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NEWS | May 14, 2021

Under Secretary of the Navy James F. Geurts visits NSWC Port Hueneme Division

By Carol Lawrence NSWC Port Hueneme Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) hosted The Honorable James F. Geurts, currently performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Navy, May 7 as he toured facilities and received updates on programs that advance capabilities for the U.S. Navy’s future force.

Geurts met with NSWC PHD’s Acting Technical Director Michael Horton, as well as with leaders of the command’s major departments and offices. The full-day visit also included Capt. Jeffery Chism, commanding officer, Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), and Cmdr. William Filip, principal assistant manager for the Navy’s Unmanned Maritime Systems program.

“It was truly an honor to brief Under Secretary Geurts on the exceptional work our team is doing to keep our Navy as the world’s supreme naval fighting force,” Horton said. “He was excited to see the advancements we have achieved, and said at the end of the tour that he cannot wait to return to see more.”

The under secretary toured NSWC PHD’s Fathomwerx Lab, the site of the Ventura Tech Bridge and one of the Navy’s Naval Agility (NavalX) Office’s network of nationwide Tech Bridges. Geurts established NavalX in 2019, with Tech Bridges as regional relationship-based networks that connect Navy and U.S. Marine Corps facilities, private industry and academia to innovate new ideas, products and solutions for the warfighter. Fathomwerx Lab is a collaborative space on the Port of Hueneme property co-managed by NSWC PHD, the Ventura County Economic Development Collaborative, the Port of Hueneme and Camarillo, California-based Matter Labs.

In addition, Geurts visited an NSWC PHD facility that will house the Navy’s new Extra-Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles and where technicians will test and evaluate them prior to deployment. Geurts toured the Navy’s Unmanned Surface Vehicle Ranger, and Filip updated him on other vehicles in the Navy’s unmanned systems program.

The tour also included NSWC PHD’s Directed Energy Systems Integration Laboratory, a facility under construction on NBVC where NSWC PHD engineers will collaborate with industry to test and evaluate Navy laser weapons. Finally, Geurts toured the command’s Surface Warfare Engineering Facility, where he learned more about the Self Defense Test Ship and its control center.

At the conclusion of his tour, Geurts acknowledged the ongoing hard work and dedication of the NSWC PHD team.

“I was inspired by the strong collaborative efforts taking place in the workforce, their mission focus and their sense of urgency,” he said.

NSWC PHD is one of 80-plus commands at NBVC and one of 10 warfare centers under Naval Sea Systems Command. NSWC PHD provides all engineering, test and evaluation, installation, integration, maintenance and product support for Navy surface ship combat weapon systems. NBVC includes NBVC Point Mugu, NSWC PHD, the Point Mugu Sea Range and San Nicolas Island. NBVC serves the Pacific Fleet as an all-in-one mobilization site, deep water sea port, railhead and airfield.