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NEWS | April 18, 2024

STRATCOM General attends NSWC Crane groundbreaking for new Strategic Systems engineering infrastructure

By Sarah K. Oh, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new strategic missions facility on Monday, April 15. The Strategic Systems Engineering Facility (SSEF) will provide new integrated systems engineering and test capability and is planned to be completed at the end of 2025.

General Anthony Cotton, the Commander of United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), attended the groundbreaking ceremony at the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Center.

“NAVSEA’s investment at NSWC Crane with the SSEF will provide crucial capabilities to help maximize the effectiveness of the sea-based leg of the strategic deterrence triad, the most survivable leg of the triad.  The deterrence and combat capability USSTRATCOM provides is the bedrock of all operations and foundational to national and international security,” said Gen. Cotton.

Ms. Kelly Lee, SSP’s Director of Plans and Programs, speaks at the SSEF groundbreaking.The new SSEF capability serves the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs’ (SSP) mission of sea based strategic deterrence.

 “NSWC Crane’s investment in infrastructure and people highlights the unwavering support to the development of SSP’s critical sea based deterrence capabilities that we have come to rely on in our 65 years of partnership,” said Ms. Kelly Lee, SSP’s Director of Plans and Programs. “As SSP embarks on the modernization of our strategic weapons system and development of new capabilities, the SSEF will be one more tool in our toolkit to ensure we are providing decisive combat power to the nation and our allies.”    

Dr. Martin Irvine, Jr., SES, the Executive Director for Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Centers, attended at the groundbreaking.

“The technical advantage the U.S. has is being challenged at a rapid pace,” said Dr. Irvine.  “To outpace these challenges, strategic investments like this one must continue to be made across the research enterprise. This facility will provide foundational technological capabilities that are crucial to maintaining our Navy’s advantage for generations to come.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are managing the construction of the new SSEF capability.

“This project exemplifies our unwavering commitment to provide the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division with the facilities needed to put the best technology in the hands of our Nation’s warfighters.,” said Col. L. Reyn Mann, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District Commander. “The US Army Corps of Engineers strives to safely construct projects on time, within budget, and I look forward to delivering this project for one of our most important partners.”

SSEF supports the Department of Defense and Navy’s priorities of ensuring research and development infrastructure through revitalizing physical infrastructure and USSTRATCOM’s mission for system level integration.  

Dr. Angela Lewis, SES, the Technical Director at NSWC Crane, speaks at the SSEF groundbreaking. “NSWC Crane is nationally recognized for providing 65 years of engineering, support, and expertise for Strategic Systems Programs,” said Dr. Angela Lewis, SES, Technical Director at NSWC Crane. “State of the art facilities are a necessary foundation to advance strategic systems and to provide warfighters the best capabilities. SSEF enables the future success of providing long-lasting strategic missions support.”

SSEF is an addition to the growing suite of investments and capabilities supporting various mission sets across SSP’s portfolio of missions. Other facilities include the development of the Missile Technology Evaluation Facility (MTEF), the Under Water Launch Test facility supporting underwater hypersonics launch capabilities development, the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office (JHTO) Systems Engineering Field Activity (SEFA), and Innovation Capability and Modernization (ICAM) SEFA.

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 Electromagnetic 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