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CHIPS Articles: Moran says NAWCWD is poised to drive next-gen technology forward

Moran says NAWCWD is poised to drive next-gen technology forward
By NAWCWD Public Affairs - October 10, 2014
Rear Adm. Mike Moran, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) commander, addressed the general membership of the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century (RDP-21) during its monthly meeting Oct. 7 at the Hall of Justice in Ventura, California.

Moran told the RDP-21 audience that NAWCWD is focused on attracting and retaining the right people to do meaningful work. Another command priority is investing in infrastructure to ensure the workforce has the facilities and skillsets needed to drive next-generation technology forward for the warfighter.

He also acknowledged the current financial challenges with declining Defense Department budgets but said NAWCWD was well-positioned to be a leader for the Navy in supporting the national defense strategy.

“We are one of the most advanced research and development labs in the Navy,” said Moran, who noted that just about every weapon system in the naval aviation and surface fleets was developed and tested between Point Mugu and China Lake. “I see our work at NAWCWD continuing to grow because of the uniqueness of our ranges and facilities, and where the Navy needs to invest to grow its capabilities.”

Moran called Point Mugu the electronic warfare (EW) center of excellence for naval aviation.

“EW is the future,” he said. “The EW spectrum is where we will take on the next challenges as we move forward.”

NAWCWD Point Mugu’s 36,000-square-mile sea range is the largest in the world for naval aviation. The sea range, combined with the 1,777-square mile land range at China Lake, gives NAWCWD the opportunity to test just about everything in the Navy’s inventory.

“This capability doesn’t exist anywhere else,” Moran said. “We did more testing last year than we have in the last four to five years and I see that continuing to grow.”

Moran said there needs to more investment in long-term research and development to develop the next-generation technology.

“The technological advantage that we once held over our adversaries is shrinking rapidly,” Moran said. “I’m scared that we’re not making those investments that this country needs to make to keep us safe, not tomorrow, 20 years from now. Our message to Capitol Hill is that NAWCWD has the facilities and capabilities to invest in those things that will keep us ahead.”

Considering a large portion of the naval aviation inventory has been recapitalized, Moran said he expects to see more investments in sensors and networks in the future.

“We can’t afford to keep buying new things,” he said. “We’ve done that. I see investment in integrating the next-generation weapons, networks and sensors on those platforms we already have to make them more robust and capable against the enemy. That’s what NAWCWD does.”

For more information, contact NAWCWD Public Affairs at (760) 939-3511.

Rear Adm. Mike Moran, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division commander, addresses about 50 members of the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century at its monthly meeting Oct. 7 at the Hall of Justice in Ventura, Calif. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.
Rear Adm. Mike Moran, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division commander, addresses about 50 members of the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century at its monthly meeting Oct. 7 at the Hall of Justice in Ventura, Calif. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.
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