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February 7, 2020

Navy Lauds ‘Pathfinder’ Reichert for Missile Defense Leadership

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech Forum

Bob Reichert

Credit: Johns Hopkins APL

Recognizing his many contributions to national defense, Bob Reichert was recently honored with the Pathfinder Award from the Missile Defense Agency’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program.

Reichert, chief engineer in the Air and Missile Defense Sector, was lauded for his instrumental role in the acquisition and operation of naval BMD systems. He received the award from Rear Adm. Tom Druggan in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 14.

Reichert is the fourth APL staff member to receive the prestigious accolade.

“I am honored to receive this award during the year in which Aegis celebrates 50 years as a program,” Reichert said. “I am also humbled to be included in a group of distinguished prior recipients such as admirals [Wayne] Meyer, [Rodney] Rempt and [Kathleen] Paige, and fellow APL staff members Rick Constantine [2009], Don Mitchell [2013] and Gary Sullins [2018].”

Presented 25 times since its founding in 2007, the Pathfinder Award recognizes outstanding leadership or scientific and engineering contributions to tactically effective and affordable naval ballistic missile defense. Reichert’s award comes on the eve of Aegis celebrating 50 years of technical excellence, as well as APL’s recent assignment as the technical direction agent for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Program.

“I want to acknowledge the hard work of the many colleagues with whom I have shared this path and to say ‘thank you.’ Please know that you are an essential part of this honor, too,” Reichert said. “The ability of APL staff members to provide critical solutions to critical challenges that yield defining innovations for our nation is noteworthy.”

During his 40-year career, Reichert’s own contributions include guidance and control solutions for Standard Missile (SM-2 and SM-3); modeling and analysis for target intercepts in space; managing and providing technical direction for the Aegis Linebacker, SM-2 Block IV-A and Navy Theater Wide/Aegis Lightweight Exoatmospheric Projectile programs; serving as the lead systems engineer for the Japan/U.S. cooperative BMD research program; guiding research activities in advanced lethal vehicle concepts and technologies, airborne and space-based sensor concepts and technologies, and directed energy technologies as technical director for MDA’s Advanced Technology Program; and serving as APL’s first Aegis BMD technical advisor.

Reichert, currently on assignments as liaison to the MDA’s Program Executive for Programs and Integration and engineering director for the APL-led GMD TDA programs, was proud to represent the Laboratory’s continued involvement in Aegis.

“The fact that Aegis ships and shore installations are on station protecting hundreds of millions of people each day from potential ballistic missile attacks is due in no small way to the expertise and dedication of APL staff members,” he said. “I think my perspective is best summed up in a quote from Albert Einstein’s 1931 essay, ‘The World as I See It,’ where he notes, ‘A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other [people], living and dead, and that I must exert myself to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.’”

Media contact: Ken Melton, 240-592-3864, Ken.Melton@jhuapl.edu

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.