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NEWS | July 30, 2015

NSWC Indian Head EOD Technology Division Finalizes First CITE Partnership

By NSWC IHEODTD Public Affairs

INDIAN HEAD, Md. - Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) officially announced the command's first private-public partnership under the command's Center for Industrial and Technical Excellence (CITE) designation, July 30.


CITE is a statutory authority allowing public-private partnerships to perform work related to the command's core competencies. This designation allows the Navy to more efficiently maintain an organic energetics capability and manage under-utilized capacity.


"Under the four-year partnership with Chemring, our division may manufacture up to 11,000 double-base extruded N-5 propellant grains for the Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS). APOBS is used by Soldiers, Marines and allied ground troops to enable safe personnel transit through mine fields and razor wire protected zones," said NSWC IHEODTD Technical Director Ashley Johnson.


The APOBS propellant grain manufacturing is the first in a series of extruded double base propellant grain opportunities planned to be jointly manufactured by the partnership. Once the propellant grains are inspected, tested and certified, they will be provided to Chemring Ordnance for loading into APOBS. 


"We received CITE arsenal designation in May 2014, for our core competencies of energetics, ordnance, naval gun systems, EOD technologies, ordnance packaging, handling, storage and transportation and the technical expertise required to acquire, maintain and sustain these systems," said NSWC IHEODTD Deputy Technical Director Amy O'Donnell.


NSWC IHEODTD is the first Navy activity to hold both depot- and arsenal-level designation.


 "When industry or private organization approaches us, and if we have capacity that exists in our core mission areas, I can initiate a Business Case Analysis," said NSWC IHEODTD Commanding Officer Capt. Vincent Martinez. "If I can demonstrate it is going to be in the best interest of the U.S. Navy, I ask senior leadership to review that Business Case Analysis. Once permissions and negotiations are agreed on, we sign a Public-Private Partnership, or P-3, document to formalize the partnership."


President of Chemring Ordnance,  Mike Quesenberry, said the company was pleased to be the first industry to formalize a partnership with the warfare center under the CITE arsenal designation, for a critical component of the APOBS system. 


"We look forward to expanding this partnership into additional opportunities to jointly manufacture EDB propellant grains for other weapon systems," he said. "Chemring Ordnance takes great pride in providing quality products to the Warfighter and believes that this partnership is a win-win for all."


Johnson also emphasized that workforce safety will always remain the underlying priority for the command.


"Safety isn't negotiable; it is the most important aspect of what we do," he said. "Our partner in Chemring understands its importance, too, and we will never relinquish that as our responsibility."


NSWC IHEODTD is a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and is part of the Department of the Navy's science and engineering enterprise.  The Division is the leader in energetics, energetic materials, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) knowledge, tools, equipment.  Our Division focuses on the research, development, test, evaluation, in-service support, and disposal of energetics and energetic systems as well as works to provide Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen worldwide with the information and technological solutions they need to detect/locate, access, identify, render safe, recover/exploit, and dispose of both conventional and unconventional explosive threats.