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NEWS | Aug. 25, 2023

NSWC IHD Celebrates Time-Honored Tradition with Change of Command Ceremony

By NSWC Indian Head Division Public Affairs

Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) hosted a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Facility Indian Head, Maryland, Aug. 25 at which Capt. Stephen Duba relieved Capt. Eric Correll as commanding officer of NSWC IHD.

“Eric was someone who never shied away from taking a hard job. He’s the leader I’ve looked up to my entire career. He ended up here [at NSWC IHD] because he was the right guy. It’s amazing what he’s done here. The readiness of our units have really become better,” Rear Adm. Bradley Andros, commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and keynote speaker of the event said.

During his tenure as NSWC IHD Commanding Officer, Correll navigated a rapidly changing environment and ensured mission completion despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his watch, the command saw the completion of several new facilities, a manufacturing program restart, the development of a new underwater explosive, the overhaul of production processes for a quality escape issue and the onboarding of more than 1,000 new employees.

Before relinquishing command, Correll was awarded with the Defense Superior Service Medal, which is the Department of Defense's second-highest non-combat-related military award and the second-highest joint service decoration. The medal honors superior meritorious service in a position of great responsibility. His citation read, in part: “A visionary leader with a unique ability to span across the joint services and provide guidance between operational forces and technical and acquisition professionals, he succinctly identified and articulated requirements and pursued technical data and technology for the joint EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] warfighter. As commanding officer of the Navy’s only public arsenal, he led resumption and resurgence of energetics development, evaluation and manufacturing at a time when the U.S. military’s need for munitions capability and capacity matches the need for the arsenal of democracy in the 1940s.”

In his final words as commanding officer, Correll shared, “This command provides capabilities to our joint forces to deter. It’s of critical importance for the arsenal of the Navy to provide those capabilities. It’s the Oath [of Office] that drives this command. It’s been an honor to serve with everyone at the command,” he concluded as he urged the audience to always “serve with a purpose.”

Duba, a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York and the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, expressed his readiness to assume command of the division and navigate the next chapter of the Navy’s only public arsenal. His most recent assignment was serving on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as lead weapons analyst in the OPNAV N80 Programming Division. Duba is a designated EOD warfare officer, surface warfare officer, diving officer and naval parachutist.

“I look forward to serving [the NSWC IHD workforce] for years to come. The work you do here is incredibly relevant. Indian Head is going to be challenged to provide more to the Navy, joint forces and inter agencies in the coming years, and I’m really proud to be a part of that effort,” Duba said in conclusion.

As the commanding officer of NSWC IHD, Duba will oversee the DoD’s largest full-spectrum energetics facility and the Navy’s only public arsenal supporting the DoD, the nation’s partners and allies. NSWC IHD employs a primarily Maryland-based workforce of nearly 2,700. NSWC IHD also has two official detachments and six off-site locations, including sites in Picatinny, New Jersey; McAlester, Oklahoma; Rock Island, Illinois; and Ogden, Utah; and employees stationed throughout the world.

The command’s capabilities address all aspects of the energetics technical discipline including: basic research, applied technology, technology demonstration and prototyping, engineering development, acquisition, low-rate production, in-service engineering/mishaps, failure investigations, surveillance, EOD technology/information and demilitarization.

The ceremony also marked the culmination of Correll’s 30-year naval career.

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.