June 23rd, 2008 by xformed
Not all who make contributions wear a uniform. Today, my thanks to a Department of the Navy civil servant who labored long into the nights and on weekends, so sailors could better prepare for battles at sea.
Allen Stennett was his name. I belive I have the name right phonetically, but I may not have it spelled correctly. Allan worked for “Code 2” at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Pt Hueneme Division (PHD), Fleet Combat Direction Systems Support Activity (FCDSSA) on the Fleet Combat Training Center, Atlantic (FCTCL), Code 2 was the Programming Department, largely composed of civilian personnel. Allen was assigned to the Battle Force Tactical Trainer (BFTT) project in the 1993 – 1995 time frame whan I walked the halls of FCDSSA. At the time, the project had stretched the limits of the workforce, for it was not merely a programming challenge, but a systems design project, using some of the then newest off the shelf technology of the VME card chassis and single board computers. In addition to absorbing that challenge and attacking it with an aggressive approach, the BFTT Team, added a digital voice capability (we now have it on our desktops called VOIP) to simulate radio circuits, within the program. In addition to being “interesting” at those levels, Capt Kahler, the program manager, had managed to convince many other program managers that much of what was needed for the project already existed in developed work, and this project could knit together all that software to the financial benefit of the taxpayers. That, of course, was an unheard of practice, beacuse it would require the sharing of the rice in each bowl in DC for he projects affected, and therefore sharing power.
Allen was a major playing, under the radar, in the early stages of the develpment of BFTT. He worked on the database issues and on more than one occasion, his name came up for developing some software tools to manage the inputs from other commands and agencies, that helped the project make the rapid advancements it did under the program management of Capt Herb Kahler, USN.
It was often I would be walking the halls at the end of the day to catch up on last minute things before getting my last things done, that Allen would still be at his desk. I would check in with him regulalry, and finally one late day, I told him how much I appreciated his extra efforts and how he needed to get home to his family, for his committment to the taxpayers was a regular working schedule, not the 24/7 I had. Besides, I told him his work was being tracked like a regular schedule, and future progam managers would wonder why they couldn’t attain the same production rates as BFTT demonstrated, because he was skewing the numbers.
I just wanted to put the name of a hard working, dedicated Civil Servant on the record, as a counter to the numerous slights, slams, not so complimentary names and jokes about those who’s pay check come from the US Treasury, but don’t wear the uniform. They, too, are part of the success of the US Military, and in this case, the US Navy.Fried Green Tomatoes on dvd
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