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NEWS | Aug. 1, 2023

NSWC Dahlgren Division holds fifth annual Modeling & Simulation Summit

By Taft Coghill Jr., NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Modeling and Simulation (M&S) is increasingly integral to the success of the U.S. Navy warfighter.  Emergent technologies and fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous systems and system of systems are revolutionizing the model of American defense.

That is why each of the past five years, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Modeling and Simulation Community of Interest (M&S COI) conducted the Dahlgren M&S Summit.

The event took place July 25-27.

The first two days consisted of unclassified briefings at the University of Mary Washington’s Dahlgren Campus. The final day featured classified presentations at NSWCDD for the first time in the history of the summit. 

The event also included remarks from leaders in the Department of Defense (DoD) M&S enterprise, along with poster presentations, briefs, demonstrations and two lively panel discussions.

The 24 talks included mission analysis and M&S from the fleet perspective. The panel discussions were on AI and machine learning’s influence on M&S and the digital transformation at Dahlgren.

“This was our most successful event to date,” said Mike Maldonado, lead of the M&S COI with the Navy Modeling and Simulation Office at NSWCDD. “We had representatives from different warfare centers and technical areas. “We also had participants from the Naval Research Laboratory, Missile Defense Agency, DoD High-Performance Computing and the Navy Modeling and Simulation Office. By having the subject matter experts together, we identified potential collaboration opportunities to develop and enhance capabilities for the warfighter.”

NSWCDD Technical Director Dale Sisson Jr., SES, opened the event on the first day and emphasized the critical nature of M&S when battling adversaries that are constantly making advancements.

Sisson said the U.S. needs to focus on the “entirety of the fight” and that an emphasis on M&S is essential to doing so.

“We think about what our adversaries are pushing for, which is really a modified world order unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime,” Sisson said. “In my career, which includes 26 years working for the Navy, I’ve never seen a more pressing threat. I’ve never seen a set of adversaries that desire to upend things the way they are today.”

NSWCDD Commanding Officer Capt. Philip Mlynarski made the opening comments on day two of the event. Mlynarski said he can’t stress enough the importance of jumping ahead in the world of M&S.

Mlynarski said the Navy must determine the accuracy and effectiveness of weapons early enough in the process so informed decisions can be made utilizing limited resources. He said this will allow the Navy to get the most “bang for our buck” in regards to M&S.

“We don’t have the time or the money to go forth and test a million different things, different high-end missiles, guns, or bullets, whatever the case may be,” Mlynarski said. “We’ve got to figure out how to model that stuff and figure out the usefulness of it, so we can go to the warfighter and say ‘We think we should invest in this and not in this.’”