Grady Baker honored with civilian service award

Grady Baker honored with civilian service awardGrady Baker receives the NMCS Award from Rear Adm. Scott Dillon. — U.S. Navy photo by Paul Kakert

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By STACIE LAWRENCE

NAWCWD Public Affairs

An Oct. 24 ceremony at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division honored Grady Baker, foreign military sales case manager for the Australian F/18-A and EA-18G Growler program, with a Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award at China Lake. The NMCS is the Navy’s third-highest civilian award.

“We don’t give out a lot of these,” said Rear Adm. Scott Dillon, NAWCWD commander, before presenting Baker’s award. “There’s a pretty high bar to qualify for something like this, and you can be very proud of the accomplishments that this award represents. I’m very impressed with what you’ve done in order to earn it.”

After accepting a position as the deputy case manager for the Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 in China Lake’s Advanced Weapons Lab, Baker was promoted to the Australian Foreign Military Sales case manager and as a result was given responsibility over one of China Lake’s largest and most complex FMS programs.

In 2017 Baker managed a multi-weapon, live-fire and electronic warfare exercise that deployed more than 100 RAAF personnel and required coordination among several test ranges and U.S. Navy organizations. He managed the cost, schedule and performance elements for the software development effort.

“The success of those exercises makes all the difference,” Dillon added.

“To pull something off like this and to manage such an FMS case as effectively as you have, it really has an outsized impact on our relationship with Australia and our ability to function effectively with them in the fleet.”

Baker, who has been at China Lake since 1998, is a Tennessee native with a background in electronics engineering and technical management.

“I’m overwhelmed by this,” Baker said. “You can’t do something like we did with Australia without a team behind you. I think everybody in our FMS group in some way or another touched this. Thank you very much.”

Story First Published: 2018-11-30