Unlock Endurance: How Lockheed Martin's Space Team Conquers Challenges

Unlock Endurance: How Lockheed Martin's Space Team Conquers Challenges

The team at Lockheed Martin are always ready to rise to the challenge – even if that challenge happens to be one that might test their powers of endurance.

June 18, 2024

Spending up to 24 hours trekking through harsh terrain carrying full kit didn’t deter our team of six – plus a support member -  from taking part in the 2024 Cateran Yomp – driven by determination and a commitment to a good cause.

The Cateran Yomp is run by the British Army Benevolent Fund and supported by Lockheed Martin. The Yomp allows the Allied Forces Foundation to participate to bring together veterans from across the globe.

The whole event is certainly not for the fainthearted and the ground covered in the Scottish Highlands by the participants ranges from 22 miles right up to an exhausting 54 miles.

The “Yomp” – a British term for a long-distance march carrying full kit – took place in Perthshire, in one of the more remote areas of Scotland, about 90 minutes north of Edinburgh.

For many veterans and active duty personnel – particularly those suffering from physical and mental injuries from combat - this kind of challenge is something they’ve not experienced for some time.  By participating the aim is to help boost their self-confidence as well as helping many of them on the road to recovery.



Along with the veterans themselves – who travel from as far afield at Australia, Canada, the USA and across Europe to take part – other supporters also undertake the adventure, hence the gallant band of Lockheed Martin participants.

Our team was made up of some who are old hands at this challenge, along with others who were doing it for the first time.

Megan Stewart, International Business Development for Lockheed Martin Space, has yomped every year since 2016 – bar during lockdown. This year she achieved silver for walking 36.5 miles, mainly alongside a Polish Navy Captain who joined up when the Polish military were still forming.

LM space trekking


Also managing to hit that milestone were Nik Smith, Regional Director for Lockheed Martin Space UK, Ryan Sabala, Program Director for Protected Communications at Lockheed Martin Space and Eric Brown, VP of Mission Strategies & Advanced Capabilities for Communications, PNT and Space Security.

Ben Shaw, Head of Operations & Business Capture for Lockheed Martin UK Space went one better and hit the gold – a staggering accomplishment of covering 54 miles, alongside a number of Polish veterans.

However it’s just not the ground covered that makes a winner in this challenge.

Taking part for the first time was Jessica JB Young, Skynet Mission Strategy Lead for Lockheed Martin Space, who covered 22 miles but also supported two recent amputees from Ukraine.

Despite the language barrier, a huge bond was formed between Jessica and her Ukrainian companions, and the hope is the veterans will return again next year with plans to try and gain a silver.

Andy Rayner, Skynet Campaign Director for Lockheed Martin Space who has previously taken part in the yomp but now is part of the support crew, typically provides some local “liquid refreshments” to the AFF participants as they near the bronze target.

 “All Allied Forces Foundation participants in the Yomp have personal stories of adversity,” said Andy, who also provided transport and logistical support for the event.

“The Yomp brings together like-minded individuals who can share their experiences and continue their rehabilitation through a shared understanding of sacrifice and commitment. 

Lockheed Martin Space is a proud supporter of the Allied Forces Foundation and all it achieves for those who have given so much in defence of their respective nations. “In a year when we commemorate 80 years since the D-Day Landings, events in Ukraine have brought back to us the pain and sacrifice military personnel and their families endure in support of freedom.
Andy Rayner
Skynet Campaign Director for Lockheed Martin Space