CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;">A Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity Marine was recognized by the National Defense Industrial Association, or NDIA, during an award ceremony Oct. 24, at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego.
Maj. Scott Fortner was awarded the 2017 Alva Bryan Lasswell Award for Fleet Support.
“Thank you for improving the readiness of the fleet and the nation's defense,” said Michael Woiwode, Awards Committee chair for the NDIA San Diego Chapter.
The award is given to mid-level active-duty or civil service technical individuals who directly support the Navy or Coast Guard Fleet, or Fleet Marine Forces. Support can be either through technology innovation or in-service engineering accomplishments.
Specifically, Fortner, who has spent nearly 15 years in service to his country, was recognized for his work as the Cyber Developmental test lead for MCTSSA.
“Maj. Fortner led a team of engineers to develop a cyber evaluation framework that enhanced developmental testing,” said Shawn Stone, Test and Certification Group director at MCTSSA. “The framework enabled the rigorous testing of systems and capabilities to determine potential attack vectors and identify vulnerabilities through a comprehensive scanning process.”
Recognizing the shortfalls in the current security process and the destructive cyber threat to command, control, communications, and computer—or C4—systems was crucial, said Stone.
“The adversarial cyber threat to our C4 systems is an ever increasing and evolving situation that puts Marine lives and operational mission success at risk,” said Stone.
As a result of this process, several vulnerabilities were identified in critical C4 systems and updates where put in place to eliminate threats and reduce the risk to operational systems, said Stone.
“It's always a great feeling to know that you're making a positive change in the Marine Corps,” said Fortner. “The members of my team are incredibly smart and driven people. They always keep the momentum going, and that drives me to be the best team lead I can be. I enjoy feeling like I have to keep up with my team, not the other way around.”
Fortner also thanked MCTSSA leadership for continued support on cyber efforts, which has helped make significant progress.
“What Scott has done is pretty amazing; he has led a team of our experts here and helped to shore up cyber vulnerabilities that existed out there in the fleet, which has a very real impact on the success of our operating forces,” said Col. Robert Bailey, MCTSSA commanding officer. “Scott’s contributions and those of the Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN) Planning Yard Team are moving in the right direction to perform configuration management and change control over the network.”
The award Fortner received is named in honor of Marine Corps Maj. Alva Bryan Lasswell who was a cryptologist stationed at Pearl Harbor during WWII. He worked day and night to decipher radio traffic of the Japanese Navy, helping to trigger the American victory at Midway Island.
Lasswell was innovative, believed in excellence, and worked tenaciously to get the job done. Innovation, excellence and tenacity are the hallmarks of the award named in his honor.
NDIA promotes awareness and educates the private and public sectors on issues related to national security.
MCTSSA, the only elite full-scale laboratory facility operated by the Marine Corps, is a subordinate command of Marine Corps Systems Command. MCTSSA provides test and evaluation, engineering, and deployed technical support for Marine Corps and joint service command, control, computer, communications and intelligence systems throughout all acquisition life-cycle phases.