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NEWS | Feb. 7, 2022

NSWC Dahlgren Division Highlights Warfare Mission Analyst Willie Crank in Recognition of Black History Month

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Willie Crank has a knack for finding viable solutions to existing programs in a similar way such as putting each puzzle piece in its corresponding place and completing the puzzle to review the end result. On a professional level, Crank brings forth his aptitude for tackling complex challenges and his ability to cultivate an innovative environment for warfare systems analysis at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD).

As a respected member of the NSWCDD workforce, senior leadership highlighted Crank for his many achievements in providing critical mission level analysis expertise in celebration of Black History Month. “The distinctive accomplishments of [Crank] reflect credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the NSWCDD,” stated Warfare Analysis and Digital Modeling Department leadership.

Crank joined NSWCDD as an analyst in June 2012 after earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Hampton University. Early in his career at NSWCDD, Crank’s work focused on data compilation and analysis for numerous engagement, mission and campaign level models in support of the warfighter.

In his current role as a senior warfare mission analyst, Crank supports analytical work concerning anti-air warfare, surface warfare and integrated air and missile defense analysis. He continuously engages in collaborative efforts with various departments across Dahlgren and other warfare centers, Department of Defense (DoD) agencies and industry. “Being flexible, building on an internal foundation, extending knowledge with others and upholding technical rigor is key,” said Crank.

Additionally, Crank – as an essential project lead – works towards developing, producing and executing concepts of operations as well as collaborates with the technical community at large to uphold high level performance expectations of systems in a multitude of threat scenarios. This includes the development and integration of modeling and simulation analysis in order to produce clear, concise presentations and reports for organizations such as the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

“When gathering all the necessary data, we want to be certain that everyone is on the same page. We want to look at the big picture and meet expectations and set goals for the projects we support,” said Crank. “This in turn assists us as we develop different solutions to overcome any challenges or threats that the warfighter may face.”

In collaboration with OPNAV, NAVSEA and other DoD agencies, Crank provided professional expertise for hypersonic weapon analysis – identifying potential future naval systems capability in combating hypersonic threats. Through this analysis, Crank alongside his team were able to incorporate sensor, combat system and weapon performance data, which determined capability from an entire ship and force perspective. According to NSWCDD leadership, “the analysis was extremely well executed and provided a very well thought out and executed response.”

Crank stated, “With warfare analysis, we are consistently exploring ways to identify, defend and ultimately combat hypersonic missiles. We are looking ahead, 20 years out even, to be able to provide precise analysis.”