NAVAIR China Lake - Barry McDonald, Weaponeer managing editor, Kathi Ramont, editor, and Steve Boster, then public affairs officer, received the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Commander's Award, for their efforts to create one newspaper for three NAWCWD sites - China Lake, Point Mugu and White Sands.
"You succeeded in an outstanding manner and met the challenge to produce an important command communications vehicle which won first place amongst all Navy command newspapers," said Rear Adm. Bert Johnston, NAWCWD commander, at the presentation.
Ramont recalled the challenge of creating a new newspaper. "Emotions across the work force were high and heavy when it was first announced The Rocketeer and The Missile were going away," explained Ramont. "Barry and I worked hard to design the Weaponeer's new look. Changing from a tabloid to a broadsheet has been an adjustment for all of us, but I think, as we go into its third year, that the Weaponeer has a professional and, hopefully, an interesting look. It took a full year for the readers to fully catch on that they had to help out, but they've caught on and there's never a lack of copy."
McDonald added, "I want to thank all of our contributors. There's a lot happening at the Weapons Division, and we couldn't possibly cover it all if the newsmakers themselves weren't sending us their articles. We rely on the readership to also be the editorial staff, so to speak, and they're doing a great job."
The Weaponeer won first place in the 1999 Chief of Information Merit Awards in the civilian enterprise newspaper category. "It is always an honor to be recognized for contributions to improving communications at the Weapons Division. It was especially gratifying to me that this Weaponeer team did what no one else at Point Mugu or China Lake had done in the history of the bases -- win 'best in the Navy' honors for the command newspaper," Boster said.