An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : Article View
NEWS | June 27, 2023

NUWC Division Newport’s top performers honored during 2022 Annual Awards ceremony

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

The best of the best at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport were celebrated during the 2022 Annual Awards ceremony held on June 7. The event recognizes the exceptional efforts and outstanding achievements of Division Newport employees over the 2022 calendar year, and shines a spotlight on the critical contributions the organization makes to the U.S. Navy.

Nearly 250 citations were presented to individuals and teams across 39 categories, with a monetary prize associated with each of the awards.

“It was a very competitive year for the awards, and the job is not going to get any easier,” Division Newport Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings said in his opening remarks. “You should be proud of the work you do on a day-to-day basis. It’s hard. It’s not easy. It’s really the work that you do on a day-in and day-out basis that makes Russia and the Chinese navies wake up and say, ‘You know, today is not the day that we want to trifle with the U.S. Navy and their Sailors.’ You guys bring that capability to the fleet, so thank you for all of your hard work this season.”

Acting Technical Director Vicki Comeau also thanked the employees for their dedication over the past year.

“We want to recognize and congratulate all of the recipients, and all of those who were even nominated for the awards,” she said. “Everything that you do is truly amazing, and we’re going to take this opportunity to recognize all of the wonderful accomplishments that you’ve done.”

Division Newport Director of Corporate Communications Jeffrey Prater, who served as master of ceremonies, noted there were nearly 300 nominations received this year and a total of 1,420 employees in the running for an award. He said over the past five years, the Division has averaged 340 nominations annually.

“These nominations take effort, and they come from across the workforce,” Prater said. “So if you were a person who nominated a person or a team, I’d like to give you a round of applause. We can’t do it without you.”

Prater also acknowledged the roughly 200 staffers who reviewed all of the nominees and made the “very difficult” selections.

Commander/Technical Director Award

The Special Security Team, in the Corporate Operations Department’s Security Division, took home the distinguished Commander/Technical Director Award, which is presented to an individual or team for an outstanding contribution to Division Newport in the area of project management, engineering, scientific achievement, cost reduction, lifesaving, civic duties or any other appropriate achievements that reflects favorably upon the Division, its mission or its personnel.

During 2022, the Special Security Team provided services to more than 400 Division Newport customers and higher echelon commands on a daily basis.

Because of the nature of the work, security team members often aren’t lauded for a job well done. That made the recognition at the Annual Awards ceremony that much nicer, said James Blaess, director of the Security Division, who wrote the award nomination.

“The submarine force is the silent service, and these guys are the heart of that silent service,” Blaess said. “Super proud, because I know the work that’s going on. I was proud that the command recognized them and the work that they do. The captain recognized it, the technical director recognized it and they made an effort to give us a pat on the back.”

Outstanding new employee

Ryan Scott Young, an entry-level computer scientist in the Science and Technology Branch of the Sensors and Sonar Systems Department, hired July 19, 2021, was presented with the Outstanding New Employee Award, which goes to a staffer who exhibits “growth far exceeding the normal expectations of an employee with the time in grade.”

Young also was part of the Undersea Warfare Reconstruction and Analysis Playback (Replay) TopsideC3 Toolset Development Team that won the Excellence in Technical Innovation Award. The award was presented to the team for achieving criteria that included value to the organization; contributions or achievements in advancing new technology; innovative solutions to technical problems or processes; and inventions, patents, disclosure, or licensing. Team members with Young include Adam D. Arrighi, Chase Paul Poirier and Tyler L. Tucker.

When the Annual Awards ceremony wrapped up, Prater and Caroline Diette, deputy director of Corporate Communications, provided a variety of ice cream desserts for attendees and honorees as an additional “treat” for their hard work.

A video of the ceremony is available at the following link:

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.