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NUWC Division Newport department head wins Providence Business News award

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MARCOA Media
Story by Public Affairs Office on 08/21/2019
NEWPORT, R.I. Vicki Comeau, head, of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport Corporate Operations Department, has been named a winner in the inaugural 25 Over Fifty-Five Awards Program, sponsored by the Providence Business News.

This award recognizes 25 of Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts leaders who are 55 and older for their "notable success and strong leadership both in their fields and in their region." Comeau, a resident of Wakefield, Rhode Island, is the only federal employee named to this prestigious list.

Comeau, a resident of Wakefield, Rhode Island, oversees seven divisions in the Corporate Operations Department: Human Resources, Infrastructure (Facilities), Public and Congressional Affairs, ACIO/Information Technology, Security, Corporate Business Office and Property Management.

With more than 32 years of federal service, she possesses the technical experience and business acumen to lead one of the most diverse, dynamic departments at Division Newport. She holds a master's degree in electrical engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, which led to her first position working at the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center in Port Hueneme, California. Later, at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in Arlington, Virginia, she helped develop systems to be tested at-sea on forward-deployed ships, to ensure their optimal performance.

Since 2016, Comeau has directed several major initiatives and projects that have had a significant impact on NUWC Division Newport and its workforce. For example, Comeau developed a Career Development Guide for Division Newport that was later adopted across the entire Naval Sea Systems Command enterprise. This guide, which began as an intranet website, was designed to help employees determine gaps in their experience and show them the path they need to take to meet their goals. Now, Comeau is leading a group from warfare centers and Program Executive Offices to review all career guides and make recommendations for a common format.

Comeau's direction of the Corporate Operations Department role is essential towards achieving the Navy's goal of "on-time delivery of ships and submarines," as process improvement at Division Newport falls under her supervision. In addition to the continuous efforts to save money, streamlining processes have had a tremendous effect on the Navy's deadlines and schedules. The Corporate Operations Department provides expertise and support to all technical projects at the Division to identify ways to reduce the time it takes the fleet to receive hardware, software upgrades, training, reach-back services and more.

Comeau and honorees from around the region will be recognized at a Providence Business News awards ceremony to be held on Aug. 22 in Warwick, Rhode Island.

NUWC Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America's fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

Currently celebrating its 150th anniversary, NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Captain Michael Coughlin, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

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