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CHIPS Articles: Full Speed Ahead

Full Speed Ahead
SPAWAR Systems Center Norfolk Sets Course for Continued Success
By Sharon Anderson - October-December 2006
It was a clear day for sailing, Sept. 22, 2006, when the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Norfolk (SSCN) set course under new leadership. Commanding Officer Capt. David A. Pry was relieved by Capt. Joseph S. Konicki, who pledged to continue to focus on the fleet, and to continue the innovative leadership methods that Pry had launched during his command.

"My longer term goal is to seek out the best practices both within the U.S. government and from industry, and map those to our internal processes. Throughout turnover, SSCN leadership communicated to me that SSCN does not seek to be 'good enough,' we seek to be great, and we seek to achieve excellence in all areas," Konicki said.

Meanwhile, enthusiasm was high as military, civilian and contractor support personnel took time to reflect on the SSCN accomplishments of the past two years. Under Pry, military retention was 100 percent, and about 20 SSCN military personnel have or will serve as Individual Augmentees in Iraq in support of the global war on terror.

SSCN Executive Director Patricia A. Fuller said that Capt. Pry would be sorely missed by SSCN personnel and its customers.

"Capt. Pry is a people person. His commitment to SSCN motivated our personnel to even greater successes."

In June 2005, SSCN became certified, through the Software Technology Support Center, as a Capability Maturity Model (CMM) Level 3 organization and instituted other metrics for measuring customer satisfaction with the products it delivers to the fleet. CMM Level 3 certification means that SSCN products are developed quicker, at a lower cost and with greater reliability.

Guest speaker and SPAWAR Commander Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachmann said that Pry concentrated on what he considers the four essentials of leadership: people, processes, products and metrics.

"I have been affiliated with them for a long time. They used to be totally focused on software development and testing. They have transformed themselves over the past decade. They have started to develop themselves through the CMMI process to ensure they have good oversight on software development and quality.

"I am impressed by their effort to have folks get their PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. This will be our forte in the future. That is a critical skill set that is needed to make sure software is delivered on time and that it meets its key performance parameters. They have done a good job in both of those venues, not only Norfolk but Systems Centers New Orleans, Charleston and San Diego," Bachmann said.

Rear Adm. Bachmann congratulated Pry for improving fleet satisfaction and on SSCN's role as a trusted agent in serving its customers. To stay close to the fleet, SSCN has branch offices in San Diego, Calif., and one in Yokosuka, Japan, under the leadership of Cmdr. Steve Bowman.

SSCN provides global "cradle-to-grave" software support and engineering for fleet standard automated information systems, afloat and ashore. SSCN builds, integrates, delivers and supports the information technology needed by Navy and Marine combat forces and the supporting shore infrastructure.

SSCN systems are on Navy ships, submarines and aircraft, and in supply centers and medical facilities. SSCN's software products include systems for weapons maintenance and configuration management, supply, food services, retail, manpower administration, medical and travel. More than 500,000 Sailors and Marines use SSCN systems to ensure logistics readiness.

Just a few of SSCN's products include:

• NALCOMIS, Naval Aviation Logistics Command Management Information System, an automated information system that provides aviation maintenance and material management;

• SNAP - Automated Medical Systems (SAMS), which reduces the administrative workload, enhances the credibility, standardization and quality of health care documentation in the medical environment;

• WEBATIS, a government-off-the-shelf application used by the Navy and Marines as a digital retrieval, display and printing system for technical documentation; and

• NTCSS, Naval Tactical Command Support System, a multi-application information system program that provides standard information resource management to afloat and shore-based fleet activities.

Pry thanked SSCN personnel, SSCN Executive Officer Capt. Jim Cox, SPAWAR headquarters leadership and the other systems centers for their support.

"We all held a bond that was based on collaboration and trust vice competitiveness. This being the cornerstone of our working arrangement will ensure much success in our future."

In conclusion, Pry talked about the synergy created between SSCN, Team SPAWAR and SSCN customers, such as Fleet Forces Command, Naval Supply Systems Command and the medical community.

These partnerships, Pry said, led to improved products and services. He discussed several new SSCN–developed systems to be delivered soon, including the Logistics Maintenance Automated Information System (LMAIS) to be installed on the Littoral Combat Ship next June.

"In the dynamic, complex environment that SSCN operates in, not only must you be sound internally from an organizational standpoint but managing external activities and factors are equally as important. Nurturing these relationships through mutual respect, understanding and teaming to achieve a common goal has led to our collective successes, and more importantly, friendship," Pry said.

Sharon Anderson is the CHIPS senior editor, contact her at

TAGS: ITAM, Workforce
SPAWAR Commander Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachmann congratulates former SSCN commanding officer Capt. David A. Pry for a job well done during the SSCN change of command ceremony Sept. 22, 2006, on board Naval Station Norfolk. Photos by SSCN Deputy Director Fleet Support Mike Siedlecki.
Capt. Joseph S. Konicki, SSCN's new commanding officer (left) and retired Capt. Fred Mingo former commanding officer of SSC New Orleans at the SSCN change of command ceremony.
SSCN has branch offices in San Diego, Calif., and one in Yokosuka, Japan, under the leadership of Cmdr. Steve Bowman (left) and SKCM Fernandez.
SSC San Diego Executive Director Ms. Carmela Keeney, SSC Charleston ISR and Navigation Division head Bobby Hensley (left) and SPAWAR Deputy Commander Rod Smith at the SSCN change of command ceremony.
SSCN information technology intern Lt. Jeretta Dillon (right) and USMC CW04 Lori Dean, SSCN Marine Fleet Support.
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