WHITE SANDS, New Mexico, –
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) White Sands Detachment Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2B team received the Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) Excellence Award for meeting project deadlines and goals related to the RAM Block 2B Project on Aug. 22, 2020.
The team worked alongside the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) personnel to assist Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake with carrying out the project after learning that the test could not be performed at China Lake due to damage the base suffered from an earthquake in 2019.
After being approached by the program office about the situation, the White Sands team accepted the project, met deadlines throughout the event and remained on schedule, said Cmdr. Colin Monk, officer in charge of PHD’s White Sands Detachment.
“In 90 days, we were able to stand up a test program for China Lake to get its tests executed as the original program schedule required,” Monk explained. “We did it on time with very little notice, and then we were able to continue that program and do the next test event on time as well.”
The project tested a new development that will potentially expand RAM missile capabilities, and also demonstrated other new aspects of the missile.
According to John Skala, technical project manager for White Sands, being part of the team receiving the PEO IWS Excellence Award means leadership values the members’ hard work and that they’re heading in the right direction.
“Winning an award like this tells me we are conducting ourselves at a level that is not only expected, but even more, that it’s appreciated and noticed by our leadership,” Skala said. “We execute these missions because it is our job. Not doing so jeopardizes warfighting capabilities, and that is something we cannot allow.”
Monk also expressed his gratitude for the White Sands team’s dedication in carrying out all missions to support the Navy and the warfighter.
“The team here at White Sands is remarkable and incredibly dedicated, and will stop at nothing to get whatever testing or support the Navy or Department of Defense needs,” Monk said. “This award recognizes the really incredible work that the team is capable of completing. I appreciate that these folks are going to get the recognition they so richly deserve.”
Along with overcoming unique challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team also addressed an additional challenge by crafting an alternative procedure that allowed the team to safely test certain components without costing the Navy extra expense or a time delay, he said.
“We went into it eyes wide open, recognizing there was a risk, and we had a plan to compensate for and mitigate it,” Monk said. “We were able to execute the entire test, as planned, successfully and avoided both the cost and scheduling impacts.”
Monk said the detachment’s partnership with the Army plays a considerable role in the success of missions at White Sands and other deployments the Navy is a part of, and he is very thankful for its hard work.
“The test events that we execute out here at White Sands—we couldn’t do all these things without the partnership that we have with the Army at the White Sands Test Center,” Monk explained. “The Army team is also extremely capable, extremely dedicated and integral to our success, not only here locally at White Sands, but wherever we deploy to conduct missions overseas at allied ranges or at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The team is with us arm in arm, providing all the range support to make those events successful as well.”