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Test officer recognized for contributions to missile defense

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Story by Brian Melanephy on 04/19/2018
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) Navy Test Officer (NTO), Lt. Jillian Bahlman, recently received a double-dose of good news; being selected for promotion to lieutenant commander and receiving the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Tester of the Year Award.

Bahlman received the award in the United States Navy (USN) military category. The award is given to individuals who demonstrate excellence in the field and are outstanding members of the test and evaluation community.

Bahlman is credited with testing Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), while serving as the NTO for three separate and high-visibility Aegis missile firings off of the Pacific Missile Firing Range (PMRF) in Kawaii, Hawaii.

"The first two [missions] were testing a new missile for the cooperative development program between the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Japan," Bahlman said. "So we worked with our Japanese partners to execute two missile firings off U.S. Navy ships."

The third mission was a more complex architecture test, involving Aegis Ashore.

For all three test events, she supported MDA, managed, coordinated and provided oversight to the Navy side of the effort as the NTO. Her role was central to all events. This involved coordination with Army and Air Force counterparts.

Bahlman was very humble about her recognition.

"I think it's always important to frame it," said Bahlman. "I did not do this all by myself; I had a ton of great, competent people supporting me."
This was not the first time she was recognized for her efforts at PMRF. In January 2017, she received a Joint Service Achievement Medal presented by Rear Adm. J. R. Wolfe for her contributions to three missions conducted in 2016.

NDIA awardees will officially be recognized during the NDIA's 33rd Annual Test and Evaluation Conference in Solomons, Md., May 15-17.
Bahlman is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and holds a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. She reported to NSWC PHD in October 2015.


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