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By NSWC Indian Head Public Affairs Office
The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Department’s Battle Lab Division hosted its two-day inaugural technology exposition, May 22-23. The event’s objective was to showcase new technology as well as connect and build relationships within the EOD and physical security communities. The exposition highlighted the Battle Lab’s capabilities to include unmanned aerial vehicle flight and explosives testing, as well as briefings of completed evaluations. Highlights from the briefs included topics such as bulk standoff identification, rapid area detection, and customs and border protection support efforts.
During his address to the vendors and participants, NSWC IHD Commanding Officer Capt. Eric Correll said the aim of the exposition is to create solutions for meeting the requirements of the warfighter by galvanizing DoD, the private sector, and academia. Battle Lab Division Director Cathy Eaton noted the positive feedback and survey responses from those who attended at the NSWC IHD Stump Neck Annex and the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling military installation suggests the event hit the mark.
“We made contacts for potential future work opportunities and were able to showcase capabilities to key stakeholders in the community,” she said. “We look forward to building upon the connections we developed and serving the physical security and EOD community better.”
The attendees indicated they learned about at least one new technology over the course of the expo. The Office of Navy Research Global Science Advisor Program Director, Thomas Gallagher, said the vendor lineup and products displayed were impressive.
The United States Bomb Technician Association (USBTA), a non-profit partner of NSWC IHD, attended the event with USBTA’s President Sean Dennis applauding the Battle Lab’s inaugural tech expo.
“I think the Battle Lab is benefiting the overall community and all joint EOD. And not just the military, the FBI, [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] and all the public safety bomb technicians benefit from what they do,” he said.
The technology exposition is expected to be a biennial event in the future. Correll believes the frequency of the event should be determined by its effectiveness.
“Are we bringing all the right people in? What can we do to make it better and what frequency should we host it to be able to ensure that we continue the partnership to be able to develop solutions and field them to the warfighter,” said Correll.
NSWC IHD — a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics, and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, manufacturing and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.