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Four Meritorious Civilian Service Awards presented at NUWC Division Newport’s Annual Awards ceremony

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs | May 28, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. —

Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport employees Adam Macksoud, Paul Cavallaro, Jennifer Giles and Joanne Aker each received the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award during the command’s Annual Awards ceremony held May 3. The third highest Navy honorary award recognizes meritorious civilian service contributions that are of high value or benefit to the Navy.

Macksoud, a resident of East Providence, Rhode Island, is NUWC Newport’s chief financial officer and comptroller.

His citation reads:

“… for his achievements as Division Newport’s chief financial officer and comptroller from February 2009 to February 2019. His efforts in creating a solid foundation for development and growth of Division Newport’s financial management workforce have contributed to Division Newport’s financial, business and technical success. He is an astute financial expert who maintains the highest quality of products and services while achieving dramatic cost reductions. Under his leadership, the Comptroller Department has processed tens of thousands of documents and addressed tens of thousands of travel-related requests. Significant savings in Division Newport’s operating and overhead costs have been realized through the initiatives and continuous process improvements implemented by Macksoud and his travel office. Macksoud’s exceptional professionalism, personal initiative, and total commitment to duty have provided unprecedented benefit to the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport, the U.S. Navy and the nation.”

Cavallaro, a resident of Raynham, Massachusetts, is an engineer in the Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Department.

His citation reads:

“… for his dedication, technical excellence and unwavering vision as a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the fields of composite materials, technical textiles and Physics-Based Modeling methods. As principal investigator and leader, Mechanics of Advanced Structures and Materials Team, from May 2015 to March 2017, he led the structural design for a team of science and technology researchers in response to an immediate request issued by the U.S. Central Command. He led the successful structural development of a robust and qualified packaging design for the Contaminated Human Remains System Program. The design provides for recovering, packaging, transport and rendering final disposition of chemically contaminated human remains in support of ongoing operations in Iraq, and provides the Department of Defense with a solution that has been elusive for over two decades. Cavallaro’s efforts have significantly contributed to the success of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the U.S. Navy and the nation.”

Giles, a resident of Cranston, Rhode Island, and a scientist in the Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department, was presented with an award that was signed by Rear Adm. J. A. Okon, commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command in Stennis, Mississippi.

Her citation reads:

“… in recognition of her meritorious service and dedication to the U.S. Navy and Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, while serving as Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) Gulf Coast Schedule of Events manager from January 2018 to August 2018. Giles’ vision, leadership, dedication, innovation and perseverance directly led to optimally executing both the Oceans In Action ANTX Showcase at Port of Gulfport, Mississippi, and the NUWC ANTX pierside presentations in Newport, Rhode Island. A testament to her performance is the broad recognition of naval oceanography as an important NUWC partner for the annual ANTX event. Applying enterprise behavior with an eye to long-term tactical cooperation between the two commands, Giles has displayed exceptional leadership. Further, Giles went beyond the duties of her job, consistently devising innovative solutions to problems as they arose during the process to improve the event with the expressed goal to ultimately improve naval oceanography’s warfighting capability. Giles’ unmatched ability, peerless initiative and dedication have reflected great credit upon herself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Navy.”

Aker, a resident of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is a recently retired engineer from the Undersea Warfare Mission Engineering and Analysis Department.

Her citation reads:

“… for achievements as deputy director, Field Team Operations from August 1990 to March 2019. Aker is recognized as a Field Team operations expert, who provides unparalleled on-site representative coordination and management support. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated untiring dedication and superb leadership skill, as she assisted multiple Field Team directors to succeed in a challenging and ever-changing world of regulations that govern recruiting, hiring, placement, and employee deployment. With a careful and thoughtful approach, Aker’s efforts have deployed countless representatives into the field, with many returning to positions of influence and significant responsibility at Division Newport and other Navy commands. Her exceptional professionalism, personal initiative, and total dedication to duty provide unprecedented benefit to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Navy and the nation.”

NUWC Division Newport, part of the Naval Sea System Command, is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Division Newport’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures. NUWC’s other division is located in Keyport, Washington.