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Home : Media : News
NEWS | May 2, 2023

Carderock’s Kevin Warwick Shares His Experience on Rotation at the Navy Yard

By Benjamin Morley, NSWC Carderock Division Public Affairs

Over the past 12 years, the Navy has had 14 major shipboard fires. Most recently, in July 2020, during its maintenance period at Naval Base San Diego, fire raged throughout USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), injuring 40 Sailors and 23 civilians. The fire was finally extinguished after four days of burning. So destructive and costly was the fire, that the Navy was forced to scrap the ship.

In the aftermath, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) started a new industrial fire safety group (SEA 00FS) tasked with ending industrial shipboard fires, promoting fire safety vigilance and improving the Navy’s shipboard fire prevention skills and training.

Kevin Warwick, part of the Ship Acquisition Branch at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, serves as the Action Manager for this new team. On rotation at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., since August 2021, he manages the adjudication and close out of all current and future NAVSEA actions resulting from fire investigations.

“I work with an 0-6 Captain, technical warrant holders and subject-matter experts at NAVSEA headquarters and Warfare Centers, as well as the public and private naval shipyards to make sure their industrial fire safety programs are adhering to U.S. Navy guidelines,” he said.

In addition to his work as action manager, Warwick took on two additional responsibilities, serving as both metrics and War Room managers. As War Room manager, he maintains the room in Building 197 where he manages SEA 00FS meetings and scheduling, as well as monthly briefings with the NAVSEA vice admiral and executive director.

As the metrics manager, Warwick works to improve the fire reporting process in collaboration with the Naval Safety Command and stakeholders within NAVSEA, such as SEA 21 (Surface Ship Maintenance, Modernization, and Sustainment) and SEA 04 (Industrial Operations).

When the team was being set up in 2021, the Senior Executive Service (SES) agent for SEA 00FS was looking for talented individuals to join the team. Having formerly worked at Carderock, the SES contacted Carderock’s Platform Integrity Department Head Jeff Mercier for assistance, who reached out directly to Warwick to join the team.

“The former SES was looking for two detail employees and reached out to Platform Integrity Division,” he said. “I was contacted as a potential good fit for this position. I went to NAVSEA HQ downtown, to interview for the position and was selected.”

Warwick said the rotation has greatly improved his professional skills and is giving him a great deal of experience by expanding his level of interaction with SES and Flag officers on a regular basis.

“It’s really expanded my skillset,” he said. “It’s also shown how all the pieces of NAVSEA come together, as NAVSEA likes to say, ‘One Team, One Fight.’ It is not a single source supporting our Navy. We are headquarters, the Warfare Centers and the shipyards – all coming together to support our fleet.”

Warwick recommends taking rotations as they provide an opportunity to not only learn a different perspective, but also see how the work of the Warfare Centers connect and influence the decisions of NAVSEA and vice versa. These networks of connections create both a community of professionals and show how it all comes together for the Navy’s mission.

“I definitely recommend individuals at Carderock do a rotation downtown,” he said. “The Warfare Centers and NAVSEA work differently, such as the decision making from NAVSEA or the technical advantages of Carderock. Taking information back to the program offices and technical warrant holders helps to inform decisions, but NAVSEA headquarters is where those decisions are made, prioritized and funded. I’ve enjoyed being part of both aspects.”