Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) , established as a naval proving ground in 1918, is headquartered at Dahlgren, Va., and includes Combat Systems Direction Activity Dam Neck in Virginia Beach, Va.
NSWCDD personnel are impacting our national defense at home and abroad with technically relevant science and engineering expertise and unique facilities – at Dahlgren and Dam Neck sites – to meet the needs of the current and future Navy. With its 25-mile range along the shores of the Potomac River and Upper Machodoc Creek, the Potomac River Test Range looks to the future – pushing the envelope of ordnance and weaponry for tomorrow’s Navy.
As a premier Naval scientific and engineering institution, Dahlgren technology makes a difference in our military’s ability to fight, win, and come home safely. The fleet of the future is being designed today with Dahlgren scientists and engineers in the thick of it, lending their knowledge, expertise, and innovation so that our nation is never outflanked by adversaries. Even with brand new design concepts, current ships and systems must be taken into account for integration and interoperability.
For example, the Navy announced in December 2014 that the NSWCDD-developed laser weapon system, a cutting-edge weapon that brings significant new capabilities to America’s Sailors and Marines, was successfully deployed and operated aboard a naval vessel in the Arabian Gulf. The deployment aboard USS Ponce demonstrated a laser weapon working aboard a deployed U.S. Navy ship operating seamlessly with existing ship defense systems.
NSWCDD scientists and engineers developing and testing the Electromagnetic Railgun are bringing the Navy closer to a promising new Naval gun system capable of extended ranges against surface, air and ground targets. NSWCDD is also home to the Naval Directed Energy Office, the Navy’s top facility for research and development of pulsed power, microwave, and laser technologies.
National attention is focused on military participation in non-traditional missions. Operations other-than-war, homeland defense, chemical-biological warfare protection, counter-terrorism, and counter-narcoterrorism are a few examples of missions that are pressing.
Dahlgren’s infrastructure enables research, development, testing and evaluation in support of these diverse missions. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) runway gives NSWCDD an organic and effective in-house capability to research, develop and test UAVs with new sensors, payloads, weapons and engagement systems.
First and foremost, NSWCDD’s mission is to support our men and women in uniform in combat on land and at sea. We are in direct communication with the field and provide boots-on-the-ground support when needed. Our engineers support communications, surveillance and weapons systems that are critical to the execution of successful operations and to the safety of our military men and women in the field and at sea.
The people of NSWCDD are its greatest strength. Scores of Dahlgren employees have been recognized over the past year with high level DoD, Navy, Army and command awards.
For example, NSWCDD engineers received Department of the Army awards for their efforts to protect personnel deployed to destroy Syrian chemical weapons aboard the container ship MV Cape Ray. An NSWCDD cybersecurity engineer received the Navy Information Management/Information Technology Excellence Award for his work with USS SECURE - a standalone cybersecurity test bed. The NSWCDD scientist described as a “leading force” to the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program was honored with the Strategic Systems Programs Director’s Award for her contributions to the program. NSWCDD members of the Aegis Combat System Engineering Agent competition team were honored with Aegis Excellence Awards.
NSWCDD scientists and engineers continue to share their technological expertise by participating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities and other programs that inspire the youth of our community to pursue careers in technical disciplines. Through these programs and educational partnerships with local schools, the command actively seeks opportunities to give area youths a panorama of the world of science and engineering.
NSWCDD’s broad spectrum of unique resources, including workforce, infrastructure, and relationships with industry, have made it a premier naval scientific and engineering institution that is dedicated to solving a diverse set of complex technical problems confronting the warfighter, whether on land, in the air, on the sea or in space.