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NEWS | Feb. 15, 2022

Think Smart, Think OPSEC: NNSY Celebrates Operations Security Wins with Naval OPSEC Support Team Director from Naval Information Forces

By Kristi Britt, Public Affairs Specialist Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Operations Security (OPSEC) is the systematic method used to identify, control, and protect critical information.  It is a way of thinking and acting to ensure the safety of information from adversaries who hope to gather what they can to use it against the United States. At Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), all employees are expected to do their part in protecting information by storing and disposing of it properly so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. OPSEC Coordinators lead this charge at NNSY and serve as warriors ensuring that critical information is protected and their team is following standard operating procedures.

Recently NNSY celebrated the accomplishment of 2021’s second and third quarter Excellence of OPSEC Award winners – the Comptroller Department (Code 600) and the Engineering and Planning Department (Code 200).

“The Excellence of OPSEC Awards is something we do to celebrate those who display good OPSEC principles and work hard to keep America’s Shipyard safe from our adversaries,” said OPSEC Program Manager Teresa Coon. “OPSEC is something we must work toward year round and this competition helps our workforce engage in their responsibilities in identifying, controlling, and protecting that critical information. We evaluate each code’s progress every quarter to see what steps they are taking and how well versed the team as a whole is on OPSEC. Those who score the highest on the assessment is deemed the winner.”

Code 600 was recognized for the second quarter, along with their OPSEC Coordinator Darryl Dunn, for their continued excellence in the program. “Code 600’s spaces are always on point and their team is very knowledgeable on OPSEC,” said Coon. “They are what right looks like when it comes to OPSEC and their hard work has won them this award six times so far. With Mr. Dunn at the helm, they continue to impress and I always look forward to seeing what the code is working on.”

Dunn said, “This has always been a team effort and I’m proud of what we in Code 600 have accomplished. Teresa and Information and Industrial Security Branch Head Ray Fisher have been excellent at leading the charge with OPSEC and ensuring everyone at the shipyard is trained and ready to protect our information. I’m happy that we can continue to succeed together and do our part.”

Code 200 was recognized for the third quarter, along with their OPSEC Coordinator Michael O’Toole, for their teamwork and dedication to the cause. “Code 200 as a whole is always thinking OPSEC, between the attempted phishing calls, emails and faxes they receive, they are on constant watch for their adversaries,” said Coon. “They are the true definition of teamwork, working together to ensure that NNSY is secure. Mr. O’Toole is a beacon of knowledge and works hard in his role – other codes seeking him out for his knowledge and willingness to help, regardless of the situation or task.”

O’Toole said, “This is the third time we’ve won this award as a team and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone taking such a strong stance in OPSEC. I do my best to help my fellow shipmates and I strive to be that person that they can come to with questions or ideas on ways to improve how we do business.”

Each winning code received the OPSEC flag and pennant as well as the Purple Dragon trophy to display in their area for the quarter. In addition, the OPSEC coordinators each received a Certificate of Achievement for their efforts in leading the OPSEC charge.

An added surprise for these winners came in a visit from Jim Magdalenski, the Naval OPSEC Support Team Director from Naval Information Forces, who heard of NNSY’s OPSEC Program and the efforts to award those who excel in the program.

“Mrs. Coon is doing one heck of a job of fostering an OPSEC culture throughout the shipyard,” said Magdalenski. He visited with Coon and the OPSEC Award winners, presenting them with Naval OPSEC Support Team coins. “I wish I could have stayed longer to visit some of the other OPSEC coordinators throughout the various shops. The employees at America’s Shipyard are really taking OPSEC seriously and are driven thanks to the leadership of Mrs. Coon. It’s truly amazing the impact one full-time program manager can have on such a large organization. Keep up the great work NNSY!”

Coon said, “We’re honored to have Mr. Magdalenski come and visit our teams here and being recognized for all that our workforce is doing to protect our critical information from our adversaries. NNSY works hard each and every day to deliver on time, every time, to protect America and we’ll keep charging forward to accomplish our goals.”

To learn more about OPSEC, visit www.navifor.usff.navy.mil/opsec.