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NEWS | March 31, 2021

NSWC IHD Employees Recognized with EIP Awards

By NSWC Indian Head Division Public Affairs

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has done little to dampen the spirit and dedication of Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD), as command employees continue to be recognized for their excellence and service. Several employees were recently recognized for their accomplishments in 2020 with Excellence in Partnership (EIP) Awards in the Acquisition Excellence Award category.

EIP Awards honor individuals and organizations in the acquisition community who made significant contributions to the procurement system to deliver best value and meet agency missions. These awards are given to individuals, organizations and contractors involved in procurement with the General Services Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies.

Milton Reese and Melina Andino – CAD/PAD In-Service Engineering Branch Team Leads

Milton Reese and Melina Andino assumed the roles of team leads for the command’s Cartridge Actuated Device/Propellant Actuated Device (CAD/PAD) In-Service Engineering (ISE) Branch in late 2013 and 2015, respectively. In this role, they assist the branch manager in leading a team of more than 33 engineers, technicians and equipment specialists. Soon after accepting the challenge of becoming team leads, they launched a systematic and thorough effort to revise, consolidate and redesign every aspect of the ISE process.

Andino and Reese helped lead a comprehensive review and update effort for hundreds of technical data packages for all the active CAD/PAD devices. With the drawings up to current standards, the parts procurement and manufacturing of CAD/PAD devices were streamlined and resulted in a more simplified acquisition process.

Partners at the Naval Supply Systems Command and private industry praised the improved process and the excellent level of support they receive from the branch. New engineers are integrated into the ISE team faster than in the past, and this new approach supports career development into subject matter experts (SME) with their CAD/PAD projects, as well as becoming secondary SMEs on other ISE projects.

Dr. Christopher Wilhelm – Fund Partnership Intermediary Agreements Lead

Dr. Christopher Wilhelm led the command’s pursuit of Partnership Intermediary Agreements (PIA).

With support from the Contracts Department, Wilhelm engaged in several discussions with regional Technology Transition Offices to determine the best means of funding the command’s PIA with the College of Southern Maryland (CSM). Most of the regional Technology Transition Offices used a non-procurement method to fund PIA activities. After an in-depth discussion with the Grants Office at NSWC IHD, the way ahead was to establish a grant that would be attached to the PIA.

Once Wilhelm drafted the grant, an appendix was attached, tying the grant to the PIA and the defined tasking described in the agreement. After approval by the Contracts Department, Wilhelm drafted an initial technical instruction and provided it to the grants officer. The grants officer provided the technical instruction to CSM and a cost estimate was provided in return. Wilhelm approved the estimate and funding was then released to CSM to execute the technical instruction.

The purpose of the grant was to establish a funding mechanism between both institutions to support innovation within NSWC IHD’s mission space. This effort brings the command and academia together to study, employ and train on new topics of importance to the DoD warfighter. In addition, this effort helps to retain knowledge within the NSWC laboratory system and increase awareness and interest in the next generation of naval scientists and engineers.

Robert Sorzano – Expeditionary Exploitation Unit 1 Facility Coordinator

Robert Sorzano is assigned to the Expeditionary Exploitation Unit 1 (EXU-1) at NSWC IHD, providing support in a variety of roles. As EXU-1’s government P-Card approving official, he screened more than 412 P-Card transactions valued at $120,000 in compliance with NAVSEA purchase card business rules. These procurements supported four forward-deployed platoons and various EXU-1 departments, ensuring all customers received their requirements in a timely manner with minimal impact to command mission.

In addition to his responsibilities as a P-Card approving official, Sorzano also serves as the facility manager and SME for EXU-1’s headquarters building, building 900. As the facility manager for building 900, he provided support for the temporary relocation of more than 40 Comptroller Department and Property Management Division personnel while building 1601 underwent a major Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) renovation project. He also led a dynamic team of uniformed service members, contractor personnel and government employees in the overhaul and renovation of three major EXU-1 workspace initiatives. In addition to leading these renovations to improve their quality of life, he spearheaded two command self-help projects to expedite efforts for the EXU-1 command relocation from Stump Neck Annex to Naval Support Facility Indian Head.

As the building SME, Sorzano’s efforts were invaluable to the EXU-1 command headquarters renovation. During the current phase of construction, he identified two major design flaws and worked with the NAVFAC construction manager and the contractor to find cost effective solutions to remedy the discrepancies.

His leadership and his peers recognize his contributions and understand they are fortunate to have him supporting the EXU-1 team.