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USNA Midshipmen and ATRC Student-Sailors Tour NSWC Dahlgren

By NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications | April 27, 2017

DAHLGREN - "The Navy has both a tradition and a future and we look with pride and confidence in both directions."


These words - spoken by Adm. Arleigh Burke at the 1961 U.S. Naval Academy change of command while he was Chief of Naval Operations - are applied every day by the Navy's students, Sailors, and civilian scientists and engineers.


For example, U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen as well as Sailors from the Aegis Training and Readiness Center proved that Burke's adage applies to technology during their tours at NSWC Dahlgren Division on April 14.


Since 2008, Midshipmen have taken an annual field trip to NSWCDD to see new and emerging technologies they may work with at some point in their future careers as commissioned officers. It's become a tradition and this year, the tour included technologies and technical programs related to directed energy, lasers, rapid platform integration, electromagnetic railgun, and the Potomac River Test Range gun line.


NSWCDD scientists and engineers discussed programs and various aspects of electrical and computer engineering, including systems the Midshipmen would be interacting with as Navy and Marine Corps officers.


At the Naval Academy, Midshipmen acquire the fundamental tools to sense, measure, communicate, interface, and process energy (power, light, or wireless) and information (data, signal processing, and embedded systems) in their electrical and computer engineering courses. Their professors believe that the greatest depth of learning happens as students observe and understand how the theories and concepts taught in the classroom are applied to real-world engineering problems.


Consequently, the U.S. Naval Academy and NSWCDD have developed another tradition - an internship program. Annually, five to six Midshipmen work at Dahlgren on a three-week internship.


At one point - as Midshipmen departed the command's electromagnetic railgun facility - Sailors from Aegis Training and Readiness Center (ATRC) arrived for the same railgun tour and brief. The ATRC student-Sailors attend courses that provide them with the knowledge, ability, and skill to operate and maintain the Aegis Combat System.


NSWCDD is a premier research and development center that serves as a specialty site for weapon system integration. The command's unique ability to rapidly introduce new technology into complex warfighting systems is based on its longstanding competencies in science and technology, research and development, and test and evaluation.