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NUWC Division Newport Strategic Planning Office leader receives Meritorious Civilian Service Award

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs | Aug. 5, 2020


Dawn M. Vaillancourt, head of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport Strategic Planning Office, received the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award during a virtual ceremony with Technical Director Ron Vien held in July.

The award, the third highest honorary civilian award bestowed by the Navy, was presented to Vaillancourt for her strategic planning achievements from June 2011 to January 2020.

Vaillancourt, a resident of Tiverton, Rhode Island, who continues in this role today, developed and implemented the Division’s strategic guidance and leading efforts related to strategy, investments, technical capability health, workload forecasting, knowledge stewardship, workforce shaping and performance management.

Drawing on her engineering experience and technical knowledge to direct the assessment of Division Newport’s Investment Program, Vaillancourt ensures compliance with all financial regulations to execute the program’s annual $30 million budget. She also ensures a diversified portfolio, containing a balance of near- and long-term initiatives focused on new professional development and stewardship of the knowledge base for technical innovation in undersea warfare that are high interest areas to Division Newport. 

Vaillancourt’s citation reads: “… Her professional success is particularly noteworthy as a reflection of the immense personal dedication she has demonstrated to reach her goals. Her success can be attributed to her unique combination of technical and management skills as she oversees the Division’s business and strategic planning, performance measurement function and survey processes.

“Part of her legacy over the past 35 years at Division Newport includes her proactive leadership role in strategic workforce shaping. By translating the Division’s capability gaps into a hiring plan, Vaillancourt ensures that career-enhancing opportunities for new professionals are available, as well as meaningful journey-level opportunities. Her exceptional dedication, personal initiative and total commitment to duty have provided unprecedented benefit to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport and the local community.” 

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

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.