Axient Executive Director Mike Plantenga Awarded AFCEA Medal of Merit

In April, Axient’s Executive Director and Program Manager for Space Systems Command (SSC)/Development Corp contract, Mike Plantenga, was awarded the AFCEA Medal of Merit. This award acknowledges a sustained level of dedicated service to AFCEA, combined with professional excellence at a mid to senior level in the fields of communications, electronics, intelligence and information systems. Plantenga leads a 131-person team executing cutting-edge space systems engineering and architecting, from initial systems concepts and technology development to systems demonstration and validation for the United States Space Force Space Systems Command. He has been a member of AFCEA for six years and is currently the president of the local Los Angeles chapter. Mike said, “AFCEA has been a way to stay connected with military, government, academic and industry communities in the Los Angeles. I especially enjoy the chapter being active in local STEM programs and investing in future leaders by providing scholarships to military and government civilians at Space Systems Command, El Segundo, CA.”

AFCEA, founded in 1946, is a highly respected international member-based non-profit organization and provides its nearly 30,000 members an opportunity to collaborate with industry peers, the military services, and government agencies. Members are able to make a difference from an international to local level and participate in outreach programs. In 2021, Col Scott Beidleman, USAF (Ret), Vice President and General Manager, Space Systems at Axient, also received the AFCEA Medal of Merit Award.

Daniel Benjamin, Senior Vice President of Axient’s National Security and Space Systems Segment, said, “Mike is a senior member of NS3 and has the respect of several high-ranking members of the Space Force. That combination allows him to manage over $300M in Space Systems Command contracts and represent the best of Axient.”