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The scientist described as a “leading force” to the Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) Program was honored with the Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) Director’s Award, Navy officials announced June 10.

SSP Director Vice Adm. Terry Benedict presented the award to Patricia Fetter - a Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) principal scientist - before her civilian Navy colleagues and leadership at a ceremony here.

“I am very honored that Strategic Systems Programs presented me with this award for my contributions to the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program and in particular for developing the first COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) based real time operating system for the SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) Strategic Weapon System,” said Fetter. “I am accepting this award on behalf of a team of hardworking and dedicated smart people because without them, none of this would have been possible.”

Benedict recognized Fetter’s achievements as “pivotal” to the success of the Fleet Ballistic Missile Strategic Weapons System program and fundamental to providing credible and affordable sea-based deterrent missile systems.

The SSP Director cited Fetter’s “personal contributions to the FBM program for more than 31 years as a leading force in the development and sustainment of fire control and targeting software for the FBM program,” in his letter of congratulations. “Your leadership helps exemplify our program’s high performance standards and expectations.”

SSP develops and deploys the nation’s Seaborne 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.

“Patti has made significant contributions to the SSP Program both technically and from a management perspective,” said NSWCDD Strategic and Weapon Control Systems Department Head Jim Wolfe. “Most importantly, she understands the value and strength of the SSP technical team at Dahlgren. They have consistently delivered high quality products to the fleet. She has held numerous positions with tremendous responsibility and accountability. I am very proud of her many accomplishments.”

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 am blessed to have been given the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people,” said Fetter. “My career in the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program has been extremely rewarding.”

The SLBM Program at NSWCDD has a 60-year history of providing a credible sea-based strategic deterrent. NSWCDD has been integral member of the Strategic Systems Program SLBM Team since it began over 60 years go.

“The opportunity to be a part of providing innovative solutions to our men and women in uniform that will help them conduct their missions safely and effectively has been a career highlight,” said Fetter.

The 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.

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, and performs system level testing and analysis of strategic, test and training targeting data.