Sandia Labs News Releases

Air Force Association honors Sandia, Reservist employee

Sandia National Laboratories employee Andy Anderson poses outside the Afghan Army Logistics Headquarters in Kabul in 2011 during his deployment as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve. Anderson and Sandia have been named the Air Force Reserve 2013 Citizen Airman and Employer of the Year. Anderson recently retired from his military career. (Photo courtesy of Andy Anderson) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Sandia National Laboratories employee, Andy Anderson, and Sandia have been chosen as the Air Force Reserve 2013 Citizen Airman and Employer of the Year.

“This is an incredible way to end a career,” said Anderson, who leads a team in Sandia’s Nonproliferation and Cooperative Threat Reduction Center. He retired May 1 from the Air Force Reserve as a colonel after 37 years of service, including four on active duty. Citations accompanying the award recognize Anderson’s service, particularly his most recent deployment to Afghanistan, and Sandia’s support to him and his family.

The Air Force Association, which sponsors the awards, will present plaques to Anderson and Sandia on Sept. 16, the opening day of the association’s Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition in National Harbor, Md.

“Sandia is profoundly honored by this recognition and proud of Andy Anderson and his service to our nation,” said Michael Hazen, Sandia vice president for Infrastructure Operations, who leads Sandia’s Military Support Committee and is himself a lifetime member of the Air Force Association. “We feel privileged to receive such a significant award. It is special both for Col. Anderson and for Sandia, which values our veterans, reservists and members of the National Guard.”

Dan Briand, Anderson’s former manager, said his reaction on hearing Anderson and Sandia won was, “Outstanding, and well deserved.”

Anderson said he was honored to be chosen, but pointed out it was a joint award that he shares with Sandia.

“It is a tribute to the outstanding support Sandia has provided me, my wife and family and the many other Sandia military members,” he said. “I am pleased that this is an opportunity for Sandia to be recognized nationally for all it does to support our military personnel and their families.”

He said he was “hugely appreciative” of his military unit and command who nominated him, and singled out Rick Bacon and Rod Simmons of the Air Force North National Security Emergency Preparedness (NSEP) directorate at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Anderson was based at Tyndall but attached to his home state as emergency preparedness liaison officer for New Mexico, supporting state officials to provide requested Air Force resources during disasters.

Bacon, NSEP regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 6, nominated Anderson. Bacon, then his military supervisor, said the nomination was “the least I could do, knowing the sacrifices Andy made serving in the military and the support Sandia gave him. Andy is definitely a true patriot, serving both in the military and in his civilian position with Sandia, and this award validates Andy’s and Sandia’s contributions.”

Anderson’s most recent deployment was to Afghanistan for nine months beginning in July 2011 as senior military adviser to the Afghan National Army’s general staff. Other deployments include the Persian Gulf in 1991 for Desert Storm and to Qatar in 2005-2006 with the 302nd Maintenance Group from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo.

He and his wife, Ellen, a senior management assistant, were among three Sandians who nominated Sandia last year for the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Sandia was finalist in 2012 and 2013 for that award, the highest Department of Defense recognition for employers who support employees in the National Guard and Reserve.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Sue Holmes,, (505) 844-6362