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Admiral Honors Navy Scientist for Leadership Impacting U.S. Fleet Ballistic Missile Program

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications Division | June 13, 2016

WASHINGTON (June 10, 2016) – A Navy scientist impacting the Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) Program since 1978 was honored with the Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) Director's Award, Navy officials announced today.

SSP Director Vice Adm. Terry Benedict presented the award to Kim Payne, a senior Strategic Systems Division manager, before her civilian Navy colleagues and leadership at the SSP Steering Task Group meeting held in the Washington Navy Yard.

“I was pleasantly surprised when I received the phone call from Vice Admiral Benedict, SSP Director, informing me that I was one of two recipients of the 2016 SSP Director's Award,” said Payne, who is based at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD). “Any recognition I am fortunate to receive is a direct reflection of many others - the team that supports me at Dahlgren and throughout Strategic Systems Programs.”

The NSWCDD Strategic Systems Analysis & Assurance Division Head and her team’s efforts directly support the United States sea-based strategic deterrent.

In the award citation, Benedict recognized Payne's achievements as “fundamental to providing credible and affordable sea-based strategic missile systems”. 

As a co-op student in 1978, Payne began supporting the FBM Program. Now, she leads and directs an organization of 125 scientists and engineers engaged in software and system engineering for the TRIDENT II Fleet Ballistic Missile Program. 

“These efforts have directly contributed to the FBM Program and successful SSGN (Ohio-class guided-missile submarine) conversion software initiatives,” said Benedict in the citation summarizing Payne’s accomplishments.

SSP develops and deploys the nation's Sea-Based Strategic Weapons Systems. The program directs the end-to-end effort of the Navy's Strategic Weapons Systems to include training, systems, equipment, facilities and personnel; and fulfills the terms of the U.S.-UK Polaris sales agreement.

In the citation, Benedict states that Payne was awarded, “in appreciation of your contribution to the U.S. Navy Fleet Ballistic Missile Program, including your expertise in fire control software and targeting models as well as your quality assurance methodology enhancements to improve FBM deployed software product effectiveness and efficiency.”

The SSP Director recognizes personal contributions - extraordinary in value to the success of the FBM Strategic Weapons System, of no more than two awardees annually. The nominees can be military or government employees who have not had the opportunity to serve in high visibility positions. Their work must be considered significant and important to the FBM Program.

“I have always been proud to say that I'm part of this program,” said Payne, who has supported the FBM Program for more than 37 years.  “We have a strong work family that understands the criticality of delivering quality products to the end users. Their dedication has made my job easier and I consider myself very privileged to work with the incredible professionals that are the foundation of the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program.”

This highly specialized Navy Strategic Systems Programs workforce is composed of military and civilian, scientific, engineering, and professional personnel who work closely with private contractors and consultants.

The Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) Program at NSWCDD has a 61-year history of providing a credible sea-based strategic deterrent.

Submarine launched ballistic missiles have been an integral part of the strategic deterrent for six generations, starting in 1956 with the FBM Polaris (A1) program. Since then, SLBM evolved through Polaris (A2), Polaris (A3), Poseidon (C3) Trident I (C4) and today's force of Trident II (D5). Each generation has been continuously deployed at sea as a survivable retaliatory force and has been routinely operationally tested and evaluated to maintain confidence and credibility in the deterrent.

Trident II (D5) was first deployed in 1990 and is planned to be deployed past 2020. The Trident II (D5) missile is also provided to the United Kingdom which equips the missile with UK warheads and deploys the missile on Vanguard Class UK submarines.

Payne and her team are responsible for the quality assurance of all SLBM products developed at NSWCDD prior to their delivery to U.S. and UK FBM submarine fleets in addition to U.S. Strategic Command and Command Task Force groups. 

NSWCDD designs, develops, tests and maintains the SLBM weapons control and mission planning software, provides expertise in reentry systems structural, material, aerothermal, and flight mechanics, in addition to performing system level testing and analysis of strategic, test and training targeting data.