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Barton native Sgt. Hatteras A. Hoops named BNCOC geospatial engineer honor graduate

Published June 26, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Geospatial Analyst Sgt.(P) Hatteras Hoops of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center’s Topographic Engineering Center,(ERDC-TEC), was recently named honor graduate in the Geospatial Engineer Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course (BNCOC) conducted at Fort Belvoir, Va. Hoops, a member of the center’s Military Support Team, achieved this distinction in a course that was composed of one sergeant first class and 16 staff sergeants, all higher ranked noncommissioned officers.

Hoops, a native of Barton, Vt., is the grandson of Ruth Damon of Barton. He earned a bachelor’s from Johnson State College, Johnson, Vt.

"Sgt.(P) Hoops is an exceptionally talented geospatial engineer and noncommissioned officer (NCO)," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Harper, TEC’s military deputy. "He put forth a lot of effort in the course and his hard work paid off." Hoops is the second of TEC’s NCOs in recent years to be selected as honor graduate of the course.

The course trains geospatial engineers to analyze collected geographic information in order to produce tactical decision aids to support commanders’ battlefield decision making. Soldiers learn to predict terrain and weather effects as applied to control, communication, computer and intelligence systems; perform database management for the storage of aerial photographs, maps, digital databases and collateral source materials; perform quality assurance during all stages of topographic operations; and provide guidance, supervise and train other Soldiers within the same discipline.

"The most challenging part of the course for me was creating products to be used in conducting tactical, operational and strategic operations. These products such as GeoPDF files, hardcopy maps or visualization fly-thrus were then briefed to commanders and senior enlisted Soldiers," Hoops said. "Some of the products I generated and some of the ideas I enlisted were replicated from my experiences while deployed with Special Forces units in Iraq."

In 2006 and 2007, Hoops received Joint Service Commendation Medals while serving as a terrain analyst for the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Arabian Peninsula in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was deployed with the unit on three assignments and served as a member of a Military Intelligence Detachment. Hoops has also served as a geospatial-intelligence analyst with the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colo.

Following his deployments, he was cited for "his expert abilities in providing Special Operations Forces with the critical topographic analysis and battlefield visualization that guaranteed the successful and rapid apprehension of Anti-Iraqi forces." He was also recognized for "producing topographical products that were instrumental in providing commanders with the necessary situational awareness to plan and execute air movement missions throughout the area of operations."

The ERDC is the premier research and development facility for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, consisting of seven laboratories at four geographical sites with more than 2,000 employees and an annual research program exceeding $1 billion. It conducts research in both military and civil works mission areas for the Department of Defense and the nation.

Release no. 09-003