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NEWS | Oct. 20, 2022

Forging Community Partnerships: NSWCDD Hosts First Dahlgren Downtown Event

By Alan Black, Director, NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Forging community partnerships was the theme for the first “Dahlgren Downtown” event held by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) at The Old Silk Mill in Fredericksburg, Va., Oct. 14 with an open house to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., then a dinner for local area community leaders and the division’s leadership.

The evening saw a black tie dinner with more than 100 attendees ranging from local elected officials, community leaders, and division officials celebrating the Navy’s 247th birthday, NSWCDD’s 104th birthday and the 104 year partnership between the Navy and the region. Guests were treated to a show that merged imagery from the past with videos of major division events as well as animation highlighting the future of research at the division. The multimedia production was orchestrated by the division’s talented visual information team.

“The NSWCDD video was amazing,” said Ed Jones, president of the Dahlgren Heritage Museum and one of the evening’s speakers. “We are looking forward to next year.”

The dinner started at 7 p.m., everyone switched roles and the evening started. The program featured a dinner and a keynote by Commonwealth Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, Craig Crenshaw, who read a proclamation from Gov. Glenn Youngkin highlighting the base’s 104th birthday and another one highlighting the Navy’s 247th birthday. Crenshaw highlighted Virginia’s large military community and praised the partnerships built between the military and communities surrounding installations.

That sentiment was echoed by Dale Sisson, Jr., a member of the senior executive service and the NSWCDD technical director. Sisson touted the division’s 104 year history of partnering in the community and talked about the division’s hands on research and development focus.

“It was a fantastic, well executed, planned and coordinated event,” said Capt. Phil Mlynarski, NSWCDD commanding officer. “The attendance was great for both events and the displays gave everyone a chance to understand who we are and what we do.” The event was orchestrated to share the military traditions and history of the Navy with the community and the partnerships forged across the region.

 “It really told the Dahlgren story well, the displays showed not only the past but the future of the division and where it is headed,” said Curry Roberts, president of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance at University of Mary Washington, who attended the event. “They (displays) were informative and well produced, and conveyed the right information to us. A lot of people commented on how much more they learned about Dahlgren at the event.”

Overall those in attendance were appreciative of the opportunity to celebrate a night and honor Navy history and traditions.

“Everything was phenomenally executed and told a great story,” said Ryan Morning, president, American Veterans Advocacy Group, who attended the event. “It was a great event and the opportunities to network with others were incredible, I look forward to next year’s event.”