MSgt (Ret.) James Hanna

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2022: MSgt (r) James Hanna

James Hanna has worked at KBR’s San Antonio Altitude & Acceleration facilities for 10 years. Jim’s background as a USAF Aerospace Physiology tech with duties in RDT&E at Brooks Air Force Base and U2 mission support at Beale AFB, made him a perfect fit for the Brooks mission as Chief of Altitude Operations. He maintains 60 year old equipment, works closely with customers (DoD, NASA, Aerospace contractors), investigators, and other staff to execute projects in a variety of altitude chambers. Customers come from across the DoD, NASA and other government and non-government entities - with requirements that fall into 3 main categories; test & evaluation of equipment and/or procedures, training astronauts/aircrew, or physiological research involving human or animal subjects.

Expertise/capability sought after is usually either altitude or High G simulation using hypobaric chambers and a human-rated centrifuge - a few customers require both. KBR recruited Jim 10 years ago, shortly after his USAF retirement - a perfect addition given his extensive experience in aerospace medicine RDT&E at Brooks AFB, and his expertise gained at Beale AFB supporting the U2’s high altitude recon mission. Jim’s knowledge and work ethic quickly resulted in promotion to Chief of Altitude Ops. He ensures human and equipment resources are available to support a range of project types/schedules. A typical day may have him overseeing a 13 hour altitude/fatigue study in E Chamber requiring multiple shifts of staff - an animal study in C chamber supporting aeromedical evacuation research - 2/3 flights in Chambers A5/6 that could include subject training, Life Support System (LSS) T&E, altitude training for USAF U2 aircrew or a physiological experiment using a subject volunteer. F-22, F-18, F-35, T-6, T-7, U-2, Commercial Space, Spec Ops, NASA, TV production companies and a variety of other customers frequent Brooks, and all come to know and rely on Jim. He’s particularly adept at keeping 60+ year old equipment running, to include doing his own self-help upgrades or negotiating with local contractors to get best value help with old or new systems. When Winter Storm URI hit Texas Feb ‘21, causing widespread damage and disruption - power outages, flooding, fires, loss of potable water, etc - Jim limited facility damage while the storm was raging, and got systems back up quickly to keep schedules on track. He worked night & day, pulled in other staff when San Antonio was literally shut down. Jim also supports centrifuge ops when LSS projects require acceleration tests - he leads the installation.

2022 Master Sergeant LLoyd Tripp Award

The Master Sergeant Lloyd Tripp Award recognizes a technician for outstanding work in the field of aerospace physiology.  Applicants for this award need to be or have been an enlisted member of the military or civilian involved in aerospace operations.  Membership in AsMA and AsPS is not required for this award.  The award was established in 2022 and is named after Dr. Lloyd Tripp.  Dr. Tripp served for 20 years in the United States Air Force as an Aerospace Medical Technician.  Additionally, he was an experimental test subject who participated in experiments on the centrifuge, vertical drop tower, impulse accelerator sled and vibration facilities at Wright-Patterson AFB.  He currently holds the record for the most G-exposures on the Dynamic Environment Simulator centrifuge and he has over 37 years of research experience in the areas of Aerospace Physiology and Human Factors Psychology.  In his current capacity, Dr. Tripp is the Lead for Aerospace Physiology Research at the 711th Human Performance Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory, and Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.  Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. 

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