NDIA Division Teams with Naval Warfare Center

By Rassa, Bob | National Defense, April 2003 | Go to article overview
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NDIA Division Teams with Naval Warfare Center


Rassa, Bob, National Defense


Rear Adm. Michael Mathis, commander of NAVSEAss Naval Surface Warfare Center, recently asked NDIAs Systems Engineering Division to hold a workshop series to look at the specific roles and responsibilities of the NSWC divisions and the defense industry representatives who are engaged in NAVSEA business.

The series was established to more effectively and efficiently support current and future fleet readiness for combat and ship systems by addressing and improving the relationship, including roles and responsibilities, between industry and NSWC.

The first of several conferences was attended by 100 senior representatives from industry and NSWC. It started a needed open and frank dialogue. The four major topics discussed were technical authority, business models, mission area capability and professional relationships.

A significant outcome of the meeting was the universal acknowledgement that both NSWC and industry have important roles in supporting the fleet, at all levels, from components to systems of systems.

The workshop did the following:

* Identify attributes of a good working relationship between industry and NSWC.

* Mutually develop a course of action to address issues that lead to a uniform set of respective roles, responsibilities and interdependencies that will improve current and future fleet readiness.

* Set the stage for follow-on meetings and discussions with the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition; program executive officers; fleet representatives; resource sponsors, and industry to seek pilot programs or other mechanisms implementing the agreed-to roles and responsibilities.

Comments from workshop attendees suggest that there is much common ground. Candid discussion, a willingness to listen and a determination to take positive action from both Navy and industry participants were critical to establishing a solid framework from which stronger relationships can be forged.

On one point there is strong agreement: the fleet must have the best weapons systems to meet any threat, anywhere and at any time. NSWC and industry will continue to dialogue and work together to improve the products and services delivered to America's war fighters.

NDIA and NSWC staff will develop a timeline to address actions from this workshop. For those actions jointly assigned to industry and NSWC, focused task groups will be established. These groups will be organized to include balanced representation from industry and government. NDIA will coordinate industry representation. NSWC staff will coordinate government participation.

Once a timeline has been established, groups organized, and reasonable progress achieved, future workshops will be scheduled to review group products, and share the output of this workshop series and seek feedback from the fleet, OPNAV sponsors, PEOs and SYSCOMs.

NSWC consists of numerous divisions scattered through the country, including Dahlgren Division in Virginia, Carderock Division and Indian Head Division in Maryland, Port Hueneme Division and Corona Division in southern California, and Crane Division in Indiana. The Dahlgren Division also incorporates the Coastal Systems Station in Panama City, Fla., and the Dam Neck facility, in Virginia. The Carderock Division also has a branch activity in Philadelphia.

The mission of NSWC is to operate the Navy's full spectrum research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support center for ship hull, mechanical and electrical systems, surface ship combat systems, coastal warfare systems, and other offensive and defensive systems associated with surface warfare. The center performs this role primarily for NAUSEA and the associated PEOs in support of the fleet.

A full report was released in early 2003 by NSWC, and is posted on the NDIA Web site, www.ndia.org, under the Systems Engineering Division.

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