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Triumph in Transition – Navy Public Safety Systems Didn’t Skip a Beat

06 April 2021

From Kyle Hendrix, Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

The ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, March 29 marked the official opening of N3S's new office space within CNIC headquarters building!

The ribbon has been cut!

In late 2020, the Antiterrorism/Force Protection Ashore Program was realigned and renamed, shifting from Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command to Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) and taking the new name of Public Safety Systems (N3S). The ribbon cutting marked the official opening of their new office space within CNIC headquarters building, but that’s not the real story.

The real story lies within the challenges faced by the team as they transitioned the entire program and workforce under a new command during a global pandemic – without skipping a beat.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” stated Michael Velasquez, recently appointed as the program manager for N3S. “These professionals have weathered a lot of uncertainty with quiet determination and resilience.  I attribute it to their singular focus: protecting those that visit, work and live on Navy installations world-wide.  In 2021, we’re back to where the program started years ago, on the 5th floor of the former NCIS HQ.  But now we’re accelerating into the future, stronger than ever.”

The N3S program is responsible for complete lifecycle management of force protection, emergency management, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive defense systems and equipment for the Navy installations.  This takes shape on Navy installations as mass notification systems, waterside security barriers, dispatch centers, the enterprise C4I software, electronic harbor security systems and that is just to name a few. If issues with any of these critical systems occur, it is the N3S team who responds.

The team’s passion for providing the best support possible to their customers and unwavering can do attitude is what allowed for such a seamless transition even in the middle of a pandemic.

“The new Emergency Dispatch Center in Navy Region Hawaii serves as a good example for just how many COVID-19 related obstacles stood in the way of our mission and how the N3S team pushed through to make it happen,” said Josh Thornsbury, regional project manager for Navy Region Hawaii. “We were halfway through establishing the new center when COVID-19 hit, forcing us to think outside the box to overcome challenges with travel restrictions, 14-day ROM periods, contractor access to installations, operating virtually, ensuring safe conditions for those working on site and the list goes on and on.”

The new dispatch center, which provides 911 first response capability for all military services branches in Hawaii, is scheduled to come online next week with zero breaks in service.

Beyond COVID-19 hurdles, the N3S team also took on several organizational changes in the transition to CNIC, developing new methods for project management designed to better serve their customers.

“We have not only come over to CNIC, but we are evolving in the process,” said Bob Goldinger, N3S operations coordinator.  

One key change made is how N3S provides customer service for any one of their many security systems. Under the previous structure, systems would have representatives from N3S systems, execution and sustainment divisions work with end users depending on the need. Now each of their major systems will have a single point of contact for customers, making the interface between N3S and the customer more efficient.

“It’s exciting! Coming in to some unknowns that we will have to work through but that’s what we do,” added Goldinger. “We have always operated as a team with CNIC, now we are on the same team and will be able to serve our customers even better."

That excited, spit in the face of adversity mentality is consistent across the entire N3S team. In meeting with them to acquire details on the transition, every single member of the team seemed to glow with a passion for serving their customers and the larger Navy family.

Amidst changes to the way the team operates and developing new systems/projects, N3S continued to keep preventive and corrective maintenance actions going across the shore. Region program managers continued to communicate with both NAVFAC and CNIC stakeholders to keep things moving forward, developing on-the-fly and creative ways to accomplish the work with highlights including upgrades to Giant Voice systems and Electronic Harbor Security Systems.

Commander, Navy Installations Command’s area of operations encompasses the globe, across 10 regions and 70 bases with more than 53,000 employees that sustain the fleet, enable the fighter, and support the family. For more information on CNIC visit www.cnic.navy.mil.

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