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NSWC Crane hosts first United Kingdom Light Weapon Design Course for expeditionary professionals

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications | July 24, 2019

CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) hosted Expeditionary professionals for its first Light Weapon Design Course led by Cranfield University, a postgraduate university based in the United Kingdom that specializes in defense technology.

“This is the first time the Light Weapon Design has been brought to Crane,” says Adam Parsley, a Division Manager at NSWC Crane. “The Small Arms Weapon Systems Division was able to really enhance the learning experience for all the students with the access we have to weapons, ammunition, and the firing range.”

Parsley says the Light Weapon Design Course teaches the fundamentals of weapon operation and design.

“It focuses on the development of light weapons, or small arms, and their design and operation today,” says Parsley. “Through this course, our Expeditionary employees will better understand the reasoning behind design parameters – heat dissipation, durability, signature, recoil – and will have better concepts of how to design and test weapons.”

Chris Shaffer, an engineer at NSWC Crane, took part in Cranfield’s Light Weapon Design Course. Shaffer says these highly specialized courses from Cranfield help with workforce development.

“These courses offer Expeditionary professionals the opportunity to gain unique, hands-on experience,” says Shaffer. “They can take the engineering concepts, ideas, and skills they learned in undergrad and apply them to military devices. For these jobs in Expeditionary Warfare, the workforce needs specialized knowledge.”

Students from other commands traveled to NSWC Crane to participate in the course.

“The Light Weapon Design Course was fantastic,” says Erin Thompson, a Weapons Team Engineer at Marine Corps Systems Command. “I learned so much that will be directly applicable to my job and make me more effective for the Marine Corps. Chris Shaffer and the Crane team were great and the access we were afforded to the weapons was incredibly beneficial.”

“I thought the class was really well done,” says Elizabeth Palm, a Test Officer at US Army Cold Regions Test Center. “Adam and Chris did a great job coordinating with Cranfield to be able to offer so much hands-on time with a variety of weapons, especially the foreign ones. And of course any chance to get out on the range is always a good day!”

Cranfield University is in its second year of offering Masters of Science courses at Crane. The Light Weapon Design Course is the seventh Cranfield course since its inception.

“Cranfield offers courses in weaponry, munitions, sensors, and communications that most colleges and universities just don’t have,” says Parsley. “They also have packaged these courses in this condensed, one-week format that is optimal for the working professional who wants to pursue an advanced degree.”

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.