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NEWS | Nov. 14, 2023

NSWC IHD Prepares for Modernization

By NSWC Indian Head Division Public Affairs

After developing the Energetics Comprehensive Modernization Plan (ECMP) to prepare the Navy’s arsenal infrastructure to meet wartime requirements, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) hosted a construction and architecture/engineering Industry Day for contractors on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at the College of Southern Maryland’s Velocity Center.

More than 50 organizations interested in doing business with the warfare center attended and listened to briefs from the commanding officer, a procurement specialist counselor from Maryland’s APEX Accelerator, and the ECMP program manager.

With more than 500 infrastructure modernization projects planned, the ECMP will improve the Navy’s ability to fulfill near-term demand for munitions, be in position to meet surge and replenishment requirements, and secure its future. Through these efforts, the arsenal will significantly increase its ability to deliver critical munitions components to the fleet while also enabling next-generation munitions capabilities.

Speaking to current and prospective contractors about what exactly the warfare center provides to the nation’s defense, NSWC IHD’s commanding officer Capt. Steve Duba said, “A lot of people don’t know what we do at Indian Head Division.” The 130-year old installation on the peninsula along the Potomac River began as a proving ground for naval guns and has been a significant provider of explosives, propellants and energetic materials for their application in ordnance and propulsion systems through every conflict the nation has been involved in since 1890. “There is literally nowhere in the country that does all the things done at Indian Head Division,” said Duba. “And that makes us really special.”

The warfare center, located in Charles County, Maryland, has been heavily involved in the ordnance manufacturing business since it’s designation as the Naval Powder Factory leading into the First World War. NSWC IHD has a rich history of advancing state of the art and providing comparative advantage to naval munitions and naval warfighting capability.

The United States is at a critical point in its history as it urgently sustains and strengthens deterrence with the People’s Republic of China while also collaborating with Allies to counter unprovoked aggression around the world, from Russia in Ukraine and Hamas in Israel.

“The Department of Defense is being asked to do something that we haven’t done since before the global war on terror—and that's getting back to an environment of deterrence,” command modernization Project Manager Jim Sherman said.  “For NSWC IHD, that means continuing to advance the readiness, capacity, and capability of naval munitions. The Navy’s commitment to this modernization plan provides the foundation to achieving this.”

NSWC Indian Head Division not only manufactures ordnance, they are tasked with delivering the full spectrum of energetics solutions from research and development to test and evaluation, through product delivery, fleet support and the final phase of demilitarization and explosive ordnance disposal.

Attendees at the event received presentations from Duba and Sherman, as well as Pamela Minor, procurement specialist counselor with the Maryland APEX Accelerator, which provides small business counseling to Maryland-based small businesses in the government contracting arena.

After the formal presentations participants met with several key leaders from the warfare center including the command’s Director of Infrastructure, Greg Simmons.

“We have greatly expanded the opportunity to do business with Indian Head Division,” Simmons said. “Our design efforts, meaning the architectural and engineering work taking place this year and next year are feeding the construction efforts we’ll be taking on over the next decade. We need new business partners, and we’ll need more partners than we ever have before.”

“That is why we invited you here today,” Sherman added. “We have over 500 modernization projects planned between now and 2032. This effort is going to make a generational impact. Not only for Charles County, but for southern Maryland, the state of Maryland and the entire nation.”