Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) honored 105 individuals and 36 teams with 22 different awards at the command’s Annual Honorary Awards Ceremony held virtually and scheduled for release to the workforce as a video presentation.
The ceremony features remarks by NSWCDD Commanding Officer Capt. Stephen ‘Casey’ Plew, NSWCDD Technical Director John Fiore, U.S Sen. Mark Warner, U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman and Virginia Delegate Margaret Ransone.
Plew and Fiore kicked off the ceremony by welcoming this year’s awardees along with their families and friends to the video broadcast.
“Despite the challenges brought on by the public health emergency, we continue to innovate and build upon our past accomplishments,” said Plew, thanking all employees viewing the broadcast for making the command’s vision to design, develop and integrate technologically superior 21st century warfare systems a reality. “The folks here at Dahlgren are resilient and despite these great odds, you have not wavered in your focus to support our Navy.”
The commanding officer added that each individual, patent and group award presented at the event is a testament to the value of the awardees’ long hours and commitment to providing the tools necessary to protect the United States of America.
“We take great pride in honoring the individual awardees, patent and group awardees who have dedicated themselves to developing and improving the products that support our warfighter and the fleet,” Fiore told the viewing audience as he recounted the unique challenges to the command’s work, the nation and the world over the past year. “Even in the face of these difficulties, the honorees we recognize tonight navigated hardships that COVID-19 presented to our work and still improved weapon systems capability, enhanced our Navy’s ability to defeat our adversaries, streamlined business processes and supported technical programs that contributed to the fleet’s overall readiness.”
Warner thanked NSWCDD for recognizing a workforce for its scientific and systems engineering work – “important work defending our country that is performed at Dahlgren.”
The senator – describing how “incredibly challenging” the past year has been for the workforce due to COVID related restrictions and requirements – recognized that Dahlgren’s national security mission cannot take a break “during a period of a pandemic.”
Wittman described the awardees’ efforts and support of the Navy and Marine Corps team as necessary to keep the country safe.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for what you do for our nation and what you do to keep up with our adversaries,” said Wittman. The awardees bring the “best in innovation and creation to the forefront to protect our nation, to deter adversaries and if necessary – to make sure that our brave men and women in uniform have what they need to fight to victory and come home safe.”
Ransone congratulated the awardees for leading efforts to build collaborative work environments, process improvement and outstanding customer service during COVID-19.
“Additionally, the honored employees at Dahlgren continued to strengthen the technical expertise in the areas of analysis, software engineering technology, systems engineering and test evaluations,” she said, pointing out that while the pandemic shut down businesses, schools and travel, the U.S. military continued operations at home and abroad. “Your responsibilities to provide the most advanced equipment, science and data to protect our men and women in uniform never ceased and for that we are grateful. Our country is safer because of you.”
In a letter introducing the Annual Honorary Awards program, Plew and Fiore acknowledged the challenges faced by the NSWCDD workforce since maximum telework requirements were imposed in March 2020 as the pandemic spread worldwide.
“Despite everything we faced this past year, our gratitude for your accomplishments and recognition of your hard work is unchanged,” they wrote. “It is your talent and continued innovation that makes Dahlgren a leader in warfare systems development and integration and a major contributor to the capability of our warfighters. We also recognize the families and co-workers of the awardees. Behind their professional successes is a system of support that facilitates the accomplishments of the awardees. We are grateful for your encouragement and for your sacrifice.”
The letter credited NSWC Dahlgren Division’s “world-class” workforce with making the command a premier research and development institution that takes on difficult technical assignments while employees deliver extraordinary work aligning with the command’s mission, vision and values.
“Thank you to all of our awardees and to the driven innovators who work tirelessly to accomplish our strategic goals,” said Fiore and Plew. “As we look ahead at this next year, there will be new challenges. Let us continue to build upon our successes and encourage each other to solve the problems that face today’s Navy, the next Navy, and the Navy after next.”
After the speeches, the individual and team awardees were honored one at a time. As the event’s moderator, NSWCDD Deputy Director for Small Business Kris Parker read the citations for each awardee as their portrait and team photos were displayed.