Jan 31, 2013
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert visited Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake on Jan. 31 for a tour and discussion about the command’s unique capabilities and national assets used for supporting the Navy’s mission.
Rear Adm. Paul Sohl, NAWCWD commander, and Scott O’Neil, NAWCWD executive director, welcomed Greenert and gave him an overview of current operations and activities at the Weapons Division.
“We are the Navy’s technical arm that focuses on creating and delivering warfighting effects,” O’Neil told the CNO. “We are the leader in integration and interoperability for the Navy because of our unmatched intellectual capital and one-of-a-kind land and sea ranges, combined with our unique indoor and outdoor labs.”
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy joined the CNO for the visit which included a walking tour at the F/A-18 - EA-18G Advanced Weapons Laboratory.
NAWCWD’s Dr. Ramesh Shori and Dr. Keith Miller gave the CNO a brief on laser research.
Dave Janiec, director of NAWCWD’s Weapons and Energetics Department, explained what the command is doing to accelerate weapons development, and improve test and evaluation of those weapons. The CNO also heard about the expected future of network enabled weapons, and what NAWCWD is doing to increase “speed to the fleet” through multiple rapid response projects.
“NAWCWD is supporting the Navy’s mission by putting more and more capabilities into the hands of our warfighters,” Sohl said.
Dr. Ron Smiley, head of NAWCWD’s Avionics Department, led a discussion about what the Weapons Division is doing to support electronic warfare readiness in today’s fleet. Tom Dowd, head of the NAWCWD Threat/Target Systems Department, gave Greenert an overview of how NAWCWD uses its air, land and sea ranges to provide a cost-effective and realistic threat environment in support of programs and training.
During his visit, Greenert saw some of the hardware that NAWCWD uses to perform research, development, and test and evaluation for the Navy’s weapons including an EA-18G Growler, a ScanEagle and two other unmanned systems, as well as various air, land and sea vehicles used to simulate targets and threats.
“We are a forward-leaning resource for the fleet,” O’Neil said. “We work to understand where technology can help create an advantage for our warfighters, and how we can exploit capabilities that already exist in our currently fielded systems to meet new needs.”
Sohl explained to the CNO that along with NAWCWD’s 1.1 million acres, 36,000 square miles of sea range and access to 20,000 square miles of restricted airspace, one of his key resources is the integrated team of civilians and military.
“The teaming of our civilian scientists and engineers with military members at the Weapons Division enables an agile Navy technical workforce to both understand and rapidly respond to emerging fleet needs,” Sohl said.
Following the tour, Greenert and McCarthy spoke with local media representatives.
When asked about the value of NAWCWD, Greenert said, “It’s a crown jewel. It’s unique, and can’t be replicated anywhere else. That has to be protected.”
McCarthy cited the passion of the workforce at NAWCWD.
Greenert agreed. “There’s unbelievable ownership here,” he said. “Even though it’s pretty late in the afternoon, I got pretty wound up listening to all this. It’s been a terrific visit. I’m looking forward to coming back. I’ve only wetted my appetite.”
NAWCWD Public Affairs