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NEWS | Oct. 12, 2023

Navy Participates in Defense Manufacturing Summit, Breaks Ground on New Training Center

By Team Submarine Public Affairs

DANVILLE, Va. – Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, office of the Secretary of Defense, state and local government officials, and defense industry partners gathered in Danville, Virginia for the third annual Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) and Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) Summit, Oct. 11.

The summit featured the formal groundbreaking of the ATDM Regional Training Center, which will provide a dedicated training facility as well as the infrastructure and equipment needed for large scale advanced workforce training.

The summit highlighted the significant progress made by the Navy and partners in workforce and technology development across the Submarine Industrial Base since the AM CoE’s launch one year ago. It also prompted discussion on this year’s theme “Galvanizing the SIB, Partnering to Deliver 1+2,” referring to the Navy’s submarine construction cadence of one Columbia class submarine and two Virginia class submarines by Fiscal Year 2026 to meet fleet demand.

The summit took place during National Manufacturing Month, when the International Trade Administration joins with U.S. government and industry partners to celebrate the importance of U.S. manufacturing innovation and ingenuity to our standard of living.

“As we observe National Manufacturing Month in October, I cannot think of a better event for our Navy and our industry partners to showcase how we are working together to advance and improve our nation’s manufacturing workforce,” said Del Toro. “By bringing together partners to work collaboratively on a critical mission, the COE serves as an example of the teamwork that we need to maintain our technological edge by innovating, and is already supporting the growth of the additive manufacturing industry in this region.”

Co-located with the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research, ATDM is a rapid training program that develops a skilled workforce with training and qualifications in advanced manufacturing technologies that are critical to the submarine industrial base.

The focused, four-month training program is customized to the skills and training needs of the naval shipbuilding and sustainment sectors, and has graduated more than 280 skilled tradespeople to date. The new regional training center will support a full capacity of 800-1,000 graduates per year by 2025.

Rear Admiral Scott Pappano, Program Executive Officer, Strategic Submarines (PEO SSBN), outlined the Navy’s generational journey to recapitalize the submarine fleet and reflected on how far the ATDM program has come in a short amount of time.

“The net result of the amount of shipbuilding we’re introducing here is about a fivefold increase from where we were in the 2000s. When you look at the size, displacement, and complexity of these next-generation submarines, that’s a really steep increase,” said Pappano. “ATDM is a confluence of workforce development and technology, and we’ve got to keep getting the word out because the only way we’re going to deliver submarines is with workforce and technology. We have to bring manufacturing back to ramp up the industrial base. That is how we maintain deterrence.”

The AM CoE, which formally opened at last year’s summit, directly supports the growth of the submarine industrial base by scaling and maturing additive manufacturing technologies, enabling production of submarine components to bolster Naval shipbuilding and repair supply chains.

Additive manufacturing acts as a “force multiplier” giving the submarine industrial base a dedicated, agile, and responsive capability to increase manufacturing capability and capacity, reduce reliance on sole-source supply points, and address obsolescence challenges.

NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski, who pilots the No. 6 Alliance Ford Mustang and owns the additive manufacturing company Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing, took a break from a busy race schedule to tour the AM CoE and speak at the summit about the intersection of workforce and technology in the defense industry.

“This is my first time here, and I’m blown away by everything I’ve seen,” said Keselowski. “One of the things I’ve found to be so impressive about this facility is that not only does it say advanced manufacturing, but it really means advanced manufacturing with all the machines, the workflows, the equipment.”

For more information on ATDM and its programs visit: