USS Ronald Reagan to Host ATHENA Project

Story Number: NNS170612-15Release Date: 6/12/2017 12:22:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kaila Peters, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) is slated to host the first ever ATHENA Project event aboard a carrier at sea, June 14.

The ATHENA Project is a program designed to provide a platform for Sailors to pitch innovative ideas that have potential to improve their workplace, community, command and the Navy as a whole. Reagan was chosen by ATHENA to provide an outlet for the innovation that may come to Sailors while living and working in underway conditions.

"It's creating a voice for Sailors," said Cmdr. Michele Day, future operations planner for Commander, Task Force 70. "It's not about rank. It's about making the Navy better and growing as a person."

The ATHENA Project originated on the San Diego waterfront, led by Lt. Dave Nobles, combat systems officer for USS Benfold (DDG 65), and is an all-volunteer organization of military members with the goal of harnessing deck plate innovations, ideas and solutions. Sailors will have five minutes to pitch their ideas to an all-inclusive audience, which will then vote on which idea has the best overall quality, applicability and presentation.

"Sailors have patented their ideas," said Day. "They get recognition, a sense of accomplishment, and for many, it paves a way for jobs when they complete their Navy career."

The Sailor whose idea gets the most votes will receive the Admiral Sims Award for Intellectual Courage and the support from a functional team to assist with implementing their idea.

Past Sims Award winners include: the Optical Database Information Network, a project that is now in development with The Office of Naval Research Tech Solutions; Rustbuster, a tool created by a seaman that is now prototyped by SPAWAR's Joint Advanced Manufacturing Region Southwest; and an electrical safety tool developed by a second class petty officer, which has been prototyped by the engineers at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

"We want Sailors to be thinking about how to do things better," said Day. "How to make the Navy better by being innovative, creative, and getting engaged in what they do."

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