Patricia Herndon

Director, Special Warfare and Expeditionary Systems Department
30th Annual SO/LIC Symposium & Exhibition

Ms. Herndon graduated from Purdue University in May 1987 with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering.  Through her college career, Ms. Herndon participated in the Cooperative Engineering Education Program working at Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane). Upon graduation, she returned to Crane and worked in the Ordnance Engineering Department, Pyrotechnics and Demolition Branch working on product improvement programs for electric squibs, seawater batteries, marine location markers, and improved red phosphorus smoke/flare compositions. 

In 1991, Ms. Herndon left Crane to go to work for Eli Lilly & Company in Clinton, Indiana.  There she worked as a solvent recovery engineer.  She was responsible for recovering solvents for the entire plant including both the human health and animal health production lines. 

In 1993, Ms. Herndon began working for COMARCO.  There she managed the environmental services resource center.  The environmental services group performed multiple programs for Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center and Louisville Detachment.  This included assisting in many programs that aided in the compliance and permitting of multiple industrial functions. 

In 1997, Ms. Herndon returned to Crane where she worked in the Ordnance Engineering Department, Gun Ammunition Branch working as an Acquisition Engineering Agent for 5” propelling charge components.  She later returned to the Pyrotechnics and Demolition Branch where she did design and development of colored smoke compositions, replacing carcinogenic dyes with less toxic colored smoke dyes.  She also worked as the project manager for all product improvement and acquisition programs for the NAVSEA Conventional Ammunition Program Office.

In 2000, Ms. Herndon assumed branch management responsibilities for the Ordnance Test and Evaluation Branch.  Here she managed multiple ordnance operations that performed lot acceptance tests, quality evaluation tests and malfunction investigations for both NAVSEA and NAVAIR customers.  Products tested included pyrotechnic, demolition and gun ammunition items.

In 2001, Ms. Herndon accepted a position in the 2T COG Conventional Ammunition and Night Vision Program Office.  Here she managed both the 76mm and Small Arms Ammunition programs.  Ms. Herndon was responsible for the Planning, Programming, Budget and Execution of both budget lines as well as all life cycle management functions.  During this time, Ms. Herndon received her Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA), Level III Program Management Certification and became a member of the Acquisition Professionals Community.  

In 2006, Ms. Herndon assumed Division Management responsibilities for the Technology and Infrastructure Protection Division of the Global Deterrence and Defense Department.  She managed approximately 160 personnel.  The division’s key mission was to protect and defend the homeland and its global assets through the application of technology protection, systems engineering, sustainment and modernization of strategic assets. 

In 2008, Ms. Herndon assumed Division Manger responsibilities for the Radar Technologies Division of the Global Deterrence and Defense Department.  She managed approximately 300 personnel.  The division’s key mission was to provide the warfighter with comprehensive lifecycle support for antennas, radar systems and subsystems at the highest operational availability while focusing on cost effective solutions, high quality products and on time deliveries. 

In 2009, Ms. Herndon assumed the Deputy Department Director responsibilities for the Acquisition and Extended Enterprise Department.  The Departments key mission was to develop and provide efficient and effective contracting capabilities to support NSWC Crane Division’s material and service demands.  Additionally, the Department will build strategic and tactical partnerships with public and private entities in support of Crane Division’s Mission and Vision.

In 2011, Ms. Herndon returned to the Global Deterrence and Defense Department as the Division Manager for the Radar Technologies Division.  She returned to the Radar Division to provide senior level experience to develop key strategic direction to evolve the organization into lifecycle support providers for the next generation of antennas, radar systems and subsystems. Beginning in 2012, she served as the Deputy Department Director for the Global Deterrence and Defense Department. 

Ms. Herndon recently completed a one-year assignment at PEO Integrated Warfare Systems where she worked to promulgate an Integrated Combat System Development strategy focusing on a system of systems engineering approach in an objective architecture framework.   In addition, she served as the Principal Assistant Program Manager for Rotating Radars and the Deputy Major Program Manager for Above Water Sensors. 

Ms. Herndon returned to NSWC Crane in July 2015 and now serves as Department Director for the Special Warfare and Expeditionary Systems Department and was promoted to Senior Scientist & Technical Manager (SSTM).