2016 James Hondo Geurts

In recognition of superb contributions to the precision strike community, the Precision Strike Association takes great pride in awarding the twentieth annual William J. Perry Award to Mr. James F. Geurts.  The award honors the immediate and enduring impact on precision strike systems that the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Acquisition Executive, Mr. James F. Geurts has had while overseeing all USSOCOM research, development, acquisition, procurement, contracting, and logistics programs totaling more than $5B in Special Operations Forces (SOF)-unique activities annually. He serves as the principal advisor to the USSOCOM Commander on all acquisition and civilian matters and provides all acquisition support to USSOCOM’s Component Commands, Sub-unified Command, and Theater Special Operations Commands.

Additionally, he interfaces directly with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Acquisition Executives from the Services, Defense agencies, Congressional staffs, and Industry leaders on critical issues associated with USSOCOM’s acquisition, technology, and logistics activities. Mr. Geurts leadership has positively impacted SOFIC’s ability to deliver decisive battlefield capabilities around the globe. He has set the benchmark for Department of Defense acquisition policies, procedures, innovation, and acquisition workforce development.      

Mr. Geurts’ oversight, in particular, of the acquisition of numerous programs to support USSOCOM warfighters; including three programs/areas: a) The Medium Altitude Long Endurance Tactical (MALET) and the Lead Off Hitter (LOH) strategy; b) the Standoff Precision Guided Munitions (Griffin, Hellfire, Enhanced Pave Way II, and Laser Small Diameter Bomb and MK 82 500lb bomb); and c) the AC-130 platforms (AC-130W and AC-130J and integration of 105mm gun), is a testament to his exemplary qualification for this award consistent with it’s namesake Dr.  William J. Perry.

The Special Operations capabilities delivered have proven effective in SOF meeting critical operational requirements at the forefront of our effort against terrorism.  During conflicts, ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq to Syria and North Africa, the capabilities of the MQ-9, AC-130W, and innumerable precision strike munitions have steadily improved where the demand for greater effectiveness and reliability are critical to mission success. The effectiveness of over 2,400 Standoff Precision Guided Munitions (SOPGMs) cannot be over stated providing the SOF warfighter with surgical, low collateral damage capabilities in some of the most demanding scenarios around the world. SOF-unique SOPGM variants of Hellfire, Laser Small Diameter Bomb, Enhanced Pave Way II, and Griffin feature small munitions for effective urban conflict up to large 500-lb. bombs that will destroy embedded heavy machinery and bunkers. USSOCOM, under Mr. Geurts leadership, continues to enhance the capabilities of the MQ-9 and AC gunships to ensure unparalleled SOF support in increasingly challenging operational mission sets.   

Mr. Geurts provided exceptional leadership in achieving organizational goals and in meeting the USSOCOM Commander’s top priorities. His outstanding achievements in support of precision strike weapons/munitions provide the SOF warfighter deep, substantive, and lasting overmatch in worldwide operations. His outstanding accomplishments include delivering MQ-9 with Hellfire R2 variant three years ahead of schedule, SOPGM on SOF C-130s, and multiple gun-mounted systems. Measured results include: more “on-station” time-over-target to achieve desired effects, fewer expended munitions per target set, and higher probability of reduced collateral damage/fratricide in urban areas. 

Mr. James “Hondo” Geurts is the embodiment of the Precision Strike credentials for the William J. Perry Award. It is fitting that he receives this award following in the footsteps of his friend and mentor. The breadth of Mr. Geurts’ contributions to USSOCOM and the Precision Strike Community is staggering and is in keeping with the highest standards set forth by Dr. Bill Perry.