Naval base touts fa­cil­i­ties, dis­cusses strate­gic plan

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­

On Nov. 21, dur­ing an or­ga­nized tour of Naval Sup­port Fa­cil­ity In­dian Head, the Naval Sur­face Warfare Cen- ter (NSWC) show­cased some of its ma­jor fa­cili- ties and pro­grams that make the base unique and suc­cess­ful.

Dur­ing a briefing at the NSWC Head­quar- ters, Michael T. Adams, business direc­tor of NSWC IHEODTD, said the base is the sec- ond largest em­ployer in Charles County be­hind the school sys­tem. With this in mind, the NSWC com­mand has re­cently de­vel­oped a strate­gic plan to make fur­ther base im­prove­ments over the next decade.

“The base has a new strate­gic plan and it lines up with the Navy’s plan to de­sign and main­tain su­pe­ri­or­ity, and the NAVSEA Warfare Cen­ters’

strate­gic business plan,” Adams said. “We are try­ing to grow this or­ga­ni­za­tion by 400 work years [400 more peo­ple] in the next 10 years. We think it is very doable, we think it’s very im­por­tant to us to con­tinue to grow.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Naval Sur­face Warfare Cen­ter, the base is an $800 mil­lion or­ga­ni­za­tion with 900 build­ings and 1,900 em­ploy­ees, close to 800 of which are highly ed­u­cated sci­en­tists and engi­neers.

The mis­sion of the base is to pro­vide soldiers, marines, sailors and air­men with in­for­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy to de­tect, lo­cate, ac­cess, iden­tify, ren­der safe, re­cover, ex­ploit and dis­pose of ex­plo­sive threats. Adams said, in other words, find­ing EOD (ex­plo­sive ord­nance dis­posal) tech­nol- ogy and ren­der­ing them safe. They have 16 in­dus­trial fa­cil­i­ties or com­plex- es that show dif­fer­ent ways to test ex­plo­sives.

“We have a lot of fa­cili- ties here that the Navy ex­pects us to main­tain,” Adams said. “We have ca- pa­bil­i­ties here that don’t get used all the time, but are very crit­i­cal for the Navy to keep. And it’s not cheap. For us to con­tinue to pay for that we need to have a large enough work­force and large enough rev­enue to pay for util­ity sup­port and up­keep. That’s re­ally the driver of why we feel like we need to get 400 stronger in 10 years.”

The Naval Sur­face War- fare Cen­ter plans to ac- com­plish this by fo­cus­ing on three ar­eas: re­shap­ing its in­dus­trial com­plex; ag­gres­sively cap­tur­ing re­search, development, test and eval­u­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in en­er­getic sys­tems; and con­sis­tently pro­vid­ing reli­able, qual­ity and af­ford­able prod­ucts and ser­vices for ev­ery- one who re­quests it from the naval base.

Adams said the base has five goals, 13 ob­jec- tives and 80 ini­tia­tives, with half of the ini­tia­tives al­ready un­der­way. The five goals in­clude: show- ing that fa­cil­i­ties and utilities are crit­i­cal; de­vel- op­ing new prod­ucts and ser­vices to give to cus­tomers; estab­lish­ing pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ships; sus­tain­ing and ex­pand­ing what they are cur­rently do­ing; and rein­vig­o­rat­ing an in­ter­est in en­er­get­ics across the Navy and Department of De­fense.

“We think the Navy needs to in­vest more in [en­er­get­ics] in the fu­ture,” Adams said. “Our ad­ver­saries are catch­ing up and in some cases pass­ing us when it comes to en­er­get­ics re­search and development.”

Dur­ing the tour, com- mand staff dis­cussed the cur­rent development of ex­plo­sives operations with the CAD/PAD (car- tridge ac­tu­ated de­vic- es/pro­pel­lant ac­tu­ated de­vices) Joint Pro­gram Of­fice, how ro­bots are be­ing used to ren­der an op­er­a­tion safe in the field, and ex­plained how its re­cent CITE (Cen­ters of In­dus­trial and Tech­ni­cal Ex­cel­lence) des­ig­na­tion will help the base de­velop pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships in the in­dus­try.

“We’ve signed two part­ner­ships so far,” Adams said. “And there’s a cou­ple more that are close to be­ing signed that could be very sig­nif­i­cant and help the base out. We be­lieve through the CITE des­ig­na­tion plan we can get 100 out of the 400 work years that will be work­ing here in In­dian Head.”

Staff mem­bers present- ed a few of the ways they test ex­plo­sives. The tour fea­tured the Mi­cro­elec- trome­chan­i­cal Sys­tems (MEMS) Lab with Dan Jean and John Hen­der- shot, the Det­o­na­tion Sci- ence Fa­cil­ity with Rob Bea­gley, plus a look at a 420-gal­lon mixer with Stu Rich­man.

“The 420-gal­lon mixer is just one way of mix­ing ex­plo­sives that we have,” said John G. Hunger­ford IV, Sys­tems In­te­gra­tion Department, Naval Sur- face Warfare Cen­ter. “If there is any way in this coun­try to make ex­plo­sives, we can prob­a­bly do it here at In­dian Head. We have a wide abil­ity to make ex­plo­sives here. We also make Otto Fuel II here, which is tor­pedo fuel, and we are the only man­u­fac­turer of Otto fuel in the world used in all tor­pe­does in the Navy and our al­lies. Cur­rently we are tak­ing down our Otto fuel plant and we are put­ting a new modern plant in its place.”

Jeron Hayes, Naval Sup­port Ac­tiv­ity South Po­tomac pub­lic af­fairs, dis­cussed po­lice operations, fire safety and qual­ity of life be­ing the core func­tions of the com­mand. In re­gards to fire safety, Hayes said the naval base now has a de­cen­tral­ized steam sys­tem that goes through­out the base. She said this was a crit­i­cal step for­ward for NSF In­dian Head to make its fleet much more en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly.

In re­gards to qual­ity of life, the base has also hosted sev­eral concerts this year fea­tur­ing Daugh­try and Magic!, and have ac­com­plished many out­reach projects for lo­cal mil­i­tary families. The naval base is con­tin­u­ously seek­ing ad­di­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties to bring entertainment on the base.


A Naval Sur­face Warfare Cen­ter In­dian Head Ex­plo­sive Ord­nance Dis­posal Tech­nol­ogy Divi­sion en­gi­neer pre­pares to use the com­mand’s 420-gal­lon mixer in prepa­ra­tion for the man­u­fac­tur­ing of en­er­getic ma­te­ri­als.


Michael T. Adams, business direc­tor of NSWC IHEODTD, and John G. Hunger­ford IV, Sys­tems In­te­gra­tion Department, Naval Sur­face Warfare Cen­ter, gave a com­mand briefing at the NSWC Head­quar­ters on Nov. 21.

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