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Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division | QuickiWiki

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division

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Overview

Coordinates: 38°19′30″N 77°02′00″W / 38.32500°N 77.03333°W / 38.32500; -77.03333

Location in King George County and the state of Virginia - Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
Location in King George County and the state of Virginia

The United States Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), named for Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, is located in Dahlgren, Virginia, with a geographically separated command, Combat Direction Systems Activity Dam Neck (CDSADN), located in Virginia Beach, VA, in close proximity to the largest fleet concentration area in the Navy. NSWCDD is part of the Naval Surface Warfare Centers under the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). The NSWCDD was initially established October 16, 1918 as a remote extension of Maryland’s Indian Head Proving Ground used for testing naval guns. The Dahlgren site was named the Lower Station, Dahlgren Naval Proving Ground when it first opened. The location on the Potomac River was specifically chosen for the development of a long ballistic test range on the Potomac River, required for the testing of modern, high-powered munitions.[1]

The NSWCDD employs approximately 5,700 scientists & engineers at the Dalhgren organization and more than 350 at CDSADN. Prior to 2007, Panama City Coastal Systems Station located at the Naval Support Activity Panama City was part of Dahlgren Division, but in 2008, it became its own division within the NAVSEA Naval Surface Warfare Center structure.

The physical base where NSWCDD is located became officially known as the Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP) in 2003 and the NSWCDD became a tenant.[2] The name NSWCDD or NSWC is still commonly used to refer to the base. The base commander function, however, is no longer a secondary function of the Commander of the NSWCDD. There a re a few other major tenant commands on the base such as theJoint Warfare Analysis Center and the Aegis Training and Readiness Center (ATRC) involved in the training and development for the Aegis Combat System, and training and development for other future shipboard combat systems.

NSWCDD was previously home to Naval Space Surveillance System Command before that function was transferred to the Air Force in 2004.[3]

The base is recognized by the Census Bureau as a census designated place (CDP), Dahlgren Center. Its population as of the 2010 Census was 599.[4] It is entirely distinct from Dahlgren CDP, to the west.

TimelineBETA

Thanks 1918
October 16: Dahlgren was established in the spring of 1918 as a Naval Proving Ground. Its recorded first work, the firing of a 7-inch, 45 caliber tractor-mounted gun, occurred on October 16, 1918 and is recognized as the official founding date.
Thanks 1945
Two such people include Dr. Norris E. Bradbury, who later became the Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Deak Parsons, the weaponeer on the Enola Gay, the aircraft which dropped the Little Boy atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.
Thanks 1958
And the former Soviet Union’s launching of Sputnik I, a space race began.
Thanks 1959
Because of the laboratory’s broad-based growth in research and development and with its new missions, Dahlgren’s name officially changed to the Naval Weapons Laboratory in 1959. It was later changed to the Naval Surface Weapons Center in 1974 with the merger of the former Naval Ordnance Laboratory at White Oak, Maryland.
Thanks 1987
The name was changed again to the Naval Surface Warfare Center as new and expanded missions were added.
Thanks 1992
And, in 1992, with the consolidations of naval laboratories into one headquarters center, it became the Dahlgren Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
Thanks 2003
The physical base where NSWCDD is located became officially known as the Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP) in 2003 and the NSWCDD became a tenant.
Thanks 2004
NSWCDD was previously home to Naval Space Surveillance System Command before that function was transferred to the Air Force in 2004.
Thanks 2008
Prior to 2007, Panama City Coastal Systems Station located at the Naval Support Activity Panama City was part of Dahlgren Division, but in 2008, it became its own division within the NAVSEA Naval Surface Warfare Center structure.

Videos

History

Dahlgren was established in the spring of 1918 as a Naval Proving Ground. Its recorded first work, the firing of a 7-inch, 45 caliber tractor-mounted gun, occurred on October 16, 1918 and is recognized as the official founding date. The proving ground was named Dahlgren in honor of Rear Admiral John Adolphus Dahlgren, a Civil War Navy commander, who is the acknowledged “father of modern naval ordnance.”

John A. Dahlgren - Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
John A. Dahlgren

Prior to 1918, the Navy operated a proving ground at Indian Head, Maryland, but it became inadequate as advances in gun designs and ordnance made its range obsolete. During World War I, a range of 90,000 yards was sought by the Navy to prove its new battleship guns. The range was required to be over water but inside the territorial waters of the United States. The area from Machodoc Creek to Point Lookout on the Potomac River was selected because of its relative straight lines and accessibility. The climate and relative calm of the river were also factors as the Navy sought an ice and rapids free testing area. At the time of Dahlgren’s establishment, the area was extremely remote and relatively unpopulated. Thus, to recruit and retain the highly specialized work force required, the Navy promised to supply housing, food and medical services, schools, recreation, and other socially needed infrastructure.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Dahlgren was involved in testing bombsights, including the Norden bombsight, for the Navy’s fledgling air forces. But, until World War II, much of the principal work at Dahlgren surrounded the proofing and testing of every major gun in the Navy’s arsenal. Most of the work was done at the Main Range Gun Line, which faces down the Potomac River.

During the World War II years, Dahlgren became involved with new computational devices (computers) because of its ordnance requirements. Ground-breaking early computers were sent to Dahlgren to help with ballistic work and other directives, including the Aiken Relay Calculator and the Naval Ordnance Research Calculator (NORC). The computer and ordnance work going on attracted a number of brilliant young scientists and engineers to the area during the war, and some were tapped to help with the ongoing Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb. Two such people include Dr. Norris E. Bradbury, who later became the Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Deak Parsons, the weaponeer on the Enola Gay, the aircraft which dropped the Little Boy atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.

In the years immediately after the war, Dahlgren’s work force suffered cutbacks. But the laboratory’s strong computer and ordnance expertise kept the base open and Navy work flowing. Subsequently, the onset of the Cold War and Korea again placed demands for new offensive and defensive ship systems. Then, in 1958 and the former Soviet Union’s launching of Sputnik I, a space race began. Dahlgren opened its gates that year to its first tenant activity, the Naval Space Surveillance Center, which selected a site at Dahlgren to be at the center of the laboratory’s growing computer advances. It was around this time that Dahlgren became heavily involved with the development of Fleet Ballistic Missiles, later called Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles. Later, in the 1970s and 1980s, Dahlgren was on the leading edge of naval surface weapons work with programs such as the Tomahawk, which improved the Navy’s capacity to perform attacks on land targets from a distance that decreased the risk to ships. Dahlgren also was critical in work to protect Navy ships from enemy missile and air attacks with programs such as the Standard missile and the Aegis Combat System. That work continues today, along with the electromagnetic railgun, DDG 1000, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Chemical Biological and Radiological Defense, and more.

Because of the laboratory’s broad-based growth in research and development and with its new missions, Dahlgren’s name officially changed to the Naval Weapons Laboratory in 1959. It was later changed to the Naval Surface Weapons Center in 1974 with the merger of the former Naval Ordnance Laboratory at White Oak, Maryland. In 1987, the name was changed again to the Naval Surface Warfare Center as new and expanded missions were added. And, in 1992, with the consolidations of naval laboratories into one headquarters center, it became the Dahlgren Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.[5]

Research and Development

NSWCDD conducts basic research in all systems-related areas and pursues scientific disciplines including biotechnology, chemistry, mathematics, laser and computer technology, chemical, mechanical, electrical and systems engineering, physics and computer science. Distinguished figures who have worked for the NSWCDD include physicists Albert Einstein, Edward Teller, Carl Norden, and computer pioneers Howard Aiken[6] and Grace Hopper.

Engineering projects of historical or military significance developed at NSWC Dahlgren include the triggering device on the Hiroshima atomic bomb, the Norden Bombsight used on most American bombers such as the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator and B-29 Superfortress during World War II, the Standard missile used on modern United States Navy warships, and the warhead for the AIM-54 Phoenix. Current projects include the majority of US research into directed-energy weapons, railgun technology and weapons integration for the Littoral combat ship.

STEM Outreach

NSWCDD scientists and engineers share their technological expertise by participating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities and other programs that inspire local youth to pursue careers in technical disciplines. NSWCDDD mentors support summer academies, such as the Virginia Demonstration Project, where they introduce robotics and basic engineering principles to area middle and high school students through hands-on activities. NSWCDD also has educational partnerships with several universities across the U.S

Aircraft projects

See also

References

  1. ^ http://namdc.ahf.nmci.navy.mil/site%20pages/news/03-29-13_NSF_Dahlgren_profile_2013.pdf
  2. ^ http://namdc.ahf.nmci.navy.mil/site%20pages/news/03-29-13_NSF_Dahlgren_profile_2013.pdf
  3. ^ Wagner, Gary R. "Navy Transfers Space Surveillance Mission to Air Force". U.S. Navy. 
  4. ^ Virginia Trend Report 2: State and Complete Places (Sub-state 2010 Census Data). Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed 2011-06-08.
  5. ^ Carlisle, Rodney P. The Sound of FREEDOM: Naval Weapons Technology at Dahlgren, Virginia 1918-2006 ISBN 0-16-077712-7. 
  6. ^ Carlisle, Rodney P. The Sound of FREEDOM: Naval Weapons Technology at Dahlgren, Virginia 1918-2006 ISBN 0-16-077712-7. 

Further reading

  • James P. Rife and Rodney P. Carlisle (2007) The Sound of Freedom: Naval Weapons Technology at Dahlgren, VA 1918-2006
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