Story Category: Defense »
New Engineering Building Dedicated at Indian Head
Indian Head, MD - 11/2/2012
By Dick Myers
Almost 100 workers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division’s (NWSC-IHD) Systems Engineering Department have a brand new building to work in. The new Energetics Engineering System and Technology Laboratory Complex (Building 3157) was formally dedicated Thursday by Navy dignitaries and public officials, including Sen. Ben Cardin (D) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D: 5th
The 27,604-square-foot building is the first of a five-building complex that will consolidate engineering functions spread out over 22 aging buildings around the base. The first building alone consolidates functions from 10 of those buildings. It was built with a $17 million FY 2009 federal earmark in the Military Construction Program secured by Cardin, Hoyer and Sen. Barbara Mikulski D), who had intended to be at the ceremony but who was called away for a function at the American Red Cross regarding Hurricane Sandy cleanup efforts.
The consolidation of functions was touted by several speakers. Technical Director of NWSC-IHD Dennis McLaughlin said, “The new Energetics System and Technology Laboratory Complex improves operational effectiveness by consolidating personnel while eliminating daily disruptions caused by building repairs, unrealistic workarounds and travel between dispersed facilities.” He thanked the persons responsible for the building. “It really means a lot to us,” he said.
Hoyer said, “This new complex will bring together 100 engineers, scientists, and staff in a modern facility that has the work space and secure areas to support classified programs. Pulling together their talent will foster better collaboration and add synergy to their efforts here. I’d like to thank the men and women who will occupy this space for the work they do to develop, test, and manufacture the newest generation of energetics systems for our military, and I will continue to work with Indian Head, the Department of Defense, and other officials to ensure this critical military installation has the funding and resources to carry out their mission.”
Among the local public officials in attendance were Charles County Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly and Indian Head Mayor Dennis Scheessele. Sen. Cardin took note of their attendance, saying the new building was not only important to the country and to the Navy, but also to the local economy. The base employs more than 1,300 people, the county’s largest employer. “It wasn’t too many years ago that we didn’t know that Indian Head (the base) would be here,” underscoring the precarious position it was in during the BRAC process. Hoyer credited the help of Cardin, who was in the House of Representatives at the time, for saving the base and turning it into a Center for Energetic Excellence.
Cardin, as had Hoyer earlier, thanked the people who work at Indian Head. “You have saved lives,” he said of their work for the country’s warfighters. “The men and women who work here is what it is all about,” he said.
Hoyer pointed out the need for continued diligence. “We will need to sell our story,” he said with the possibility of sequestration. “We have a fiscal problem that must be solved and we all need to contribute to resolving it,” he said.
NSWC-IHD Commander CAPT Thomas Smith, the bases 49th commander in its 122-year history, said the new building was important to the Nation, Navy and Self. By the latter he said he meant that it contributed to workers staying and helping to hire new personnel. “People will choose a great place to work over money every time,” he said.
CAPT Smith also praised the building’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Silver certification. It is also in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Senator Mikulski, in prepared remarks supplied for the event, said maintaining cutting-edge research and development at NSWC-IHD is necessary for the U.S. to maintain its military superiority. “The Navy’s premier facility for cutting-edge energetics research is at Indian Head and if we are to be combat ready, we need smart weapons,” she said. “By supporting our men and women on the front lines of defense research and development, we are giving those on the front lines of our battlefields the tools they need to keep us safe.”
Deputy Technical Director for NWSC-IHD Amy O’Donnell acted as master of ceremonies. Sandy Woodward of the base’s Corporate/Business Department sang the National Anthem. Chaplain of Naval Support Activity South Potomac Lt. Michael Geoghegan gave the invocation.
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