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Dahlgren Vol. 24, No. 10, Mid-OCTOBER 2013

What’s Inside Diversity and 95 years of naval weapons technology celebrated

Naval Warfare Center Technology Team igniting increase in technical collaboration for the warfighter

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Navy Yard Memorial Service

President and top Navy leadership pay homage to the fallen Marty van Duyne



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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stand alongside family members of those killed during the Memorial Service invocation. ©Marty van Duyne/News Net News

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama joined top Navy leaders at Marine Barracks Washington on Sept. 22 to honor those killed at the Washington Navy Yard. The memorial service was held just seven days after a lone gunman, former Fort Worth Naval Reservist and civilian government contractor Aaron Alexis, 34, opened fire at the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). His Sept. 16 rampage left 12 people dead and 8 injured. Alexis was also killed. The President and First Lady Michelle Obama met personally with families of the fallen before the afternoon ceremony. Obama began his remarks by recognizing those impacted. He acknowledged the other

speakers, the city leaders, the Armed Forces, and the first responders and “most of all, the families whose hearts have been broken” saying, “We cannot begin to comprehend your loss.” “We know that no words we offer today are equal to the magnitude, to the depths of that loss,” said Obama. “But we come together as a grateful nation to honor your loved ones, to grieve with you, and to offer, as best we can, some solace and comfort.” “The tragedy and the pain that brings us here today is extraordinary. It is unique. The lives that were taken from us were unique,” said Obama. “The memories their loved ones carry are unique, and they will carry them and endure long after the news cameras are gone.” He reflected on each of the individuals killed relating details of how their lives touched those See NAVY YARD, page 5

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Naval artifacts and sea stories abound Marty van Duyne News Net News Dahlgren — About 50 people crowded into the former Potomac Gateway Welcome Center Saturday to welcome the new Dahlgren Heritage Museum to the area. Though the building is somewhat small, the history within its walls has had a big impact on the region. The museum that is located at the base of the Harry W. Nice Bridge across from Naval Support See Museum, page 9

A propeller from the 1924 N-9 Seaplane hangs above a mural of her flight team. ©Marty van Duyne/News net News

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Diversity and 95 years of naval weapons technology celebrated John J. Joyce NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications Dahlgren — Navy scientists and engineers, famous for building the future fleet, looked back at their history while celebrating the 95th Anniversary of Dahlgren Naval base on Diversity Day Oct. 16. Naval weapons technology artifacts, including the first gun tested at Dahlgren 95 years ago, bring history to life. The World War I era seveninch 45 caliber tractor mounted artillery gun on display seemed to relish its role in igniting the command’s history, as Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Commander Capt. Michael Smith spoke to personnel gathered on the parade field. “The game-changing technology developed here is truly amazing,” said Smith. “From the first shot fired over the Potomac River Test Range in 1918, to today’s testing and development of the electromagnetic railgun and everything in between, we have used our scientific and engineering expertise to impact our nation’s defense at home and abroad.” Volunteers from groups such as the National Society of Black Engineers and the Hispanic Association interacted with government civilians, contractors and military members as diverse jazz, rhythm and blues, and African-Puerto Rican (Bomba) bands played music in support of the event’s theme: “Reflecting the Past... Building the Future.” Many of the NSWCDD scientists andengineersinattendanceroutinely take their technical expertise to sea aboard ships and into war zones to ensure U.S. warfighters can fight, win and come home safely. Today’s leaders in pulsed power and directed energy were also among those who listened intently while Smith and the command’s new technical director, Dennis

Left: A World War I era artillery gun frames Navy military and civilian personnel celebrating the 95th Anniversary of the Dahlgren Naval base and Diversity Day on Oct. 16. The gun was on static display throughout the combined Diversity Day and anniversary event. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mike Fitzgerald/Released)

Above: The World War I era seven-inch 45 caliber tractor mounted gun (pictured in 1918) that fired the first test shot over the Potomac River Test Range marked the establishment of Dahlgren as a naval proving ground on Oct. 16, 1918. (U.S. Navy file photo/Released)

McLaughlin, recounted the history of the base now known as Naval Support Facility Dahlgren. “Throughout the decades, the Dahlgren Naval Laboratory has been a leader in naval weapons technology,” said Smith. “Looking back on the many achievements of the past helps us to plan for the scientific and engineering advancements that will propel the Navy into the future.” Smith and McLaughlin reflected on the impact of Dahlgren’s diversity on the command’s rich technological history. “I have seen first-hand the benefits of hiring disabled veterans,” said McLaughlin, who led the Navy’s Disabled Veteran Outreach efforts and later served as director of the Naval Sea Systems Command Wounded Warrior Program. “I

salute the Dahlgren Division human resource office and Equal Employment Opportunity office for your success in hiring wounded warriors and making sure they are assured of their value to the division and the greater Navy mission.” “We are indebted to men and women who came here from universities and labs all across the country bringing their diverse ideas and their fervor for advancing science, technology engineering and mathematics as well as operational support skills,” said Smith. “We are also grateful to the many members of the local community who invested their futures in supporting the Navy at NSWC Dahlgren. Their diversity of thought coupled with their diversity of cultures and backgrounds have been key to our mission success.”

Throughout its history, Dahlgren scientists and engineers provided the Navy’s core technical capability for the integration of sensors, weapons, and their associated weapon and combat systems into surface ships and vehicles. “What makes the warfare center here at Dahlgren particularly effective is our co-location with our sister commands,” said Smith later in the day at another 95th Anniversary Celebration sponsored by the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation at the University of Mary WashingtonDahlgren Campus. “By working toget her in partnership, we support the full spectrum of Navy defensive combat systems needs to counter the threats from ballistic missiles, to aircraft, to cruise missiles as well as providing strike capabilities and Naval Surface Fire Support,” he said. NSWC Dahlgren works closely with Aegis Ballistic Missile and Naval Air and Missile Defense Commands to provide everything from initial requirements to delivered products. For example, the command’s scientists and engineers

train Sailors from the Aegis Training and Readiness Center on how to use those products. “Analysis of what is going on in the world is part of what another sister command here at Dahlgren does,” explained Smith. “The Joint Warfare Analysis Center ensures optimal employment of our systems and leads to new requirements and new systems as the world changes. Through our collaborative efforts, we are providing innovative enhancements, analysis and designs that are making a difference to ensure optimal support for our warfighters and the Fleet.” The NSWCDD commander emphasized that it takes a diverse, multi-talented workforce to meet the needs of today’s warfighters and provide innovation solutions for the demands facing our future Fleet. The command’s ability to bring together the best and brightest professionals from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and cultures is critical to address today’s challenges and ensure our readiness for the Navy’s future mission needs across the globe.

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Navy research designed to counter emerging threats featured at annual event Dahlgren — Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) hosted an In-house Laboratory Independent Research (ILIR) and Independent Applied Research (IAR) End of Year Review at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) Dahlgren Campus Oct. 3. Navy scientists and engineers presented 21 research projects designed to counter emerging threats during the annual program review. “Our annual event was well attended with representatives from Dahlgren, other government agencies, and academia,” said Dr. Jeff Solka, NSWCDD ILIR/IAR Program Director who announced the ILIR and IAR projects of the year and their NSWCDD researchers: “Exploring the chemistry and physics of stress-grown carbon nanotubes,” researched by Dr. Michael S. Lowry; and “Adaptive Fire Control using a Visual Targeting Algorithm,” researched by Dr. Chris Weiland. The Office of Naval Research sponsored program fosters basic and applied research at the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Centers to counter emerging threats. The program helps to ensure a next generation of technically competent scientists by supporting masters and doctoral dissertation research, and research in the areas that are essential to the future mission of NSWCDD. ONR’s website describes the ILIR and IAR process as a means “to develop the next generation of Navy scientists and engineers capable of addressing key warfighter challenges to ensure the Navy maintains a leading edge in science for national defense.” Many of the projects presented at the ILIR and IAR event have the potential to result in Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). This is a legal agreement that provides a means for NSWCDD and a private sector partner to cooperatively conduct research and development in a given technical area and share in the technical results. The NAVSEA Warfare Centers supply the technical operations, people, technology, engineering services and products needed to equip and support the fleet and meet the warfighters’ needs. The warfare centers are the Navy’s principal research, development, test and evaluation assessment activity for surface ship and submarine systems and subsystems.

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Left: Andy Niepraschk, from Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Strategic and Weapon Control Systems Department, briefs NSWCDD Technical Director Dennis McLaughlin during the In-house Laboratory Independent Research End of Year Review. Niepraschk’s project, “Gesture Technology for Navy Touch Screen Systems,” involves the use of gesture technology as used by the Apple iPhone users for use on Navy Touch Screen systems. The technology has the potential to “improve warfighter effectiveness and operating times while decreasing error rate,” said Niepraschk. “It is a technology that allows for direct intuitive interaction with the user interface, removing the need for a keyboard, mouse, or trackball and replacing them with short, precise gestures that can be performed with a single hand.” Right: Lorena De Los Santos, scientist, and Patrick Mead, human systems engineer, from NSWCDD, answers questions about their project during the during the In-house Laboratory Independent Research and Independent Applied Research End of Year Review. Their project, “Understanding the Correlation between Warfighter Performance and Genetic Polymorphisms,” involves understanding the relationship between genetic markers and warfighter performance. (U. S. Navy photo by Patrick Dunn)

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A Moment of Silence

Navy civilian professionals at academic awards ceremony observe moment of silence in honor of fallen Navy Yard colleagues Dahlgren — Navy technology and business professionals paused during an academic recognition ceremony to reflect and honor their Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) colleagues who were killed and injured at the Washington Navy Yard Sept. 16. Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Commander Michael Smith read the names of the 12 victims and led the audience in observing a moment of silence. “We are closely affiliated with the Navy Yard,” said Smith at the command’s annual Academic Recognition Ceremony held in the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren campus Sept. 17. He asked everyone to keep the victims in their thoughts and prayers, noting that Dahlgren employees often travel to the location of the shooting on command business. Continuing with the ceremony, Smith and NSWCDD Acting Technical Director Stuart Koch honored 132 NSWCDD awardees for their academic and professional achievements. “Today we are recognizing some very special men and women within our workforce who have taken on the challenge of balancing work and home with school and have succeeded in earning certifications or degrees – all the while continuing critical support to the Navy,” said Smith. “We also recognize their families who shared in this sacrifice. Taking classes means long hours and an

interruption of daily routines. No doubt, there were days when dinners were late or kids’ ball games were missed. A special “thank you” to all the family members and friends, for you are part of today’s success.” The ceremony, marking the event’s 17th consecutive year, recognized scientists, engineers and business and human resource leaders who completed professional certifications or academic milestones covering the spectrum of associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. “We are indeed proud of our employees’ accomplishments,” said Smith. “With their goals met, they will be better equipped to meet the scientific, technological and management challenges ahead. They assure us that our legacy of innovators and problem solvers will continue.” In addition to core engineering disciplines – mechanical, electrical and systems engineering – this year’s graduates earned degrees in computer science, applied physics, material science, microbiology and infectious disease as well as information assurance, e ng i n e e r i ng m an age m e nt , business administration and public administration. “Earning these credentials enhances knowledge that can be directly applied on the job – and is vital to continuing our mission readiness,” said Koch, See Silence, page 9

NSWC Dahlgren civilian personnel honored with Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism Medal Dahlgren — Rear Adm. Lawrence Creevy, Naval Surface Warfare Center Commander, joined Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Commander Capt. Michael Smith and NSWCDD Acting Technical Director Stuart Koch to honor 13 recipients of the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) at a ceremony held at Dahlgren Sept. 25. The Secretary of Defense GWOT Medal was presented to the awardees - all NSWC Dahlgren employees to recognize and honor their contributions and accomplishments in direct support of the armed forces engaged in operations to combat terrorism. “Without our civilian Sailors, we would have no Navy systems or ships,” said Creevy, linking the dedication of the Dahlgren GWOT award recipients to civilians working in the Navy Yard. Creevy, Smith and Koch joined the awardees and all in attendance for a moment of silence to reflect and honor the victims of shootings at the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters.Theadmiralrecounted the acts of bravery amid the chaos, stressing the importance of each individual employed by Navy. “Today’s honorees understand the importance of involving warfighters and obtaining their operational perspective, and were willing to step out of the safe labs into harm’s way,” said Smith. “All of us at NSWC Dahlgren Division are particularly proud of our Global War on Terrorism Award recipients, who by their example inspire us all. Their dedication reminds us that

what we do makes a difference on a daily basis to the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States military.” The medal – the civilian equivalent of the GWOT Expeditionary Medal – was created to recognize and honor the contributions and accomplishments of the Defense Department’s civilian workforce in direct support of members of the armed forces engaged in operations to combat terrorism. The awardees’ direct support to U.S. warfighters in theater included deployments to dangerous locations where they joined troops to field weapons, solved security challenges, and performed troubleshooting in

real-time scenarios. Individual employees receiving the Secretary of Defense GWOT Medal were John Aanerud, Terry Banks, John Larzelere, Roscoe Smith, Debra White and Jeffrey Yeagle. The Joint Program Office-Mine Resistant Ambush Protected team members honored at the event received their medals in theater: Curtis Dunn, Mark Culbertson, Paul O’Campo, Daniel Carlyle, Robert Fitzgerald, Larry Ground and Elisa Szuwalski. “I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding when long hours and extended travel were necessary to get the job done,” said Smith as he thanked awardees’ family members.

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Navy Yard: Navy family grieves From page 1 around them on a personal level. “Part of what wears on us, what troubles us so deeply as we gather here today, is how this senseless violence that took place in the Navy Yard echoes other recent tragedies,” said the President. Obama acknowledged that as President he has now grieved with five American communities ripped apart by violence and addressed the epidemic of gun violence in America. He said, our tears, words, and prayers are not enough to solve this crisis, but that as a nation we must change. The President closed his remarks asking God to grant peace to the fallen and their families, “And may God grant us the strength and the wisdom to keep safe our United States of America.” NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. William Hilarides gave the opening remarks “It has been an honor for all of us to serve with the 12 great Americans we mourn here today. They loved their country. They loved their Navy. They loved the fleet - the fleet they helped build and sustain,” said Hilarides. “These patriots designed and built our ships. They sustained and set the standards for our ships. They connected us to each other and to the fleet,” said the NAVSEA Commander. “And, they protected and sustained our headquarters. For that service we honor them. For that service we will never forget them.” He snapped to attention and gave a smart salute to honor the fallen before leaving the podium. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also spoke at the event. Mabus noted the strong sense of family he found when he met with the victims and their families and further stressed the theme of one

“It has been an honor for all of us to serve with the 12 great Americans we mourn here today. They loved their country. They loved their Navy. They loved the fleet - the fleet they helped build and sustain.”

— NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. William Hilarides

Navy, consisting of Military, civilian, and contractor personnel. “We are a family, uniformed and civilian, we work together, serve together, overcome together. As a family we grieve together. Together we will assure that they, like those that have gone before them, will be remembered and honored as heroes,” Mabus said. “Because that is what they are, heroes - ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. An ordinary Monday became a day of extraordinary horror, but also extraordinary heroism.” Greenert who said the Navy family lost shipmates echoed those same sentiments. “These shipmates dedicated their careers to building and maintaining the finest Navy in the world. They worked alongside one another for a purpose greater than themselves,” Greenert said. “The nature of our Navy family is that we serve together and we depend on each other in times of need. We celebrate each other’s successes and triumphs. And, we grieve together in times of sorrow.” In keeping with Navy tradition, a sailor in dress blues gave one quick snap of his wrist to ring a Ship’s Bell as each of the 12 names on the Roll Call of Honor was read. The Navy Band played The Navy

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TAPS Twelve people, aged 46 to 73, were killed at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. Michael Wells Arnold Martin John Bodrog Arthur Lee Daniels Sylvia Renee Frasier Kathleen Nark Gaarde John Roger Johnson Mary Frances Knight Frank Edwin Kohler Vishnu Bhalchandra Pandit Kenneth Bernard Proctor Gerald Eugene Read Richard Michael Ridgell Hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” before the 24 notes of “Taps” gently wafted through the courtyard concluding the memorial service. Hagel has directed reviews of security clearance procedures in the aftermath of the Navy Yard shootings. The Navy is conducting a review of physical security at all installations to be submitted to SECNAV by Oct. 31. A final report is expected

A Ship’s Bell tolls a single time as each of the 12 names on the Roll Call of Honor is read. ©Marty van Duyne/News Net News

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Naval Warfare Center Technology Team igniting increase in technical collaboration for the warfighter Washington — Top Navy technology leaders anticipate a myriad of new collaboration opportunities will arise to impact technical innovation and combat systems aboard ships as a result of their visits to Naval Warfare Center divisions across the nation, the officials announced Sept. 20. The Naval Warfare Center Command Technology Team – 10 chief technology officers and 11 lead customer advocates – have been brainstorming with scientists and engineers across the country from Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona Division in California to NSWC Dahlgren Division in Virginia to determine where collaboration opportunities exist. “The Command Technology Team is getting out to the warfare center labs with eyes and hands on the different capabilities that our divisions have,” said Capt. Mike Graham, NSWC headquarters staff member. “These site visits will help us improve our ability to rapidly innovate in response to complex technical problems warfighters are facing. Visiting in person gives us a better understanding of our true capabilities than a technical capability report’s wording can

Walter ‘Bud’ Reel, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division engineer, left, briefs NSWC Chief Technology Officer Kirk Jenne on the 105mm trainable gun system’s capabilities during the Navy Warfare Center Command Technology Team’s visit to Dahlgren Sept. 12-13. The gun is a highly accurate computer controlled mount that is part a suite of weaponry enabling aircraft to provide fire support to warfighters who are in close contact with the enemy. Jenne leads the 21-member Command Technology Team chartered to enrich collaboration that solves warfighter problems and meets critical naval, joint, national and coalition needs. (U.S. Navy photo by John Joyce/Released) convey.” coalition needs. Team is looking at the technologies NSWC Commander Rear. Adm. “The breadth of support that the Navy is supporting and we Creevy chartered the 21-member the warfare centers provide to the are gaining insight at the warfare team – representing eight Naval warfighter is very impressive when centers where unique solutions Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) you take the time to understand reside for challenging warfare Warfare Center Divisions – to its impact,” said NSWC Chief environments.” enhance collaboration that solves Technology Officer Kirk Jenne, So far, the Command Technology warfighter problems and meets the Command Technology Team Team collaborated with warfare critical naval, joint, national and Lead. “Our Command Technology center division scientists and

engineers at NSWC Carderock in Maryland and Philadelphia, Pa., NSWC Crane, Ind., NSWC Port Hueneme, Calif., NSWC Corona, Calif., Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport, R.I., and NUWC Keyport, Wash., in addition to NSWC Dahlgren. “The initial visit schedule will provide a baseline for the team’s overall understanding of each warfare center’s capabilities, its major customer base, and its strategic direction,” said Andrew Horne, NSWC Dahlgren Division Lead Customer Advocate during the team’s Sept. 12-13 Dahlgren visit. “This understanding will provide the underpinning of the team’s focus and capacity as we share resources across the warfare centers in support of the warfighter.” At Dahlgren, scientists and engineers briefed Jenne, Graham and the technology team on technical programs and technologies, including Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense combat support; chemical, biological and radiological defense; electronic warfare integration and architecture; directed energy, unmanned systems, electromagnetic railgun, metamaterials, and cyber Continued on page 7

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Silence: Remembering the Fallen From page 4 telling the audience that NSWCDD employees continued to leverage the development opportunities available to them in spite of furloughs, budget concerns and other pressures. In all, 96 employees earned degrees from academic institutions while 36 received technical or business specialty certificates. In addition to the nine doctoral degrees, employees were specifically recognized for 48 master’s degrees, 37 baccalaureate degrees, and two associate’s degrees. Honored employees included eight academic fellows, 11 professional or academic certifications, 17 information

assurance certifications and one Security Professional Education Development Certification. NSWCDD employees received nine doctorates over the past year compared to previous years when the number of doctoral degrees was typically two to five. This year, a father and daughter graduation duo was honored for their academic achievements. The father was recognized for earning a master’s degree, while working full time. His daughter was recognized for earning her undergraduate degree at Virginia Commonwealth University as a member of Pathways, an NSWCDD student program. Moreover, NSWCDD scientist

Ryan Mackie, a graduate degree honoree, received George Mason University’s Impact Award. The George Mason College of Science recognized Mackie as the graduate student who published peerreviewed scientific research in a scientific journal with the highest impact factor in the 2012-13 academic year. Maintaining a diverse and highly skilled workforce is critical to NSWCDD – the Navy’s leading warfare system architect and systems engineer, recognized as the technical leader in delivering innovative, affordable and effective solutions for the Navy, joint forces, and the nation. “We are well aware of the importance of diversity, and that translates into the diversity of


“We also recognize their families who shared in this sacrifice. Taking classes means long hours and an interruption of daily routines. No doubt, there were days when dinners were late or kids’ ball games were missed. A special “thank you” to all the family members and friends, for you are part of today’s success.” — (NSWCDD) Commander Michael Smith degrees as well,” said Koch. In an economy where many employers are reducing or eliminating support for employees to pursue advanced education, NSWC Dahlgren Division remains committed to supporting education opportunities for the workforce

to the greatest extent possible and welcomes the opportunity to recognize employees who have reached an academic milestone each September at this annual event. — John Joyce, NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications


Members of the Navy Warfare Center Command Technology Team break for a group photo during their visit to Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren. The team is visiting with scientists and engineers at eight warfare center divisions across the country to enhance collaboration that improves the Navy’s ability to rapidly innovate in response to complex technical problems warfighters are facing.

(U.S. Navy photo by John Joyce/Released)

From page 7

25 Minutes from Dahlgren

warfare defense. “We are getting smarter on solving fleet problems in a collaborative fashion,” said Graham. “That’s our impetus. We are looking for opportunities to collaborate across divisions for the right knowledge and skills to address fleet problems.” The Command Technology Team is scheduled to conclude its tour of the warfare centers with visits to NSWC Divisions at Indian Head, Md., and Panama City, Fla., in addition to sites in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Va., in October and November. The NAVSEA Warfare Centers, comprised of NSWC and NUWC, supply the technical operations, people, technology, engineering services and products needed to equip and support the fleet and meet the warfighters’ needs. The warfare centers are the Navy’s principal research, development, test and evaluation assessment activity for surface ship and submarine systems and subsystems. Moreover, the warfare centers provide depot maintenance and in-service engineering support to ensure the systems fielded today perform consistently and reliably in the future. —John J. Joyce, NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications



Above: Captain Pete Nette, Commanding Officer, NSF-Dahlgren, Dahlgren Supervisor Ruby Brabo, Ed Jones, Robert Gates, James Monroe Supervisor John LoBuglio and At-Large Supervisor Dale Sisson participated in the ribbon cutting. The red, white, and blue ribbon falls to the floor officially opening the Dahlgren Heritage Museum. Right: Retiree Dave Shelkey shares a sea story about the USS Basilone weapons test. ©Marty van Duyne/News net News










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Museum: Exhibits highlight Dahlgren’s achievements A propeller from the 1924 N-9 Seaplane, the first remotely controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that took off, flew maneuvers, and landed hangs above a wall mural of her flight team. A scale model of the A-1 Polaris Missile (circa 1957) stands a short distance from the first shell fired from the modern day Dahlgren electromagnetic Rail Gun. An exploded 2,700-pound blue shell tested at Dahlgren after the 1989 Number Two 16 inch 50 caliber gun turret explosion on the USS Iowa (BB-61) sits in front of a 1,900-pound shell also used in the 16 inch guns. The explosion killed 47 and resulted in controversial investigative findings. Retired and current employees from Dahlgren commands reminisced about their days onboard the base and shared sea stories with visitors. Retiree Dave Shelkey, test coordinator for Weapon A (Weapon ABLE) shared his memory of the USS Basilone (DD 824) that was at Dahlgren for weapons testing. “The destroyer arrived in the middle of winter,” said Shelkey. “The river was iced over when she made anchor.” He related that senior officers had been invited ashore and the anchored ship was running only on in-port power. During the evening the weather deteriorated and the winds picked up

From page 1 Facility Dahlgren is expected to help boost tourism to the area and expand the economic base. President of the Dahlgren Heritage Museum Foundation Ed Jones said the building was in an ideal location. However, he joked that a new site would be found for the museum so it didn’t end up on the bridge when the new structure is realigned to the building’s current location. Jones, the former Free-Lance Star editor spent his childhood at Dahlgren and attended school on base. He noted the importance of the base saying its presence helped the area evolve from a rural farming community to an intellectual technology center for the Navy. A sampling of the technology developed onboard the base is on exhibit at the museum. The artifacts provide a bridge between old and new technology and visitors are greeted with a model of the XIInch Dahlgren Shell Gun at the main entrance. A Norden bombsight that helped bombardiers on the B-17 Flying Fortresses more accurately acquire their targets during WWII, is on display.


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causing the ship to drag anchor. Since the river was iced over the movement of the ship was not immediately noticeable, but when it was discovered that the ship was moving the Basilone was already precariously close to the shoals. “An officer onboard ordered the engines to be restarted and the ship was powered up in time to keep the Basilone from running aground,” said Shelkey. Dahlgren employees and other local citizens formed an interdependent bond through the years. “The community both on and near the base grew to be close knit,” said Jones. Many such as King George Supervisor Dale Sisson both work on the base and hold local public office. Both he and supervisor Ruby Brabo addressed the crowd. The late Ruth Herrink, publisher of The King George Journal was hailed as someone who worked tirelessly for the foundation and was a major force behind the effort to bring the museum to the area. Herrink died one week before the ribbon was cut to open the museum. The grand opening was set to coincide with the 95th anniversary of Dahlgren. Details about the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation and the Museum can be found at

The Dahlgren Source is published by The Journal Press, Inc. For more info, visit The Journal’s website

An exploded 2,700-pound shell tested at Dahlgren after the USS Iowa turret explosion sets in front of an unexploded 1,900-pound shell.


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Military bands become collateral damage in government shutdown Marty van Duyne News Net News Doswell — The U.S. Coast Guard carried the colors during the 2013 State Fair of Virginia Parade on Sept. 29. But other military units never made it to the fairgrounds. The Oct. 1 government shutdown resulted in the cancellation of at least two military band performances. The 392nd Army Band’s Big Band based at Fort Lee was slated for an afternoon performance Oct. 2 at the fairground Festival Stage. Their Pop Combo scheduled to entertain on the same stage that evening was also cancelled. Virginia Veterans and area citizens look forward to military band performances and generally fill every seat for their appearances at the State Fair. Many attendees who came to see the show on the scheduled date were unaware that the government shutdown caused the performances to be cancelled. One Viet Nam era Veteran said he was disappointed that he would not be able to hear the band. How e v e r, o t h e r mu s i c a l entertainment each afternoon and

evening ranged from gospel to blue grass to country featuring local as well as top name bands such as Jefferson Starship and the Charlie Daniels Band. The 2013 State Fair of Virginia provided a wealth of standard venues along with some new additions. A Mutton Busting competition for kids was featured along with old favorites such as the tractor pull. And the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War History Mobile added to the educational experience. Stars of reality TV’s “Lizard Lick Towing” made a special appearance on Sept. 29 and hot air balloon rides were available throughout opening weekend. The exhibit areas were reorganized this year. Horse shows and competitions, dog demonstrations, and livestock judging were consolidated into an Equine and Livestock Complex located near the Southern States Legends Stable. The Kidway amusements were separated from the adult rides and located adjacent to Young Mac Donald’s Farm directly across from the new location of Heritage Village.

The arts and crafts and crop exhibits remained in the Harvest Landing area. A highlight of that section of the fairground was “A Grizzly Experience” and “Hollywood Racing Pigs.” Crowds lined up from opening to closing daily for the opportunity to feed a carrot stick to the long necked African ungulate mammal at the Giraffe Menagerie Zoo. The Farm Bureau Building was filled with vendors selling a myriad of wares. Directly outside their main doors on Festival Loop attendees could feast on fried turkey legs, pizza, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and caramel apples. Marvelous Mutts gave dock diving demonstrations and the Rhinestone Cowboy and his Indian Princess treated the crowds to western rope, gun, and knife tricks. Degellers’ amusements Midway Madness featured adult rides including the Ring of Fire that sent riders 360 degrees through a vertical circle in forward and reverse. The 2014 State Fair of Virginia is slated for Sept. 26 through Oct. 5 at Meadow Event Park.

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©Marty van Duyne/News Net News Opposite page: Fairgoers try bouncing on bungee cords. Above: Riders take a spin in reverse on The Ring of Fire. Above right: The U.S. Coast Guard Honor Guard leads the annual parade. Right: Lizard Lick Towing’s stars are a one-night stand at the fair. Far right: The longest necked animal at the petting zoo creates the longest lines. Below: A burst of flame sent the Hot Air Balloon flying.

Virginia State Parks | Caledon

Art & Wine Festival Saturday, Nov. 2 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Enjoy the local flavors in nearby King George, Va. – regional art, wine and food on the beautiful rolling lawns of the historic Smoot House. Wine tasting and souvenir glass $10 per person (ID required) Sorry, no outside food or coolers. Parking is $5. Sponsored by the Friends of Caledon State Park. Proceeds benefit park educational programs.

11617 Caledon Road, King George, VA 22485 • 540-663-3861 • CA_AB_RecNews_wineFest.indd 2

9/12/2013 3:11:25 PM





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Dahlgren Source - October 2013  
Dahlgren Source - October 2013  

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