HomeNews & PublicationsFeatured StoriesA New Perspective: Incoming Air and Missile Defense Staff Tour Naval Facilities 

August 31, 2006

A New Perspective: Incoming Air and Missile Defense Staff Tour Naval Facilities

Nearly 40 new staff members in the Air and Missile Defense Department got a close-up view of three naval vessels during a tour at Virginia's Naval Station Norfolk in May. The visit was part of the department's New Staff Orientation Program, established in 2005 to help new employees get to know and become more familiar with the department and its projects.

"During the annual program, we have short biweekly presentations and lunch," says Mr. Paulhamus, who's leading the program this year. Topics range from the numerous technical projects within the department to the sponsors it serves; from missile and radar tutorials to performance appraisals and career path guidance. The program is structured so that new staff (technical, administrative and support) can enter at any time and be exposed to all topics within a six-month period. The program is mandatory for new hires and optional for people transferring from other Lab departments.

With scheduling assistance from the Lab's Training and Development Office, the group, along with a few people from the National Security Technology Department, toured an Aegis destroyer, USS Mason (DDG 87), and two fast-attack submarines, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708) and USS Hampton (SSN 767).

"Through opportunities like this, staff members gain a perspective they can't get from their offices," Paulhamus says. "A lot of our new staff members are recent college grads who haven't seen, firsthand, a radar or display system they may be working on."

Paulhamus and his seven-member voluntary team are now planning for next year's program, which kicks off Aug. 3. They'll soon hand over the reigns to a new set of volunteers as each team serves a one-year term.