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NEWS | July 5, 2024

NSWCs PCD and PHD use technical director rotation to build a learning organization

By Jeremy Roman, NSWC PCD Public Affairs

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) continued its pursuit to construct a world class team built on exceptional technical proficiency and leadership competence during a recent NAVSEA Warfare Centers’ Technical Director (TD) swap, last spring.

Separated by more than 2,250 miles, Naval Surface Warfare Centers (NSWC) Technical Directors Dr. Peter Adair, NSWC Panama City Division (PCD), and Mr. Jeffrey Koe, NSWC Port Hueneme Division (PHD), switched their respective locations to gain specific, valuable insight into the One Team NAVSEA enterprise.

“I have a great relationship with Dr. Adair, and already have a connection to [NSWC] PCD with my work in the former Littoral Strike and Warfare Department at my command, specific to LCS mission packages. To see some of PCD’s work done in person was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss,” said Koe. “It’s always beneficial to see how another warfare center operates, in terms of their technical work and business operations, as well as their overall culture…and there are always ideas and best practices that can be brought back to our own home divisions to make them even better.”

During their respective one-week rotations, the TDs received mission briefs and hands-on tours of various capabilities that support the warfighter. What Adair appreciated most was NSWC PHD’s engagement and real-time support of the fleet.

“I saw great collaboration with other warfare centers to ensure that ships in the 5th fleet’s area of responsibility were going to be made operationally ready as quickly as possible, due to ship casualties,” said Adair. “As always, it boiled down to the people that I saw in action. They were highly competent and had a great passion for helping the warfighter.”

Koe said NSWC PCD’s personnel and the scope of their work left a lasting impression on him. 

“Despite the fact that we mostly work in very different areas of fleet support, we are all One Team and committed to delivering solutions and capabilities to the warfighter across the board…and everyone had that mindset of providing support to the Navy and the warfighter,” said Koe. “I was impressed with the amount of research and development taking place at PCD, and how that is such a strong component of the command’s culture. I’m sure being able to design, experiment with and produce new technologies contributes to workforce retention.”

Although this particular NAVSEA Warfare Center TD rotation satisfies part of their performance objectives requirement once a year, there are rotational opportunities within the enterprise for the NAVSEA workforce. Both technical directors are advocates of opportunities like this.

“I wish everyone within the warfare centers could do a swap of some kind. It adds a different perspective to the work that we are doing as well as identifying best practices and opportunities for future collaboration,” said Adair. “We all tend to operate in our stove pipes, even within our own commands. I think that it’s critically important to take a moment and look around at different ways to accomplish the mission, as well as generating novel ideas to spur innovation by taking good ideas from multiple sources outside of our silos.” 

“I had a great time and learned a lot! I think nothing but good can come out of these rotations. They are something I wish I had the opportunity to do earlier in my career,” said Koe. “It’s good to get a different perspective and see how other organizations work, but what is really important are the relationships we are building.”