NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIVISION, CHINA LAKE, Calif. - In recognition of their continuous contributions in support of the fleet and Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division’s mission, NAWCWD employees at China Lake were honored during the annual Honorary Awards ceremony June 20; a ceremony recognizing Point Mugu teammates was held June 21.
“To those of you who are here to receive awards, all I can humbly say is thank you,” said Joan Johnson, NAWCWD executive director, as she opened the ceremony. “The work you’re doing and the work you continue to do for the warfighter is just unprecedented and you are making a difference every single day.”
Rear Adm. Brian Corey, NAWCWD commander, recognized the variety of award winners and ceremony attendants and thanked them for their commitment.
“It is not only the technical, but also the business work that we celebrate,” he said. “To those who took the time to nominate people and do the hard work of writing up the awards packages, I want to thank you as well as the families that were able to make it today.”
Individuals and teams were recognized in 11 categories.
The Michelson Laboratory Award recognizes individuals for technical excellence based on outstanding performance of their individual duties. Recipients of this award are selected for significant achievements in management and leadership, which further the mission of NAWCWD or important achievements in resolving specific technical problems in ordnance development, test and evaluation. The China Lake recipients of this award were Daniel Connor, Kimberly Denney, Katia Estabridis, Daryl Giles, Curtis Kidner, Traci McCormick, David Mesa, Christopher Millett, Patrick Peterson, Gregory Wheelock and Peter Zarras.
Winners of the Dr. L.T.E. Thompson Memorial Award, which pays tribute to the command’s first technical director, are selected based on a single outstanding achievement or for continued performance excellence. An individual must have already received a Michelson Laboratory Award to receive the Thompson award. The China Lake recipients of this award were Duane Brown, Martin Minthorn and Michael Munson.
The Dr. William B. McLean Memorial Award, established in 1968, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional creativity through significant inventions. Selection is based on originality and significance of the mission of NAWCWD. The China Lake recipient of this award was Zachary Sechrist.
The Dr. Charles C. Lauritsen Memorial Award was established in honor of Lauritsen’s successful development and utilization of rockets and missiles, and to the establishment of the civilian-military team concept in the Navy lab structure. The award recognizes outstanding, individual achievement in the advancement of technology in energetic materials, ordnance, propulsion and fuzing, or for career achievement in the field of energetics. The China lake recipients of this award were Josiah Garfield and Ryan Hunter.
The Gwendolyn Elliot Hunt Memorial Award was established in honor of the leader and technical professional who rose to each challenge in her professional and personal life and is said to have made improvements to the efficiency and quality of life at NAWCWD. The award recognizes those who have made significant strides in personal development, academic achievement, career advancement and/or mission accomplishment. The China Lake winners of this year’s award were Merrie Giles, Elizabeth Leung and Amber Richards.
The Captain Kenneth A. Walden Memorial Award, in honor of Walden’s personal involvement in providing motivation and leadership to others to achieve technical and operational objectives, is given to civilian or military employees who have made significant strides in personal development, career advancement or have made contributions to mission success in NAWCWD’s technical and operational goals within the last three years. The winners at China Lake were Larry Collins and Billy Willis.
The Commander Clifton Evans, Jr. Award is reserved for those civilian or military employees who have made significant contributions in information warfare and electronic warfare in one or more of the following areas: organizational design, systems engineering, hardware/software engineering, modeling and simulation testing, and/or employment techniques that enhance combat effectiveness, survivability, and lower costs. The China Lake recipient was Ernest Leung.
The Dr. Manuel A. Garcia Memorial Award honors civilian employees who made significant contributions to the methodology and/or validity of the processes for test and evaluation of weapon systems through innovation and/or application of sound engineering principles. Kirk Armstrong, Paul Mawhirter, James McKnight and Michael Pruitt were this year’s winners at China Lake.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Award recognizes employees who have made outstanding contributions to NAWCWD’s EEO program through excellence in leadership, imagination and perseverance. The sole winner at China Lake was Susie Raglin.
The Business Management Excellence Award recognizes excellence in business management or those involved in any of the various business or business-related fields in support of NAWCWD’s mission success. These fields include financial, total force management, human resources, contracts and acquisition, information technology, security and legal. China Lake’s winners were Sharon Belill, William Diaduk, Caroline Walker and Jeri Walters.
The Warfighter Support Award recognizes employees for specific efforts that provide in-service support for weapon systems or improve warfighter operational capabilities and readiness. Recipients have demonstrated outstanding fleet support and nominees must receive official recognition from an operational activity (active or reserve) identifying the value and improvement provided to the warfighter. The China Lake winner of this award was John Sontag.
A new addition to the Honorary Awards, the Logistics Excellence Award, recognized NAWCWD civilian and military employees for specific efforts that enhance logistics professionalism and contribute to the corporate success of the logistics and industrial operations competency through outstanding, innovative logistics program management and enhanced quality of service. These qualities are demonstrated through significant contributions to the positive implementation of life cycle logistics management for Navy weapon systems; development and implementation of innovative logistics ideas and concepts resulting in substantial benefits to the Department of the Navy; process improvements through rigorous application of logistics knowledge and principles; and contributions which directly enhanced the logistics profession. The China Lake winners included Elaine Janiec and Jennifer Ambrecht.
Additional winners of the Logistics Excellence Award were part of the Precision Attack Weapon Systems Team. The PAWS Logistics team provided extensive logistics management and fleet support crossing numerous systems, provided critical software updates and maximized the use of organic depot repair facilities. Dale Harper accepted the award on behalf of his PAWS teammates Loretta Best, John Bradley, Amanda Ehler, Jennifer Huddleston, John Hyatt, James LeBlanc, Jeffery McComb, Jan Murphy, Scott Murphy, Lacy Paulsen, Courtney Vargas, Brenda Wall-Schaefer, Brittany Wells and Patrick Zawchenuk.
“I’ll tell you, the work that we just celebrated, has never been more important or been more relevant,” Corey concluded.