single day to continue meeting the National Defense Strategy. Individual contributors like Mr. Tipton, who consistently go the extra mile and demonstrate daily dedication supporting the warfighter, are the keystones that keep the weapon system doing what the Air Force needs it to do to protect every American’s civil liberty,” said Lt. Col. Timothy W. Jackson, B-1 System Program Office Deputy Director.

Legacy Air Force platforms such as the B-1 Bomber require a balance of sustainment initiatives and new acquisitions in order to maintain platform viability, according to the award nomination. Even though establishing a fully open architecture environment on a legacy platform is nearly impossible, Tipton established components that are now open architecture, which allow the B-1 to respond to emerging threats, even outside normal software sustainment cycles, while saving $10 million annually. In addition, his software reuse strategy also saved an additional $1 million annually.

Tipton has 17 dedicated years of federal service. He started with the Defense Contract Management Agency, overseeing technical performance of Air Force, Army, and Navy cutting-edge programs. He then worked for the Navy, providing advanced electronic solutions for the Joint Strike Fighter and E-6 platforms; and now for the Air Force as the B-1 Bomber’s expert in Electronic Warfare and Software integrating new and old technologies seamlessly together. His unique skill and positive can-do attitude are infectious among his peers and contractors, enabling him to be successful at building collaborative relationships among B-1 contractors, and ultimately facilitating synergistic B-1 component sustainment.