FORT SILL, Okla. – Dec. 10, 2014 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) recently presented the Top Gun Award to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Lewis D. Richardson as the distinguished honor graduate of his class from the U.S. Army Air and Missile Defense School Top Gun Course. The December graduation marks the 10th year of the course.

"It is a noteworthy achievement to graduate from this demanding course in joint air and missile defense," said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, integrated air and missile defense division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "It is our privilege to salute the Top Gun and honor this class as well as all the men and women who have experienced the same success over the past decade."

Northrop Grumman also presented a commemorative plaque engraved with the names of all current and past graduates. The plaque is intended to perpetually recognize all air and missile defense Top Guns by adding the names of future graduates.

Only the most accomplished 1 percent of Army air defenders qualifies for entrance into the Air and Missile Defense School Top Gun Course and less than 50 percent earn the Top Gun title by achieving curriculum standards. Course requirements include mastering the air and missile defense sensors and weapon systems.

The curriculum also requires competence in integrating U.S. air and missile defense systems with joint, allied and international partner systems and processes. In developing defense designs for the protection of deployed forces, civilian population centers and critical host nation infrastructure and other vital assets, students attain in-depth understanding of weapon system performance against tactical ballistic missiles, anti-radiation missiles, cruise missiles, and manned and unmanned aircraft.

Retired Army Col. Rob Jassey, Northrop Grumman deputy program director of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) program, initiated the concept for the Top Gun Course after serving as the Army's lead investigator of Operation Iraqi Freedom fratricide incidents.

"Our analysis resulted in improving mission command as a fundamental priority," said Jassey. "The course is one part of the solution; another important component is a common, net-centric battle command system to reduce ambiguity, eliminate single points of failure and enable any sensor, best shooter defense designs.

"We are continuing our collaboration with the Army to deliver IBCS that will transform how our air defense soldiers and commanders fight against air and ballistic missile threats," said Jassey.

IBCS replaces seven legacy command-and-control (C2) systems to provide a single integrated air picture, reduce single points of failure and offer the flexibility for deployment of smaller force packages. By networking sensors and interceptors – as opposed to simply linking them – IBCS provides wider area surveillance and broader protection areas. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS enables integration of current and future sensors and weapon systems and interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit for more information.

  CONTACT: Sudi Bruni