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NEWS | June 24, 2022

Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering tours Division Newport on June 21

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport welcomed Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu for discussions on the organization’s operations and tours of some of its facilities on June 21.

In this role, Shyu serves as the Chief Technology Officer for the Department of Defense (DoD), mandated with ensuring the technological superiority of the U.S. military, and is responsible for the research, development and prototyping activities across the DoD enterprise.

Throughout the visit, Shyu had the opportunity to see some of the “really fascinating” undersea warfare technology developed by Division Newport.

“I was very impressed by what I saw,” Shyu said. “The quality of analysis, and the integration of engineering with the user’s perspective in such a great facility. Undersea is such a critical domain of military power in which we absolutely must maintain dominance. My question was, how do we help them accelerate this capability?”

Shyu saw firsthand how Division Newport exemplifies this in its role as the technical steward in the undersea domain. The visit opened with an overview of Division Newport provided by Technical Director Ron Vien and Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings.

Brad Neff, Deputy Director, Undersea Warfare Division (OPNAV N97B), Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Warfare Systems) assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), followed by describing how Division Newport fits into the greater undersea warfare portfolio.

A number of key topics were broached throughout the visit, including science and technology roadmaps, torpedo advancements and investments, environment and sensing, and the workforce development pipeline.

Stops on the tour included the Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Laboratory, as well as the Submarine Ocean Interface Test Facilities.

This included descriptions by Chris DelMastro, head of the Undersea Warfare Platforms and Payload Integration Department, and Jim Broadmeadow, head of the Ocean Interfaces Division, of some of the payload launcher systems on-site at Division Newport.

These to-scale submarine land-based testing facilities allow Division Newport engineers and scientists to evaluate the performance of existing and developmental payloads and weapons systems in a laboratory environment that is truly submarine platform representative. These facilities ensure the fleet has the weapon, launch and handling systems  it needs and that they operate every time as they are intended, but also provide tremendous cost-saving benefits to the Navy by leveraging this land-based integration and test infrastructure.

The visit concluded with a tour around the UUV Lab, where Shyu heard about some of the projects underway. These included both medium-sized and long-duration UUV technology efforts, as well as other efforts underway with unmanned undersea payloads and buoys.

“We leveraged the best of academia and industry, along with the government’s brightest minds to advance the state of the art in UUVs,” DelMastro said. “The Navy has made a lot of investments over the years and we are the stewards of those investments to transition capabilities to the fleet.”

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 largest employers in Rhode Island, employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as well as talented business, finance, logistics and other support experts who wish to be at the forefront of undersea research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this site- https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NUWC-Newport/Career-Opportunities/ and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.