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NEWS | June 16, 2022

NSWC Dahlgren Division Employees Receive Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award

By NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications

Twenty-two scientists and engineers from Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) will be recognized for receiving the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award (MCSA), the third-highest honorary award within the Navy at the 2021 NSWCDD Honorary Awards ceremony on June 17 in Fredericksburg. The award is presented to employees across the Department of the Navy (DoN) serving in a civilian capacity, recognizing their career achievements, exemplary leadership and contributions that have directly resulted in scientific and technical advancements on a division-wide level beyond the candidate’s activity or command during the last year.

The NSWCDD employees receiving the award are revered for successfully leading various programs and projects considered of high significant value across the DoN.

 Anne Adams – As the Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) Program Director, Adams’ is recognized for her exceptional performance in developing a robust NISE strategy to enable innovative solutions for the Navy’s platforms and warfare systems. She overcame roadblocks impacting the ability to maintain the Navy’s technical superiority through collaboration across NAVSEA’s technical community. Adams’ dedication to duty, personal initiative and professionalism provided unprecedented benefits to the Navy’s mission.

Thomas Boucher – While serving as the Railgun Weapon System Program Officer with the Office of Naval Research, Boucher demonstrated exceptional leadership in developing and delivering electromagnetic launch technologies. Charged with leading the development of a joint government and contractor-developed railgun weapon system, Boucher demonstrated superior technical acumen, organizational knowledge, leadership, and dedication in leading the team in an innovative naval prototyping effort to demonstrate a game-changing, disruptive high-energy weapon system and multiple world-first technology developments.

William Bradshaw – Bradshaw is recognized for his outstanding leadership and significant conflict resolution accomplishments as the AN/SPY-6(V)2/3 Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar Lead Systems Engineer. Bradshaw’s technical integrity and conflict resolution skills resulted in successful cooperation between stakeholders as the system transitioned from engineering and manufacturing development into production for five different surface ship classes. His work had a positive effect across the Naval Research and Development Enterprise, including on the ships themselves and their Sailors. 

Dr. Tony Buhr – Buhr’s citation praises his “commitment to providing warfighters the best tools to counter biodefense threats and demonstrating his invaluable service to the Navy and the joint community.” While serving as principal investigator, Buhr led biodefense research to mitigate warfighter capability gaps, mentored fellow peers and brought about cost avoidance measures resulting in more than one billion dollars for the Navy.

Roger Carr Carr’s nomination and selection are attributed to his outstanding contributions and achievements while acting as Aegis Based Combat Systems Engineering and Integration Division chief engineer and lead systems engineer for the Conventional Prompt Strike Program at NSWCDD. According to the award citation, “Carr successfully implemented strategies to define, develop, test and field capabilities across multiple programs and instituted methodologies to enable conventional prompt strike digital transformation.” Through his efforts and support of program contract and acquisition activities, Carr laid the groundwork for the program to deliver a prototype capability to the warfighter within five years.

Aaron Cox Cox demonstrated engineering excellence and key decision-making leadership while serving as a leading AN/SPY-1 subject matter expert, program director and technical program manager. According to his citation, Cox’s “in-depth understanding of radar capabilities and his extraordinary vision for and execution of capability enhancements have made him an essential part of helping ensure that the fleet is ready to fight and win today and in the future.”

Chad Finch – Finch is recognized for his work as the Mark 38 Modification 4 30-millimeter Gun Weapon System program director and the Advanced Hypersonics and Guided Munitions Division chief engineer at NSWCDD. His technical expertise, guidance and collaborative efforts contributed to the development of the gun weapon system as a Maritime Accelerated Acquisition Program as well as “defined the acquisition strategy by providing technical options.”

Mark Giewont – While serving as director of the Littoral Combat Ship Program at NSWCDD, Giewont expanded effective cross-training best practices for engineering teams and restructured procedures to “increase responsiveness to emergent fleet and stakeholder needs,” ensuring deliverance of high-quality products by the Littoral Combat Ship team. “Giewont’s exceptional ability, initiative and total dedication to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Navy,” states the award citation.

John Jims – Jims led the “development of an operationally representative, cross-systems commands, system-of-systems cybersecurity test environment” that yielded “impressive results and established a sound path to deliver a Navy cybersecurity testing capability,” as the deputy director of Naval Sea Systems Command Red Team at NSWCDD, according to his award citation.

Samuel Koski – Koski is being recognized for his dynamic, collaborative style and peerless leadership as the integrated Fire Control and System of Systems Engineer, Program Manager, and Deputy Director of Development and Integration. Koski was instrumental to the success of the development and promulgation of the Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems’ initial model-based system engineering style guide and to the timely deliverance of warfighting capabilities to the Navy’s most advanced warships.

Dr. Christopher Lloyd – Lloyd, a distinguished scientist for Navy Laser Weapon Lethality at NSWCDD, “increased weapon developers’ understanding of laser interactions and lethality against various materials, system components and threats,” as stated in the award citation. Lloyd shared his expertise and provided counsel to operational test and evaluation leaders, which resulted in a multi-million dollar directed energy five-year development plan for high-energy laser and high-power microwave lethality.

 Stuart Lunsford – Lunsford demonstrated heroic actions as a Systems Safety Technician at NSWCDD Dam Neck Activity when he performed life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation efforts on a colleague experiencing cardiac arrest on March 26, 2021. Lunsford thought only of his coworker as he pulled off the road and began to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation efforts. The selflessness and quick thinking that he displayed that day provided the opportunity for his colleague’s family to see his colleague alive once more before passing. Through his service-above-self and heroic actions to save the life of a teammate, Lunsford reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

 D. Michael Mearns – As chief engineer and subject matter expert for spectrum interoperability, Mearns’s outstanding performance and diligent efforts increased operational capabilities of naval ships and equipment. The DoN recognizes Mearns for “championing the U.S. Navy’s interest for continued access in a congested radio frequency spectrum,” according to the award citation.

 Michael Merrigan Merrigan receives the award for his work developing and implementing algorithms for operational GPS software as well as providing system mission assurance and supporting modernization of system satellites, signals and ground control segment. “Merrigan’s contributions improved the quality of orbit and clock solutions in operations, affecting organizations throughout the Department of Defense.” 

Steven Murphy – Murphy was nominated and selected for his outstanding work and leadership capabilities while serving as senior Forge Ecosystem chief engineer at NSWCDD. His “exemplary technical leadership and acumen in the development, security and operations digital transformation effort led to the successful stand up of The Forge, a software factory ecosystem, in less than two years.” Additionally, Murphy’s unwavering support of The Forge directly contributed to the “fulfillment of objectives leading to enhanced mission effectiveness for the United States Navy Surface fleet.”

 Joseph Pack – Pack demonstrated high-level technical leadership as Mission Engineering Branch head at NSWCDD by incorporating a “proactive approach and outstanding technical acumen,” allowing for mission engineering to excel in a multitude of programs. Pack’s contributions and achievements proved essential in identifying technical interoperability issues, defining new mission architecture applications, and further developing the mission engineering workforce.

 Robin Ross – Ross’ technical expertise, leadership and capabilities as the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System Development Activity software lead at NSWCDD supported efforts to implement “innovative, efficient and modern processes” to the Tomahawk Weapons Control System. “Ms. Ross enabled the delivery of quality builds and critical capabilities to the warfighter, bringing great credit upon herself and the United States Navy,” read the award citation.

Brian Schwark – Schwark exemplifies the definition of a leader as evident in his accomplishments while serving in a multitude of senior-level roles at NSWCDD and Dam Neck Activity. He led teams for Battle Force Tactical Training Integrated Logistics and Configuration Management and the Battle Force Tactical Training In-Service Engineering Agent, as well as acted as director for the Embedded Training Systems Program. The DoN selected Schwark in part due to his “lasting impact on fleet readiness and postured the training community for future excellence.”

Randall Strock – Over the course of his career at NSWCDD, Strock served as an AN/SPY-1 radar systems engineer and lead engineer and led efforts in developing “the first software change enabling the radar system detecting and tracking ballistic missiles” as well as played a key role in developing the Aegis Linear Processor System project. Strock receives the recognition as he “has earned the respect of the greater Aegis community with his contributions having a profound impact on United States Navy warfighter capability.”

Dr. Stephen Thomas – As the Surface Future Sensors Thrust lead, Thomas led several development campaigns for sensor technology advancement. His expert knowledge and collaborative leadership reflect his commitment to workforce enhancement through mentorship opportunities. Through his “technical expertise and visionary thinking,” Thomas is hailed as a trailblazer, “paving the way to deliver the best possible sensor technology to the Navy.”

 Timothy Van Drew – As the Program Director for the Service Engineering Agent for the Ship Shelf-Defense System Combat System, Van Drew displayed exceptional dedication, innovation and resourcefulness in an exemplary and highly professional manner. Van Drew’s exceptional professional ability, steadfast initiative, and selfless total dedication to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy. 

 Kimberly Wright Wright’s contributions to “rigorous project execution and continuity of critical skills” and her “exceptional leadership and programmatic insight for strategic systems programs” resulted in the development of a “tailorable agile process” that reduced the delivery timeframe by more than half for updates to the fleet, as stated in her awards citation.

NSWCDD Command and senior leadership congratulate all the award winners for their continued dedication, outstanding efforts and excellent leadership in support of the development and deployment of the programs and projects for the warfighter.