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NEWS | Dec. 8, 2020

NSWC Indian Head Division Employees Recognized with PEO IWS Excellence and NAVSEA Human Resources Community Awards

By NSWC Indian Head Division Public Affairs

Although the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of award ceremonies across the Department of Defense, its employees are still being recognized for their excellence and service. Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) employees were recognized with 2020 Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) Excellence Awards and 2019 Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Human Resources Community Awards for all their efforts during a very unusual 2020.

“COVID-19 changed not just the way we operate, but the way we reward and recognize each other for our accomplishments,” said NSWC IHD Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Kraft. “Excellence just doesn’t go away because of a change in our work environment or policies. True excellence is overcoming these obstacles and finding alternative ways to accomplish the mission. These awardees persevered in these challenging circumstances and deserve every bit of this recognition.”

SeaRAM Elevation Drive Gear Assembly Implementation Team: Charles Grass, Richard McDonough, Timothy Morris, Jeffrey Niedert, David Reid, John Stansberry, James Vaughn and Nicholas Wilkowski (Systems Integration Department)

The Sea Rolling Air Missile (SeaRAM) Elevation Drive Gear Assembly Implementation Team received the PEO IWS Excellence Award for both their sustained excellence and outstanding achievement. The SeaRAM combines the radar and electro-optical system of the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System Mark 15 Block 1B with an 11-cell RAM launcher to produce an autonomous system — one which does not need any external information to engage threats. The failure of two SeaRAM systems revealed a major design defect where an urgent upgrade to the elevation drive gear assembly was needed. A unified effort of engineering, production, contracting and in-service activities demonstrated the team’s skills in preventing another catastrophic event due to design problems. The team avoided time delays and recouped money from other installations by using an innovative ordnance alteration fielding approach with limited inventory and still delivered these weapons systems to the fleet on time.

NAVSEA Human Resources Community Rising Star Award: Brandy Stickel (Human Resources Division)

The NAVSEA Human Resources Community presented the Rising Star Award to Brandy Stickel for her excellence in Human Resources. Beginning her career as a staffing assistant in 2014, she advanced to staffing specialist and then lead staffing specialist in under five years. Stickel met new challenges with determination and tenacity, always putting the mission and customer needs first. She also volunteered for several NAVSEA/Warfare Center ad-hoc teams, and supports a command strategic initiative to establish a process for anticipating organizational staffing needs.

NAVSEA Human Resources Community Collaboration Award: Christine Farrell, Lindsay Longshore, Lori McFarland, Lauren Moreland, Diana Murray, Lisa Robey, Jill Ryan, Brandy Stickel, Sebastiane Toney and Lauren Trilli

The NSWC IHD Staffing and Recruiting Team received the Collaboration Award for using non-competitive hiring options, such as direct hire authority for Defense Industrial Bases, to support the command’s hiring and diversity goals and training hiring managers to engage recruitment — efforts that led to their overall success in 2018 and 2019.


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, and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit, and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.