FY 2013 Copernicus Awards

R 101356Z SEP 13




RMKS/1. The Copernicus Award was established to recognize individual contributions to naval warfare in command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I), information systems, and information warfare. The award is sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) and the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI).

2. Award criteria and eligibility. Fiscal year 2013 nominees must have made a specific, demonstrable contribution to the advancement of C4I, information systems, or Information Warfare. Contributions can be technical in nature, but may also originate from doctrinal, financial, organizational, or other dimensions of information systems. The contribution should involve exceptional initiative, leadership and insight within the nominee’s area of expertise. All Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Civil Service personnel are eligible for nomination. Up to 30 awardees will be selected. Each nominating command is limited to two nominees. No contractor or team (more than one person) nominations will be accepted. Nominations must be unclassified.

3. Nominations and presentation. The awardees will be selected through nominations from Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (including Joint/NATO) commands, afloat and ashore. Nominations must be on letterhead and submitted by scan/email (preferred), mail, or fax. Nominations for commanding officers or officers in charge must be signed by their immediate superior in command. Flag endorsements and letters of recommendation are neither required nor desired. The nomination template and additional nomination package information, as well as the most up-to-date POC information, can be found at http://www.AFCEA.org/awards/CopernicusNominations.asp. Nominations are due to the POC no later than 1 November 2013. Late nominations will not be considered. AFCEA/USNI will make final selections and OPNAV (N2N6) will announce the awardees via NAVADMIN. The annual Copernicus Awards ceremony will be held at the AFCEA/USNI West Conference in San Diego, CA and an East Coast Conference, location TBD and announced SEPCOR.

4. Point of contact is CDR Kevin Wagner, OPNAV N2N6C11, at (703) 604-6127, DSN 664-6127 or via email at, kevin.h.wagner(at)navy.mil.

5. Released by Vice Admiral Ted N. Branch, OPNAV N2N6.//

Pentagon budget cuts mean USS Miami will be scrapped, not repaired

The USS Miami will be scrapped, not repaired.

Navy drops plans to repair submarine Miami

Smoke rises from a dry dock as fire crews respond Wednesday, May 23, 2012 to a fire on the nuclear submarine Miami, SSN 755, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on an island in Kittery, Maine. Seven people were injured, including a firefighter. (AP Photo | The Herald, Ionna Raptis)


The Navy has decided to scrap the Miami instead of repairing the nuclear-powered submarine because of budget cuts and growing costs of repairing damage from a fire set by a shipyard worker while the vessel was in dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine, officials said Tuesday.

Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge, director of undersea warfare, said repairing the Groton, Conn.-based sub would have meant canceling work on dozens of other ships because of new budget restraints.

He said that would’ve hurt the Navy’s overall readiness.

“The Navy and the nation simply cannot afford to weaken other fleet readiness in the way that would be required to afford repairs to Miami,” Breckenridge said in a statement.

Inspections revealed that a significant number of components in the torpedo room and auxiliary machinery room would require replacement, further driving up the repair costs for the Miami. The Navy originally said it planned to repair the submarine, but the discovery of additional damage raised the cost, originally estimated to be about $450 million.

A shipyard worker, Casey James Fury of Portsmouth, N.H., was sentenced to 17 years in prison after admitting he set fire to the Miami, which was undergoing a 20-month overhaul at the Kittery shipyard.

It took 12 hours and the efforts of more than 100 firefighters to save the Los Angeles-class attack submarine. Seven people were hurt.

The fire, set on May 23, 2012, damaged forward compartments including living quarters, a command and control center and the torpedo room. Weapons had been removed for the repair, and the fire never reached the rear of the submarine, where the nuclear propulsion components are located.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine and Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire issued a statement blaming the decision to scrap the submarine on the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

“We are disappointed by the Navy’s decision to discontinue repairs to the USS Miami. Inactivating the Miami will mean a loss to our nuclear submarine fleet — yet another unfortunate consequence of the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration. We will continue to work together to find a responsible budget solution that replaces sequestration,” they said.

The Navy announced last summer that it intended to repair the Miami with a goal of returning it to service in 2015. The Navy said it would be cost-effective because the 22-year-old submarine could serve another 10 years.

The decision to deactivate the Miami was a difficult one, “taken after hard analysis and not made lightly,” Breckenridge said in his statement. “But in exchange for avoiding the cost of repairs, we will open up funds to support other vital maintenance efforts, improving the wholeness and readiness of the fleet.”

The repairs have potential implications for both Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers and workers from Electric Boat in Groton, who expected to play a major role in the repair effort.