Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) Commanding Officer Capt. Eric Correll (left) and Technical Director Ashley Johnson (right) present Workforce Development Branch Manager Michelle Hinkle with the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Feb. 4. Hinkle was recognized for her role in significantly improving training and processes in NSWC IHD’s Workforce Development Branch. (Photo by Matthew Poynor)

INDIAN HEAD, Md. — Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) employees Michelle Hinkle, Ryan Kelly and Jeffrey Niedert were recently recognized with the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the third highest Navy civilian award. The Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award is awarded to civilian employees in the Department of the Navy for meritorious service or contributions resulting in high value or benefits for the Navy or the Marine Corps.

Michelle Hinkle, Workforce Development Branch Manager

As the Workforce Development (WFD) Branch Manager, Hinkle oversees all aspects of the branch including the Academic Tuition Assistance Program, the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act, the Employee Rotation Program and Individual Development Plans. She also ensures branch policies and procedures comply with applicable laws and regulations.

Hinkle was recognized for her leadership and efforts while improving the WFD Branch to be more proactive and better meet the command’s needs. Under her management, the branch achieved improvements in the volume and quality of products and services it delivers. Her presence and guidance also changed the branch’s culture and identified innovative, effective and efficient solutions. Her influence was seen clearly in the tailoring of the Indian Head University tool, which launched to the NSWC IHD workforce in September 2019.

Ryan Kelly, Lead, 7th Fleet Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) Waterfront Technician

Kelly serves as the forward-deployed NSWC IHD Lead CBR technician in Yokosuka, Japan. In this role, he supports the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) by independently completing tasking from multiple sponsors, while also establishing far-reaching relationships with the global CBR community. He is directly responsible for all CBR equipment maintenance and repair to 21 ships which have their home ports in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan.

Prior to his arrival, there was a minimum 24-hour response time to provide CBR support in the 7th Fleet AOR. Throughout this assignment, Kelly worked diligently, to include long days, weekends and holidays, to meet the rigorous demands of this fleet support assignment. His presence in Japan has reduced cost, improved operational readiness and provided a reach-back capability immediately available to the fleet.

Jeffrey Niedert, Senior Systems Engineer for Close in Weapons System (CIWS)

Niedert had 36 years of experience with the Mark 15 CIWS family of products (Phalanx, land-based Phalanx weapon system, and the SeaRAM) before his retirement in January. He had outstanding depth of knowledge with regards to CIWS operation, maintenance, repairs and production. He also developed and maintained excellent relationships with CIWS program offices, users and the entire technical community.

Niedert’s professionalism, personal initiative and devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Navy.

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, manufacturing and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit, and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.