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NEWS | Oct. 27, 2022

NSWC IHD Employees Receive DON Civilian Service Commendation and Service Achievement Medals

By NSWC Indian Head Division Public Affairs

Former Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) Business Director Christina Adams was honored with the Department of the Navy (DON) Civilian Service Commendation Medal during her retirement ceremony aboard the command, Sept. 29. Adams served as a government civilian for 35 years, with 18 of those years spent at NSWC IHD.

During her NSWC IHD career, Adams oversaw numerous initiatives, such as an industry day to promote the innovative potential of small business to the fleet and led a two-day business operations planning forum to streamline infrastructure plans and investments to execute a $600 million workload portfolio. She was also responsible for the People’s Integrated Essential Resource website launched across the Naval Sea Systems Command enterprise.

Adams was also instrumental in merging two working capital funds for the command, integrating 1,700 employees and a $1.4 billion operation. Additionally, she managed the construction of the command’s multi-million dollar Advanced Energetics Research Laboratory and the decontamination and demolition of 20 explosives buildings.

Adams’ citation described that as “an effective hands-on leader, expert communicator, detailed planner and skilled strategist, Adams demonstrated excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. Adams’ insight, unwavering dedication and experience provided unprecedented benefit to [NSWC] IHD, the Warfare Centers, the Naval Sea Systems Command and the nation.”

NSWC IHD Protocol Officer Janet Virgin was also recognized at the event with the DON Civilian Service Achievement Medal for her efforts as a member of the command’s COVID-19 Command Crisis Action Team and team lead for Spartan Shield. Spartan Shield was a command-wide effort to ensure every employee was equipped with the necessary protection measures to safely perform their duties during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “This is what I would call an honor and a surprise. I believe we all played our part during the onset of the pandemic and therefore, this medal is a reminder of the mission-focused and unselfish acts of service that drove our team to function during those early days in 2020,” Virgin said. "Our aim was then and remains now to support the fleet and the workforce to achieve the mission of the command.”

Virgin was credited with being a creative and resourceful leader in the production of more than 3,000 homemade face coverings and 2,300 return-to-the-worksite welcome kits. Through fabric donations, she was able to circumnavigate the global supply chain shortfalls and recruited 20 volunteers from the command and community to sew the masks. She organized the assembly and distribution of face covers and “welcome back” kits throughout the command.

“I firmly believe that any crisis situation brings out the best in teams. Here at the command, that was evident where we found a deeper purpose and meaning that highlighted what matters most: this workforce,” Virgin said.

Virgin thanked Adams for the nomination, which she said speaks to Adams’ commitment to celebrate the growth and development of others. “It was certainly an honor to have the commanding officer and technical director present the medal to me during Chris’ retirement,” she said.


NSWC IHD — a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy's Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics, and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit, and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.