By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs
Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport welcomed Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Meredith Berger on May 5 for tours and a series of award presentations.
Berger opened her visit by presenting Division Newport with the Chief of Naval Operations Award for Safety Ashore in the large, non-industrial category — the second consecutive win for the warfare center.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to be here to present the CNO Award for Safety,” Berger said. “This award shows not only are you fulfilling the mission, but you are also doing so in a safe manner. Thank you for setting a good example and continuing to set the standard.”
The award, for fiscal year 2021, which runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, recognizes the overall quality of the many innovative programs managed by Division Newport's Safety and Occupational Health Branch, including compliance to safety and health standards and proactive mishap prevention efforts.
Infrastructure Division head Dennis Tierney, accepted the award on behalf of the team, which includes Camie Graley, Kenneth Hupf, Joseph Johnson, nurse Deborah Jones, John Mackun, Augustine Razo, Elizabeth Servant, Cody Thomas and Warren VanVelzer; and retired employees Carol Bernier, branch head, Sue Clarke and Mike Kalwak.
More information on the award is available here.
“When it comes time for execution reviews, ours always go smoothly,” Division Newport Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings said. “This is a reflection on the great work you all do.”
Two personnel awards also were given out, the first of which was a Meritorious Civilian Service Award for project and design engineer/architect to retired Infrastructure Division employee John DiMaio. This is the third highest honorary civilian award bestowed by the U.S. Navy.
DiMaio, who retired in December 2021, served as a project and design engineer and as Division Newport's resident architect for 18 years. His expertise and pride of ownership was instrumental to the successful design and completion of several dozen facility renovation projects.
The second personal award was Sailor of the Quarter honors for Petty Officer 2nd Class Brody Costantini, an information systems technician (submarines). Costantini was recognized for his superior performance in the execution of his duties as a test team member in the Undersea Warfare Electromagnetic Systems Department.
“Congratulations to all those who received awards,” Berger said. “I enjoyed spending time with everyone and learning about all you have accomplished here at NUWC Division Newport.”
In addition to the awards presentations, Berger also had the opportunity to tour a number of Division Newport’s facilities that tie into her role as ASN for EIE. She is responsible for providing oversight and policy for Navy and Marine Corps energy and climate resilience; infrastructure sustainment, restoration and modernization; military construction; acquisition, utilization and disposal of real property and facilities; environmental protection, planning, restoration and natural resources conservation; and safety and occupational health.
Stops on the tour included the Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Laboratory, as well as the Submarine Ocean Interface Test Facilities.
Dr. Stephanie Watwood, marine species technical project manager, in Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Department, opened by detailing some of Division Newport’s efforts in environmental monitoring and modeling.
This includes maintaining continuous passive acoustic monitoring on Navy instrumented ranges, as well as developing and implementing methods for understanding the impact of Navy activities on marine species.
“A lot of our work is basic research to understand the biology and behavior of animals on ranges,” Watwood said.
“Understanding the dynamic between environmental considerations and mission readiness is imperative for the Navy to be successful in its mission,” Berger said.
From there, Berger toured the Advanced Submarine Launcher Facility and the Three-inch Launcher Test Facility. These to-scale submarine land-based testing facilities allow Division Newport engineers and scientists to evaluate the performance of existing and developmental weapons systems on-site.
“We’ve been doing torpedoes here since the 1850s, so it has really been a full evolution of the system here in Newport,” Chris DelMastro, head of the Undersea Warfare Platforms and Payload Integration Department, explained.
DelMastro also led a tour around the UUV Lab, describing some of the projects underway. These projects included both medium-sized and long-duration UUV technology efforts.
“We leveraged the best of academia and industry, along with the government’s brightest minds to advance the state of the art in UUVs,” DelMastro said. “The Navy has made a lot of investments over the years and we are the stewards of those investments to transition capabilities to the fleet.”
To learn more about ICEX 2022 and see pictures from this year’s event, read “NUWC Division Newport’s executes the Navy’s Arctic strategy through ICEX support.”
NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.
NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.
Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 largest employers in Rhode Island, employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as well as talented business, finance, logistics and other support experts who wish to be at the forefront of undersea research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this site- https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NUWC-Newport/Career-Opportunities/ and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.