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SURFOR Member Receives Lasswell Award
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Elena Velazquez

SAN DIEGO – Naval Surface Forces’ Rich Caccese was awarded the A. Bryan Lasswell In-Service Engineering Award for Fleet Support by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) during a banquet at the Bahia Resort Oct. 28.

The Lasswell Award is presented to active duty military and civil service personnel in two categories: technology innovation and in-service engineering. Nominees come from commands that handle scientific engineering, program management, and other fleet-related disciplines such as ship building, aircraft repair, training systems, maintenance, and any technology or in-service organization in San Diego based Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard operating forces.

Caccese has made significant progress in improving reliability while reducing maintenance costs for the Navy’s amphibious ships and minesweeper diesel engines, resulting in a savings of millions of dollars. He also facilitated communication and alignment between numerous government and commercial entities to improve the overall state of readiness for all of SURFOR.

Candidates for the award can only be nominated by members of the NDIA San Diego Chapter. Caccese was nominated by Vice Adm. (Retired) Peter M. Hekman.

“[Caccese] is working a program I tried to make successful 20 years ago,” said Hekman. “It has taken that long to get that kind of program in force to pay the dividends that it has paid today, and it took someone like Rich make it happen.”

There were four recipients of the Lasswell Award, including Caccese, who attended the banquet. More than 200 members of the NDIA and command representatives were present to support their achievements.

“[The awardees] enable Sailors to carry out their mission and [the awardees] are carrying out their mission right along beside them,” said guest speaker, Rear Adm. Scott Swift Commander, Carrier Strike Group 9. “I appreciate the investments, time and the can-do attitude you offer to the team.”

Caccese is appreciative towards Hekman’s for nomination and to members of SURFOR who have helped him succeed.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it is great to get the recognition. At the same time though, it reminds me how much work we need to do to go out and make sure our ships are ready for tasking,” said Caccese. “I feel very honored to receive this award.”

Each awardee received $500, a plaque and a citation.

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