By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

Peter Harrigan, technical project manager in the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Undersea Warfare Combat Systems Department, recently received the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award for his outstanding contributions toward unmanned systems from January 2010 to May 2020. 

Vice Adm. William Galinis, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, signed the award, which is the second highest honorary civilian award bestowed by the Navy. Harrigan received the award during a ceremony on Aug. 24 with Division Newport Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings and Technical Director Ron Vien. Harrigan’s wife Georgia attended the event.

A resident of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Harrigan, has worked tirelessly to develop and evolve all aspects of the Submarine Launched Aerial System, known as the Advanced Weapons Enabled by Submarine Unmanned Aerial Systems for Mobile (AWESUM) targets. He assembled a team to create a small-sized unmanned aerial system launched undersea through a launcher able to perform targeting; intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance; and limited strike capabilities.

His citation reads:

“Mr. Harrigan demonstrated dedication and professionalism in his skillful decade-long leadership of the Submarine Launched Unmanned Aerial System from its inception to a formal program of record and submarine force operational cap professionalism, personal initiative and total commitment to duty have provided unprecedented benefit to Division Newport, the Warfare Centers, the Naval Sea Systems Command, the U.S. Navy, and the nation.”

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.


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