By Michael Ard, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs
PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC), Naval Base Ventura County hosted six Senior Executive Service (SES) leaders from the U.S. Naval Research Lab (NRL), Feb. 16, in an effort to increase collaboration between the two organizations.
Both groups briefed their perspective commands, and discussions were held on the Science and Technology (S&T) research occurring within their organizations. After the initial session, the NRL group toured some of the NAVFAC EXWC physical resources including the Deep Ocean Simulation Facility, Aviation Engine Simulation Facility, and the Department of Defense Lock Program, receiving presentations by NAVFAC EXWC subject matter experts.
"Showcasing our capabilities in person led to a better understanding of our recent warfare center status," said NAVFAC EXWC Technical Director, Kail Macias.
Following the tour, engineers gave an overview of NAVFAC EXWC's technical capabilities and discussions on opportunities for potential partnerships and collaborations. Several EXWC personnel briefed NRL leadership on their ongoing worldwide research, not limited to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division.
One such capability is Port Improvement via Exigent Repair (PIER) led by Tim Petro, program manager, ship to shore enabling technologies, expeditionary engineering division. This new technology involves rapid repair of a damaged pier to facilitate offload of military cargo ships. PIER allows for repair of a damaged structure within days instead of months, or even years. It has tremendous potential with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) efforts, which are often in response to natural disasters. This joint capability includes a rapid underwater survey which details required pile repair with superstructure, decking and mooring-system options. A Limited Operational Utility Assessment (LOUA) is currently underway at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Another key project briefed was an undersea microgrid led by NAVFAC EXWC Deputy Ocean Facilities Program Manager, Cmdr. Li Sung and Bradley Hunter, oceans engineering division. The project's goal is to provide an intelligent power distribution mesh network enabling future undersea warfare concepts. It is working with other ongoing efforts such as Tactical Underwater Network Architecture (TUNA) -- a portable, temporary communications network made up of floating communications buoys linked by fiber optic cable -- and Forward Deployed Energy and Communications Outpost (FDECO), a program to provide refueling and data transfer stations to unmanned underwater vehicles.
NRL provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster the country's position of global naval leadership, focused on research which yields immediate and long-range applications in the defense of the United States. NRL leadership in attendance were Dr. Edward Franchi, Ocean and Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate; Dr. Douglas Todoroff, Acoustics Division; Dr. Ruth Preller, Oceanography Division; Dr. Richard Bevilacqua, Remote Sensing Division; Dr. Herbert Eppert, Marine Geosciences Division; and Dr. James Hansen, Marine Meteorology Division.