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NEWS | April 14, 2022

NSWC PCD engineer receives Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for excellence

By Jeremy Roman NSWC PCD Public Affairs

Passion, drive, perseverance and attention to detail are just some of the superlatives which have been used to describe Stephen (Rusty) Weathers, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS) lead systems engineer.

The results he produced using these same qualities has led to him being recognized with the Department of the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award, March 28.

“His steadfast dedication to the warfighter and the AMNS program is unparalleled,” said William Coffman, NSWC PCD Mine Warfare Sustainment Division head. “He has received numerous accolades and performance awards, including the NSWC Panama City Division Command Excellence Team Award for AMNS Engineering Investigation, and it was time for him to be recognized at the highest levels within the warfare center.”

In his role, Weathers is responsible for all aspects of engineering and serves as the subject matter expert for the AMNS program and has been at NSWC PCD since 2012. He frequently interacts with the Mine Warfare Program Office (PMS 495) and leads technical discussions within the government and with contractors. Weathers was also selected to serve as the on-site trusted agent for AMNS Operational Assessment Testing by the Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Va. This event was critical to AMNS achieving Initial Operational Capability. 

“Over the course of his AMNS career, he continuously found ways to improve the system and avoid costs,” said Coffman. “In the past year alone, as a result of his system-of-system approach, the program realized a $66M cost avoidance due to his analysis and bringing forth his recommendation to change the maintenance philosophy of the Launch and Handling System from a required 5-year overhaul to a performance based overhaul.”

Weathers has positively affected AMNS yet receiving this award has also impacted him.

“It was an honor. This recognition was very unexpected and is something I will not forget. It’s a great feeling to know the work we do here can have such an impact on the fleet and that our decisions and engineering efforts can help make efficient use of available federal budgets,” Weathers said. “Just because a decision was made previously, doesn’t mean that it’s the best path forward as a system matures. For example, taking the initiative to investigate the AMNS scheduled overhaul interval allowed an updated approach that will save the government $66M over the life of the program.”

Capt. David Back, NSWC PCD commanding officer, is an advocate for employee recognition.

“It is extremely important for our employees to receive recognition for their exceptional work and outstanding commitment. What they do every day affects projects, the warfare center, and most importantly, the Sailors who rely on our systems to keep them safe,” said Back. “I’m happy to present Mr. Weathers with his well-deserved award as acknowledgment of his performance. I am hopeful this will motivate him and every NSWC PCD member to continue to mentor, champion others, communicate success stories, collaborate, learn, and innovate.”

Business Excellence and Improvement is one of Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) strategic goals which aims to manage NAVSEA Warfare Center business well. Providing technical expertise, striving to be the best Working Capital Fund model within the Navy, and sustaining a strong foundation of business capabilities and processes is critical to NSWC PCD mission success–Ensuring Warfighting Dominance in the Littoral Battlespace.