Dr. Francis Klemm Receives Presidential Rank Award
For Meritorious Senior Executive


4/3/2008 - 5-08r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541


Dr. Francis Klemm, Superintendent of the Tactical Electronic Warfare Division (TEWD) at the Naval Research Laboratory, is the recipient of the 2007 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Executive Service. Each year, the President recognizes and awards a small group of career Senior Executives with the President's Rank Award for exceptional long-term accomplishments. Winners of this prestigious award are strong leaders, professionals and scientists who are result oriented and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service.

The Presidential Rank Award honors Dr. Klemm for his prominent leadership in the field of Electronic Warfare (EW) programs that span technology development from insightful basic research to quick response EW solutions in support of immediate operational Navy need. He has provided the leadership for accomplishments that have included successful transitions of the NULKA active decoy program, and counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) solutions, in support of the global war on terrorism. Dr. Klemm's nomination notes that he is "uncompromising in his pursuit of solutions, he insists on excellence in every aspect of the EW development process for which he is responsible, all with the ultimate needs of the warfighter in mind." Under Dr. Klemm's leadership, the TEWD has expanded its traditional EW role from protecting U.S. Navy ships and aircraft to now include the defeat of IEDs and the development of innovative EW applications using High Power Microwaves (HPM).

Significant accomplishments achieved under Dr. Klemm's direct leadership, that have been briefed to the highest levels of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and to flag officers representing all branches of Armed Services, include:

  • the NULKA active decoy program that is recognized for enabling ships protection against the anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) threat. The system is scheduled for installation on virtually every US and Australian surface combatant as well as Iroquois class Canadian ships.
  • as the senior Navy representative to The Technical Cooperation (TTCP) Electronic Warfare Systems Group, he provided key leadership in the successful execution of TTCP's Anti-Ship Missile Defense Project Arrangement (TAPA) experiment conducted as part of RIMPAC 06. It examined the coordinated use of EW between four allied countries for mutual forces protection. It was the largest joint at-sea TTCP EW experiment ever conducted. The success of the 2006 testing has led to a request by the Fleet and the allied countries for TEWD's participation in RIMPAC 08.
  • a "pocket jammer" was also successfully developed and 200 systems produced to support operational needs. These units are now deployed in combat areas.
  • successfully produced an airborne communications jammer known as Intrepid Tiger, with 20 systems now deployed to Iraq in support of Navy, Marine and Army forces.

Dr. Klemm is recognized as an innovative manager, a leader in the development and transitioning of EW technology and products. He is responsible for TEWD's EW program whose primary focus is to transition emerging technologies to operation capabilities to protect all naval platforms against a vast array of threat systems. Under his strong leadership and insight, the TEWD continues to be recognized as the Navy's foremost authority on EW and is increasingly expanding this role to support other Services and DOD agencies and allied countries. As a result of his recognized leadership skills he was appointed Chairman of NRL's Technology Readiness Board (TRB). In this role, Dr. Klemm is responsible for chairing a committee that reviews the ongoing technological products being developed across all of NRL and determining their readiness and suitability for transition to acquisition. He also serves as one of NRL's seven Focus Area Coordinators, where he provides guidance for the development of new projects within the Optical Sciences and Radar Divisions as well at the TEWD.

Dr. Klemm's expertise is frequently called upon to lead high-level efforts dealing with warfighter protection issues. Not only does the Navy call upon him; other Defense agencies, services and foreign entities frequently seek his input on the innovative application of EW to support the warfighter. He leads an Office of Naval Research (ONR) initiative, termed Static Discharge, to develop an EW response to a Pacific Command requirement for F/A-18 aircraft protection. Recently, Dr. Klemm has focused on the global war on terrorism and serves as a senior technical advisor to Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center, for matters involving counter IED. He has served as a senior level technical consultant for the Army's Duke Warlock system, a ground based IED jammer. His leadership has led to system improvements that mitigate the effectiveness of IEDs.

Under Dr. Klemm's leadership and direction, new EW techniques and RF surveillance systems were rapidly developed, validated, and operationally deployed by NRL personnel in response to urgent fleet requirements during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He led teams that provided support to the Fleet through multiple projects that included installation of a high-gain high-sensitivity surveillance capability, designated Project Shawna, on board Navy EP-3 aircraft. He was instrumental in TEWD's Advanced Wireless Countermeasures effort for the EA-6B aircraft. His involvement in the response to IED threats has led to modifying the Effectiveness of Naval EW system's (ENEWS) radar environmental model (BUILDER) to address Radio Controlled IEDs (RCIED) related issues.

As the Focus Area Coordinator for NRL's Electromagnetic Warfare Program, a position that is concerned with S&T programs that will affect the future developments of radar and EW and optics based systems, his extraordinary leadership, superb scientific and technological achievements and inspiring vision, have contributed substantially to its success. TEWD has become the focal point for Specific Emitter Identification (SEI), Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) receiver/processing technology and the pursuit of threat detection and identification capability in the millimeter wave (mmW) frequency domain.



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