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NEWS | Jan. 19, 2023

Two retired NUWC Division Newport engineers earn DON Meritorious Civilian Service Awards

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

Two engineers, retired from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport’s Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Department, recently received Department of the Navy (DON) Meritorious Civilian Service Awards, the third highest honorary civilian award bestowed by the U.S. Navy.

John Visneuski Jr., a resident of Salem, Connecticut, who retired in July 2021 after a 50-year career as an electronics engineer, who served as technical program manager was honored for leading a diverse team of engineers, mathematicians, scientists and financial managers for a $250 million, 10-year, two-phase undersea warfare technology development and production effort.

“His team functions as the core resource for the development and integration of this new major range capability,” the award states. “His efforts met current and next-generation [submarine] requirements of the U.S. Navy. In addition to applying his technical management expertise, he was instrumental in encouraging cooperative efforts among USWTR [undersea warfare training range] stakeholders that enhanced progress in the early stages of the program.”

Working with a small management team, Visneuski led the Division Newport effort to strengthen working relationships with the Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges Program Office.

“His ability to lead major Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and NAVAIR programs and successfully execute critical engineering tasking improved the Navy’s undersea warfare capabilities,” the award states.

Charles McSoley, a resident of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, who retired in January 2022 after 38 years of service, served as the program manager at Division Newport’s Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) in Andros Island, Bahamas.

McSoley led the AUTEC Program Office in determining strategy and defining future requirements in conjunction with the Office of Naval Operations future Navy plans.

“He has demonstrated leadership in numerous projects and assignments of increasing complexity and importance culminating in his role as the AUTEC program manager,” the award states. “He identified the 10-year technical development plans of weapon systems in the undersea domain to set the contracting requirements for the follow-on AUTEC management and operations contract valued at $800 million.”

McSoley ensured that the projects had adequate resources to comply with all procedures, restrictions and requirements, while remaining mission ready.

“He led the team to maximize the information technology infrastructure, ensuring that AUTEC sustained U.S. Navy and fleet testing and engineering operations despite staff shortages and travel issues.”

Both retirees received their awards from Division Newport Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings during a briefing led by Eric Spigel, head, Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Department on Dec. 16, 2022. McSoley also received his retirement certificate at the event.

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- and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.