Indian Head, Md. —
The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division’s (NSWC IHEODTD) Velocity Lab was abuzz with blown-up maps, an intense cross-fire of ideas, critical discussion about future warfighting needs, and ways energetics can improve naval capabilities during the command’s second wargame pilot, Jan. 22 and 23. The exercise was organized by the command’s Technology Scouting, Forecasting and Influencing (TF) Team.
The event was kicked off by NSWC IHEODTD Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Kraft, who invited the players to enjoy and take this experience seriously as they develop solutions for the future warfighters they serve. The 10 scientists and engineers — two from each of the command’s technical departments — organized into cross-department teams, with one member from each department addressing the problems presented in the tactical situations.
“Different departments have different skillsets,” said Gerry Pangilinan, event organizer and science and technology lead for the Research, Development, Test and Engineering Department. “Our command is very much a hub of knowledge and expertise, so we tried to create teams with as many diverse technical knowledge and viewpoints as possible. In addition to having two representatives from each department, we tried to make sure every department sent over a senior employee as well as a comparatively new employee. The difference in ages can be as important as the diversity of the groups’ expertise.”
The resulting concepts included both energetics-based improvements to existing systems and systems that are being purchased and fielded. The teams also proposed new ideas to expand the capabilities available to warfighters while fitting within the constraints of expeditionary operations where military forces have to bring everything with them within limited capacity.
Wanda Agens, a Systems Integration Department employee and wargame participant, said the event was a tremendous learning experience. “I truly appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with such a variety of subject matter experts and the warfighter. There was such passion from some of the folks on our team; it truly was awesome to experience,” Agens said. “The games were an eye-opener as to our command’s capabilities, the variety of challenges to consider with the ‘problem’ presented, and how we came together with the warfighter to achieve solutions.”
NSWC IHEODTD — a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy's Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics, and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit, and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.