NDIA Combat Survivability Division Presents 2015 Combat Survivability Awards


Figure 1 Aircraft Survivability Symposium Awards Ceremony at the Naval Postgraduate School. From left to right; Combat Survivability Division founder Rear Adm. Robert Gormley, David Legg, Kevin and Diane Crosthwaite, Thomas and Terry Burbridge, and Division Chairman Brig. Gen. Stephen Mundt

By Robert Gierard

On 5 November 2015, the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Combat Survivability Division (CSD) Awards Committee, joined by CSD founder Rear Adm. Robert Gormley, presented its Combat Survivability Awards during the group’s annual Aircraft Survivability Symposium at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterery, CA.  The awards were given in recognition of superior contributions to combat survivability in the areas of leadership, technical achievement, and lifetime achievement.


This annual Gormley Combat Survivability Award for Leadership is presented to a person who has made major leadership contributions to combat survivability. The individual selected must have demonstrated outstanding leadership in enhancing overall combat survivability or have played a significant role in a major aspect of survivability design, program management, research and development, test and evaluation, modeling and simulation, education, or the development of standards. The emphasis of this award is on demonstrated superior leadership over an extended period of time.

Mr. David K. Legg, U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Branch Head for Combat Survivability, Fixed Wing Aircraft, and Associate Fellow for Combat Survivability, was presented this year’s leadership award in recognition of his extensive history and increasingly responsible leadership roles addressing aircraft survivability and vulnerability efforts in support of a wide variety of manned and unmanned aircraft pro- grams, as well as his technical leadership as an aircraft survivability subject-matter expert within naval aviation.


The annual Combat Survivability Award for Technical Achievement is presented to a person who has made a significant technical contribution to any aspect of survivability. It may be presented for a specific achievement or for exceptional technical excellence over an extended period. Individuals at any level of experience are eligible for this award.

Mr. Thomas E. Burbridge, Senior Manager and Leader of the Survivability Design and Integration Group of the Boeing Phantom Works, was presented this year’s technical achievement award in recognition of the breadth of his leadership in electro-physical design, analysis, testing, and production of low observable aircraft and missiles. His technical work has significantly contributed to the survivability and mission effectiveness advantages that those platforms and weapons have provided to our commanders and aircrews.


The annual Combat Survivability Award for Lifetime Achievement is presented to a person who has made significant technical and leadership contributions throughout his/her professional career, spanning many or most of the numerous facets of aircraft combat survivability. This award, the recipient of which is nominated by the executive board, is intended to recognize an individual’s lifetime of accomplishments and dedication to the aircraft survivability community and to the aircrews the community serves.

Mr. Kevin R. Crosthwaite, former Director of the Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC), was presented this year’s lifetime achievement award in recognition of his long and active involvement with, and support of, the aircraft survivability community, as well as his continuing and tireless support of the many activities, goals, and ideals of the CSD. His work has significantly contributed to the development and success of generations of aircraft survivability experts and, thus, the survivability and mission effectiveness advantages the community provides to commanders and aircrews.

Congratulations to all three of the 2015 awardees for their many accomplishments and contributions.


It is not too early to consider who is deserving of recognition this coming November at the 2016 NDIA Aircraft Survivability Symposium, which will again be held at NPS. The CSD Awards Committee encourages community members to consider individuals in their staffs and organizations who have demonstrated technical achievement or leadership in the survivability discipline and are thus deserving of nomination. Nomination deadlines and submission procedures will be published later in the year. But there is no need to wait; the committee is happy to accept nominations now. To make a nomination and/or discuss the process further, please contact Mr. Robert Gierard at robert.a.gierard@raytheon. com or 310-200-1060.


Mr. Robert Gierard is Chairman of the NDIA Combat Survivability Division Awards Committee.