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NEWS | Oct. 13, 2023

NSWC Crane engineer focuses on developing cutting-edge electromagnetic solutions

By Sarah K. Oh, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

Demostenes Balbuena Garcia began his career at NSWC Crane more than a decade ago. In 2009, he was starting his Navy career focused on the development of test facilities for countermeasure systems against improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

“This role [working with IEDs] exposed me to the intricacies of creating state-of-the-art testing environments crucial to our national defense efforts,” said Balbuena Garcia.

Balbuena Garcia said his professional career was driven by a deep commitment to advancing the fields of engineering, defense, and public service. He grew up in Puerto Rico, where he earned an electrical engineering degree, and he learned about NSWC Crane from a university job fair.

“I was drawn to the organization's mission and the potential to contribute to national security,” said Balbuena Garcia. “I pursued the opportunity and was fortunate to be selected for a position, which marked the beginning of my career with NSWC Crane. Since then, I have been dedicated to the organization's mission and have had the privilege of working on various projects that align with my expertise and passion. The opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects, tackle complex challenges, and collaborate with teams of dedicated professionals is inherently motivating.”

Balbuena Garcia said Hispanic Heritage Month is significant to him for many reasons.

“It provides an opportunity to celebrate and reflect upon my diverse Hispanic heritage,” said Balbuena Garcia. “My background encompasses various Latin American cultures, including Puerto Rican and Dominican, among others, creating a vibrant blend of traditions, languages, and customs. One of the favorite traditions that I hold dear is the celebration of family and community. Hispanic culture places a strong emphasis on the importance of close-knit families and the bonds of friendship. Gathering with loved ones for festive meals, music, and dancing is a cherished tradition that brings joy and a sense of togetherness.”

He said Hispanic Heritage Month honors contributions made while celebrating customs.  

“Music and dance are integral to Hispanic culture, and I have a deep appreciation for the lively rhythms of salsa, merengue, bachata, and more. Another treasured tradition is the culinary diversity of Caribbean cuisine. Whether it's savoring the flavors of a traditional Puerto Rican mofongo, enjoying a Dominican sancocho, or indulging in a Mexican mole, the richness of Caribbean food is a constant delight. Overall, Hispanic Heritage Month serves as a reminder of the beauty and depth of Hispanic culture and the rich tapestry of traditions that have been passed down through generations. It's a time to honor the contributions of Hispanics to our society and celebrate the unique customs and flavors that make Hispanic heritage so special.”

Balbuena Garcia’s career at NSWC Crane spans across many different technical areas; he has also worked as an engineer for Strategic Systems Programs, aerial unmanned vehicles projects, and on electromagnetic spectrum technologies for the experimentation event Silent Swarm.

Engineering is a challenging career path, said Balbuena Garcia, but it is also quite rewarding. He encourages those pursuing a career in the field to practice life-long learning.

“Embarking on a career in engineering is a journey filled with boundless opportunities and challenges. Whether you're fresh out of college or transitioning into the engineering field, there's a world of discovery and innovation awaiting you,” he said. “Never stop learning. Engineering is a dynamic field, and continuous learning is essential. Stay curious and seek opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills. Don't be afraid to tackle challenging projects or take on responsibilities that push your boundaries. It's through overcoming these challenges that you'll grow and develop your problem-solving abilities. Whether it's pursuing advanced degrees, attending workshops, or simply reading about emerging technologies, a commitment to learning will set you apart.”

He said he enjoys working at NSWC Crane because it allows him the opportunity to meaningfully impact national security and defense.

“Knowing that my work directly supports the safety and capabilities of our warfighters is a powerful motivator. NSWC Crane offers an environment of continuous learning and innovation. The institution encourages employees to push the boundaries of what's possible in defense and technology. It's an atmosphere where creativity is not only welcomed but actively fostered. Additionally, the culture of innovation, collaboration, and mentorship at NSWC Crane aligns with my values and career aspirations, making it an ideal place for me to grow and contribute.”

He has learned that in his current role as Branch Manager he is passionate about managing people.

“I have found my true passion: providing leadership, fostering team development, and supporting the invaluable men and women who serve as our nation's warfighters. It's not just a job; it's a calling, and I am honored to play a role in ensuring the safety and effectiveness of our military. As I look ahead, I am excited to continue this journey of growth, both personally and professionally, as I strive to make a lasting impact on my team and contribute to the defense and security of our great nation.”

Garcia looks forward to continuing career growth and purpose at NSWC Crane.

“It has been an incredibly rewarding journey filled with opportunities to contribute to national security and innovation. The future of my role at NSWC Crane holds exciting opportunities for growth and impact.”

About NSWC Crane | NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.
Join Our Team! NAVSEA employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce - from students and entry level employees to experienced professionals and individuals with disabilities. We support today's sophisticated Navy and Marine Corps ships, aircraft, weapon systems and computer systems. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, IT and cyber specialists, as well as trade and other support professionals to ensure the U.S. Navy can protect and defend America. Please contact NSWC Crane Human Resources at