USA — Navy To Christen USNS Howard O. Lorenzen

The Navy will chris­ten the mis­sile range instru­men­ta­tion ship USNS Howard O. Loren­zen on Sat­ur­day, June 26, 2010, dur­ing a 1 p.m. CDT cer­e­mo­ny at VT Hal­ter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss. The ship hon­ors the late Naval Research Lab­o­ra­to­ry (NRL) elec­tri­cal engi­neer who was instru­men­tal in the cre­ation of our nation’s elec­tron­ic intel­li­gence capa­bil­i­ties.

Vice Adm. David J. Dorsett, deputy chief of naval oper­a­tions for infor­ma­tion dom­i­nance, willde­liv­er the ceremony’s prin­ci­pal address. Susan Loren­zen Black, daugh­ter of the ship’s name­sake, is the spon­sor, and in accor­dance with Navy tra­di­tion, will break a bot­tle of cham­pagne across the bow to for­mal­ly chris­ten the ship. 

Con­sid­ered by many to be the ‘Father of Elec­tron­ic War­fare,’ Lorenzen’s accom­plish­ments include devel­op­ments in radar, elec­tron­ic coun­ter­mea­sures sys­tems and intel­li­gence satel­lite designs. Loren­zen led the Galac­tic Radi­a­tion and Back­ground (GRAB) pro­gram, the ear­li­est suc­cess­ful recon­nais­sance satel­lite pro­gram and the first elec­tron­ic intel­li­gence satel­lite. NRL began the clas­si­fied GRAB pro­gram short­ly after the U‑2 inci­dent of 1960 to obtain infor­ma­tion on Sovi­et air defense radars that could not be observed by mil­i­tary aircraft. 

Des­ig­nat­ed T‑AGM 25, Howard O. Loren­zen will pro­vide a plat­form for mon­i­tor­ing mis­sile launch­es and col­lect­ing data that can be used to improve mis­sile effi­cien­cy and accu­ra­cy. Like the Navy’s two cur­rent mis­sile range instru­men­ta­tion ships – USNS Obser­va­tion Island and USNS Invin­ci­ble – T‑AGM 25 will be oper­at­ed by Mil­i­tary Sealift Com­mand (MSC) and con­duct mis­sions spon­sored by the Air Force. 

Built by VT Hal­ter Marine Inc., in Pascagoula, the 12,575-ton ship is 534 feet in length, with a beam of 89 feet. As part of MSC’s spe­cial mis­sion pro­gram, Howard O. Loren­zen is des­ig­nat­ed as a Unit­ed States Naval Ship (USNS) and will have a com­bined crew of civil­ian mariners who will oper­ate and nav­i­gate the ship, and mil­i­tary and civil­ian tech­ni­cians from oth­er gov­ern­ment agen­cies who will oper­ate ship­board mon­i­tor­ing equipment. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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