Johns Hopkins APL Staff Win Association of Old Crows Awards

Three staff members of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland — Jon Ward, Kevin Fahrer and Matthew Sharp — have received awards from the Association of Old Crows (AOC) for their work promoting the development of electronic warfare (EW) capabilities for the U.S. military.

The AOC is an international organization “for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare, Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities, Information Operations and other information related capabilities.” As an organization, it connects its members nationally and internationally across government, defense, industry and academia to “promote the exchange of ideas and information” and to serve as a platform to recognize advances and contributions in these fields.

Ward, the president of AOC’s Chesapeake Bay Roost chapter, was awarded an Outstanding Chapter Support Award. At APL, Ward is a chief scientist and project manager for the Electronic Warfare Program Area in the Force Projection Sector (FPS), where he works to mature and transition EW capabilities having low technology readiness levels to the warfighter. In this role, Ward provides advice on advanced EW techniques, tactical communications and general science and technology needs directly supporting sponsors, sponsor engagement and internal investment.

Fahrer received the association’s Military Individual Excellence Award — Navy. At APL, he is a section supervisor and technical contributor on several EW efforts in the Air and Missile Defense Sector’s Maritime Force Engagement Control Group supporting the Navy’s surface fleet. Before joining APL in 2013, Fahrer was on active duty in the Navy, where he continues to serve as a senior chief petty officer in the Navy Reserve. As a reservist, he is part of a unit that conducts signals intelligence operations.

Sharp received the Academic and Educational Excellence Award from the association’s Chesapeake Bay Roost chapter. At the Lab, he supervises the Electronic Warfare Advanced Development Group within FPS. Sharp notes that a significant part of his job “is ensuring that we truly understand the problems we are trying to solve, the technology proposed to solve those problems and the assumptions we are making in this process.”

Since joining APL, Sharp said he has enjoyed the many opportunities the Laboratory provides to solve problems as a technical contributor. He added that he has even more opportunities now as a group supervisor and an instructor for the Electronic Warfare 101 Strategic Education course at the Lab.

All three awards were presented by the Chesapeake Bay chapter for consideration at the national level by the AOC, and Ward and Fahrer were selected to receive awards in December at the association’s National Symposium at National Harbor, Maryland.