NORCO, Calif. –
Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, spent a full day at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Corona Division Aug. 21 to get a first-hand look into the command’s leading role in independent assessment, data analytics, measurement science and fleet live, virtual, constructive (LVC) training.
The visit marked Grady’s first time to the warfare center since taking the helm of Fleet Forces Command in May and comes on the heels of multiple recent flag officer visits that have showcased how the warfare center, focusing on data analytics, is helping the Navy revolutionize readiness to increase lethality – an imperative to operate in the new global strategic environment.
“To be lethal, we must be ready…. Readiness is our business,” Grady wrote in his Message to the Fleet in May. And that’s at the center of Corona’s mission.
“Corona was high on my list during the start-up of my tour as Fleet Forces Commander,” Grady said. “As I’m aligning lines of effort for Fleet Forces Command, I’m asking how do we revolutionize readiness, how do we deliver more lethality. Everything that you do here contributes to that. The work you do is here is really important.”
Grady said data touches everyone in the Navy in some way – either a producer, user, analyzer, communicator or decision maker – and is key to optimizing readiness.
“Data is the lifeblood of a digital Navy,” Grady said. “Our data is a corporate asset and has immense value in predictive and prescriptive analytics.”
The Navy established the Material Readiness Database (MRDB) at Corona in 1988 as the authoritative data source for readiness metrics, providing near real-time readiness assessment to fleet commanders. With exponential growth in the last decade, the Navy has added more ship and submarine systems to MRDB each year, nearing some 500 systems today. As the aggregator and keeper of Navy readiness data, Corona helps add transparency and clarity to the Navy’s metrics so the fleet can get the most lethality from every readiness dollar.
As indicated by MRDB’s growth, the warfare center’s senior civilian says the significant demand for data comes from the faster and better decisions data analytics enables.
“Corona’s been in the data business since the 1950s and the repository of readiness data for more than 30 years,” said Dianne Costlow, SES, NSWC Corona technical director. “We know what data is coming in now, what’s anticipated on the horizon and we’re building the talent and infrastructure plans to support the Navy of the future.”
The admiral said a digital Navy combines our physical strength with digital agility to quicken our pace, improve mission outcomes, accelerate learning, reduce costs, and improve the productivity and satisfaction of our people.
“It’s time to accelerate our momentum and move the Navy forward on this digital journey,” Grady said.
Grady saw examples of how the warfare center’s multifaceted mission is helping speed decisions to increase readiness and lethality for the Navy, either with performance and readiness assessment, metrology and calibration, range systems engineering capability or with strategic initiatives to meet future demand on the horizon.
The Fleet Forces Commander also got an early look at emerging projects from Corona’s Naval Innovative Science and Engineering projects, such as approaches to cataloguing and integrating the Navy’s vast data repositories, lattice-based encryption for quantum computing of the future, as well as new capability with automated missile telemetry analysis that reduces processing time from about an hour to less than a minute.
Corona’s metrology engineers demonstrated how their patented calibration management system can be leveraged to add additional insights to Navy leaders using data analytics for predictive effects.
One of the key areas the admiral focused on was Corona’s support for the LVC training network for Fleet Forces as part of the Navy Continuous Training Environment. Fleet Forces tasked Corona in 2017 as program manager for LVC, leveraging Corona’s decades of expertise in range systems engineering for the Navy and Marine Corps.
The warfare center’s top officer said his team is well-positioned to support Grady’s mission to man, train and equip the fleet.
“We are one team working across the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Capt. Rick Braunbeck, NSWC Corona’s commanding officer. “We are evolving our capabilities with data analytics and assessment to accelerate warfighting decisions to dominate the threat we face – so our Navy is ready and lethal when we need to be. Adm. Grady has voiced what the fleet needs and we’re working expeditiously to deliver it.”
NSWC Corona, a field activity of Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) Command, is headquartered in Norco, Calif., and has a workforce of more than 3,300 scientists, engineers, contractors and support staff and annual business of more than $450 million each year.