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CHIPS Articles: NUWC Newport Dedicates New $24.3 Million Facility

NUWC Newport Dedicates New $24.3 Million Facility
Facility to house the Navy’s program for new and emergent electromagnetic sensors
By David Sanders, NUWC Public Affairs Office - April-June 2014
In a ceremony attended by both U.S. Senator Jack Reed and U.S. Congressman David Cicilline, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport dedicated a new $24.3 million Electromagnetic Sensor Facility with a ribbon cutting today, April 7.

Speakers highlighted the importance of the new facility to the Navy’s program for new and emergent electromagnetic sensors.

NUWC’s Rear Adm. David Duryea, commander of NUWC Newport’s parent command, said, “This will significantly enhance electromagnetic systems design, prototyping, acquisition and production support, as well as in-service engineering and testing for periscopes and masts here at NUWC Newport. These capabilities are critical because we know that our Navy relies on cutting edge undersea warfare communications and electromagnetic systems to maintain its undersea dominance.”

“Since the founding of the U.S. Navy torpedo station on Goat Island, these facilities [at NUWC] are at the cutting edge of that research. This facility is part of the premier place for U.S. research, development, testing, and evaluation to develop new undersea warfare systems,” said Reed.

The 54,000 square-foot facility, under construction since groundbreaking in October, 2011, includes six laboratories and a five-story periscope tower designed to repair and certify periscopes, submarine communications systems, electronic warfare equipment, and imaging/optical systems.

“As the Navy’s regional depot level activity for submarine periscopes and national repair facility for submarine high data rate satellite communications antennas, NUWC Division Newport and the highly skilled electromagnetic systems team team is where the fleet turns whenever there is a problem or question regarding these systems,” said Capt. Todd Cramer, NUWC Newport’s commander.

“This is a rapidly changing global community,” said Cicilline. “Research, development and innovation are the drivers for U.S. superiority around the world.”

The building replaces a facility on Naval Station Newport’s Pier Two, which is scheduled for removal. The new building is NUWC Newport’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building designed to achieve LEED-New Construction Gold Certification.

“As a command, NUWC Newport has long focused on the environment and ways to mitigate our impact,” said Cramer. “Our team is actively engaged in energy and water conservation and other programs designed to maximize our effective use of resources while protecting them and reducing costs.”

NUWC Newport expects to see a 35 percent reduction in building energy performance, a 40 percent reduction in water usage through the use of low-flow fixtures and rainwater harvesting, the use of white roofing and a light colored exterior building facade, the use of storm drainage practices to infiltrate or capture and treat 90 percent of all rainfall at the site, and a lighting systems equipped with occupancy and ambient sensors and dimmers.

“This facility is LEED-certified and an efficient user of water and energy, something that is important Navywide,” said Reed. “This whole enterprise is critical to our future. [This facility] is needed to remain the most advanced power on the sea and below the sea. It’s about one thing: making sure Sailors on any vessel have the very best technology.”

“Division Newport is important on an economic level as it provides thousands of Rhode Island jobs,” said Cicilline. “With the development of this new facility, Division Newport leads the way in military superiority. It continues to be a source of economic growth for the state but also in ideas and technology.”

Duryea also stressed the importance of the electromagnetic domain to Navy warfighters.

“The Chief of Naval Operations repeatedly highlights the importance of electromagnetic and cyber operations,” he said. “It will need to become an inherent part of how we fight all the time. We must treat it as a primary warfare domain.”

The general contractor for the project is the Suffolk Construction Company of Boston, Mass.

NUWC Newport is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Newport’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures.

Aerial view of Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport.
Aerial view of Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (third from left) and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (second from left) joined NUWC senior leaders at a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 7 for NUWC Division Newport's new Electromagnetic Sensor Facility.
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (third from left) and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (second from left) joined NUWC senior leaders at a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 7 for NUWC Division Newport's new Electromagnetic Sensor Facility.

NUWC Division Newport's new Electromagnetic Sensor Facility.
NUWC Division Newport's new Electromagnetic Sensor Facility.
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