James G. Renfro
Award: Harold E. Saunders Award
Mr. James G. Renfro
For his significant contribution to naval engineering as set forth in the following:
During his thirty-one years of service to the U. S. Navy, Mr. Renfro has consistently demonstrated the highest possible caliber of dedication, perseverance, leadership, engineering, and managerial skills. He has far exceeded even the most ambitious of his command objectives, while continuously performing his highly visible and increasingly responsible duties in a superb manner since his entry into the Senior Executive Service. He has consistently demonstrated superior competency, technical insight, and political acumen in support of both the Command and the Navy. From the very first system, POLARIS, to the most recent system, TRIDENT II, he has applied his personal devotion and extraordinary capability to the building and support of six generations of Navy submarine launched ballistic missile strategic weapons systems, as well as the creation and maintenance of the U.K.’s independent strategic deterrent system. He established the complex technical planning and performance requirements that were necessary for successful development, production, and deployment of the TRIDENT I (C-4) and TRIDENT II (D-5) missile subsystems. Since 1990, the TRIDENT II system has been deployed on 70 percent of the total U.S. Trident II submarines and the first two U.K. TRIDENT II submarines. The actual accuracy and reliability achieved in operational tests of these submarines have spectacularly surpassed original goals. Mr. Renfro’s achievements are of such significance that they will continue to positively affect the future defense of this country and the credibility of the U.S. and U.K. nuclear deterrent capabilities. It is a tribute to his skill, determination, and innovative leadership that these systems have been accorded unqualified praise by the highest government officials of both nations.
Mr. Renfro’s unique style of Total Quality Leadership has set a positive tone that encourages complete, meticulous execution across the full range of all major disciplines. His mastery of the complexities of technical program management is evidenced by deployed systems whose sustained quality, reliability and maintainability far exceed system goals. The extremely high demonstrated reliability of the systems has permitted Commander-in-Chief operational evaluation flight tests to be reduced by 75 percent a year at an annual savings of over $300 million.
Mr. Renfro has been a major force in the success of the FBM program throughout its history. He has been responsible for originating programs; managing design, development, test, and production programs; and phasing out programs both within the United States and the United Kingdom. He has directed, planned, organized, and managed contracts worth in excess of a billion dollars for design, development, flight test, production, and operational support of U.S. and U.K. missile subsystems. His efforts on the TRIDENT II program have earned him special recognition throughout the Department of the Navy. His many accomplishments through the years have been recognized as significant contributions to the Navy and the country. In many circles, when the phenomenal success of the FBM program is discussed, the name that always surfaces in Jim Renfro. For his exceptional career accomplishments in naval engineering, Mr. Renfro is most deserving of the Society’s Harold E. Saunders Award.