A missile range instrumentation ship named after a western Iowa man, who’s considered to be the “Father of Electronic Warfare,” will be christened Saturday afternoon in Mississippi. Howard O. Lorenzen died February of 2000, in Washington State, at the age of 87. Lorenzen grew up and graduated from Atlantic before obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronic Engineering in 1935 from Iowa State College, before it became known as Iowa State University.
Before he retired in 1973, his career was filled with numerous, notable accomplishments, including developments in radar, electronic countermeasures systems and intelligence satellite designs. Lorenzen also led the Naval Research Lab’s Galactic Radiation and Background (GRAB) program, the earliest successful U.S. reconnaissance satellite program and the first electronic intelligence satellite designs.
The U.S. Navy has constructed the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen in his honor. The 12,575-ton, 534-foot-long vessel will carry a crew of 88 sailors and civilian mariners. The ship will be christened at 1 P.M. Saturday in Pascagoula, Mississippi. In accordance with Naval tradition, Susan Lorenzen Black, daughter of the ship’s namesake, will break a bottle of champagne across the ship’s bow.
The USNS Lorenzen will provide a platform for monitoring missile launches and collecting data that can be used to improve missile efficiency and accuracy. Like its sister-ships, the USNS Observation Island and USNS Invincible, the Lorenzen will be operated by Military Sealift Command and conduct missions sponsored by the Air Force.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic