The Navy officially named the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) leader of Southern Maryland’s Tech Bridge during a virtual press event hosted by Sec. James “Hondo” Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition, May 12 from Arlington, Virginia.
“This is about exposing and leveraging opportunity for enhanced capability across the Navy,” said Geurts. “We have a very diverse Navy with many focuses and if we’re not careful we might quickly duplicate efforts. Tech Bridges help us ensure efficiency and better connect innovators across the naval network – this is especially important as our Navy advances in multi-domain warfare where missions are increasingly blended.”
NAWCAD now leads one of six new Tech Bridges, an initiative within NavalX, intended to quickly connect the department’s technological challenges with field-ready solutions from traditional and non-traditional industry partners. Southern Maryland’s regional Tech Bridge has a technical focus on unmanned aviation, autonomous systems, modeling and simulation, and live/virtual/constructive environments for training and test. Southern Maryland’s Tech Bridge is a collaboration between NAWCAD and Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head EOD Technology Division. Geurts launched NavalX in 2018 to facilitate the Navy’s rapid adoption of accelerated acquisition methods to advance fleet capability.
“The acquisition and sustainment of capability is a weapon of war,” said NAWCAD Commander Rear Adm. John Lemmon. “Accelerating acquisition efforts directly impacts the timely delivery of lethal capability to our forces and improves their ability to protect our country — NAWCAD and Southern Maryland should feel incredibly proud for its part in building both the Navy of today, and of the future.”
Tech Bridges aim to increase and accelerate naval access to local innovation ecosystems and industry advancements by reducing barriers to non-traditional industry partners like startup companies, small businesses, non-profits, academia, and startup capital and leveraging agile authorizations granted by Congess. The expansion of regional Tech Bridges creates a centralized knowledge base and larger national network of innovation efforts providing local ecosystems expanded access to innovation resources, and closing the distance between developers, acquiring agencies and intended end-users.
“Watching Southern Maryland transform into the highly competitive tech hub that it is today has been nothing short of amazing,” said NAWCAD Executive Director Leslie Taylor. “As one of the region’s largest employers, I’m proud to see how NAWCAD is advancing both the community and naval aviation at large.”
The Navy selected the Southern Maryland region for its technological ecosystem, and its infrastructure that provides the resources that have historically made the area a strong partner with the Navy, and its local industrial and academic base.
“NAWCAD’s air space, test range, labs, facilities — and most importantly, its talent both in and out of the government — makes it a perfect candidate to lead a regional tech bridge,” said Rick Tarr, director of NAWCAD’s Technology Transfer Office and newly appointed director of Southern Maryland’s Tech Bridge. “NAWCAD is excited for the enhanced capability we’ll bring to the fight being closer aligned with academia, local tech and DoD startups, and the Navy’s network of innovators.”
For more information on NavalX and its Tech Bridges visit www.secnav.navy.mil/agility.
NAWCAD advances capabilities and operational readiness for naval aviation. It’s diverse workforce of more than 10,000 military, civilian, and contractor engineers, scientists, testers, and other professionals support an evolving battlespace through research, development, test, and evaluation of both fielded and not-yet fielded naval and marine corps platforms and technology. Headquartered in Patuxent River, Maryland, the warfare center collaborates across its sites in St. Inigoes, Maryland; Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Orlando, Florida to ensure America’s warfighter always goes into conflict with significant advantage.