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A sailor based in Bahrain and two based in Europe were recently selected as 2003 Copernicus Award winners.

The award recognizes Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard military and civilian personnel who significantly contributed to naval warfare in the areas of command, control, communications, computers and intelligence; information systems or information warfare. It is co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and U.S. Naval Institute.

“Real-world events have inspired many to be more creative and fulfill shortfalls caused by expanded mission requirements and short-notice [events],” said Chief Warrant Officer André Miller, Copernicus Award program coordinator, about the winners.

Lt. Jody Grady, automated information systems plans officer for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain, was recognized for providing chat capabilities to 3,600 users over the military’s classified computer network, SIPRNET, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Grady and Honeywell engineer Joe Dagher upgraded the existing system to allow users to have up to nine rooms available for each user. Grady said that some military units in the Middle East were able to chat with contractors in the United States to troubleshoot broken equipment, saving the military both time and money.

Grady said this allowed instantaneous information sharing in a number of areas without tying up telephones or radios.

Chief Warrant Officer Manuel Pena, of the U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, Sigonella, Sicily, was recognized for his work as the command’s operations officer.

In this capacity, Pena created the first C4 service center, providing voice, e-mail, Web and messaging communications to more than 2,500 Operation Iraqi Freedom-bound soldiers, sailors and Marines.

Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Martin of the Naples, Italy-based Submarine Group Eight earned the award for co-authoring a Web-based knowledge management software program with contractor David Weeks.

Martin and Weeks’ software allows members of the command to organize and share information on submarines in their area of operations.

Twenty-nine winners were selected from the three services for the 2003 award.

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