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Home : Media : News
NEWS | May 15, 2024

Command Employees Recognized at NSWC Indian Head Division Honorary Awards Ceremony

By NSWC Indian Head Division Public Affairs

Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) recognized individuals and teams who made significant contributions to the command’s mission during the annual Honorary Awards ceremony hosted at College of Southern Maryland’s Velocity Center in Indian Head, Maryland, May 14.

“This is a day to take the time to recognize how far you’ve come over the years,” NSWC IHD Commanding Officer CAPT Steve Duba said in his opening remarks. “When we say, ‘Outpace our Adversaries,’ these teammates really put that in action. These folks have demonstrated something really special. You’ve gone above and beyond. You all set an example for the workforce.”

“This continues to probably be my favorite event of the year,” said NSWC IHD Technical Director Ashley Johnson. “It’s an opportunity to congratulate and recognize our most important asset, which is our people.”

NAVSEA’s Executive Director for the Engineering and Logistics Directorate and former Technical Director for NSWC Philadelphia Division, Thomas Perotti served as keynote speaker for the event. Perotti executes the Navy’s technical authority across all ships, submarines, aircraft carriers, unmanned vehicles and assigned systems, ensuring Navy craft and systems are safe to operate and mission capable.

Command leadership presented 19 awards recognizing the outstanding efforts and significant contributions of more than 130 employees.

SPIRIT OF INDIAN HEAD AWARD – RISING STAR: This award recognizes an employee or student who has less than three years of employment with this command and has already contributed in a significant manner to our mission in their short time with us. The contribution can be proactive initiative to improve execution to include product and process, engagement in additional areas of interest of the command, drive to improve self and their work areas/efforts, and being in support of Indian Head as a whole. The employee/student is seen by many as a rising star. This award was presented to Michael Beekwilder, John G Hungerford V, Michelle McElrath and Alexander Micciche.

Beekwilder has played a major role in some of the command’s most significant efforts over the past three years. He developed and tested a new rocket motor that helped foster relationships ending in several public private partnerships coming to fruition. He has also served as the lead coordinator for three energetics comprehensive modernization plan (ECMP) projects for large rocket motor production.

Hungerford was recognized for leading two major container qualification efforts and participated in additional container and Ordnance Handling Equipment test and evaluation events for the Engineering and Development Branch. In just three years.

McElrath has climbed the ladder as Contracts Department’s Construction, Architect and Engineering team manager. Her expertise in construction contracting has helped establish the command as a leader of the nation-wide warfare center modernization effort.

The last recognition in the Rising Star category was for Micciche. He is an invaluable member of the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) Technology Assessment branch and serves as the test lead for the new Mark 36 rigging and digging kit that will replace the existing kit. He will serve as the test lead for counter improvised explosive device (IED) technology evaluations in FY24 and FY25.

SPIRIT OF INDIAN HEAD AWARD – THE EMERGING LEGEND: This award recognizes an employee who is within eight to15 years of employment with NSWC IHD and who has directly made multiple, significant contributions to our mission in different areas of the command, Department of Navy and Department of Defense efforts for our mission. This can include increasing the discipline, proficiency, excellence, and benefit of the warfighter by taking details to key offices, transfers to multiple areas across the command, and supporting and focusing on excelling the Indian Head mission. The employee is distinguished as having the potential of being a future senior leader by peers and senior leadership. There were two Spirit of Indian Head Emerging Legends presented at the event. The first was presented to System Integration Department’s Elizabeth Lee.

Lee has been with NSWC IHD since 2009 when she first started working as college engineering intern and has continued to demonstrate her commitment to this command ever since. Lee has served in nearly every role an engineer can and brings many years of experience and knowledge to her current position of G12 Engineering/Development Branch manager. While her technical knowledge and wealth of experience in packaging, handling, storage and transportation alone sets her apart, she has been a true team player and a natural leader and mentor amongst her peers since she first joined the command. As a woman in STEM, Lee understands the importance of creating opportunities for all, especially women. She leads the Picatinny Arsenal’s “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” Navy program and is directly involved in community outreach. Her legacy is not only in her accomplishments but also in the trail she blazes for other engineers. Her dedication, leadership and commitment to our mission exemplify the qualities this command seeks in future senior leaders.

The second winner of the Spirit of Indian Head Emerging Legend award is System Engineering (G) Department’s Kyle M. Beckett. Beckett has spearheaded the development and growth of propulsion at this command. He has strengthened the existing knowledge of legacy systems and grown the understanding of new technology as a senior propulsion and ordnance technologist. He created new processes and streamlined others to institute cohesion with all propulsion-related projects.

His unifying attitude led him to mentor the entire E36 propulsion team and create continual learning opportunities for his peers. His relationships with subject matter experts across the command create communication channels between the divisions and foster a unifying team atmosphere. This internal collaboration led to the establishment of the Propulsion Working Group, putting untold extra hours into laying out a roadmap for propulsion at the command.

His efforts have re-established NSWC IHD a competitive propulsion center of excellence.

SPIRIT OF INDIAN HEAD AWARD – THE LEGEND: This award recognizes an employee who has served the Indian Head mission for 25 years or more and has made repeated and significant impacts to the mission’s execution and workforce. Employee has directly made multiple, significant contributions to the Indian Head mission by influencing not only Indian Head aspects, but also DON and/or DoD-related mission areas. Employee has served internally and externally representing the command and its mission with the highest proficiency and professionalism. Employee has made significant and repeated impacts/contributions in multiple areas or aspects of the command during their employment. Employee is recognized outside of the command for their proficiency and professionalism within their competency. Employee is continually improving their personal proficiency and has significant evidence of mentoring less senior workforce. Employee is distinguished as a senior leader by peers, the command, and the workforce. Lasting impact and legacy of employee’s career contributions is evident for the betterment of the mission execution now and into the future.

This year’s Spirit of Indian Head Legend award recognized Gregory R. Kaminski from the Systems Engineering (E) Department.

Kaminski has made expansive contributions to missile simulators and fuzes used by our Navy and NATO allies. He was the lead developer on the Mark 96 VLS, Mark 109 Sea Sparrow and Mark 116 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile simulators. He transferred to the Fuze Branch in 2005 and led the team into the rapidly evolving world of solid-state Electrical Safe-and-Arm Devices. He has served as technical lead on numerous programs and fielded many systems, including the Mark 683 VLS Simulator, Mark 689 Missile Simulator, Digital Rocket Launcher, ECAPS radio frequency remote firing device and Vulcan Fire. In addition to being the lead developer for the Mark 96 VLS, Mark 109 Sea Sparrow and Mark 116 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile simulators, Kaminski also became the technical lead for those projects. His technical contributions spanned the research and development spectrum. He has been prominently involved in applying for and being granted a wide variety of patents. His U.S. Navy patent improved analog data storage techniques for the simulators he built.

Kaminski’s legacy will be amplified by the numerous employees who benefit from his knowledge and our organization has improved and grown thanks to his efforts. Kaminski’s concerted effort in mentoring leaves an indelible mark on NSWC IHDand paves the way for our continued success.

ROGER M. SMITH TEAM AWARD: Roger Smith, NSWC IHD technical director from October 1989 until his death in February 1999, believed the ability to work as a team was the key to continued success. This award recognizes team efforts to improve the command’s performance and effectiveness in providing products and services to meet customer requirements. Presented to the Compact Rapid Attack Weapon (CRAW) System-of-Systems team comprised of: John Abell II, Ryan T. Barretta, MD Rafsun A. Bhuiyan, Morgan A. Bigej, Jon-kristoffer D. Bisda, Laura J. Blachek, April L. Brown, Michele Y. Brown, Christopher M. Bruce, Douglas J. Butterworth, Qixun Cai, Dale R. Cornette, Joseph J. Craven, Angelo B. Cristobal, Steve W. Culfogienis, Nicholas A. Denton, Dai L. Dinh, Michael P. Dunnigan, Deran S. Eaton, Joanne P. Fitzpatrick, Victoria L. Fuller, Cathy Garrett, Marvin L. Heard, Katie A. Henze, Brian J. Howell, Jeffrey A. Humphries, Zaeemuddin Husain, Ramez Kazartsav, Michael L. Kelly, John M. Koenig, Christos D. Kosmakos, Luke A. Malonis, Carey J. Marrinan, John F. McDermott, Derrick D. McElwee II, Samuel D. Meyers, Timothy R. Murray, Kendric M. Musser, Horacio C. Nochetto, Cuong Q. Nguyen, Adedayo O. Oyelowo, John A. Painter, John F. Papanicolas, Samuel C. Paras, Troy C. Peterson, Irvin F. Pham, Carol A. Pollard, Otto I. Quinones-Melendez, Katherine C. Rees, Amanda G. Robson, Erik W. Saar, Rajitha S. Samaraweera, Randall K. Sanders, Gabrielle I. Sandy, Bernice P. Sanford, Stacey L. Seyglinski, Kyle O. Shahan, Alexandra C. Silberglied, Kaitlin N. Spangler, Mark J. Spieldenner, Ryan S. Stewart, James M. Streett, Alexander M. Sweeney, Michael W. Teel, Sean B. Tidwell, Ian J. Vaillant, John J. Van Kirk, James D. Warner, James R. White, Mitchell J. White, Jacqueline E. Willett, David L. Williams, Matthew Y. Winnick, Payton J. Winsor, Christopher K. Wise, Brian D. Won and Andrew P. Wright.

The CRAW System-of-Systems team has responded to numerous technical and programmatic challenges while preparing for the Future Naval Capability Demonstration in the second quarter of this fiscal year. The team has conducted all required Systems Engineering Technical Reviews, testing and analyses. They have received the necessary approvals from the Weapon System Explosives Safety Review Board to meet the CRAW System-of-Systems program's aggressive schedule for the upcoming demonstration.

The CRAW System-of-Systems team has positioned its program for success in this calendar year and beyond by navigating multiple technical and programmatic challenges. This team tirelessly attends to fleet needs, customer requirements and maintenance of technical rigor while applying tailored approaches with cost and schedule constraints.

EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS OPERATIONS: This award recognizes individuals whose performance or achievements in business operations are exceptional in nature, have resulted in a significant organizational contribution, and have exceeded expectations for what is required of the position. In general, the individual has helped evolve business operations with a focus on leveraging new opportunities, enhancing mission readiness and achieving execution excellence in the face of a rapidly changing warfighting environment. Presented to Comptroller Department’s Michael W. Daigle.

Daigle played a significant role in the training and implementation of the Integration Budget Planning and Execution System for the command’s financial management community during the 2023 Fund Document Acceptance process migration. This process completely changed how NSWC IHD accepts funding documents. He was one of only two people with access to the new system who could accept funding on behalf of the command. Daigle minimized the impact of switching systems mid-year, going from eight fund acceptors to two. His timely acceptance of incoming funding is critical to our mission.

EXCELLENCE IN SAFETY AWARD: This award recognizes an individual or group who made a significant effort to enhance safe work practices in their area. This year, two awards recognize an individual and group whose significant efforts enhance safe work practices in their area. The first Excellence in Safety Execution award is presented to Nathan M. Merritt from E Department.

As the principal for environmental safety and occupational health, Merritt’s system safety leadership is critical to the success of the Marine Air Defense Integrated System program. His expertly balanced strategic focus and safety discipline consistently elevate the program.

Merritt’s outstanding performance during this period consistently exceeded organizational expectations. Merritt leads, identifies and resolves highly complex problems that cross organizational boundaries.

The second Excellence in Safety award is presented to the M35 Ordnance Information System (OIS) and Ordnance Transportation Team including: Haley S. Bowles, David A. Burrell, Kelley D. Cox, Robert A. Dame, Lauren R. Morris and Cornell A. Travis.

The Transportation and Magazines Branch began in September 2022 with three members. Now, the branch processes all production-level OIS transactions, custodianship of main magazines, and the physical transportation of all bulk explosive and inert ordnance for the command’s Energetics Manufacturing (M) Department. M35’s tremendous growth and success has come through the cultivation of relationships throughout M Department, earning the trust and respect of its customers. The OIS Team’s timely processing, attention to detail and accuracy in its maintenance of the OIS Ordnance Inventory for all of M Department directly benefits the entire command.

EXCELLENCE IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING AWARD: This award recognizes excellence in systems engineering proficiency as applied to execution of roles within projects or improvements to corporate pillar area processes, tools, metrics and knowledge and awarded to an individual or group who demonstrate an ability to implement a high degree of technical proficiency in systems engineering to ensure the most effective and efficient methods, tools and proficiency are applied. Presented to Devin C. Rummelhoff.

Rummelhoff demonstrated exemplary performance supporting the U.S. Special Operations Command as the system safety engineer. He supports several urgent safety release packages supporting critical technologies needed in theater to keep our operators safe.

Rummelhoff has taken the lead in several training initiatives in the Expeditionary and Emergent System Safety Branch. He mentors analysts, junior and mid-level engineers to understand the drastic differences in system safety for the U.S. Special Operations Command community. Rummelhoff’s efforts have gone above and beyond and demonstrate his commitment to the Systems Engineering Department, the command and our Nation’s elite operators.

EXCELLENCE IN QUALITY EXECUTION AWARD: This award recognizes excellence in applying quality program proficiency during execution as it relates to our quality control systems. Excellence in quality is essential to realizing consistent delivery and demand for our products and services. This award is presented to G Department’s Lifting Adapter Failure Investigation & Remediation Team including team members: Christian D. Acuna, Henry A. Becker, Aayush A. Gandhi, Mark A. Heinrichs, Eric J. Hoover, Joshua G. Koellner, Samuel K. Kouretas, Kenny Kwok, George N. Lambert, Andrew W. Laszyn, Elizabeth M. Lee, Carl R. Russo, Jr. and Nicholas M. Zecchino.

The team played an integral role investigating the failure of the Mark 169 MOD 0 Lifting Adapter that occurred last July alongside Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport Division. When the failure occurred during a normal unloading cycle, the Navy temporarily halted all operations of the Lifting Adapter in the fleet. NSWC IHD conducted the analysis and test activity. After only two weeks, the team developed a quality control process that greatly reduced the Navy’s operational risk.

EXCELLENCE IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT AWARD: Project management is the application of leadership, communication and technical rigor — processes, tools, templates and personnel proficiency — to successfully execute project activities to meet organizational and customer expectations. Behind every high-quality project is a project manager who is responsible for motivating project teams and accomplishing project objectives to safely deliver quality products or services that meet customer technical requirements within budget and schedule using effective and efficient methods to execute this disciplined pillar role. Presented to Kyle W. Beard from G Department.

As the Pyrotechnic and Demolition Charge Commodity Manager, Beard is responsible for the procurement and sustainment of over 250 different ammunition items. In 2023, he pulled together a cross-functional team to address a production stoppage of 60-lb shock charges, which are used by every program office in the Navy requiring material to be shock-certified for shipboard use. Kyle led a team to qualify a new charge container manufacturer. Through his clear communication, diligent planning and mindful work with the manufacturers and other team members he was able to get the shock charge production re-started and available prior to the inventory reaching a critical level.

Beard was fulfilling the role of both commodity manager and ammunition assistant program manager for a short period of time. His extensive knowledge of ammunition, acquisition experience and thoughtful decision-making practices allowed him the ability to provide program guidance and ammunition knowledge on a regular basis to leadership and oversee the budget.

LANCE CORPORAL T. J. HONEYCUTT AWARD FOR FORWARD DEPLOYED SERVICE: The Lance Corporal T. J. Honeycutt Award for Forward Deployed Service recognizes individuals who have or are deployed to a war zone or other forward deployed location providing direct support to the warfighter. This award is named for Lance Corporal Honeycutt, who on October 27, 2010, died as a result of injuries sustained from a roadside IED. The work done at the command is dedicated to helping our warfighters protect and defend this county. This includes detecting and safely disposing of IEDs to prevent further loss of life. Presented to Anthony J. Futia, III of the command’s RDT&E (R) Department.

Futia is recognized for his forward-deployed support of Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Defense systems in the 7th Fleet while stationed at the Commander, Naval Activities Yokosuka. He was directly responsible for all CBR equipment maintenance and repairs to the 21 ships homeported in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan.

Futia continued to grow NSWC IHD’s relationships with commands in the United States Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility. In 2023, Futia assumed the Group Lead position for the Yokosuka Team, and was the primary point of contact for all aspects of the team’s mission. His presence in Japan has reduced cost, improved operational warfighter readiness, and enhanced reach-back capabilities that are immediately available to the fleet.

INTERNAL CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD: This award recognizes an employee who has provided excellent service to internal customers. There was an individual and a team award presented at the 2023 Honorary Awards. The individual award was presented to Heather L. Matthews from the Corporate Operations Department.

Over the past year, Matthews has vastly improved the user experience for the command iPhone and iPad users. Her comprehensive step-by-step guide for setting up devices streamlined processes and enhanced efficiency for end-users. Matthews’ commitment to communication and user engagement is what sets her apart. Throughout the troubleshooting process, she consistently provided updates to affected users and actively sought their feedback. Her transparency and willingness to keep users informed, even during challenging times, exemplify a customer-centric approach to problem-solving.

The award was also presented to the command’s Bid Protest Team, including Command Staff members Toya H. Davis, Brent P. Fraim and Wayne L. Wisniewski, as well as Kristy R. Hoffman from the Contracts Department.

Last July, a bid protest was filed with the Government Accountability Office over the award of a contract crucial to EXU-1’s global operations support. The Bid Protest team coordinated with EXU-1 technical evaluators, the Contract Officer and NAVSEA headquarters to develop a strategy to defend against the protest. The protest was withdrawn and EXU-1 obtained the contract support it needed to perform its important global mission without a stop work order, bridge contract or re-procurement effort.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AWARD: This award recognizes the achievements of an individual or group who excelled in extending equal opportunity to those desiring federal employment or by assisting federal employees in achieving their highest potential and productivity. Presented to G Department’s “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” Picatinny Navy team. The team includes Sonal P. Akhtar, Tanya Busayadilok, Selena M. Clark, Alexandra A. Conway, James J. Holle, Elizabeth M. Lee, Lia X. Mahoney, Christian F. Mezzacappa, Jonathan G. Sewell and Sean M. Stafford.

Picatinny Arsenal's annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering event offers young women insight on engineering careers and opportunities to talk to engineers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this annual event was cancelled, and 2023 marked its return after a two-year hiatus. The event drew in about 130 local New Jersey high school girls from schools in communities such as Newark and Patterson. The team from G Department enthusiastically engaged with the students, finding ways to draw them into discussions about potential careers in STEM.

CONTINUOUS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT AWARD: This award recognizes efforts resulting in significant improvement made to administrative, business, or technical processes accomplished through Lean and/or Six Sigma, yielding benefits in cost, schedule, quality and/or risk. This year an individual and team award was presented in the Continuous Process Improvement category. The individual award was presented to M Department’s Robert J. Howell-Figueroa. As an engineer in the Explosives and Energetics Division’s Motor Load Branch, Howell-Figueroa demonstrates outstanding continuous improvement efforts by deliberately observing and analyzing the Mark 85 Rocket Assisted Take-Off manufacturing process performance for improvement opportunities. Howell-Figueroa implements changes to the assembly steps and trains operations personnel. This fine-tuning resulted in significant reduction in the Mark 85 reject rates, saving time, cost and improving product quality. His improvement initiative directly resulted in an 86% decrease in rework rate, overall. His dedication to continuous improvement resulted in 7.9% fewer x-ray rejects requiring rework, saving about $112,000 per lot for the project.

The team award was presented to Wayne M. Brooke, Robert W. Hamilton, Jason R. Hundley and Christopher A. Suda of the Corporate Operation Department’s NSWC IHD CAC Office team. The team recognized the need for a more efficient and effective way for Indian Head employees to get CACs and Restricted Area Badges without having to wait days, and sometimes weeks for available appointments. In coordination with several other Corporate Operations divisions, the team identified an office space and had it remodeled, configured network services and procured necessary equipment and supplies to bring the new CAC office online. During the 2023 calendar year, the CAC office issued 1,565 CACs and 1,364 restricted badges.

CAPTAIN H. E. LACKEY AWARD FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE: Captain Henry E. Lackey was the NSWC IHD commanding officer from 1917-1920. This award is given to an individual or team who, on their own time, provides significant contributions to the community. Presented to Marisol C. MacCheyne from G Department.

In the last three years, MacCheyne has dedicated over 1,300 hours leading the faith-based, non-profit organization Love Links, which raises awareness on the issue of human trafficking in the New Jersey community. She and her team strive to educate about prevention and how to assist those at risk of becoming a victim.

MacCheyne’s team was also instrumental in bringing Project Locker Slam to several local New Jersey high schools in Morris County. The project raises awareness of human trafficking in high school students who are at risk of being targeted by online and social media predators.

A.J. PERK OUTSTANDING OPERATOR/TECHNICIAN OF THE YEAR: During his long tenure at the command, A.J. Perk was devoted to providing customers with excellent products and services by “doing the job right.” He was fair, firm, decisive and cared about employee interests. This award recognizes a model employee who serves as an example to others.

Presented to M Department’s Earl S. Baltimore. As a highly skilled and experienced technician in the Explosives and Energetics Division’s Motor Load Branch, Baltimore’s outstanding collaboration, production execution and quality performance contributed to successful completion of all large rocket work to date. He leveraged his critical knowledge and skills to complete the Mark 70 rework under a tight timeline in support of Ordnance Assessment evaluation and testing.

Last October, Baltimore led the FY23 Mark 11 and 12 re-work operational efforts. His thoughtful planning and coordination with the transportation and sampling teams resulted in four days of work being completed in 36 hours.

ADMIRAL HAROLD R. STARK AWARD FOR INNOVATION: As the Naval Inspector of Ordnance in charge of the Naval Proving Grounds, Dahlgren, Virginia, and the Naval Powder Factory, Indian Head, Maryland, Admiral Harold R. Stark became the Chief of Naval Operations in 1939. This award recognizes an individual or group who advances the state-of-the-art in their field of endeavor. This award was presented as an individual and a team award this year. The first Admiral Harold R. Stark Award for Innovation was presented to G Department’s Eric R. Boyd. As the senior design technician for packaging, handling, storage and transportation’s Engineering/Development Branch, Boyd consistently provides exceptional innovative solutions to enhance Army, Navy and Marine Corps in-theater and shipboard weapons logistics to strengthen the Navy’s Arsenal. Eric’s most recent advancement is the Locking Adjustable Dunnage System that will incorporate all variants of Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System Rockets. The LADS effectively replaces up to six different containers into one adjustable configuration. Warfighters will no longer need to be concerned or limited if they have the correct container to package the specific rocket configuration required for their mission.

In 2023, Boyd supported Ukraine’s immediate need for an experimental APKWS rocket. By modifying an Army container, he reduced the development and testing timeline and cost for a new container from three years to less than one year, meeting what was originally considered an unattainable deadline to support the Ukrainian efforts. He also continues to advance engineering solutions to improve weapons handling logistics with three-pack container carry bars and end/side lift pallet adapters.

The second Admiral Harold R. Stark Award for Innovation is presented to Dr. Zbigniew A. Dreger, Dr. Demitrios Stamatis and Dr. Kirill K. Zhuravlev of R Department’s Research and Development Division’s Shock Physics Team. The team implemented and demonstrated the utility of advanced diagnostics systems coupled to the four-centimeter single stage gas gun. This highly advanced capability allows the team to investigate the links between the micro-, meso- and macroscopic features of energetic materials. This painstakingly detailed work provides critical information to both formulators and weapons designers in developing more effective and survivable munitions.

In 2023, the team was able to capture the initiation and propagation of reactions at the microscale of energetic PBX samples, using a framing camera and with chemical changes, for the first time. Their work has raised the prominence of NSWC IHD in the area of shock physics research for energetic materials.

JOE L. BROWNING AWARD FOR MANAGERIAL EXCELLENCE: Joe L. Browning was NSWC IHD’s first Technical Director from 1962 - 1975. This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates innovative leadership principles and management skills of coaching and teaming in the development of personnel and their accomplishments.

Presented to E Department’s Thomas E. Kidwell.

As the head of the Land and Expeditionary Branch, Kidwell exhibits unwavering support and genuine care for the employees under his leadership. He embodies sound, logical and practical leadership. Tom provides thoughtful guidance, constructive feedback and valuable insights to foster the development of both technical and leadership skills with all team members. Tom is dedicated to realizing the full potential of each team member and often offers steadfast guidance throughout their career progression. He extends beyond his team to encompass the entire command and creates an environment conducive to experiential learning. Tom consistently facilitates opportunities for team members to collaborate, share ideas and learn from one another.

DR. GEORGE W. PATTERSON AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENT: As chief chemist and powder expert, Dr. George Patterson is remembered for his work during his 41-year tenure, including developing smokeless and flashless gun powders. This award honors an individual for outstanding technical accomplishment supporting the command mission and advancing some area of technology. Presented to M Department’s Dr. David T. Boruta. Boruta was instrumental in improving the processes for making Dinitroxydiethylnitramine (DINA) and alkyl-Nitroxyethylnitramines (NENAs) used as energetic plasticizer components in propellants and explosives. He has made the process of synthesizing plasticizers more efficient and environmentally conscious. Dr. Boruta’s efforts put Indian Head in the race to soon become a major supplier of the much-needed, heat -resistant high explosive Hexa-nitro-stilbene (HNS) for the Navy and DoD applications. Boruta also contributed significantly toward the synthesis of a sensitive work that will produce a new generation of high energy materials.

ROBERT B. DASHIELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE: Ensign Robert B. Dashiell was NSWC IHD’s first commanding officer and is known for establishing the facility, including supervision of building and acquisition of staff and materials. He was also a specialist in gun mechanical design and invented the Dashiell rapid-fire breech. This award honors an individual who within the past year has made a significant contribution to the mission or operation of the activity. Presented to Alex R. Bridgnell from G Department.

As a test technician with the Self Defense Systems Division, Alex has provided outstanding support to the forward-deployed ships and worked countless hours to ensure systems are ready and Sailors are confident in performing their duties on the close-in weapons systems. Alex supported USS Ronald Reagan when the ship experienced a major system casualty that downed two major components. He had to assist in locating and shipping the parts to reach an OCONUS destination due to limited available repair parts, size of the part and part classification level. Bridgnell’s passion, dedication, ability to step out of his technical role, and manage the logistics have been instrumental to the project’s success.

Alex’s role as the Close-In Weapons System subject matter expert for two forward-deployed Naval Forces-Japan AEGIS Destroyers was critical in the successful execution of the program during the Combat Systems Assessment Team execution. Bridgnell’s excellence in delivering quality service and collaboration exemplifies the core values of both G4 and the command.


NSWC IHD — a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics, and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, manufacturing and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.