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NIWC Atlantic Employee Wins Cyber Award for Contributions to National Security

NIWC Atlantic Employee Wins Cyber Award for Contributions to National Security

Story by Heather Rutherford on 09/24/2019

Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic’s cybersecurity service provider (CSSP) director received the 2018 National Security Agency (NSA) Frank B. Rowlett Award for Individual Achievement during a ceremony held Sept. 10 at NSA Headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Justin Hodges, who wears dual hats as director of NIWC Atlantic’s CSSP and chief of Defense Health Agency (DHA) Cyber Operations Center (CyOC), earned the award for his numerous achievements in both positions.

Named for cryptographic pioneer Frank Byron Rowlett, the annual award recognizes individuals within the federal government who have excelled in the field of cybersecurity by making significant contributions to improve national information systems security and operational readiness.

Under Hodges’ leadership, CSSP made vital improvements to the cybersecurity posture of the Department of Defense and the nation by protecting and defending systems and networks that transmit critical healthcare data used in the treatment of warfighters and their beneficiaries.

Hodges was instrumental in standing up and achieving full operational capability for the DHA CyOC in 2018. As DHA CyOC chief, he provides an integrated management capability to DHA for all cyber tasks and meets increased cyber operational tempo for defensive cyberspace operations across DHA’s cyber terrain.

“We are extremely proud of Justin for receiving this prestigious award. It reflects the level of excellence in cybersecurity that he and his team continually strive to achieve,” said Defense Health Information Technology Supervisory Division Head Cal Stephens, who attended the ceremony.

Also in attendance were DHA Chief Information Officer and Deputy Assistant Director Thomas Patrick “Pat” Flanders and NIWC Atlantic leadership, including Mission Assurance Division Deputy Joseph Henline and Shore Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Integration Department Head Bruce Carter.

“It was an honor and a privilege to witness Justin Hodges receive the Frank B. Rowlett Individual Achievement award this year. Justin represents NIWC Atlantic’s cyber engineering and leadership excellence serving our Navy and nation,” said Carter. “This award has very strong competition from across the federal government to be nominated as a finalist is remarkable, but to win is absolutely awesome.”

NSA Deputy Director George C. Barnes, NSA Director of Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger and Tom Rowlett, son of Frank B. Rowlett, presented the award to Hodges as colleagues and family members looked on.

“There’s an old saying that goes something like: It’s amazing what you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit,'” said Hodges. “While it’s a great personal honor to receive this award, the credit goes to the whole NIWC Atlantic CSSP and DHA CyOC because we couldn’t have accomplished anything without the team and the environment we’ve collectively created.”

In addition to the Frank B. Rowlett Trophy for Individual Achievement, Hodges also received a congratulatory letter from NSA Director and Central Security Service Chief U.S. Army General Paul M. Nakasone thanking him for his cyber leadership and continual positioning to counter emerging threats in cybersecurity operations.

As a part of Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NIWC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities.

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