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NEWS | May 29, 2024

Pier at NUWC Division Newport’s AUTEC range updated, military quarters built

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the reopening of a pier at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC), a detachment of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport located on Andros Island in the Bahamas, was held on May 8.

In recent years, Pier 1902 had sustained advanced structural deterioration, resulting in live load reductions that severely impacted the ability for AUTEC personnel to carry out daily operations. Upgrades to the small-craft pier include shore power, potable water, a fire protection system, lighting, mooring hardware and a foam-filled fender system.

This enhances the ability of AUTEC personnel to perform essential research, development and test and evaluation of war-fighting technology, which strengthen the undersea capabilities of the U.S. Navy. The $28.7 million project was completed largely on budget and well ahead of schedule. It was originally slated to be finished in July 2024, but work was completed in February.

Guest speakers at the ceremony included Rick Quade, deputy for Test and Evaluation (T&E) for the Department of the Navy; Rear Adm. Lore Aguayo, commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic; and Division Newport’s Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings.

“It’s always nice to see a project finish efficiently and ahead of schedule so the people here can continue their important work to help maintain the mission of the Navy,” Hennings said. “The research, development, test and evaluation conducted at AUTEC are critical to warfighter readiness in support of the full spectrum of maritime warfare.”

Toward the end of the proceedings, Hennings presented Chief Timothy Hamilton, an active-duty Sailor stationed at AUTEC, with a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his work to improve the quality of the life as the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) volunteer event coordinator at the detachment.

In addition to the reopening of Pier 1902, AUTEC recently completed two other projects high-profile projects. The first were upgrades to the Entry Control Facility at the main gate to enhance Antiterrorism Force Protection and physical security measures, a $5.5 million project. The second was the construction of a $30.2 million two-story housing complex for 174 military personnel.

Eric Spigel, senior scientific technical manager and head of the Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Department at Division Newport, was in attendance for the ceremony and applauded those involved with getting the pier project completed ahead of schedule.

“The new pier is a critical component to our ability to support the test and evaluation and fleet training required for our Navy to deploy with the most capable warfighting readiness and systems to defeat our adversaries,” Spigel said. “The new housing quarters allows swarms of Sailors to rest well before preparing to conduct wartime exercises to enhance readiness, and the new security gate will help ensure that only the required personnel can obtain access to the base and all the sensitive information about our Navy’s testing and readiness.”

NUWC Division Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 largest employers in Rhode Island, employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as well as talented business, finance, logistics and other support experts who wish to be at the forefront of undersea research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this site- and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport