In the News

Chris Csanadi Deckard Wins Award for Non-Lethal Work

By Jennifer Bowen Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A senior scientist and program manager who supports the Department of Defense's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program recently won an award for her work, which includes non-lethal efforts. Chris Csanadi Deckard recently received the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific 2009 Technical Director's Award for her work in laser intelligence and laser sensor technology. Deckard's efforts have included a variety of projects for multiple programs, including projects related to non-lethal weapons for the JNLWP.

The Department of Defense defines non-lethal weapons as "weapons, devices and munitions that are explicitly designed and primarily employed to incapacitate targeted personnel or materiel immediately, while minimizing fatalities, permanent injury to personnel and undesired damage to property in the target area or environment. Non-lethal weapons are intended to have reversible effects on personnel and materiel." Non-lethal weapons provide warfighters with escalation-of-force options when lethal force is not the best first response.

Deckard, who has worked for the Navy at SSC Pacific for the past 26 years, began working with the JNLWP in 2005 as a subject matter expert on non-lethal laser, acoustic and vehicle-stopping systems. Deckard was part of an SSC Pacific team that developed a prediction model for non-lethal acoustic hailing and warning devices. The model aided in the military's decision to use acoustic means for non-lethal hailing and warning.

Today, Deckard continues to work with the JNLWP on projects such as non-lethal acoustic hail and warn technologies. She also oversees certain non-lethal laser technologies and vehicle-stopping systems as a project manager for SSC Pacific's Non-Lethal Technologies Program, which the JNLWP sponsors.

"Working with the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program is exciting and fast-paced," said Deckard. "Most of the efforts are on a rapid development and deployment schedule to get these technologies to our Service members."

Dave Law, Technology Division Chief for the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, has worked with Deckard for many years. "It's great to see her get this recognition for her hard work and dedication," said Law. "Her work on laser and acoustic technologies has had a noteworthy impact on getting non-lethal hailing and warning capabilities to the warfighter."

Deckard received the award, Aug. 7, during an SSC Pacific Strategic Planning Meeting. Carmela Keeney, SSC Pacific Technical Director, presented the award. "Ms. Deckard's efforts and expertise in a variety of areas, including laser sensor technologies, and her leadership in technical education outreach made her the top candidate to receive the 2009 Technical Director's Award," said Keeney.

"I am honored to be a recipient of the award," said Deckard. "I am privileged to have worked on many diverse projects during my career. Working with the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate and finding solutions to military problems that are aimed at nonlethal and less-than-lethal methods has added to my satisfaction with the research and development that I am able to perform."