NOAA 2004-R299-04
Contact: Keli Tarp

NOAA News Releases 2004
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John R. “Rex” Reed, engineering branch chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s NEXRAD Radar Operations Center in Norman, Okla., was recently awarded the Supervisory Employee of the Year Award by the Oklahoma Federal Executive Board. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The ROC provides centralized, life-cycle support to the national network of 166 WSR-88D NEXRAD radars located throughout the United States and selected international locations operated by the United States Air Force, Federal Aviation Administration and NOAA’s National Weather Service.

Reed was recognized for his efforts and leadership managing a major, five-year upgrade of the nation’s weather radar network. This recently completed upgrade enables weather forecasters to more quickly and accurately predict severe weather such as tornadoes and thunderstorms, as well as to improve the ability of civilian and military air traffic controllers to safety route aircraft around severe weather.

The resulting deployment, managed by Reed, upgraded 170 weather radar systems worldwide. He performed several difficult, high impact management tasks such as supporting a major staffing study, defending the nation’s weather radar budget, and responding to high-level inquiries.

“We are pleased Rex was recognized for his excellent work leading the radar upgrade,” said Richard J. Vogt, director of the Radar Operations Center. “During this time, he continued to perform stellar work managing normal engineering projects in addition to implementing long-term special projects.”

Reed is an electronics engineer with 34 years of broad-ranging leadership experience with an emphasis in computers, communications and radar. He has served as the Engineering Branch chief since 1991. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Wyoming and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

The Radar Operations Center provides a wide variety of critical support functions for the $1.2 billion NEXRAD network. The center provides expert maintenance and operations assistance to resolve radar problems and outages via a 24-hour help desk and on-site maintenance. The ROC also conducts system engineering and software engineering projects to resolve system deficiencies and upgrade radar network capabilities. The center collaborates with government laboratories and universities to transition new science from research to the operational radar systems. To support these functions, the center operates extensive radar testing resources, as well as state-of-the-art configuration management and system documentation systems.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events, and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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