INDIAN HEAD, Md. – Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) hosted a ground breaking ceremony to kick off renovation efforts for the command’s Chemical, Biological & Radiological Defense (CBRD) Division’s maritime chemical detection laboratory and modeling and simulation (M&S) center, Oct. 28.
The command’s former conference center will now serve as a dual purpose facility. Once renovations are complete, the facility will house both the latest technologies used to simulate maritime application of chemical agents and the M&S center where CBRD employees will simulate adversarial weaponry systems effects, and model other CBR contaminants.
Efforts at the maritime laboratory will including detection, identification and understanding protective posturing for Navy vessels. CBRD employees provide specialized aid for international crises. Recent efforts include the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons and assisting in detection during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The new facility will allow them to test and develop incorporating recent fielded efforts along with next generation technologies.
The new facility will also allow the M&S team to better continue their work, improving capabilities and developing the Navy’s Operational Risk Model and the Improved Performance Research Integration Tool.
“One thing that has remained consistent with this facility and this command is providing capabilities to our fleet and joint force to conduct prompt and sustained combat incident to operations at sea,” NSWC IHD Commanding Officer Capt. Eric Correll said. “For the warfare center and the team here, we have always been part of the research, development, test and evaluation of the latest technologies and get them out to the fleet for them to do what they need to do to fight and win. This facility is a part of carrying on that legacy. ”
Naval Sea Systems Command Technical Warrant Holder for CBR Defense John Larzelere also spoke to the value the new facility will add to the Navy’s CBRD capabilities. “We have been looking at legacy issues for a long time. Looking at all the traditional threats we have but there are new and future threats,” Larzelere said.
Larzelere demonstrated with a single sugar packet the small amount of CBR material needed to cause significant damage explaining, “This facility will not just to validate, verify and understand current threats, but will build on the things coming down the road. The facility that you are opening today is going to be significant contribution to the efforts to ensure these types of materials are going to simply be a problem, not a threat to the Navy.”
The command’s Technical Director Ashley Johnson closed out the ceremony noting the ground breaking was a banner day for the command, not only the addition of a new facility, but in the grander sense of the diversity and scope of specialized skills that the command as a whole provides as the Navy’s only arsenal in service of the warfighter.
NSWC IHD — a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics, and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, manufacturing and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.