The Navy Assistant Secretary for Energy, Installations and Environment tours the NUWC Division Newport – Advice Eating

Report of the Bureau of Public Affairs – Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport Division welcomed Meredith Berger, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, May 5 for tours and a series of awards ceremonies.

Berger opened her visit by presenting the Newport Division with the Chief of Naval Operations Award for Safety Ashore in the Large, Non-Industrial category – the second consecutive win for the warfare center.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to be here and present the CNO Award for Safety,” said Berger. “This award shows that you are not only fulfilling the mission, but also in a safe manner. Thank you for leading by example and continuing to set standards.”

The award, for fiscal year 2021, which runs October 1 through September 30, recognizes the overall quality of the many innovative programs administered by the Newport Division’s Safety and Health Division, including adherence to safety and health standards and proactive efforts to avoid accidents.

Infrastructure Director Dennis Tierney accepted the award on behalf of the team that includes Camie Graley, Kenneth Hupf, Joseph Johnson, Nurse Deborah Jones, John Mackun, Augustine Razo, Elizabeth Servant, Cody Thomas and Warren VanVelzer; and retired employees Carol Bernier, Branch Manager, Sue Clarke and Mike Kalwak.

More information about the award can be found here. [link — https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Media/News/Article-View/Article/3002515/nuwc-division-newport-wins-chief-of-naval-operations-award-for-safety-ashore/]

“When it comes time for execution trials, ours always run smoothly,” said Newport Division’s commanding officer, Capt. Chad Hennings. “This is a reflection of the great work you are all doing.”
Two staff awards were also presented, the first of which was a Community Service Merit Award for Project and Designer/Architects to John DiMaio, a retired Infrastructure Department employee. This is the US Navy’s third-highest honorary civilian award.

DiMaio, who retired in December 2021, served as a project and design engineer and resident architect for the Newport Division for 18 years. His expertise and pride in ownership have been instrumental in the successful planning and execution of several dozen facility renovation projects.

The second personal award was the Sailor of the Quarter award for Petty Officer 2nd Class Brody Costantini, an information systems (submarine) technician. Costantini was recognized for his outstanding performance in fulfilling his duties as a member of the test team in the Underwater Warfare Electromagnetic Systems Division.

“Congratulations to all award winners,” said Berger. “I enjoyed spending time with everyone and learning all that you have accomplished here at NUWC Division Newport.”

In addition to the awards, Berger also had the opportunity to tour a number of Newport Division facilities related to her role as ASN for EIE. She is responsible for oversight and policy for the Navy and Marine Corps’ energy and climate resilience; maintenance, restoration and modernization of infrastructure; military construction; Acquisition, use and sale of real estate and facilities; environmental protection, planning, restoration and conservation of natural resources; and safety and health at work.

Stops on the tour included the Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) Laboratory and the Submarine-Ocean Interface Test Facilities.

dr Stephanie Watwood, marine species technical project manager in the Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Division, opened with a detailed description of some of the Newport Division’s environmental monitoring and modeling efforts.

This includes maintaining continuous passive acoustic monitoring of Navy instrumented areas and developing and implementing methods to understand the impact of Navy activities on marine species.

“A lot of our work is basic research to understand the biology and behavior of animals on pastures,” said Watwood.

This includes maintaining continuous passive acoustic monitoring of Navy instrumented areas and developing and implementing methods to understand the impact of Navy activities on marine species.

“Understanding the dynamics between environmental considerations and operational readiness is essential for the Navy to be successful in its mission,” said Berger.


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From there, Berger toured the Advanced Submarine Launcher Facility and the Three-Inch Launcher Test Facility. These full-scale land-based submarine test facilities allow Newport Division engineers and scientists to evaluate the performance of existing and developing weapon systems in the field.

“We’ve been making torpedoes here since the 1850s, so it’s really been a complete evolution of the system here in Newport,” explained Chris DelMastro, head of Underwater Warfare Platforms and Payload Integration.

DelMastro also gave a tour of the UUV lab and described some of the ongoing projects. These projects included both mid-scale and long-term efforts in UUV technology.

“We have brought together the best in science and industry, along with the brightest minds in government, to advance the state of the art in UUVs,” said DelMastro. “The Navy has made many investments over the years and we are the stewards of those investments to transfer capabilities to the fleet.”


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