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Calvert Marine Museum Partners With Dominion

Published: 07 Dec 2009

Calvert County, Maryland -

The Calvert Marine Museum is extending its educational programs across the country, thanks to a 2009 Dominion Education Partnership Grant. The museum’s distance learning programs give teachers world-wide the ability to bring real time educational experiences into their classrooms by using point-to-point video conferencing via the internet.

The program began over a year ago with support from Comcast and an equipment grant from Polycom. “The program was going fairly well,” reported Deputy Director Sherrod Sturrock, “but we were frustrated about getting the word out. The $10,000 grant from Dominion has proven an ideal partnership to help us reach new audiences.” Sturrock further explained that the distance learning programs take the museum’s themes and expands them to fit a wider audience in diverse locations. “We offer programs for grades 2 - 6 on fossils, Captain John Smith and his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay, lighthouses, invasive species, and the environmental importance of the estuary and marsh.”

Dominion has a presence in nine states across the country, including Maryland. Those communities have been invited to sign up for “free” distance learning programs, subsidized by the grant. This fall, the museum provided 29 programs to schools across the state of Virginia. More are being scheduled in other states over the winter and spring.

“This is what I call a win/win,” said Sturrock. “We are able to do more programs, Dominion is supporting their communities, and the schools are receiving a quality product at no cost to them.”

For more information on the distance learning program at the Calvert Marine Museum, call Sherrod Sturrock at 410-326-2042, ext. 32.


New M.A. in Procurement and Acquisition Management Coming to Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC)

Published: 07 Dec 2009

California, Maryland -

A new Master of Arts in Procurement and Acquisition Management and a companion Graduate Certificate in Government Contracting will be starting at SMHEC on March 20, 2010, located at 44219 Airport Road, California, Maryland.

According to Dr. Carl Richards, Regional Director for the program at SMHEC, the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Regional Center is serving 3,000 acquisition employees in the area.   DAU has shown much interest in this degree and certificate.

On August 27, 2009 the NAVAIR Acquisition Community hosted a 280 attendee conference at SMHEC, and at that event Rear Admiral Steven Eastburg, Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and Assistant Commander for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command stated that “a large swath of NAVAIR needs this degree.”  

According to Dr. Mel Powell, Executive Director of SMHEC, for the past several years the number of contracting and other procurement officials retiring from the Federal Government has been substantial. The retirement factor, along with recently enacted legislation requiring contracting personnel to obtain advanced degrees and/or certification, has created a critical need within the Department of Defense, civilian government agencies, and commercial enterprises for qualified contracting managers. These managers are needed to direct the acquisition of a broad range of hardware, software, and support systems essential for mission accomplishment.   

Since 1987, Webster University has offered the Master of Arts in Procurement and Acquisitions Management (PROC) as one of the original programs brought to the Washington, DC Region when Webster University opened its doors in the area, according to Dr. Cynthia Shoemaker, University Coordinator at SMHEC. This Master of Arts program has been an integral part of the Webster University’s School of Business and Technology because of its importance not only to governmental officials in the contracting area, but to those businesses and organizations that do work for and with the federal government. 
The Graduate Certificate in Government Contracting was developed and first offered in 2004 as part of the Procurement and Acquisitions Management degree. The Certificate program assists students in meeting the functional training requirements for professional certification in contracting as mandated by the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA). It has four courses that are the same as four courses in the M.A. degree, plus two additional courses. At the same time, the Certificate program allows students to gain academic credit from Webster University while gaining Level I and II work certification from DAU, without having to continue on to gain a masters degree.

The MA in Procurement and Acquisitions Management program curriculum entails 36 semester hours of credit that include courses in the following areas: Procurement and Acquisitions Management; Acquisitions Law or Government Procurement Law; Operations Management; Pricing; Negotiations; Logistics; Integrated Studies in Procurement and Acquisitions; Management plus five elective courses selected from those offered in the Procurement and Acquisitions Management major or other management or appropriate courses.  Up to four courses may be transferred in from other institutions of higher education with MBA or Management Masters degrees at SMHEC.

  For more information on the program check http://www.webster.edu/ or visit http://www.smhec.org/. To be put on an email list for Information Sessions contact Dr. Cynthia Shoemaker at 301-737-2500 ext. 204 or cshoemaker@smhec.org. The Southern Maryland Higher Education Center was established by legislation in 1994. Over 90 academic programs are currently offered at SMHEC’s high-tech, centrally-located campus, providing the growing workforce in Southern Maryland with unprecedented access to higher education opportunities.


St. Mary's College of Maryland The Sixth Annual Southern Maryland Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast

Published: 07 Dec 2009

St. Mary's City, Maryland -

"Remember the Titans”

Coach to Speak

The sixth annual Southern Maryland Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast will be held Monday, Jan. 18, 2009, in the Great Room of the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) Campus Center. Breakfast is at 7 a.m., and the program begins at 8 a.m. Tickets are $7 and are available at the door. For more information, contact Marc Apter at 301-904-3690.

This year’s prayer breakfast features William Yoast, a high school football coach whose story was part of the 2000 blockbuster hit, “Remember the Titans,” starring Denzel Washington. Yoast, who is white, served as assistant coach alongside head coach Herman Boone, who is black, in the early 1970s when T.C. Williams High School was first integrated.

The event will also feature guest speaker John W. Franklin, the associate director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, set to open 2015. Franklin has worked on African American, African, and African Diaspora programs for the past 22 years at the Smithsonian. He serves on the boards of the Reginald Lewis Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture and the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies.

The St. Peter Claver Catholic Church Gospel Choir will also perform during the morning’s events.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland’s “monument school” commemorating the state’s first capital, SMCM is the state’s only public honors college, offering “an Ivy-level College with a public-school price tag” (Newsweek).

Some 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities, and an SAT average for student admissions of 1848. The school’s waterfront campus along the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2009 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Co-ed champions.



TPP Member Sabre Systems, Inc. Welcomes James Gibbs

Published: 07 Dec 2009

Warminster, PA -

Sabre Systems, Inc. welcomes James Gibbs as Executive Director for the Census R&D 2014 program, which was recently awarded to the company’s National Capital Region Office (NCRO).  Jim will be responsible for all operational aspects and growth activities under this five-year task order contract. 

Jim has worked more than thirty-one years in the Demographic Directorate of the U.S. Census Bureau.  He has consulted, designed and managed surveys, censuses and other data collection activities in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  Jim has also participated in projects sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State, the World Bank, the United Nations, the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and developing countries throughout the world.  Most recently, Jim directed the acquisition and processing of all demographic administrative records provided by other Federal agencies to the Census Bureau and served as its Demographic Data Custodian.

Jim received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Alabama. He has also completed coursework toward a Ph.D at the University of Notre Dame.

Founded in 1989, Sabre Systems, Inc. is a professional services company headquartered in

Warminster, Pa. The company maintains offices across the country including in California,

Maryland, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia.


Bowhead Science and Technology, LLC Awarded Contract from Naval Air Warfare Center – Aircraft Division (NAWCAD)

Published: 24 Nov 2009

Washington DC -

Bowhead Science and Technology, LLC (BST) announced today that it has won a contract award to provide program management support to the Program Manager, Air (PMA) 268 Navy Unmanned Combat Air System (N-UCAS) Program Office.  The work for this contract will take place in Patuxent River, Maryland and has a potential value of $14 million.

The N-UCAS program is charged with maturing technologies for an aircraft carrier (CV) suitable, low observable (LO) relevant, unmanned air system in support of a potential follow-on major defense acquisition program.  By Fiscal Year 2013, the U.S. Navy plans to achieve UCAS CV demonstration; achieve hybrid probe and drogue (USN style) and boom/receptacle (USAF style) Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) demonstration; and evaluate and identify technologies supporting future Naval Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance and strike capability requirements.  CV landings, catapult launches, and AAR demonstrations will be first-of-kind achievements for an unmanned air system.

BST provides a wide range of technical expertise in weapon system program management, engineering, financial, configuration, test and evaluation, logistics, information technology, communications, operations management and administrative support.  The company has proven capabilities supporting major aviation Acquisition Category (ACAT) programs for the Naval Air Systems Command, as well as support for unmanned air systems for the Navy and Marine Corps.  L-3 Communications/D.P. Associates, Inc. (L-3/DPA) and System Planning Corporation (SPC) are teamed with BST for this effort.  L-3/DPA provides engineering and acquisition program support services, and training systems analysis, design, development and implementation.   SPC specializes in supporting defense, national security, and domestic preparedness programs, providing innovative solutions through advanced technology development.

“BST and our teammates are proud to continue our program management support to the Naval Air Systems Command and PMA 268,” said Richard Ryan, BST president.  “We have been supporting the Naval Air Systems Command for over 10 years and the N-UCAS program for three years. We look forward to continuing our support to the N-UCAS team in this leading edge technology development effort.”

BST is a subsidiary of Bowhead Technical and Professional Services, Inc. (BTPS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation of Barrow, Alaska, an Alaska Native Corporation. BST will manage this effort from their office in Lexington Park, Maryland. Bowhead companies have become renowned industry leaders in providing innovative and value-added business solutions.


Mattis Tells Directed Energy Personnel To Focus On Defeating IEDs

Published: 18 Nov 2009

Dalgren, VA - Researchers and officials who will work out of the new Naval Directed Energy Center at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division should focus their efforts on defeating improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the No. 1 killer of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, said recently.

Mattis, who spoke recently at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new center, exhorted those who will be stationed there to find a way to prematurely detonate IEDs, because “defensive measures alone are not going to work.“

“Adding armor to vehicles is ultimately self-limiting,“ he said.

“We've made vehicles so heavy we can't even drive them in Afghanistan, for example.“

Even jammers are a “defensive tactic,“ he added, and “war is not won by remaining on the defensive.“

“Ultimately, we're going to have to have the ability to prematurely detonate an IED,“ he said. “We cannot permit the enemy to determine the time and place of detonation of their weapon of choice.“

Such a capability would turn IEDs against their owners, Mattis continued, which will “create havoc amongst the enemy.“

David Stoudt, distinguished engineer for directed energy at NSWCDD, told reporters following the event that the center has “been very active“ in seeking to defeat IEDs in the field since 2003, and some capabilities have been deployed, although he declined to be more specific for security reasons.

“I will say that we have developed systems and we have deployed systems,“ he said. “We've deployed teams into combat operations -- civilians that work side-by-side with Marines and soldiers countering the IED problem with success. We have deployed systems in the various theaters and we are actively engaged in trying to deploy them into other theaters.“

He said the center has taken a number of different approaches to the problem, usually starting with a commercial off-the-shelf product that can be used quickly in the field, and then developing that concept over time into a more tactical package that is smaller and more rugged.

Researchers are also trying to find ways to detect IEDs better, although “it's a tough problem,“ Stoudt said.

“It's kind of the cat-and-mouse,“ he said. “As soon as you're good at detecting it one way, they'll find a way to counter that.“ -- Dan Taylor


Pax Partnership, SMCM Host Jacques Gansler in Defense Acquisition Presentation

Published: 12 Jan 2010

Pax Partnership, SMCM Host Jacques Gansler in Defense Acquisition Presentation

The Patuxent Partnership announced today that it is co-sponsoring with the Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland a presentation by The Honorable Jacques Gansler, Chair of the Defense Science Board Task Force on the 21st Century Defense Industry on the afternoon of Thursday, January 28, 2010. At the University of Maryland, Dr. Gansler is a Professor and holds the Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise in the School of Public Policy. He is the Director of both the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise and the Sloan Biotechnology Industry Center.  Additionally, he is the Glenn L. Martin Institute Fellow of Engineering at the A. James Clarke School of Engineering, an Affiliate Faculty member at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a Senior Fellow at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership.

   “We are delighted that Dr. Gansler accepted the Center’s and The Patuxent Partnership’s invitation to speak,” said Bonnie Green, Executive Director for the Partnership. “Dr. Gansler’s expertise and experience is extraordinary and is well-known. This will be a very special opportunity for the Southern Maryland community to hear his thoughts on the future of acquisition and defense contracting.”

 “I am excited to host Dr. Gansler here at St. Mary’s College,” said Dr. Michael Cain, Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, “Each year we try to host an important policy analyst from the defense community that attracts our friends in the NAVAIR community.  His work on defense issues is recognized throughout academic and policy circles.  I expect him to raise some important issues facing the Obama administration.”

 Dr. Gansler’s presentation will be held at Cole Cinema at Campus Center on the campus of St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  The presentation will begin 5:00 p.m. and conclude at approximately 6:00 p.m. This program is presented compliments of The Patuxent Partnership and the Center for the Study of Democracy. The sponsors strongly urge interested attendees to register in advance online to assist in managing seating by visiting http://registration.paxpartnership.org/.  The presentation is free and open to the public.

 The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), a non-profit organization with over 300 members, advocates for the growth of the Southern Maryland technology base. TPP encourages relationships between government, industry and academia by hosting briefings on relevant topics. As a membership organization, TPP offers informational resources and programs, and facilitates professional connections. TPP promotes career and professional development initiatives for working adults, along with promoting initiatives targeted at developing science, technology, engineering and math interests in schoolchildren. TPP also supports workforce retention initiatives and regional and cultural events which encourage community engagement and workforce satisfaction. For more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.

The Center for the Study of Democracy is a joint initiative of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and its affiliated institution, Historic St. Mary’s City. It explores contemporary and historical issues associated with democracy and liberty in national and international contexts. The center provides a forum for presentations by government officials, journalists and scholars; publishes scholarly writing on subjects of civil governance; encourages and supports public participation in political processes; and engages undergraduate studies in study and research on related subjects.


Imagine One Technology & Management Ltd. Wins Contract with PMA 299 H-60 Helicopter Program

Published: 12 Jan 2010
Contributor: sdfsdfdsf dsfsdfds

Imagine One Technology & Management Ltd., Lexington Park, MD, has been awarded a $7.049 million contract to PMA 299 under the Program Executive Office (PEO), Air Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Assault and Special Mission Programs. The work will be performed in Patuxent River, MD. Teaming partners on this effort are DCS, Jorge Scientific Corporation, and Sabre Systems, Inc.

The Imagine One Team will provide technical and execution support for multiple Seahawk variants including the SH-60B/F, the HH-60H, the new MH-60S, and MH-60R in support of aircraft upgrades, production, and deliveries. The Seahawk missions include ASW, Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), Search-And-Rescue (SAR), Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC), Communications Relay (COMMREL), Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) and Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS).  The MH-60 Romeo and Sierra are two ACAT 1C programs, which include major upgrades to the venerable H 60 and the addition of new missions (Airborne Mine Counter Measures (AMCM) and Armed Helo). Imagine One will also provide program management support for the technical execution and tracking of the MH-60S (Sierra) in support of aircraft production and deliveries.

Imagine One provides mission-critical program management, systems engineering, interactive training, information technology, logistics services, and Test & Evaluation to Federal and DoD agencies including Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Sea Systems Command, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Naval Surface Warfare Center—Dahlgren Division, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, and Department of Homeland Security.

Imagine One Technology & Management, Ltd. is a Woman-owned, 8(a), certified HUBZone business. The company is headquartered in Colonial Beach, Virginia with additional offices in Arlington, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Lexington Park, Maryland. 


TPP Member Southern Maryland's Zekiah wins pact

Published: 21 Jan 2010
La PLATA (Md.) - Zekiah announced today the award of a Scientific, Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) contract by the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command ? Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC?ARSTRAT) in support of Space and Missile Defense Initiatives Support III (SMDIS III) as a team member of SGIS. The total potential contract ceiling is $450 Million over a period of five years.

“This contract enhances our capabilities in the space and missile defense areas,“ said Zekiah CEO Brianna Bowling. “We are honored to be a part of such important initiatives for the U.S. Army and are committed to improving space and missile defense efforts in the United States and abroad.“

Under this contract, Zekiah will provide scientific, engineering and technical assistance support for Space, Missile Defense, Global Strike, Information Operations, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) and Homeland Security. The primary focus of the contract will be to support functional areas including, but not limited to vision statements and doctrine; development of architectures; and program support. More specifically, Zekiah will be providing services in areas such as planning; development; fielding documentation; modeling and simulation; system analysis and integration; integrated logistics support; development of strategy; support to the warfighter; contingency and mission support; program oversight; independent verification validation and test evaluation; prototype development; sustainment and operation, training; and analysis of emerging technologies.

Zekiah will be supporting various organizations under this contract including SASMDC?ARSTRAT, United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), Northern Command (NORTHCOM), Naval Network and Space Operations Command (NNSOC), Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), Ground Based Mid-Course Missile Defense (GMD) and the Joint National Integration Center (JNIC).


Pax Partnership, Naval Aviation Roundtable Host Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business Workshop

Published: 28 Jan 2010

          (LEXINGTON PARK, Md.) February 3, 2010 - The Patuxent Partnership and the Naval Aviation

Small Business Roundtable announced that “Tactics to Success, A Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Workshop for the Naval Air Systems Command's Marketplace” will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California, Maryland. The workshop will focus on Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) strategic plan for doing business with service-disabled veteran-owned (SDVO) small businesses, provide an overview of Naval Air Warfare Center’s Aircraft Division (NAWC AD), share important information on how to do business with NAVAIR and NAWC AD, and provide advice on how to team with large industry partners. RADM Steven Eastburg, Program Executive Officer, Air ASW, Assault, and Special Mission Programs – PEO (A) will provide welcoming remarks, and Ms. Bridget Bean, Acting Regional Administrator for Region III, U.S. Small Business Administration will provide closing remarks.

            “Small businesses, including service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, are valuable members of NAVAIR’s team,” said Emily Harman, Associate Director, NAVAIR Office of Small Business Programs.  “We are continuously searching for SDVOSB that can contribute to achieving NAVAIR’s strategic priorities.  This workshop helps us educate small businesses.”

            “We are pleased to partner again with the Naval Aviation Small Business Roundtable on this workshop” said Bonnie Green, Executive Director, The Patuxent Partnership. “This program provides an excellent forum for educating the veterans’ community about the contracting opportunities available at NAVAIR. Representatives from local, state and government agencies, along with large industry partners, will be available to help our veterans negotiate the extensive and detailed path to contracting success”

            "It has always been our hope that, through the Small Business Roundtable, fellow entrepreneurs can support each other in growing our businesses by coming together to share ideas, express concerns, and learn from each other, while fostering new business relationships built on mutual respect and trust" said Kevin Switick, SDVOSB Committee Chair for the Roundtable and owner of AVIAN Engineering, LLC.  "This workshop is just such an event."           

The workshop agenda, along with local hotel information can be viewed online by viewing upcoming programs at www.paxpartnership.org. This program is presented compliments of The Patuxent Partnership and Naval Aviation Small Business Roundtable. For attendees interested in continuing discussions over lunch, a luncheon option is available at Outback Steakhouse, for advance purchase, also online.  

            The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), a non-profit organization with over 300 members, advocates for the growth of the Southern Maryland technology base. TPP encourages relationships between government, industry and academia by hosting briefings on relevant topics. As a membership organization, TPP offers informational resources and programs, and facilitates professional connections. TPP promotes career and professional development initiatives for working adults, along with promoting initiatives targeted at developing science, technology, engineering and math interests in schoolchildren. TPP also supports workforce retention initiatives and regional and cultural events which encourage community engagement and workforce satisfaction. For more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.

The Small Business Roundtable (SBR) is comprised of businesses supporting the Navy in Patuxent River and is a forum for Government and industry to collaborate to enhance small business participation in Naval aviation contracts and provide an opportunity to address small business issues and concerns. For more information, visit http://www.sbroundtable.com/NAVAIR/.


The Patuxent Partnership Hosts Energetics Panel

Published: 28 Jan 2010

LEXINGTON PARK, Md.) January 22, 2010 - The Patuxent Partnership invites the regional community to a panel discussion on “The Future of Energetics in Naval Enterprise” on Wednesday, February 3 at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California, Maryland. Topics to be discussed include emerging requirements for energetics for the aviation and surface and submarine communities, analytical energetics and the critical need to move beyond empiricism in the science of energetics materials, and the education of the future energetics workforce.

            Panelists participating in this program include RDML Jim Shannon, Commanding Officer, Naval Surface Warfare Center, RADM Millard Firebaugh, USN (ret), University of Maryland, Dr. John Fischer, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Labs & Basic Science, Professor  James Short, University of Maryland, CAPT Carl Chebi, Program Manager, Precision Strike Weapons Program Office, Dr. Al Stern, Chief Scientist, Indian Head, Mr. Randall Cope, NAWC WD, China Lake and Mr. Bob Kavetsky, CEO, Energetics Technology Center.

            “Research and development in the field of energetics is central to keeping our Navy and Marine Corps Team the preeminent fighting force in the world,” said RDML Jim Shannon, Commanding Officer, Naval Surface Warfare Center. “It's absolutely critical that our nation and our military continue to invest in the field of energetics, which includes recruiting and developing the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

            “Explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics and the related components are critical elements in the field of energetics. Developing effective energetics and energetics systems are vital to the success of our warfighters,” said Bonnie Green, Executive Director for the Partnership. “The participating experts will provide important perspectives on emerging requirements, the science of energetics and the issues in growing the workforce. It promises to be both a unique and important program.”

The program will begin at 7:30 a.m. with check in and coffee and breakfast snacks, with the panel beginning at 8:00 a.m.  Advance online registration is recommended by visiting http://registration.paxpartnership.org/. This program is presented compliments of The Patuxent Partnership. Everyone is invited.

            The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), a non-profit organization with over 300 members, advocates for the growth of the Southern Maryland technology base. TPP encourages relationships between government, industry and academia by hosting briefings on relevant topics. As a membership organization, TPP offers informational resources and programs, and facilitates professional connections. TPP promotes career and professional development initiatives for working adults, along with promoting initiatives targeted at developing science, technology, engineering and math interests in schoolchildren. TPP also supports workforce retention initiatives and regional and cultural events which encourage community engagement and workforce satisfaction. For more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.


TPP Member L-3 Awarded Systems Engineering And Technical Services By US Navy

Published: 28 Jan 2010

Lexington Park, MD December 22, 2009  — L-3 Communications Command & Control Systems and Software (C2S2) division has been awarded a $187.4 million cost plus fixed fee contract by the US Navy for Systems Engineering and Technical Support Services for the AIR 4.1 Competency at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, MD. 


Under this contract, L-3 will provide a broad array of services including Systems Engineering, Systems/Subsystems Integration, Avionics/Software/Air Vehicle Technology Insertion, Survivability Engineering, Earned Value Management (EVM), Configuration Management, Reliability and Maintainability Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Program Performance Assessment Analysis/Planning, and Technology Transfer.


“The renewal of this contract allows us the opportunity to provide continued exceptional support to the warfighter and their NAVAIR programs over their entire life cycle – from cradle to grave,” said Ship & Aviation Engineering Business Unit Vice President and General Manager, Mr. Tony Haslam.  “L-3’s team, specifically formed to fully respond to NAVAIR’s operational requirements and provide the capability needed by NAVAIR to execute its mission, was instrumental to the win.  Our teammates include: AirTec; AM Pierce & Associates; Atkinson Aeronautics & Technology; Booz Allen Hamilton; Coherent Technical Services, Inc.; Dynamic Analytical Solutions; Dynamic Analytics and Test; Deloitte; Eagle Systems; Gautreaux Enterprise; Jacobs Technology; Noetic Software; Naval Systems, Inc.; Precise Systems; RSPB Consulting; Sabre Systems; SAIC; Sierra Management & Technologies; Solute Consulting; SURVICE Engineering Company; Technology Security Associates; and Wyle Laboratories, Inc.”


“We are very proud to have been selected to retain this Technical Services contract for NAVAIR. Along with our teammates, we actively sought to provide a team of seasoned professionals to support the war fighters, building on past successes yet taking nothing for granted. L-3 will continue to solicit new team members with specialized capabilities to provide the full spectrum of System Engineering Technical Services in support of Naval Aviation.  We are also extremely fortunate to have Mr. Win Everett, my Executive Director and General Manager of the Program Management Department to lead this effort.  He is a retired Naval Officer and Aviator with experience that includes Program Manager of an ACAT I program, Deputy Program Manager and Chief Engineer for the F/A-18 Program, Operational Squadron Command, Development and Operational Test and Evaluation, and brings to this position over 25 years of Program Management and Systems Engineering experience.” said Haslam.


L-3 Ship & Aviation Engineering, a business unit of the Command & Control Systems and Software division, employs over 478 people locally.  Core competencies include Systems Engineering and Integration, Acquisition Support, Training, Program Management Support, Life Cycle Support, Installation, Engineering Fabrication & Prototype Development, Software Development / IT and Business Financial Management. To learn more about L-3 Ship & Aviation Engineering please visit our website at www.L-3Com.com/C2S2.

L-3 C2S2, headquartered in Eatontown, N.J., has more than 3,400 employees worldwide.  Command & Control Systems and Software (C2S2) assists its customers in moving technology from concept to deployment by providing Systems and Software Engineering and Integration, Software Development, Sustainment and Modernization, Training, Field Support Services, and Logistics capabilities.

With established credentials in C4ISR and Aviation technologies, C2S2 supports multiple services within the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. At the core of C2S2's success is the ability to translate customer specified operational requirements into mission-effective systems, and sustaining those systems through the entire life-cycle from concept exploration to decommissioning.



Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland Releases Regional Small Minority and Women-Owned Business Growth Report

Published: 04 Feb 2010


The Tri-County area is facing unprecedented demographic changes resulting in increased community diversity and entrepreneurial opportunities. The growth in the region is increasing the demand for a new array of goods and services addressing the needs and interests of a more diverse community.


Additionally, the Governor’s commitment to support small businesses, combined with changes in local contracting demands due to BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) and the consolidation of larger companies is forcing small businesses to become more competitive in their service offerings, marketing plans and capabilities. In short, time is of the essence for minority/women owned businesses to position themselves to benefit from the opportunities present within the Southern Maryland and surrounding areas. Thus, these businesses require support developing their capacity and accessing opportunities.


"Leveraging partnerships are keys to bringing business resources into the Southern Maryland region. The Tri-County Council's (TCC) Regional Director of Economic Development, the TCC's Minority Business Opportunities Task Force, and stakeholders in the Southern MD region will take the results of the report to maximize and provide tools to assist small, minority, and women owned businesses build capacity to take advantage of the business and economic development projects coming to Southern Maryland. Planning and information are what small business owners need to be successful. Success means winning contracts, growing their customer base, and ultimately providing jobs in the local community." Dawn Tucker, President Calvert County Minority Business Alliance


Milligan & Company, LLC in partnership with BITHGroup Technologies was engaged by the Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland to collect and analyze minority/women owned firm data, build a web based tool to support the County’s outreach efforts and provide recommendations for a sustainability and capacity building initiative.


The outcome findings identified through the survey responses, stakeholder engagement, secondary research, and general business development knowledge are:

·         Minority/women owned firms lack certification and/or business registration. Of the businesses that responded to the survey, 41 percent do not maintain minority certification status.

·         Under representation of minority/women owned firms due to businesses operating “under the radar.”

·         Firms unable to compete because of an inability to adequately market and position their service offerings. Survey results identified that 37 percent of the businesses require market/new business development assistance and 66 percent reported a need to focus on revenue growth.

·         Many firms reported limited financial expertise and access to capital.

·         There is a need for business capacity building. Of the businesses that responded to the survey, 22 percent plan to focus on talent and operational issues.


"The report confirms what we in Charles County have experienced with our rapidly growing minority business community. Our challenge is identifying resources that will assist these businesses and help them grow. The formula for success is having the data we need to target these resources. The TCC has done a great job in gathering the data," said Jeff Nixon, Minority Business Enterprise Chief, Charles County.


Copies of the report may be downloaded from the Council’s website at www.tccsmd.org under the Economic Development/Economic Diversity section.



GiveCamp In March To Offer Customized Help

Published: 02 Mar 2010

This article originally appeared in The Enterprise on January 2, 2010.

The Christmas carols and television specials all encouraged us to keep the holiday spirit alive all year round.

Here comes an opportunity to do just that.

On the weekend of March 19, St. Mary's College of Maryland will be hosting the county's first GiveCamp, in which technical volunteers gather to help local nonprofits develop custom software solutions to their organizational, fundraising and service needs.

The three-day event aims to connect Southern Maryland's software coding wizards with regional organizations that can't afford or can't find a software setup to do their good works.

So far, 20 local nonprofits have signed up, according to the event's Web site.

"We have stopped taking applications for non-profits, because we need to start gathering their specifications," said Jim Pendarvis of Hollywood, who is bringing GiveCamp to the region. "We actually accepted all of the programs that requested help."

But there are only a little more than two dozen volunteers. The program is seeking nontechnical volunteers as well as software developers, designers, and database administrators.

"Help us out," Pendarvis said. "We're looking for [database administrators], developers and sponsors."

Pendarvis said that he is getting started early, since the program takes a lot of coordination.

"It takes about six months to plan all this," Pendarvis said, noting that he is busy rounding up food donations and volunteers. "We went live with this the end of September, beginning of October."

The custom software projects considered for production are new Web sites or a small data-collection applications to keep track of members. The only limitation is that the project should be scaled for completion within a weekend.

"It is technology agnostic," Pendarvis said, noting he is inviting all kinds of different coding specialists.

Terri Griest, coordinator for Autism Spectrum Support Group of Southern Maryland, is excited that her group will be getting a brand new Web site from GiveCamp.

The group's current Web site, Griest said, is "not very attractive. We've had for two years nothing but a legal disclaimer and a calendar."

During GiveCamp, developers are welcome to go home in the evenings or camp out all weekend long. Organizers plan to provide food and drink and maybe even set up game systems for developers who need a little break.

After the GiveCamp session, all source code must be turned over to the charities at the end of the weekend. Developers cannot ask for payment, and the charities are responsible for maintaining the code from then on.

According to its Web site, the GiveCamp concept originated in Dallas, Texas in 2008 when Chris Koenig, a Microsoft employee, gathered developers together over a weekend and developed Web site and computer programs for local non-profit organizations.

"I heard about it, actually, via Twitter," Pendarvis said, noting that he participates in the site's weekly Follow Friday event. "I saw it and said, ‘This needs to be here.'"

"This is a wonderful opportunity for people in the [information technology] field to volunteer in their community," Griest said, adding that it was also a great opportunity for non-profit groups to get IT services they couldn't ordinarily afford.

To register to help or to donate to Southern Maryland GiveCamp, visit www.somdgc.org.



Pax Partnership, ANA Host Air-Launched Missile Panel

Published: 02 Mar 2010

          (LEXINGTON PARK, Md.) March 2, 2010 - The Patuxent Partnership announced today that it is co-sponsoring with the Association of Naval Aviation (ANA) the sixth panel program in a series that began in 2008. “Air-Launched Weapons – Going to the Net” will include discussions of the advancements in networked weapon systems that use information exchange as one of several competitive advantages. The program will be held on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park, Maryland.           

            "I commend ANA and the Pax Partnership for bringing to a public forum a panel about the relevancy and criticality of air-launched weapons in today's global environment" said Rear Admiral David Dunaway, Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, Norfolk Virginia, and former Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, China Lake California. "The requirements and demand for weapons launched from Navy and Marine Corps platforms in-theater continue to increase, and our weapons that are fielded, and that are in development, are designed to answer the call. I look forward to participating in this panel discussion as technology is enabling exciting improvements to air-launched weapons.”

            “Information sharing, situational awareness and collaboration are all words we use daily. However, they are also key goals to increase mission effectiveness in the world of air-launched weapons,” noted Bonnie Green, Executive Director, The Patuxent Partnership. “We are pleased to join ANA once again to provide an important panel presentation to consider another aspect critical to supporting the success of our warfighters.”

“The Pax River ANA Squadron is excited about teaming with The Patuxent Partnership for our first of four panel events in 2010,” said Mark Converse, the commanding officer of the local ANA Squadron. “Our servicemen and women are using the air-launched weapons that are managed, tested, and supported by the talented folks here at Patuxent River in current overseas combat operations. This will be an outstanding opportunity to share with the local public the significant contributions that these weapons are making to today’s National Defense capabilities.”

            The panel will be presented at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, which is located at 22156 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, Maryland 20653, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  The event is open to the public, including all base personnel, for $10.00 per person, which includes a donation to the Museum, hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Advance registration is strongly recommended at www.paxpartnership.org due to the limited seating capacity. Business casual attire and flight suits are welcome.     

The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), a non-profit organization with over 300 members, advocates for the growth of the Southern Maryland technology base. TPP encourages relationships between government, industry and academia by hosting briefings on relevant topics. As a membership organization, TPP offers informational resources and programs, and facilitates professional connections. TPP promotes career and professional development initiatives for working adults, along with promoting initiatives targeted at developing science, technology, engineering and math interests in schoolchildren. TPP also supports workforce retention initiatives and regional and cultural events which encourage community engagement and workforce satisfaction. For more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.

For almost 100 years, Naval Aviation has grown from a tactical afterthought and support capability to a primary instrument of our national security.  From the Curtiss A-1 Triad, to the F/A-18 Super Hornet, from the USS Langley (CV 1) to the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Naval Aviation has scored an impressive list of achievements in peace and war.  The first crossing of the Atlantic by air, victory at the battle of Midway, and the first American in space, to name a few, put Naval Aviation at the forefront of our national destiny. The Patuxent River Squadron of the Association of Naval Aviation is committed to educating and encouraging an interest among the general public in the importance of Naval Aviation, in the defense of the United States and its allies.  Membership in the Association is open to all. To join, visit http://www.anahq.org/ and click on Membership.



Pax Partnership Hosts Hrabowski, One of Time’s Top Ten College Presidents

Published: 10 Mar 2010

(LEXINGTON PARK, Md.) March 10, 2010 - The Patuxent Partnership is pleased to announce that Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will speak at a luncheon on Monday, March 29. Dr. Hrabowski has served as President of UMBC since May, 1992.  His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance.  He currently chairs the National Academies’ Committee on Underrepresented Groups and the Science & Engineering Workforce Pipeline.

In 2008, he was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report, which in 2009 ranked UMBC the #1 “Up and Coming” university in the nation and fourth among all colleges and universities in the nation for commitment to undergraduate teaching.  In 2009, Time magazine named him one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents.

“Our Members have told us that it is challenging and expensive to recruit employees to the region,” said Bonnie Green, Executive Director, The Patuxent Partnership. “Additionally, new workers are needed to replace those retiring. As part of our mission, we support workforce development initiatives that will help grow our own workforce for our regional needs. We are raising the profile of workforce development discussions by hosting Dr. Hrabowski. He promises to share a very energetic and enthusiastic perspective on the global competitive environment and on the critical importance of education to our future workforce.”

Ms. Green also noted that Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will attend the Luncheon and introduce Dr. Hrabowski.

            The program will begin at 12 Noon at the J. T. Daugherty Conference Center, located at 22111 Three Notch Road in Lexington Park.  The cost is $22.00 per person and payment is required by Friday, March 19, 2010. Payment may be made online by Visa or MasterCard, or by check payable to The Patuxent Partnership, and mailed or delivered during office hours to 21789 North Coral Drive, Suite 2C, Lexington Park, MD 20653. Advance registration and payment is required. The registration link can be found at http://registration.paxpartnership.org/.  

            The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), a non-profit organization with over 300 members, advocates for the growth of the Southern Maryland technology base. TPP encourages relationships between government, industry and academia by hosting briefings on relevant topics. TPP offers informational resources and programs, and facilitates professional connections. TPP promotes career and professional development initiatives for working adults, along with initiatives targeted at developing science, technology, engineering and math interests in schoolchildren. TPP also supports workforce retention initiatives and regional and cultural events which encourage community engagement and workforce satisfaction. For more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.


Unique Hybrid Airship Conference to Bring Broad DoD Leadership to Southern Maryland

Published: 11 Mar 2010


21789 North Coral Drive For more information Main 301 866-1739

Suite 2 C Fax 301 866-9002

Lexington Park, MD 20650

(LEXINGTON PARK, Md.) March 10, 2010 - The Patuxent Partnership is pleased to announce the "Hybrid Airships for Heavy Lift" Conference which it is sponsoring with the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center and the US European Command on March 31 – April 1 at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California, Maryland.

General Duncan McNabb, Commander of US Transportation Command, will deliver the keynote speech. EUCOM and SOUTHCOM speakers will present current capability shortfalls. Additional presentations will focus on current capabilities for manned and unmanned air vehicles for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). An airship pilot employed with local firm Integrated Systems Solutions, Inc. will address airship capabilities and misperceptions. A manufacturer’s panel will share innovations, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NASA Ames will discuss government research.

"This conference offers Southern Maryland an incredible opportunity," said Bonnie Green, Executive Director, The Patuxent Partnership. "The focus of this conference is on a myriad of challenges and issues that, if resolved, could provide a whole new class of aircraft for numerous defense and security, scientific, humanitarian and commercial uses." She continued, "Presenters from the University of Maryland and the University of Alabama at Huntsville will also provide insights into topical academic research."

Attendee registration is $50 per person and includes access to all presentations, meals and a Reception on Wednesday, March 31. Registration should be made at http://registration.paxpartnership.org/. Online payment may be made by Visa or MasterCard, and checks may be payable to The Patuxent Partnership and mailed or delivered to 21789 North Coral Drive, Suite 2C, Lexington Park, MD 20653. Advance registration and payment is required. Exhibit space is available for companies and organizations interested in showcasing their services and products.

The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), a non-profit organization with over 300 members, advocates for the growth of the Southern Maryland technology base. TPP encourages relationships between government, industry and academia by hosting briefings on relevant topics. TPP offers informational resources and programs, and facilitates professional connections. TPP promotes career and professional development initiatives for working adults, along with initiatives targeted at developing science, technology, engineering and math interests in schoolchildren. TPP also supports workforce retention initiatives and regional and

cultural events which encourage community engagement and workforce satisfaction. For more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.


For Andy Macyko, what he’ll miss is the people

Published: 08 Mar 2010
Ask Pax River Commanding Officer Capt. Andy Macyko what he’ll miss the most and the answer is one word: ‘‘People.”

Macyko, who will relinquish command of NAS Patuxent River tomorrow to current Executive Officer Capt. Stephen Schmeiser, continued, ‘‘I’ll miss walking around the base and witnessing our caring and compassionate ‘Pax Pros’ family giving their very best personal efforts in service to others, plus observing the mentoring that motivates and inspires our folks to advance up through the ranks.”

He’ll also miss ‘‘the close involvement with a variety of community service partnerships such as the Personal Excellence Partnership, Project Good Neighbor, Environmental Stewardship and the Health, Safety and Fitness initiatives. It’s been fantastic to work with so many kind, generous and selfless individuals in Southern Maryland.”

The Navy’s strong relationship with the local community ‘‘continues to be very positive. I focused on strengthening existing partnerships and exploring opportunities to develop new, emerging partnerships.”

In short, ‘‘It could not have been a more meaningful opportunity for community outreach.”

Looking back on the past 22 months since he took command in May 2008, Macyko takes great pride in improving the quality of life and quality of service at Pax River. ‘‘Both the barracks renovations and the family housing private-public venture with Lincoln Military Housing have received consistently positive feedback,” he said. ‘‘In August 2009, the first Navy families started to move into the new Lovell Cove housing area, which when finished will offer 169 units of top quality housing for our Sailors.”

Part of that quality of life improvement was ‘‘opening the Liberty Center for the single Sailor program in July 2009, and opening the River’s Edge Catering and Conference Center in February 2010.”

Macyko also takes great pride in witnessing professional development. ‘‘I get motivated every time the Navy selects one of our well-deserving individuals for an advancement or for a special program. Limited duty officer (LDO) commissioning ceremonies, Chief Petty Officer Pinning ceremonies, and Petty Officer frocking ceremonies are a win-win for the Sailors and their families as they continue to make lasting contributions to our U.S. Navy and our nation.”

Related to quality of life has been continued development of the individual augmentee (IA) program. ‘‘We start the support continuum with the week-long IA Indoctrination, next we actively support the IAs and their families during their overseas assignments, and welcome them home in style at the IA Homecomings.”

There have been ‘‘town hall meetings to see what IA returnees seek for reintegration assistance when they return to the States,” said Macyko. ‘‘IA coordinators have been identified for each command. We have improved upon our IA tracking system, keep monthly contact with the service member and their family, and follow up after the service member has returned home.”

From an operational point of view, ‘‘We have identified mission customers’ support requirements for new and legacy programs,” Macyko said. ‘‘We have finished a $15 million airfield renovation project, and built mission-unique facilities such as the ski jump ramp, hover pads and the expeditionary airfield for the F-35B Lightning II aircraft.”

Not just the F-35, as important as it is. ‘‘We opened the E-2 Hawkeye?Greyhound Integrated Test Facility and the Aircraft Research Support Facility, are nearing completion of Phase One of the Aircraft Prototype Facility, and built Integrated Test Team facilities to support helicopter and unmanned air vehicle programs,” Macyko stated. ‘‘This construction supports our expanding mission customers.”

In Dec. 2009, the NAS Pax River Search and Rescue team completed its aircraft transition from ‘‘the venerable mighty UH-3H Sea King helicopter to the more modern SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopter,” which generated mixed feelings in Macyko. ‘‘I flew both of these carrier-based helicopters for most of my Navy career, so it was a very meaningful farewell to the Sea King which had a 50 year service legacy in U.S. Navy helicopter history.”

One Public Safety project that affected everyone on the base was eliminating the blue and brown badges and instituting the RAPID-Gate system for all who didn’t qualify for a Common Access Card.

‘‘Implementing RAPIDGate happened seamlessly,” according to Macyko. ‘‘The new system strengthened the background security checks process and eliminated redundant badging requirements, which yielded measureable cost savings.”

One of Macyko’s goals in 2008 centered on improving emergency preparedness, and he believes that much progress has been made. ‘‘We’ve thrown different emergency scenarios at our staff to sharpen our skills to quickly respond,” he stated. ‘‘We operationalized our new Emergency Operations Center, strengthened our systems software connectivity, and linked up with Emergency Managers at the state and local level. We synchronize our efforts through the Regional Operation Center and event the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region for national events such as the State of the Union Address.”

He continued, ‘‘Emergency preparedness demands tough, realistic, relevant practice. Table top exercises, functional exercises, full-scale exercise are designed to build working relationships before catastrophe strikes so you are not calling somebody for the first time during an emergency.”

Improvements to mass notification are using methods both new and old. The high-tech is the Code Red system, telephone notifications and computer desktop notification. The other method — call it analog for the want of a better term — is the ‘‘Giant Voice.” It is literally notification by voice over loudspeakers that will be mounted on five towers at Pax River and two towers at Webster Field this coming Spring 2010.

Macyko’s conclusion: ‘‘The Pax Pros’ Integrated Training Team (ITT) stretches us beyond our comfort zone, breaks down stovepipes and builds teamwork through every drill we accomplish.”

Educational partnerships are a rewarding aspect of the commanding officer’s job, and it’s one Macyko has truly enjoyed. ‘‘I’ve met many terrific principals, teachers, counselors, and students in both public and private schools. Career expo days, the Read with Me program, Community Leadership in Cyber Knowledge and Safety (CLICKS), the Military Child Education Coalition, the School Liaison Officer, the Blue Angels Demo flight for Nathan Swick, the sixth grade science teacher in the STEM program at Spring Ridge Middle School, and STARBASE Atlantis are several positive examples of educational enrichment for our school children.”

STARBASE Atlantis is now in its third year at Pax River, and last year reached 690 students. ‘‘Fifth-graders get jazzed to learn more about math and science. They learn the forces of flight, the properties of air, Bernoulli’s Principles, and Newton’s Laws of Motion. They ‘fly’ planes, build rockets, practice teamwork, set goals and enjoy working under their new call sign names, such as ‘Bright Star.’

‘‘Teachers and parents note a positive shift in student attitudes and are glad to see children completing challenging tasks with teamwork. I’ve attended several graduation ceremonies and watched them fire rockets. I feel privileged to be part of shaping tomorrow by shaping our youth today. It’s been tremendous fun.”

It was also fun ‘‘to see the different school groups that came to the Air Expo 2009, where they watched the Blue Angels and many other aerial performers thrill the crowds. The Air Expo excites and motivates our youth, exposes them to career options, and teaches them to pursue their dreams and goals.”

Air Expo 2009 ‘‘took six months of planning, and my heartiest praise goes to the planning committee and especially Rebecca March, our events coordinator, who orchestrated the myriad of details to make the ‘show’ a delight for over 110,000 spectators over the Memorial Day weekend.”

‘‘Pax Pros” across the base garnered praise and appreciation from their outgoing commanding officer. ‘‘You have to trust and rely upon your Sailors, Marines, government civilians and contractors to do their very best each and every day,” said Macyko. ‘‘To name just a few, our bright electronics technicians keep the air surveillance radar tweaked to peak performance, our aviation boatswain’s mates rig the E-28 arresting gear at moment’s notice, our air traffic controllers deftly manage thousands of square miles of congested airspace, our Seabees and Public Works team fix water main breaks and perform snow removal, and our Security Team vigilantly patrols our fencelines, rain or shine, 24?7?365. We all depend on these ‘Pax Pros’ to make this base run smoothly.”

Asked if anything has surprised him, Macyko again had a one-word answer. ‘‘Snow.” This year’s record-breaking winter was a surprise for the sheer quantity of the white stuff. However, being a CO means ‘‘really learning to expect the unexpected, such as back-to-back whiteout blizzards.”

He is an avid supporter of the current ‘‘fleet up” system where the executive officer becomes commanding officer. ‘‘The executive officer gains a wealth of knowledge and experience in shore installation management and develops community relationships that will serve him well as the commanding


VXS-1 Airship visits Pax

Published: 18 Mar 2010

From The Tester

Did you see it? It would have been tough to miss, even if it was at Pax River for just a short stopover.

The VXS-1 MZ-3A Airship — in other words, a blimp — moored near Hangar 109 March 5 on its way from Lakehurst, N.J. to Yuma, Ariz., where it will be stationed for at least the next six months. While there, the airship will be an integral part of ‘‘a multi-service venture to impact the war fighter, we hope, very soon,” said VXS-1 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Chris Janke.

VXS-1 is a part of the Naval Research Laboratory, and the time at Yuma will be ‘‘the first level of development for war fighter systems,” said Janke. ‘‘We try as many different flight regimes as we can, so the client can test things at airship height and speed.”

An airship’s ability to travel slowly and hover for long periods is just as valuable to the war fighter as it is for sporting event coverage. Aside from the height and speed capabilities of an airship, their fabric construction means that onboard radar equipment is not troubled by the ‘‘shadow zone” of a standard aircraft.

The blimp has spent the past two years at Lakehurst. While it is owned by NAVAIR, Lakehurst has one of the country’s few airship hangars, and NAVAIR had existing tenants there. NAVAIR is responsible for ensuring that maintenance, operations, and qualifications all are kept to Navy standards.

Burt Race, a retired Navy pilot, works as a civilian employee of NAVAIR to verify that Integrated Systems Solutions — the California, Md. firm that operates the airship — follows all NAVAIR requirements. He also intends to become a certified airship pilot himself.

For now, though, the craft relies on Chief Pilot Peter Buckley, a dual United Kingdom?United States citizen with approximately 24,000 hours of flying time in airships, and second pilot Russell Mills. ‘‘I’m very interested in the science of it, and now I’m involved in the design and engineering of airships,” Buckley said.

Buckley started flying them in 1975, trained by Goodyear blimp pilots who received their training from the last U.S. Navy airship pilots. This direct line of succession brings airships back to the Navy for the first time since 1962.

While in transit to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, the VXS-1 MZ-3A relies on a mast truck to provide a broad, stable mooring area at each stopping point. ‘‘It secures to the truck, but weathervanes around,” explained Janke. ‘‘It needs a big circle.”

At 175.5 ft. in length, with a volume of 170,000 cubic feet, the MZ-3A is an imposing presence on the airfield. Compared to the World War II-era warships of about 1 million cubic feet, however, it’s almost tiny.

The unique requirements of an airship extend beyond the hangar. In flight, the MZ-3A stays in constant radio contact with its ground crew. On this trip, the blimp and crew will follow two interstate highways, first I-95 South and then I-10 West.

Whether or not to follow highways doesn’t really matter to the airship, but it does to the ground crew. They need as simple a path as possible, so they can keep track of the blimp’s location at all times. The ground crew also transports spare parts, an additional mast, and a mobile fuel tank.

‘‘The fuel has to be on a truck that’s running, so it can move if the wind moves the ship,” Janke explained. Of course, the MZ-3A never moves very fast. It travels about 55 mph, depending on wind conditions. Over the course of an 8-10 hour flight, that translates to about 250 miles.

Doesn’t the saying go, ‘‘slow and steady wins the day”?


Captain Schmeiser to take helm as NAS Pax River CO

Published: 18 Mar 2010

From The Tester

Capt. Stephen Schmeiser will relieve Capt. Andrew Macyko as Commanding Officer Naval Air Station during a change of command ceremony at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the VX-1 Hangar 305.

Naval District Washington Commandant Rear Adm. Patrick Lorge is the keynote speaker. Macyko’s next assignment is as military director for AIR 4.5, the competency that deals with avionics here.

Schmeiser is currently Pax River’s executive officer, having served in that position since 2008. He came to Pax River as Battle Force Seventh Fleet Assistant Chief of Staff for Materiel and Logistics onboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

A native of Massapequa, Long Island, N.Y., Schmeiser graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry in 1984. He completed Aviation Officer Candidate School training and was commissioned an ensign in March 1985. Completing primary flight training at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas in June 1986, he was awarded his pilot ‘‘wings of gold” in July 1986.

Reporting to VAW-120, the East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), in Aug. 1986 for training in the E-2C Hawkeye, Schmeiser completed the FRS syllabus and reported to VAW-122 Steeljaws in Sept. 1987. He served as schedules officer, aircraft division officer, pilot NATOPS officer, and squadron LSO during his tour. He completed two extended deployments aboard USS Forrestal (CV-59) and two Northern Wedding exercises. During the Indian Ocean deployment in 1988, he participated in flight operations in support of Earnest Will Operations (reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers). He earned his AIRLANT Wing LSO qualification in March 1990.

Schmeiser attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School as part of Class 99, completing the engineering test pilot syllabus in June 1991. Reporting to Force Warfare Test Directorate in July 1991, he served as the T-56A-427 engine and GPS?MFCDU Project Officer. He is co-holder of nine altitude and airspeed world records in the T-56A-427 powered E-2C Plus aircraft and assisted in the development of new techniques evaluating Vmc (dynamic minimum controlled airspeed) for the E-2C Plus aircraft.

Receiving orders to VAW-125 in Nov. 1993, Schmeiser served as the assistant operations officer. He completed an extended deployment to the Mediterranean from Jan.-June 1994 aboard USS Saratoga (CV-60). During this deployment, he conducted 22 flights over Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operation Deny Flight and Provide Promise.

Selected for aerospace engineering duty in May 1995, Schmeiser has served in numerous acquisition roles at the Naval Air Systems Command: from May 1995-October 1998 as the VAW department head and PMA-231 assistant program manager for test and evaluation at the Naval Force Aircraft Test Squadron; from Oct. 1998-July 2000 as an IPT Lead for the E-2C replacement propeller program in the E-2C?C-2A Program Office (PMA-231); from July 2000-February 2004 as the E-2C?C-2A class desk officer; and from Feb. 2004-Aug. 2006 as the deputy program manager for development programs in PMA-280, the Tomahawk Weapon System Program Office.

Receiving orders to National Defense University in Aug. 2006, Schmeiser attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He successfully completed the senior service course concurrently with the Senior Acquisition Course (PMT-401?402) in June 2007 and earned a master of science degree in national resource strategy and full JPME phase I and II credit.

He reported to Commander, Strike Group Five onboard USS Kitty Hawk that August. As Battle Force Seventh Fleet Assistant Chief of Staff for Materiel and Logistics (N4), Schmeiser was responsible for all shipboard maintenance, maintenance training, casualty tracking, readiness, aircraft maintenance, and supply issues for 10 ships and Carrier Air Wing 5.

Schmeiser has accumulated over 3,500 flight hours in 20 different aircraft and 291 arrested landings and was a U.S. Navy select for the NASA astronaut program. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Ribbons, and Expert Pistol Medal.

He is married to the former Molly O’Brien Daly of Lockport, N.Y. They have two daughters, Keara and Maura. His hobbies include golf, swimming, and tennis.

The change of command ceremony holds a long and revered history and tradition in the Navy. It was established to allow people within the command to witness the change of command as it occurs and have confidence in the new command. The ceremony also allows time to recognize and celebrate the outgoing commander’s achievements and to welcome the new leadership.


Blimp visits Pax River ahead of conference

Published: 26 Mar 2010

From The Enterprise

You may have seen it hovering over Lexington Park earlier this month.

One of the Navy's VXS-1 airships passed through Patuxent River Naval Air Station on its way from Lakehurst, N.J., to Yuma, Ariz., on March 5. The 175-foot long, 170,000-cubic-foot blimp was on its way to participate in a multi-service testing exercise.

The blimp's stopover came as The Patuxent Partnership prepared to host its Hybrid Airships for Heavy Lift Conference.

The two-day event will convene Wednesday at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California. Speakers will address subjects ranging from using airships as a static communications platform to arming them with laser weapons.

The cost of the conference is $50 per attendee and includes meals and a reception. For more on the conference, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call Mary Kukla at 301-866-0541.


STARBASE Atlantis Registration

Published: 26 Mar 2010

From The Tester

STARBASE-Atlantis will begin open enrollment for students who are entering sixth grade in the fall to attend a free summer program. Pre-registration begins April 1 for all applicants. There will be three summer sessions — June 28-July 1, July 6-9, July 12-15 and July 19-22 — all in Bldg. 588. room 102. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Space is limited. Children of active duty military have priority placement until May 14; after May 14, applications are processed in the order received. Applicants who have previously attended STARBASE-Atlantis are not eligible to attend a summer session.

For additional information and pre-registration form, contact Julie Guy at 301-342-2789 or e-mail julie.guy@navy.mil.


Smartronix Names Two New VPs

Published: 26 Mar 2010

From The Enterprise

Hollywood-based Smartronix named two new vice presidents this week.

The company named Laurell Aiton as vice president of human resources and corporate relations and Trish Priddy as vice president of quality assurance.

According to a company statement, Aiton joined Smartronix in 2003 as the human resources manager, and subsequently served as the director of human resources and corporate communications. Her responsibilities include leadership of employee services, recruiting, industrial security, safety, employee communications and community facing engagements.

Priddy joined Smartronix in 1999 as an acquisitions specialist supporting the company's purchasing and logistics requirements. During her tenure, she has performed a variety of other duties, including subcontracting; product sales and marketing; and supporting accounts payable and travel. Since 2003, Trish's primary focus has been developing and implementing the Smartronix Quality Management System.


Gates chooses vice admiral to lead F-35 program

Published: 01 Apr 2010

From The Tester

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will recommend that President Barack Obama nominate Navy Vice Adm. David J. Venlet, commander of Naval Air Systems Command, to oversee restructuring of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter program, a Department of Defense official told a congressional panel.

Ashton B. Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, announced Gates’ choice of Venlet as he described a five-point restructuring plan for the F-35 program to the House Armed Services Committee.

Gates announced last month that he would elevate the program’s oversight to the three-star level to reflect the importance of the program to the future of military aviation.

The F-35 is the first aircraft to be developed to meet the needs of three services — the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — and U.S. allies with variants being developed simultaneously by prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The F-35 is to replace the current F-15s, F-16s and F-18s, resulting in cost-savings and economies of scale not possible with maintaining separate aircraft.

Carter underscored the need to get the joint strike fighter on track in light of delays and cost overruns.

‘‘The joint strike fighter is our largest, most critically important program,” he said. ‘‘It’s important to the three services and international partners to know if restructuring has placed us on a realistic and stable path.”

The department initially ordered 2,443 of the jets, and eight foreign militaries purchased an additional 730, Carter said. However, cost estimates have risen from $50 million per aircraft when the program was introduced in 2001, to about $95 million, he said.

Gates added $450 million to improve the program, but a study by Carter’s office that began in November and was completed in January showed that the production line at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, plant still was taking too long and delaying flight testing by at least two years.

‘‘It became clear in November of last year that (the joint strike fighter) would breach Nunn-McCurdy,” Carter said, referring to a 1982 law that calls for termination of weapons programs when costs grow by more than 25 percent above original estimates. ‘‘This indicated to the department that we needed to take a more forceful management stance,” he said.

As part of the restructuring plan, the department will reduce delays in the development and test schedule from 30 to 13 months by purchasing additional aircraft to add to testing, borrowing three operational test aircraft, and adding another software integration line, Carter said.

Also, the department will withhold $14 million from the contract ‘‘since it is not reasonable for the taxpayer to bear the full burden,” he said.

Additionally, the department will reduce the concurrency of the development of the three variants, and will accept independent cost estimates as a basis for the program, Carter said.

‘‘We believe this restructuring puts the [program] on a realistic path toward performance,” he said.

J. Michael Gilmore, the department’s director of operational test and evaluation, testified with Carter and told the committee he thinks that the production must stay on track to allow for adequate joint testing.

‘‘My primary concern is that it be ready for joint testing to begin in 2015,” he said, with a completion date in April 2016.

‘‘It is less costly to discover problems early with a robust developmental test program,” Gilmore said. The restructuring plan would ensure that adequate testing occurs, he added.

Despite the delays and cost overruns, Carter said, ‘‘no fundamental technical problems have surfaced, nor have the capabilities of the aircraft changed.”



Hoyer, Hrabowski: U.S. needs tech brains Congressman, UMBC president say creative people needed to propel success

Published: 02 Apr 2010

From The Enterprise

Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, has faced many challenges in his lifetime, including confronting racism, earning a doctorate degree and building a premier technical university in the suburbs of Baltimore.

But his immediate challenge, as he prepared Monday to address The Patuxent Partnership at the J.T. Daugherty Conference Center in Lexington Park, was measuring up to the elaborate introduction heaped on him by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D, Md.-5th).

"There is no better educator in the United States of America than our speaker today," Hoyer declared.

Hrabowski, Hoyer said, spent time in jail in the 1960s for confronting racism in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala., at the age of 12.

"Freeman Hrabowski could have grown up an angry young man," Hoyer said.

Instead, Hrabowski graduated from high school at the age of 15 and achieved his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois by 20. He has been listed by Time magazine as one of the nation's top 10 college administrators for his work at UMBC, which Hoyer called "one of the centers of excellence in our country."

"Watch him," Hoyer warned. "He's a recruiter."

"Talk about pressure," Hrabowski joked as he stepped to the podium. "I really was just a fat little boy loving math."

But he owned up to Hoyer's charge, saying, "I'm always looking for smart students to see me afterward. … We're a campus of nerds, and I'm the meganerd."

Hrabowski's speech was a call to bolster America's technical workforce to meet competition from China and India's ascendant middle class in the coming century.

"They have almost as many geniuses as we have people," Hrabowski said, noting that China and India contain nearly half of the world's 6 billion people.

In order to produce a population that can compete with Asia's army of engineers and scientists, Hrabowski said educators need to collaborate with engineering firms, giving students a chance to experience the real world and temper their expectations.

At a student internship, Hrabowski said, "you learn that you're not going to be president in two years" and that life is more than just getting high grades.

Hrabowski said that schools also need to interest creative people in technology, crossing the gap between techies and artists.

"We have to teach people they can be both," Hrabowski said, noting that it is non-linear creativity that will drive success in the new century.

Finally, Hrabowski said that an educated state such as Maryland needs to push education to the less fortunate.

"Our challenge is to make sure it's not just the privileged children that get a good education," Hrabowski said. "Send me those students!"

It's those students, Hoyer said in his introduction, who will invent the technology to keep America's military competitive in the near future.

"In 20 years, the world has changed radically. The threat has changed radically. The needs of our military have changed radically," Hoyer said. "We need to rethink our defense structure. … The United States is not going to overwhelm with manpower."


Kessler to lead NAWCAD at Pax River

Published: 21 Apr 2010

From The Enterprise

Gary Kessler will take over as the top civilian leader of Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, filling the role previously held by Ed Greer.

Kessler has begun the transition from his current role as deputy program executive officer for unmanned aviation. He said he will officially take the new job as executive director on May 3.

"It's definitely a huge role for the base as well as other organizations around the country," Kessler said Tuesday.

In addition to being executive director of NAWCAD, Kessler will have a dual role as deputy assistant commander for test and evaluation.

The executive director of NAWCAD manages 14,400 employees in three bases across the nation with a $4 billion budget. As the deputy assistant commander for test and evaluation, Kessler will be overseeing 6,600 employees on three bases with a $940 million budget.

Kessler, a former St. Mary's County school board member, said part of his job will involve developing community partnerships, including with St. Mary's public schools through its science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs.

In February, Greer of Hollywood was tapped to be the director of developmental test and evaluation, a Pentagon position created last year by Congress to streamline the testing and acquisition of new military equipment. He left the position in mid-March.

"It's a major concern of mine who I leave this position to," Greer said in February. "It's extremely important to me who takes this position."

Although Greer said at the time he did not have a voice in choosing his replacement at NAWCAD, he said he was confident that NAVAIR's leadership will make the right decision.


Robotics team from LHS aims at world championship Earned spot with top honors at regionals at CSM

Published: 21 Apr 2010

From The Enterprise

The Leonardtown Raiders Robotics club is leaving for the VEX World Championship in Dallas this week after besting 30 teams earlier this month to earn a spot in the competition in Dallas.

The team departs Wednesday for the three-day championship where they — and their robot — will face off against some 400 teams from around the nation and from other countries.

The Leonardtown club is made up of two teams, which were among 130 teams from 70 elementary, middle and high schools in Southern Maryland at this year's regional challenge held earlier this month at the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata.

One of the Leonardtown teams won the CSM competition, which required a combination of teamwork skills as well as the ability to build and program a robot.

This year, students designed, built and used robots to complete challenges related to the Chesapeake Bay.

Teams had to demonstrate their designs and quality of work to judges, who also looked at teamwork, outreach efforts and team spirit.

Leonardtown team members built their robots to perform tasks both autonomously and with a remote control.

"It was reliable. It was a good defensive robot," Drew Evans, Leonardtown High School's robotics club mentor, said of the winning entry.

The club meets twice a week after school and its main focus is on designing robots for the VEX competitions.

Members of the Leonardtown Raider Robotics 2 team, which took top honors at the CSM competition, are James Giovagnoli, Justin Tucker, Mackenzie Wincelowicz, Norman Taylor and Shane Pasch. Leonardtown's other team, whose members were also invited to the world championship this week, includes students Raymond Tuazon, Joseph Spaulding, Benjamin Schanck and Jacobe Robbins.

"Everyone's ramped up to go. We're all excited," Tuazon, a 17-year-old senior, said.

The two have combined to go as one team to the world championship since members of the two teams help one another with their respective robots.

"In the past years we've been getting all these innovation awards," Tuazon said. "We actually wanted to win this year, and we got what we wanted."

Evans said the Raider Robotics 2 team also won the excellence award, which is given to the overall top team. The recipients had to exemplify overall excellence and have been a strong contender in multiple award categories.

"Some consider it more important than the winning of the tournament," Evans said.

Of course, the Leonardtown team did both. Its robot was elegant, yet simple, and was able to win matches even when outnumbered, according to judges.

Teams from Calvert High School and Carroll County also earned invitations to the Vex World Championship.

The beginning of the two-minute competitions pitted robots against each other in autonomous mode, setting the stage for when students grabbed the remote.

The robots, placed in square playing fields divided with a wall in the middle, had to pick up different-sized balls and either throw, shoot or drop the balls over the wall onto the other team's side of the field.

There were also various skill competitions where teams demonstrated particular skills in controlling and programming a robot.


Staff writer Gretchen Phillips contributed to this report.


George Washington University Provides Executive Leadership Doctoral Program

Published: 22 Apr 2010

The George Washington University, Executive Leadership Doctoral Program in Human and Organizational Learning will launch Cohort 2 of ELP Southern Maryland in January 2011.  The application deadline is June 30, 2010.  For more information about the program and admissions process, please contact Dr. Jim Leslie at 301-737-2500, extension 250 or Zeynep Ekmekci at 703-726-3769 or visit www.gwu.edu/elp/smd.html




Experts examine complexities of modern war, defense forum looks at pitfalls of nation building

Published: 23 Apr 2010

From The Enterprise

With the continuing dissolution of the Cold War world order, the world has become a more complicated place.

As a result, waging war, building peace and measuring victory have also become more complicated, according to the experts who gathered at St. Mary's College of Maryland this week for the annual Patuxent Defense Forum.

The event, arranged by The Patuxent Partnership and the college's Center for the Study of Democracy, examined joint military and civilians operations in war zones and how America should fight, provide aid and lead in this new global environment of low-grade conflicts.

The experts agreed that much needs to change if we expect to succeed and they called for a renewed emphasis on aid and diplomacy and less on expensive military intervention.

Bradford Higgins, the former CFO of the State Department during the opening months of the Iraq War, had an up-close look at the war when he deployed to Baghdad in 2004. He said the government's nation-building efforts did not remotely resemble the famed Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II.

"If you take the Marshall Plan and put "don't" or "not" in front of every sentence, you pretty much have what we've been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan," Higgins said. "We need to get back to what we can afford, what we can sustain."

Higgins said that interagency rivalries are swallowing the war's gigantic reconstruction budget.

"Most of the time we spent was fighting over turf and funding," Higgins said. "Without the proper foundation, we are just pouring money down a hole. … Policy poorly executed tends to end up bad policy. … Policy without rigor is a strategy for failure."

Higgins aimed his criticism squarely at the Pentagon and Foggy Bottom. He called for reducing federal bureaucracy and flattening the civilian command structure at the Pentagon and State Department to encourage better adaptability.

"The ability to adapt and improvise is out in full force in the field," Higgins said. "I don't think it exists in Washington half the time."

Higgins said he spent 75 percent of his time reporting to "the 8,000-mile screwdriver" in Washington and struggling to motivate his team.

"In the private sector, if you lose, you lose your job," Higgins said. "I couldn't fire anybody. I couldn't remove anybody."

Higgins said the U.S. needs to start helping other nations help themselves and shift the expectation of success to those nations. "We don't want to do it; we want them to do it," he said.

Rear Adm. Scott Sanders, deputy commander of the U.S. 2nd Fleet and the former head of an international piracy task force operating off the coast of Somalia, made a similar point. He said that peace in the Indian Ocean shipping lanes is dependent on peace in lawless Somalia and a willingness of commercial shipping companies to outfit their ships with deterrents.

Pointing to a slide of a Navy Aegis missile cruiser that is currently patroling the region, Sanders called the ship a "big can of whoop-ass" and said, "You do not need the full power and capability of this ship for counter-piracy. … The solution to piracy is not at sea; it's on the shore."

Army Lt. Col. Kenneth J. Ratashak, professor at North Carolina University, spent 15 months in Afghanistan leading a brigade of soldiers and its attached Provincial Reconstruction Team. Ratashak focused his talk on the elements of effective leadership — seeking assistance, showing mutual respect and being trustworthy.

Ratashak further noted that his team did not have the necessary expertise and resources to do much of the reconstruction work it was being asked to do in a short amount of time.

"We're trying to get these short-term outcomes, but how are we going to get them with the resources applied?" Ratashak asked.

Michael Hess, assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance in the U.S. Agency for International Development also lamented the lack of funding for foreign aid.

"There are more lawyers in the Pentagon than there are Foreign Service workers in USAID," Hess said.

The effectiveness of military intervention in building a stable economy was called into question by a paper presented by Jomana Amara, professor at the Naval Postgraduate School. Amara examined security and economic data from the time period surrounding the surge of military troops in Iraq, which pumped 20,000 combat troops into the country during the first five months of 2007.

Amara showed that the surge dramatically improved the security situation for U.S. combat troops, causing causalities to drop sharply. However, the economic data, such as currency exchanges and Iraq government bond rates, show a mixed picture.

Amara said that the government needs more granular, responsive data to illustrate successes, noting that traditional national economic data is either indifferent to or lags far behind the dynamic changes on the ground in a nation-building situation.

Amara said nation builders need to track more sensitive indicators, such as agricultural production, income distribution, poverty alleviation, education, commodity prices and demographics. Traditional measures such as currency inflation and unemployment don't show the whole picture.

"If we are going to be using these data, we are defining failure," Amara said.



PMA-290 First P-8 Poseidon Arrives at NAS Patuxent River

Published: 22 Apr 2010

From The Tester

The first P-8A Poseidon test aircraft arrived at Pax River Saturday following a six-hour, 55-minute flight from Boeing’s Seattle facilities.

The aircraft was recently assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Zero (VX-20). VX-20 Government Flight Test Director Cmdr. Jim Reining, along with VX-1 Operational Test Director Cmdr. John Verniest, and Boeing’s P-8A Chief Pilot Chris Dobb, delivered the aircraft referred to as ‘‘T1.”

T1 began formal Navy flight testing at the Boeing facility in Oct. 2009. The Integrated Test Team (ITT) spent the past six months executing ground and flight tests while maximizing the expertise of Boeing P-8A engineers and technicians.

‘‘It was an exciting moment to watch the first P-8A Poseidon touch down at Pax River today,” said Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Manager (PMA-290) Capt. Mike Moran. ‘‘The maritime patrol and reconnaissance platform is in great demand throughout the world and this flight put us one step closer to delivering Poseidon to the Fleet. I cannot be more proud of our team as they work to ensure this aircraft will meet our war fighters’ requirements.”

Moran said that the program continues to meet all performance criteria and is on track for initial operational capability in 2013.

‘‘The ITT, along with all Boeing’s Seattle production and maintenance team, has worked very hard to get the aircraft to Pax River to complete the planned test program,” said Reining. ‘‘The ITT is grateful for the strong support from PMA-290 and Boeing management and is excited to get to work testing at Pax River.”

The Poseidon ITT, comprised of two Navy test squadrons (VX-20 and VX-1) and Boeing, will utilize T1 to evaluate the P-8A’s airworthiness and expand its flight envelope.

The program’s other two flight test aircraft, T2 and T3, will transfer to Pax River later this year. These aircraft will focus on extensive mission systems and weapons system testing, ensuring the P-8A’s ability to carry out the anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

The Poseidon will replace the P-3C Orion as the Navy’s premier maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. Its advanced mission systems, software and communications technology will allow the fleet to carry out the same missions as the Orion, but with greater situational awareness that will enhance mission success.

(Article submitted by Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program.)

The first P-8A Poseidon test aircraft arrived at Pax River Saturday following a six-hour, 55-minute flight from Boeing’s Seattle facilities.

The aircraft was recently assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Zero (VX-20). VX-20 Government Flight Test Director Cmdr. Jim Reining, along with VX-1 Operational Test Director Cmdr. John Verniest, and Boeing’s P-8A Chief Pilot Chris Dobb, delivered the aircraft referred to as ‘‘T1.”

T1 began formal Navy flight testing at the Boeing facility in Oct. 2009. The Integrated Test Team (ITT) spent the past six months executing ground and flight tests while maximizing the expertise of Boeing P-8A engineers and technicians.

‘‘It was an exciting moment to watch the first P-8A Poseidon touch down at Pax River today,” said Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Manager (PMA-290) Capt. Mike Moran. ‘‘The maritime patrol and reconnaissance platform is in great demand throughout the world and this flight put us one step closer to delivering Poseidon to the Fleet. I cannot be more proud of our team as they work to ensure this aircraft will meet our war fighters’ requirements.”

Moran said that the program continues to meet all performance criteria and is on track for initial operational capability in 2013.

‘‘The ITT, along with all Boeing’s Seattle production and maintenance team, has worked very hard to get the aircraft to Pax River to complete the planned test program,” said Reining. ‘‘The ITT is grateful for the strong support from PMA-290 and Boeing management and is excited to get to work testing at Pax River.”

The Poseidon ITT, comprised of two Navy test squadrons (VX-20 and VX-1) and Boeing, will utilize T1 to evaluate the P-8A’s airworthiness and expand its flight envelope.

The program’s other two flight test aircraft, T2 and T3, will transfer to Pax River later this year. These aircraft will focus on extensive mission systems and weapons system testing, ensuring the P-8A’s ability to carry out the anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

The Poseidon will replace the P-3C Orion as the Navy’s premier maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. Its advanced mission systems, software and communications technology will allow the fleet to carry out the same missions as the Orion, but with greater situational awareness that will enhance mission success.

(Article submitted by Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program.)

The first P-8A Poseidon test aircraft arrived at Pax River Saturday following a six-hour, 55-minute flight from Boeing’s Seattle facilities.

The aircraft was recently assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Zero (VX-20). VX-20 Government Flight Test Director Cmdr. Jim Reining, along with VX-1 Operational Test Director Cmdr. John Verniest, and Boeing’s P-8A Chief Pilot Chris Dobb, delivered the aircraft referred to as ‘‘T1.”

T1 began formal Navy flight testing at the Boeing facility in Oct. 2009. The Integrated Test Team (ITT) spent the past six months executing ground and flight tests while maximizing the expertise of Boeing P-8A engineers and technicians.

‘‘It was an exciting moment to watch the first P-8A Poseidon touch down at Pax River today,” said Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Manager (PMA-290) Capt. Mike Moran. ‘‘The maritime patrol and reconnaissance platform is in great demand throughout the world and this flight put us one step closer to delivering Poseidon to the Fleet. I cannot be more proud of our team as they work to ensure this aircraft will meet our war fighters’ requirements.”

Moran said that the program continues to meet all performance criteria and is on track for initial operational capability in 2013.

‘‘The ITT, along with all Boeing’s Seattle production and maintenance team, has worked very hard to get the aircraft to Pax River to complete the planned test program,” said Reining. ‘‘The ITT is grateful for the strong support from PMA-290 and Boeing management and is excited to get to work testing at Pax River.”

The Poseidon ITT, comprised of two Navy test squadrons (VX-20 and VX-1) and Boeing, will utilize T1 to evaluate the P-8A’s airworthiness and expand its flight envelope.

The program’s other two flight test aircraft, T2 and T3, will transfer to Pax River later this year. These aircraft will focus on extensive mission systems and weapons system testing, ensuring the P-8A’s ability to carry out the anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

The Poseidon will replace the P-3C Orion as the Navy’s premier maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. Its advanced mission systems, software and communications technology will allow the fleet to carry out the same missions as the Orion, but with greater situational awareness that will enhance mission success.

(Article submitted by Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program.)


Lt. Col. Thomas Post becomes HX-21 CO in low-key ceremony

Published: 22 Apr 2010

From The South Potomac Pilot

Marine Lt. Col. Thomas E. Post became the 20th commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21) recently at NAS Patuxent River, relieving Navy Capt. Steven E. Halpern during a morning change of command ceremony.


[TPP website note: The HX-21 Squadron is part of NAWCAD’s Test Wing Atlantic, which also includes the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron (VX-21), Naval Force Aircraft Test Squadron (VX-20).]


The ceremony was low-key, a decision made by Halpern. Remarking on the lack of a band, guest speaker and ‘‘outstanding setup which includes flags and a fully apportioned stage,” Halpern said. ‘‘The change of command venue you see is a manifestation of the operational tempo of this unit over the past three years. The fact of the matter is that neither Tom Post nor I felt that we could take the time away from our mission.”

The intent was ‘‘to treat this ceremony as a no-huddle offense in a football game. My simple guidance was minimal impact with an opportunity to fly and operate right up to the change of command.”

He continued, ‘‘Look at this ceremony as a means of rapidly transitioning from one C.O. to another without even the slightest lapse in execution. It is out of respect to our customers and most importantly the war fighter to whom we are tied.”

The last 18 months, said Halpern, ‘‘have been filled with many successes. The list would take several minutes if I were to be all-inclusive. You of HX-21 have impressed me every day. You truly are the best of the best from your prospective communities.”

He added, ‘‘The testing in this squadron oftentimes has direct impact on war fighter capability. My favorite example was the flight test of the 416 engines as installed on the H-53D. Within days of completing tests we were receiving word from Iraq of just how much the fleet loved the lift improvement.”

According to Halpern, ‘‘We are not a team comprised of military, civilians and contractors, but rather just a squadron aligned to execute our mission. Bringing the squadron together as a team served as a force multiplier.”

He stated, ‘‘The common theme here has been how we can do more with less. HX-21 and the whole Navy and Marine Corps rotary wing community have developed a culture of getting the job done regardless.”

Halpern added a cautionary note, however. ‘‘On the surface, this is a respectable posture. I believe, however, that this is also a very slippery slope. We need to continue to find ways to get new rotary wing technology to the fleet, and we need to make rapid prototyping in rotary wing work.”

On the other hand, ‘‘Getting weapon systems into test is half the battle. If those systems are not mature then as testers we are truly starting behind the power curve.”

According to Halpern, ‘‘It is no secret that we have struggled with this here at HX-21. Some would say it is the nature of our business. The right answer is that if the plan is to fly-fix-fly, then let’s ensure the schedule allows for and anticipates this.”

He continued, ‘‘We need to realize that there is not a ready source of technology out there. Rotary wing aviation has been neglected for many years and it is a challenge to mature systems realtime in contractor and developmental test.”

In spite of the challenges, said Halpern, ‘‘This squadron has leaned forward and gotten the job done with style. Despite the obstacles that lie ahead ranging from manning restrictions to supply and fiscal challenges, this squadron will continue to rise to the occasion and get the job done. I can assure you of that.”

While there was no guest speaker, Naval Test Atlantic Commander Capt. Thomas Huff was part of the ceremony, presenting Halpern with the Meritorious Service Medal.

Huff said the people of HX-21 ‘‘continue to inspire me with your professionalism, your dedication and a growing list of accomplishments. You can draw a direct connection between combat capability and testing here.”

He continued, ‘‘This results from a team effort. This squadron is equally impressive in that it’s probably our most dispersed squadron here at Pax River. It has people at Search and Rescue, at the V-22, and the unmanned activity at Webster Field.”

Post began his remarks by complimenting his predecessor, saying, ‘‘In the past 18 months, this squadron has accomplished a great deal due in no small part to your leadership. I look forward to the next time we serve together.”

The Marines and Sailors of HX-21, along with the civilian and contractor staff, ‘‘are the best in the world at what they do,” Post stated. ‘‘I hope I can live up to their expectations. I know they will continue to uphold the legacy of HX-21 and maintain their focus on the real reason we exist.”

He continued, ‘‘That mission is to support our brothers in arms who are today in harm’s way in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. We owe it to them to give them the best equipment we can in as timely a manner as we can get it there.”




TPP Member Imagine One Wins Fantastic 50 Award for Seventh Year

Published: 07 May 2010

Imagine One Technology & Management, Ltd. places on "Virginia’s Fantastic 50" list of the fastest-growing companies in the state.


On April 29, CEO & President Nancie Lumpkins and Senior Vice President Reynald Bald accepted their seventh consecutive Fantastic 50 award at the banquet held at the Westfields Marriot in Chantilly, VA. Nearly 400 attendees saluted the winners for their entrepreneurial success and contribution to Virginia's economy. The evening’s keynote speaker, The Honorable James Cheng, Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade, gave an inspirational address before presenting the awards.

The Fantastic 50 Award honors the fifty fastest growing companies in the Commonwealth based on revenue and employee growth from 2005 to 2008. Headquartered in Colonial Beach, VA, Imagine One also has offices in Lexington Park, Maryland; Arlington, VA, and Charleston, SC. The company employs over 100 professionals in St. Mary’s County with 300 employees company-wide.




Airborne Command, Control and Networks Topic of Upcoming Panel

Published: 06 May 2010

          (LEXINGTON PARK, Md.) May 6, 2010 - The Patuxent Partnership announced today that it is co-sponsoring with the Association of Naval Aviation (ANA), “Airborne Command & Control and Networks,” the seventh panel presentation TPP has hosted with ANA since 2008. The program will be held on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park, Maryland. The panel speakers will discuss the critical importance of airborne data gathering, information processing and integrated networks to support the warfighters’ shared view of the battlespace.

            "I commend ANA and the Pax Partnership for bringing to a public forum a panel about the relevancy and criticality of airborne command, control and networks in today's global environment" said Rear Admiral Bert Johnston, USN (Retired), former Vice Commander, Naval Air Systems Command. "The requirements and demand for naval airborne command and control in-theater continue to increase, and the new E-2D Advanced Hawkeye that is now being tested here at Patuxent River is on a path to answer that call. I look forward to participating in this panel discussion because these are exciting times for the E-2 community as they have become the critical node on the Navy’s Carrier Strike Group networks.”

            “Information sharing, situational awareness and collaboration are all words we use daily. However, they are also key goals to increase mission effectiveness in the maritime domain,” noted Bonnie Green, Executive Director, The Patuxent Partnership. “We are pleased to join ANA once again to provide an important panel presentation to consider another aspect critical to supporting the success of our warfighters.”

“The Pax River ANA Squadron is excited about teaming with The Patuxent Partnership for our second of four events in 2010,” said Mark Converse, the commanding officer of the local ANA Squadron. “The E-2 aircraft and networks that are in daily combat use are managed, tested, and supported by the talented folks here at Patuxent River. This will be an outstanding opportunity to share with the local public the significant contributions that our airborne command and control community is making to today’s National Defense capabilities.”

            The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum is located at 22156 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, Maryland 20653. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.  The event is open to the public, including all base personnel, for $10.00 per person, which includes a donation to the Museum, hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Advance registration is strongly recommended at www.paxpartnership.org due to space constraints. Business casual attire and flight suits are welcome.           

The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), a non-profit organization with over 300 members, advocates for the growth of the Southern Maryland technology base. TPP encourages relationships between government, industry and academia by hosting programs on relevant topics. TPP offers its Members informational resources and programs, and facilitates professional connections. TPP also promotes career and professional development initiatives for working adults, along with promoting initiatives targeted at developing science, technology, engineering and math interests in schoolchildren. TPP also supports workforce retention initiatives and regional and cultural events which encourage community engagement and workforce satisfaction. For more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.

For almost 100 years, Naval Aviation has grown from a tactical afterthought and support capability to a primary instrument of our national security.  From the Curtiss A-1 Triad, to the F/A-18 Super Hornet, from the USS Langley (CV 1) to the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Naval Aviation has scored an impressive list of achievements in peace and war.  The first crossing of the Atlantic by air, victory at the battle of Midway, and the first American in space, to name a few, put Naval Aviation at the forefront of our national destiny. The Patuxent River Squadron of the Association of Naval Aviation is committed to educating and encouraging an interest among the general public in the importance of Naval Aviation, in the defense of the United States and its allies.  Membership in the Association is open to all. To join, visit http://www.anahq.org/ and click on Membership.


George Washington University Executive Leadership Doctoral Program in Human and Organizational Learning

Published: 12 May 2010

The George Washington University Executive Leadership Doctoral Program in Human and Organizational Learning cordially invites you for a Program Information Session featuring a special presentation on "The Yellow Ribbon Program", Tuesday May 18, 2010 at 5:00pm at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, 44219 Airport Road, California, MD.  RSVP requested by calling 301-737-2500 x250 or 703-726-3769 or elpnow@gwu.edu



Vice Adm. Architzel takes command at NAVAIR

Published: 20 May 2010

From The Tester

Incoming NAVAIR Commander Vice Adm. David Architzel said he is committed to building on NAVAIR’s reputation for strength and effectiveness to make its contribution to the fleet better and more enduring.

“From the headquarters to the warfare centers to our FRCs [fleet readiness centers], the Program Executive offices and program managers, we have a lot to do in some very challenging operational and economic times,” he told those attending the NAVAIR change of command ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the Presidential Helicopter Hangar.

Architzel, formerly Navy’s principal military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, relieved Vice Adm. David J. Venlet, who was selected by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to run the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

“To the NAVAIR team, today is about a change of command and not about a change in mission,” Architzel said. “Each of you has played a role in establishing the commendable reputation that NAVAIR enjoys — technical excellence, business acumen, and unsurpassed leadership.”

“In all, NAVAIR is operating in a period of time that is at the pinnacle of change, challenge and opportunity,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, who spoke at the ceremony. “They are introducing an entirely new generation of aircraft.”

Roughead and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean Stackley offered their congratulations, praise and support for Architzel.

“Dave [Architzel] brings a degree of passion, loyalty and desire to his work every single day,” Stackley said.

“To those of you in NAVAIR who have had the privilege of serving with Dave Venlet, you will be equally privileged to work with Dave Architzel,” Roughead said. “Dave [Architzel] and I go way back to the Naval Academy and I don’t believe NAVAIR has ever had a commander with his unique background.”

“He has served on five aircraft carriers since 1973, and still found time to command several units ashore,” said Roughead. “He joins NAVAIR after nearly three years as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition. His operational experience and acquisition expertise bode well for the future of naval aviation.”

A career naval aviator, Architzel has accumulated more than 5,000 flight hours, 4,300 in the S-3, and the remainder in some 30 other aircraft types as a test pilot at Patuxent River where he graduated from Test Pilot School in 1981 as part of Class 79.

He served as maintenance officer in Sea Control Squadron (VS) 30, deploying aboard USS Forrestal (CV 59), and in VS 28, deploying aboard USS Independence (CV 62). He later returned to VS 30 as executive officer and subsequently as commanding officer. After selection to Nuclear Power Training, he served as executive officer of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).

During his tour, the Eisenhower was awarded the 1992 Naval Air Force Atlantic Battle Efficiency Award. Following this tour, he served as executive officer of PCU John C. Stennis, and commanding officer of USS Guam (LPH 9), flagship for Amphibious Squadron 2. During this tour, Guam won three consecutive Battle Efficiency Awards, making deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean, which included Adriatic operations in support of the U.S. Ambassador to Somalia.

He became the 6th commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) on Nov. 1, 1996. His command tour included a deployment to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf, during which time the battle group conducted operations in support of Joint Guard and Southern Watch.

Ashore, Architzel was selected for the Navy’s Test Pilot School, filled a critical billet at the Spanish Naval War College in Madrid, Spain, and was department head of the Warfare Systems Group at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River.

Architzel’s first flag assignment was to Iceland, where he served as commander, Iceland Defense Force and Commander, Fleet Air Keflavik. His follow-on flag assignments were commander, Naval Safety Center, Norfolk, commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, commander of Operational Test and Evaluation Force, Norfolk, and program executive officer for aircraft carriers.

On Aug. 6, 2007, Architzel assumed the role of principal deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition.

His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal and various service related awards and campaign ribbons. He was also awarded the Spanish Naval Cross of Merit from His Majesty, King Juan Carlos of Spain, the Navy League’s John Paul Jones Leadership Award for 1998, and the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon presented by the President of Iceland.

(Article submitted by NAVAIR Public Affairs.)


Patuxent Partnership Hosts RADM Carr Chief of Naval Research at June 25 Regional Breakfast

Published: 24 May 2010

The Patuxent Partnership announced today that Rear Admiral Nevin P. Carr, Jr. will be the guest speaker at a Friday, June 25 breakfast at the J. T. Daugherty Conference Center.

      The Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) have a long history of collaboration, research and development for both technological innovations and solutions to support the warfighter. Recent initiatives include bio-fuels research that supported the development of fuel tests used by NAVAIR to certify the bio-fuel for the Green Hornet. That collaboration has also resulted in additional innovations in the past, including advanced metalworking technologies to reduce the weight and cost of airframe components, advanced underwater laser imaging, and new tools and procedures to assess an aircraft’s susceptibility to abrupt wing stall among others.

“The warfighter is our ultimate customer and transitioning real solutions is a priority for us,” said Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, Chief of Naval Research. “Our support remains high and we work hard to understand and respond to the unique S&T needs of naval aviation.”

“The Patuxent Partnership is delighted to host Rear Admiral Carr,” said Bonnie Green, Executive Director, The Patuxent Partnership. “It is so important that the regional community hear about the breadth and depth of research and innovations coming from ONR as so much of it affects naval aviation, and NAVAIR personnel are dynamically engaged in developing these advances.”
       The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), a non-profit organization with over 300 members, advocates for the growth of the Southern Maryland technology base. TPP encourages relationships between government, industry and academia by hosting programs on relevant topics. TPP offers its Members informational resources and programs, and facilitates professional connections. TPP promotes career and professional development initiatives for working adults, along with promoting initiatives targeted at developing science, technology, engineering and math interests in schoolchildren. TPP also supports workforce retention initiatives and regional and cultural events which encourage community engagement and workforce satisfaction. For more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.



RED-INC. invites participation in applied science of camera ergonomics

Published: 04 Jun 2010

RED-INC is conducting a camera ergonomics survey for a large camera company located in the United States.  The project consists of an extensive literature survey and analysis, laboratory measurement of candidate control characteristics, and a user preference survey.  The camera company has requested that RED-INC include a population of young mothers and fathers between the ages of 25 and 39 in the survey. 


The survey will be conducted from June 1 -18.  Those interested in participating in the survey should call Ms. James at 301.737.4361 x23 to schedule participation time; participation takes approximately 2 hours.


The survey will be conducted at the RED-INC office, 48015 Pine Hill Run Road, Lexington Park, MD.  Rt 235 to Forest Park Road (directly across from Hermanville Road).  Forest Park to Pax River gate 3 fence – just before the fence, turn right onto Pine Hill Run Road.  Pine Hill Run Road to the end – turn right into technology park.  Make another immediate right into the parking lot.  Enter via the main entrance to building 1 – RED-INC.


This is an opportunity to participate in applied science.  Plus, you will receive a $100 stipend upon completion of your participation in the survey.  Your assessment may be used to improve the future camera interfaces.


Participants will be given a consent form describing the general purpose of the survey.  Several anthropometric hand dimensions (such as overall hand length, palm width, index finger length, etc.) will be measured and recorded.  Participants will provide input on usability of control devices by pushing, sliding, etc., to operate the controls and rating the each using an index provided by the survey conductor.  Participants will also consider location of controls on camera models and will provide preference ratings and comments to the conductor.  A debrief provides the participant the opportunity to discuss the completed survey, ask questions, and make additional comments. 



·         Must be at least 25 years of age but not have reached the 40th birthday.

·         Must have at least one child under the age of 18 living at the home.

·         Must have taken at least 50 pictures and 2 videos (with any type of camera including cell phone cameras) in the last year.

·         Only the mother or the father from the same family, whom ever is considered the primary photographer, may participate in the survey. 


Research and Engineering Development, Inc. (RED-INC) provides engineering and programmatic support services specializing in human engineering design for optimized system performance.  RED-INC is located at the Pine Hill Technology Park at 48015 Pine Hill Run Road in Lexington Park, MD.


Naval Systems, Inc. (NSI) and STAR 98.3 Help Feed Hungry In Golf Tournament

Published: 15 Jun 2010

Naval Systems, Inc. (NSI), headquartered in Lexington Park, Maryland, in conjunction with STAR 98.3 “T-Bone & Heather,” out of Mechanicsville, Maryland, raised over $7,700 for the Southern Maryland Food Bank through their 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament on June 10th  at the Wicomico Shores Golf Course.   Some 22 golf teams participated in the charity tournament, followed by prizes and a fund-raising auction.  “A great time was had by all!” commented Diana Waldorf, NSI event organizer.  The Southern Maryland Food Bank supports the communities of Calvert, Charles, and St Mary’s Counties and provides food to families in need.  With the help of generous participants and sponsors, The tournament raised over $7,700 which will be used by the Food Bank to purchase over 60,000 pounds of food allowing the food bank to assist more than 3,000 families in need.  To date, NSI and STAR 98.3 have raised over $15,000 to support the Southern Maryland Food Bank.





TPP Member Tech Wizards Associate Receives Award

Published: 16 Jun 2010

Kelly Martini, a multimedia developer for Tech Wizards, Inc., received a Certificate of Appreciation for her outstanding performance in supporting the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS), Combat Systems Training Support Program. She was honored for her critical role in supporting the Computer Aided Sub-mode Training (CAST) lesson development team in Dahlgren, Virginia.


Martini is a 2008 graduate from the University of Maryland, Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in multimedia journalism. During her tenor, she received a Citation for participation in Media, Self and Society program from the University of Maryland, College Park Scholars.


Martini has been with the Tech Wizards organization since 2009. “We are very proud to have Kelly on our team,” said Ken Clark, President of Tech Wizards. “She is very committed to providing quality support to our customers.”


Tech Wizards is a local system and software engineering firm that specializes in tactical application engineering, tactical training applications, and open architecture engineering solutions. The firm maintains offices in Patuxent River, Maryland and in King George, Virginia.


TPP Member Sabre Systems, Inc. Awarded New Work Supporting Census Bureau

Published: 23 Jun 2010

WARMINSTER, Pa. – Sabre Systems, Inc., a professional Information Technology (IT) and engineering services company with offices spanning the country, was recently awarded a new delivery order under the company’s existing Census Bureau’s Research & Development 2014 contract, through which Sabre will work to develop tabulation indicators for the Census Bureau’s HIV/AIDS Surveillance Database and to enhance HIV/AIDS Country Profiles. The company will also extract information from Chinese language medical journals for inclusion in the database.

With a total value of $1.7 million, this Time and Materials delivery order will span one base year with three option years. The work will be performed at the Census Bureau headquarters in Suitland, Md.

According to the Group Vice President of Sabre’s National Capital Region , Paul “Korky” Korkemaz, “This is a continuation of work begun nine years ago that further enhances the reputation of the company in the area of international HIV/AIDS-related research and analysis. I am confident that our customer will be pleased with our performance in this realm.”

Founded in 1989, Sabre Systems, Inc. provides state-of-the art technology, scientific and management solutions and services to globally dispersed government and commercial enterprises. The company’s core competencies include information technology, program management services, operational training and logistics, software development, and engineering services.

Sabre is headquartered in Warminster, Pa., and maintains offices in Maryland., California, Indiana, New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia.

For more information, visit www.sabresystems.com.







TPP Member Sabre Systems, Inc. Tasked with New Work Assisting Census Bureau

Published: 23 Jun 2010

Sabre Systems, Inc., a professional Information Technology (IT) and engineering services


company with offices spanning the country, was recently awarded a new delivery order under the


its existing Census Bureau’s Research & Development 2014 contract. Under this contract, Sabre

will develop new techniques for improving the Census Bureau’s Master Address File (MAF) by

utilizing data mining software. The MAF, which contains more than 140 million home and

business addresses, is essential to conducting both the decennial Census of population and the

ongoing surveys that use the MAF. Thus, it is critical that the MAF be accurate and up-to-

date. This Time and Materials delivery order will be performed at the Census Bureau

headquarters in Suitland, Md.


According to Group Vice President of Sabre’s National Capital Region, Paul Korkemaz, “This

award represents our entry into a new line of business at the Census Bureau - high-level

analytical support for the Bureau’s comprehensive program of evaluations that occurs after each

decennial population Census. I am confident that our customer will be pleased with our Sabre

team and their performance on this task.”

Founded in 1989, Sabre provides state-of-the art technology, scientific and management solutions and services to globally dispersed government and commercial enterprises. The company’s core competencies include information technology, program management services, operational training and logistics, software development, and engineering services.

Sabre is headquartered in Warminster, Pa., and maintains offices in Maryland, California, Indiana, New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia.

For more information, visit www.sabresystems.com.


TPP Member With $140 million deal, Constellation turns to wind

Published: 04 Dec 2009

From The Business Gazette

Constellation Energy is expanding its renewable energy portfolio by acquiring its first wind project: a $140 million, 70-megawatt proposed wind turbine project in Western Maryland's Garrett County.

The Baltimore energy company said Monday it has agreed to purchase the project from Clipper Windpower. Constellation plans to develop, build, own and operate the Criterion complex, which it says will provide enough electricity to power about 23,000 homes.

The deal includes 28 of Clipper's 2.5-megawatt wind turbines, according to a Constellation statement. The project was the first in Maryland to receive state regulatory approval under a 2007 law promoting wind energy.

"We have been pursuing a number of renewable projects in Maryland in recent years," said spokesman Lawrence McDonnell. "We have looked at wind and the economics are now falling into place. It's more viable now ... and now wind is becoming more financially doable, in terms of the cost to produce it and then sell it at a market price."

The Criterion project has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative for the project's electricity and renewable energy credits. Old Dominion, a nonprofit, provides wholesale power to public electric cooperatives in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

"Constellation Energy remains committed to pursuing clean, green energy generation and conservation projects in Maryland," said Mayo A. Shattuck III, Constellation chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. "These projects have the potential to produce high-paying construction jobs while increasing and diversifying energy supply in the state of Maryland. The Criterion project is an ideal example of the kind of innovative and sustainable energy project that can help Maryland meet its ambitious renewable energy objectives."

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010, with operations planned to begin next fall.

The Criterion project is one of several Constellation renewable energy initiatives. Among them are a solar photovoltaic system at Sparks spice maker McCormick & Co. that can generate nearly 1 megawatt, plus a 300-kilowatt solar system for the Maryland Environmental Service.

All told, about 4 percent of Constellation's electricity is generated from renewable and alternative sources, including solar, geothermal, hydro, waste coal and biomass, according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Slightly more than half of its 7,100 megawatts of electricity comes from its five nuclear reactors, including two at its plant in Calvert Cliffs in Southern Maryland.

Clipper Windpower, with offices in Carpinteria, Calif., and the U.K., designs and manufactures wind turbines at its plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It also develops wind power projects in the Americas and Europe.

Alternative energy to fuel International Model Green City

Also on Monday, American Community Properties Trust launched an effort to make St. Charles, its flagship 9,100-acre planned community in Charles County, what it calls "the most comprehensive smart green community development project in the United States today."

The initiative calls for Competitive Power Ventures of Silver Spring to buy 75 acres for a 10-megawatt solar farm, making it the largest such facility in the mid-Atlantic region, according to ACPT information. Plans also include a 640-megawatt natural gas powered power plant, plus electricity from renewable sources at the county landfill.

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative has sought state approval to install and test 1,000 smart meters at existing homes and businesses in St. Charles. SMECO and St. Charles have also begun installing programmable thermostats in up to 2,500 apartments.

"Our vision is to make St. Charles the international model for 21st century smart green and growing communities," said Steve Griessel, CEO of ACPT, in a statement. "The transformational effect that will occur from our efforts will double St. Charles in size but actually lower today's carbon footprint and water usage for the community. This transformation will enable 40 percent of Charles County's population to live on approximately 2 percent of its land mass, making St. Charles truly a smart, green, and growing community."

The plan includes retrofitting more than 12,000 existing homes and 4 million square feet of existing commercial space; creating 20,000 jobs through a Green Jobs Opportunity Zone, including 1,000 new jobs in the next three years toward Maryland's goal to create 100,000 green jobs statewide; making St. Charles an "international living laboratory for new technologies, products and services and sharing the results of programs with the world;" and working with universities and colleges to create a green campus, research and development park, and business incubator.

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who attended the launch on Monday, said in a statement: "In Maryland, we are focused on New Ideas for New Jobs — connecting the challenges and opportunities of a workforce that leads in science, security and skills."


TPP Member St. Mary Ryken Math Team Scores in Top 10 Percent

Published: 21 Jan 2010

From The County Times

Three St. Mary’s Ryken students earned high scores and

finished in the top 10% of the 31st Annual University of Maryland

High School Mathematics Competition.

The math competition, open to all students enrolled in

high school in Maryland and the District of Columbia, had

2,343 participants this year. St. Mary’s Ryken senior Jingtao

Wang ranked 54 out of 2,343, senior Erin Krumenacker ranked

189 and junior Dong Ha Park ranked 211.

All three students have AP Calculus this year and each

actively participates in extra-curricular activities and clubs.

Jingtao is a member of the SMR Math Team and Robotics club

and is looking forward to studying computer science or robotics

at college next year. Erin is the president of the school’s National

Honor Society chapter and in the ensemble for the school’s

upcoming production of the musical, Grease. She will study

chemical engineering at college next year. Dong Ha is a member

of the SMR Math Team, FBLA (Future Business Leaders

of America) and the Key Club.

The High School Mathematics Competition is meant to

provide students with stimulation, feedback and the opportunity

for achievement. The test is divided into two parts. Students

needed high scores on Part I to move on to participate in Part II

of the competition. The three SMR students were among only

251 test-takers to qualify for Part II. They had two hours to

complete five problems.

According to the competition’s Web site, while both exams

require a sound knowledge of high school mathematics, Part II

is a “considerably more challenging exam.” All problems needed not

only ability, but also a fair amount of insight and ingenuity to solve the



TPP Member University of Maryland, Lockheed plan to pursue joint opportunities

Published: 11 Jun 2010

From The Business Gazette

After 60 years of mutual collaboration, the University of Maryland, College Park, and Lockheed Martin have signed a formal strategic agreement that will allow them to share resources and jointly pursue business opportunities.

C.D. Mote Jr., president of the university, and Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, signed the memorandum of understanding June 3, kicking off Lockheed's $1 million annual commitment for the next three years.

"We're collaborating with an academy partner that we have a long history with to be the best in science, technology and engineering, while at the same time bringing this partnership to the state of Maryland. It's taking our relationship to the next level," Johnson said.

Lockheed already supports university research on laser plasma filaments, which enhance multiple applications of high-power laser beams, and on cultural modeling to help troops perform in unfamiliar environments.

"The true lasting value of this partnership is the ability to bring together thought leaders in the industry," Johnson said.

Johnson said the community's work force is essential to supporting Lockheed, and this agreement ensures that work force will be sound.

"It's a marriage of technical opportunity," said Brian Darmody, the university's assoc iate vice president for research and economic development. "We are the largest producer of [Science Technology Engineering and Math] grads, and they are one of the largest STEM companies. It seems natural to marry them up."

The new agreement harkens back to both the university's history with Lockheed and its cooperative history with organizations such as the Smithsonian, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Mote said. The university has long maintained a special connection with Lockheed because company founder Glenn L. Martin was a major force in developing the university's aerospace engineering program.

"This is a culmination of a lot of people's hopes and aspirations," said Mel Bernstein, vice president of research at the university.

Along with the funding, the strategic relationship allows both Lockheed and the university to focus on establishing centers of collaboration, enhanced research and development and the joint pursuit of business opportunities. The latter involves both organizations combining abilities to respond to federal agency and other third-party needs for products and services.

Dean Acosta, a spokesman for Lockheed, said this framework will make it easier for both organizations to work on continuous projects together without always having to create special permissions for each project.

Key centers of collaboration that will be created through the relationship include logistics and sustainment, climate change and cyber-security. The university's Jacques S. Gansler, Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise, already is managing the first of these centers: the Center for Logistics and Sustainment.

"The sky's the limit," said Darryll Pines, dean of the university's A. James Clark School of Engineering


TPP Member Smartronix Donation To Help Patuxent Habitat

Published: 21 Jan 2010

From The County Times

rtronix, has made a significant

contribution to Patuxent Habitat for

Humanity (PHH) to help provide

affordable homes for working families

in the St Mary’s and Calvert


PHH President Dan Doherty

said the donation would help bring

the dream of homeownership for

another Habitat partner family a bit

closer to reality.

“We truly appreciate the generous

support shown by community

leaders and businesses during these

tough economic times,” Doherty

said. “Their commitment to assist

hardworking members of the community

is to be commended.”

As a result of this contribution,

Smartronix is eligible for a tax deduction

through the Community

Investment Tax Credit program provided

by the Maryland State Department of

Community Development.

Arshed Javaid, President and co-founder

of Smartronix stated, “Organizations such as

Habitat for Humanity are directly in line with

our company sponsorship goals. We are fortunate

to be in a position to help organizations

that offer so much directly back to the community.

Patuxent Habitat for Humanity partners

with families to build and finance quality

homes. Increased homeownership rates improve

our community. I challenge fellow businesses

to follow our lead.”

Habitat for Humanity International

(HFHI) is an ecumenical Christian ministry

that welcomes to its work all people dedicated

to the cause of eliminating poverty housing.

Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built

more than 300,000 houses worldwide, providing

simple, decent and affordable shelter for

more than 1.5 million people. For more information,

visit www.habitat.org.

Patuxent Habitat for Humanity (PHH) is

an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International

(HFHI), which works to create decent

affordable housing in partnership with those

in need in the St. Mary’s and Calvert counties.

For more information about donating, volunteering

or applying for a home, log on to www.

patuxenthabitat.org or call 301- 863-6227.


Small military contractors specialize to grab federal dollars

Published: 14 May 2010

From The Business Gazette

Congress has authorized nearly $700 billion in military spending this year, and much of that will go to giant contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for high-tech aircraft and missile systems. But a significant portion will also be spent in Maryland, on an eclectic range of goods and services from musical instruments and phonographs to Arabic role players.

Yet as the economy slowly recovers and private-sector opportunities remain relatively scarce, the small contractors in Maryland that supply these products to the Pentagon face growing competition.

Small businesses often provide the goods that meet the military's more mundane needs, such as the packaging for system components and even the storage bags that protect equipment from the elements.

The federal government, through the Small Business Administration, has a goal of 23 percent of its agency contracts going to small businesses. Although agencies have not met this goal since 2005, many Maryland businesses are trying to push themselves onto the Pentagon's contracting officers' radar screen.

"Ever since last August, we have had more businesses coming to our door who have never done business with the government ever before," said Archie Cardwell, deputy associate director of Fort Detrick's Office of Small Business Programs in Frederick.

A quick check of recent Defense Department contracts going to Maryland businesses includes $36,472 for musical instruments and phonographs from the Washington Music Sales Center in Wheaton; $36,750 to rent event barricades from Sonco Worldwide in Bladensburg; $206,040 for Arabic and English role players from Valbin Corp. in Silver Spring; $527,535 for herbicides to clear waterways for the Army Corps of Engineers from Vetcorp in Frederick; and $20.32 million for fuel from Fraga Group USA in Greenbelt.

Most small businesses pursue their contracts in smaller chunks instead of going after major prime projects, which require "deep pockets" if something goes wrong and a great deal of continuous research, said Paul Weisbrich, senior managing director for McGladrey Capital Markets, a military and aerospace analyst in California.

"The biggest advantage to small businesses contracting with defense agencies is the SBA requirement. If you can get that first contract, you have a good shot of getting a second one," said Jacques S. Gansler of the University of Maryland Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise.

‘They always pay'

"The best benefit of working with the military is that they always pay. You don't have to worry about that," said Bill Tilghman, general manager for Compass Languages in Crofton.

Compass Languages has an Army contract to translate Afghanistan reconstruction reports for presentation to the Afghan government and a Navy deal to provide interpreters for the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. The company won $28,000 from the Defense Logistics Agency in March for sign-language interpretation services.

Working with a full-time staff of eight, Compass might manage 2,500 linguists at any given time, soliciting local speakers through multiple channels, Tilghman said.

"The biggest challenge with the military is clearance. You have to have clearance and a contract, and you can't get one without the other. It takes some work to figure it out," he said. "But once you learn the processes, it's fairly predictable work."

Mukesh Sethi, owner of Phoenix Trading in Rockville, is unlikely to call his work predictable, as he works with 1,300 different vendors to supply systems parts, including those for Mine Resistant Ambush Protection vehicles. The company won $274,200 this month from the Defense Logistics Agency for axle assemblies.

Phoenix Trading, with 18 employees, specializes in military packaging and has been federally certified in the practice.

The company has already seen changes in Pentagon spending, Sethi said, as the government has gone from buying 3,000 units of an item at once in 2007 to 1,000 units now.

"Indirectly, the recession brought in more competition," Sethi said. "A lot of new companies are coming in, bidding at low cost and thinking they can outbid me, but it's impossible to do quality work at those costs." He estimates he competes with 45,000 vendors.

"It will take its toll because a lot will see it's not easy to work with the government. They want everything to be packed as per their need," Sethi said.

‘Not a lot of instant gratification'

In figuring out what the customer wants, it helps to have some educational background in the field, said Bob Lasser, president of Imperium, an imaging company in Beltsville, where he works with his father. He said his bachelor's degrees in science and math helps reassure prospective customers about the company's ultrasound camera.

Imperium's patented Acoustocam technology uses a remote wireless connection to transfer real-time, recorded data about the scanned material's structural integrity to users far away. The technology can detect potentially serious internal damage to a vehicle or air transport that was in a seemingly minor collision with a truck that left only a surface dent or two. Imperium provides such technology to the Navy's Patuxent River Naval Air Station and Edwards Air Force Base in California.

But while doing business with the Pentagon has helped Imperium triple in size last year — with an additional doubling in sales anticipated this year — it also has its challenges, including the time it takes the 15-employee company to pursue contracts, Lasser said.

"There's not a lot of instant gratification in this world," he said.

Belfort Instrument in Baltimore also provides technology to the Navy and Coast Guard, in the form of meteorological sensors.

Ralph Petragnani, vice president of sales and marketing for Belfort, described its main products as small airplanes without wings that provide detailed assessments on the wind.

The 45-employee company, with $10 million in annual sales, won $461,748 from the Navy in April for wind transmitters. Belfort will also be reproducing the design for the wind system it initially built for the Empire State Building in 1939, intended to help blimps dock.

Unlike some Pentagon contractors, Belfort is not too concerned about the future of the military budget, Petragnani said.

"Because we don't make armament or anything for the wars, we don't see it as much of a hit. These could be on merchant ships," he said of the wind instruments.

Sewing up contracts

Avalon Industries also remains unfazed by potential military budget changes.

The Baltimore custom sewing house provides the military with items like gun covers, landing nets and shower curtains. The 35-employee company won $299,471 from the Defense Logistics Agency in April for infrared equipment cases.

"The biggest problem we run into are outdated standards," said Steve Manlove, president of Avalon, explaining how Avalon sometimes must update its orders to give customers the best possible product.

Avalon turned more to Pentagon contracts when the recession hit its commercial business, forcing one of its suppliers to Taiwan, Manlove said.

"It's its own jobs program. The things we make are disposable, so they'll always need to be replaced," he said. "It's not just for the U.S. either; these things are resold to our allies."

He also spoke of the increasing competition for contracts, saying sometimes Avalon will not bother bidding because it is impossible to beat companies bidding at a loss.

"We tend to cherry-pick," Manlove said.

‘Faced with different regulations'

Tom Crawford, director of business development at MaTech in Salisbury, said his manufacturing company is just keeping an eye on things for now.

MaTech, which employs 215, produces close-tolerance machined and sheet metal parts and assemblies, including M4 carbine sightings, mortar fins and components for the Stryker Armored Vehicle.

In January, the company won an Army contract for $475,524 for 30mm guns.

The key to federal contracting is developing relationships, Crawford said, emphasizing the multitude of organizations companies must work with, from contracting and administration to getting paid.

"A lot of times they don't talk to each other, and you can be faced with different regulations from each that can be challenging to resolve," Crawford said. "There's a lot of cross-organizational conference calls."

Maintaining MaTech's high standards is equally important, he said.

"Regardless how you feel about the [war] contracts [the country is] engaged in, the people on the front lines deserve the best equipment we can possibly get to them," Crawford said. "We build things every soldier is going to use."

Whether companies should stick to their guns, so to speak, and continue focusing on military contracting or start shifting back toward more private-sector deals is debatable.

"My advice would be to ride this out and just don't spread yourself thin through multiple agencies," said Cardwell, at Fort Detrick.

But Weisbrich, the McGladrey analyst, argues that the military industry expects its private-sector side to go up 15 percent in the coming years.

Contractors should consider a major shift in the Pentagon's mindset, he said. In the past, military agencies wanted products to perform more than what was needed, even if that meant longer production times. Now, the agencies want products faster, even if they don't perform above standards.

"Three years ago, the government was looking for a 140 percent solution at several years," Weisbrich said. "Now, it's looking for an 80 percent solution in several months. The supplier base isn't used to this."


TPP Member TSA honored for community work, solid business

Published: 04 Jun 2010

From The Enterprise

Community service sealed the deal for Technology Security Associates' receipt of The Patuxent Partnership Member Firm of the Year award, according to company Chief Operations Officer Tom Jarboe.

The California-based company, which does weapons security work for the Department of Defense, has been heavily involved with the American Red Cross and supports other charities as well, Jarboe said.

"As one of the owners I'm definitely passionate about doing betterment in the community. Being a defense contractor offers me the ability to have the resources to go out and actively do things I'd like to do, just because they're fun and, I think, important for the community," he said.

TSA has about 50 employees and satellite offices in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Cherry Point, N.C., Jarboe said.

Jarboe and company President Lee Bradshaw have opened their doors to the Southern Maryland chapter of the American Red Cross, both literally and figuratively. The company has donated office space in its new complex to the relief organization. "They've done more than that, but that's a start," said Mike Zabko, the group's Southern Maryland CEO. "… I can't say enough good things about Technology Security Associates. It's just one of the companies, if you say ‘community service,' TSA is the entry that comes after that in the dictionary."

In fact, TSA is the only local participant in the "Ready When the Time Comes" program that teaches people how to respond appropriately to emergencies before they happen, Zabko said.

"Mr. Jarboe, Mr. Bradshaw, the principals of the corporation, found early on the value of having their employees ready when the time comes. We've gone in there, trained many of their employees. We've trained [them] for disaster services and they're ready if there should be a big disaster. In the interim, what's happened is a few of their employees have become interested in local disasters," volunteering to help those displaced by house fires, Zabko said. The company also sponsors a troop of Boy Scouts and was a founding member of Leadership Southern Maryland, a development group for business and community leaders, Jarboe said.

TSA has assisted those outside of the state as well, including contributing to relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, Jarboe said. In late 2005, TSA was one of the companies that executed "Operation Mississippi Christmas" to send Christmas presents to children in one coastal town affected by the storm.

But philanthropy wasn't the only factor in The Patuxent Partnership's decision. The partnership chooses its nominee based on the company's profitability, working environment and community involvement, said Gene McHugh, chairman of the group's committee for Leading Edge Award nominations. The board of directors chooses the winner following vetting by the committee, and TSA won by a broad margin, he said.

"In this case, the write-up we got from them indicated they had a very successful year as far as business was concerned. A number of sub-areas that we look at, that indicate whether it's a good year or a bad year, the number of contracts they've won, any kind of recognition they've gotten from peers or individuals … and what they told us about their company culture, including how they support and reward their employees," said McHugh, who is vice president of operations for RedBlack Communications in Hollywood. "And then, of course we also put a lot of stock into what they give back to the community in terms of sponsorship of volunteerism on the part of their people and the company itself getting involved in such things as hurricane relief for Haiti and those kinds of things, indicating the company is doing more than basic business and accounting; they're actually a contributing member of our society as well."

TSA will formally receive the award at the 10th annual Leading Edge Awards dinner from 6 to 9:30 p.m. June 23 at the Waldorf Jaycees center.



TPP Member BAE Systems and Community Support Opens New Visitor Center at Sotterley Plantation

Published: 30 Jun 2010

From Sotterley Times

 On May 1, Sotterley Plantation officially opened for the guided tour season. This would not have been possible, however, if not for the generous support and hard work of several incredible members of the community, and under an extremely tight deadline. The effort not only transformed a building into the new Visitor Center, but also saved Sotterley thousands of dollars.

The reason for the urgency was because the basement wall of the former Museum Shop had collapsed. Sotterley officials decided that The Knott House would be the best choice to house both the new Visitor Center and Museum Shop.

With only three weeks left before the opening of the season, several employees of BAE Systems put forth a herculean effort and accomplished what was thought to be nearly an impossible feat. They, along with members of the community, transformed the one-time Knott House into the new Visitor Center and Museum Shop.

Their worked ranged from reinforcing and re-hanging the ceiling, sanding and painting the Exhibit Room, Museum Shop, and restroom walls, building new bookshelves, purchasing and installing a new door and locks, repainting the outside railings, hanging new track lighting, moving electrical fixtures, and enclosing a closet.

Over the past seven years, BAE Systems has consistently played a major role in enabling the site to remain open to the public, because of their continued belief in the Sotterley Plantation mission - of serving as an educational resource and cultural venue while seeking to preserve, interpret and research the plantation’s diverse cultures and environments throughout its history.

This latest incredible act of generosity is added to the long list of their support of Sotterley and other organizations within the community.

Dennis Kund, longtime supporter of Sotterley, created the new, incredible, ‘you can’t miss us now’ on-site signage. Over the years Kund has billed minimally for his services, donating most of his considerable time. His assistant Marguerite Seifert was a tremendous help in creating and installing the new artwork and signs. Clark’s Flooring also donated well over half of the cost for the new carpet, padding, and installation. 

Because of a generous community, Sotterley now boasts a new Visitor Center, and the venue is not done. More new exhibits are to come; many of which should be ready for visitors this summer. All are invited to come and experience these magnificent changes at Sotterley.

Blimp expected to arrive to help track oil slick

Published: 06 Jul 2010

From CNN

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) -- A massive, silver-colored blimp is expected to arrive in the Gulf Coast Tuesday to aid in oil disaster response efforts.

The U.S. Navy airship will be used to detect oil, direct skimming ships and look for wildlife that may be threatened by oil, the Coast Guard said Monday.

The 178-foot-long blimp, known as the MZ-3A, can carry a crew of up to 10. It will fly slowly over the region to track where the oil is flowing and how it is coming ashore.

The Navy says the advantage of the blimp over current helicopter surveillance operations is that it can stay aloft longer, with lower fuel costs, and can survey a wider area.

To read more, please go to:



Tedco funds 200th portfolio company

Published: 21 May 2010

From the Business Gazette

The Maryland Technology Development Corp. has funded its 200th portfolio company, American Dynamics Flight Systems of Jessup, which received $75,000 on Monday from Tedco's NAVAIR Technology Insertion program.

In Tedco's 12 years, it has provided more than $8.5 million to Maryland businesses through its signature Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund.

American Dynamics develops unmanned aircraft systems, including a maritime aircraft system capable of vertical takeoff and landing, and high-speed flight. The company is assessing the viability of its technologies with the Navy, according to Tedco.


TPP Member St. Mary's Ryken Mock Trial Team Makes School History - Earns Final Four Berth

Published: 09 Jul 2010

It was almost a case of David vs.Goliath. From a field of 120 Marylandhigh school teams, it was now down to four. 

 The SMR mock trial team, for the first time in school history, reached the “final four” round of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) High School Mock Trial Competition in Annapolis. SMR had faced some surprises during the season and now, they would face Severna Park, a team that had won the state championship twice and was looking to regain the title after losing in the final round last year.

“The other two teams [in the final four] came from schools much like St. Mary’s Ryken – small religious based institutions - Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy from Montgomery County and Bishop Walsh High School from Allegany County,” said Samuel C.P. Baldwin Jr., Esq., the attorney coach for the SMR team. “Severna Park had two of everything. They had two teacher coaches; we had one. They had two attorney coaches; we had one. They actually had two entire teams with dedicated students for each role; we essentially had one and a half teams and we asked students to switch back and forth depending on whether we were the prosecution or the defense. I believe Severna Park had about eight returning seniors; we had no seniors, one junior and everyone else being sophomores.”

This year’s trial case centered on an incident of bullying that escalated into harassment and culminated in an assault, with mitigating circumstances. Under the tutelage of their coaches - faculty member Leanne Carr and attorney Sam Baldwin - the SMR team prepared both a prosecution and a defense of the case.

Mock trials are held in actual courtrooms with a real, volunteer judge presiding. Students take on the roles of attorneys, plaintiffs, defendants and witnesses.

SMR went undefeated in the first part of the season (4-0) and then qualified for the regional, or circuit, competition where they were ranked second. For the competition, schools are divided into eight circuits and SMR competes in the seventh along with schools from Prince Georges, Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.

SMR went undefeated (8-0) in this round and claimed the title of 7th Circuit Champions for the third year in a row, also winning awards for best student attorney and best student witness. The team holds a regional record of 23 wins and one loss over the past three years.

 In the state-wide round, that SMR has never won in the five years they have been competing, the team was thrown a curveball.

“What happened this year was totally new to us,” said Mr. Baldwin. “The student who played the role of a neurosurgeon, our expert witness, in all eight of our previous wins suddenly became unavailable to participate in the state-wide competition. We only had two other returning students, and both of them had been lawyers in [all previous trials]. What that meant is that we would have to take a brand new student and ask her to learn the role that was without a doubt the most important part of the trial...Fortunately, the lawyer on our team who was handling this witness was already recognized as the best attorney in the first eight trials. If anyone on the  team was going to be able to help this witness, John Houser was the person who would do it. We tapped Chelsea Lollar to fill in as the new expert witness. Chelsea had demonstrated an innate ability to communicate and demonstrated a sense of confidence on the stand.”

“We traveled to Towson where we competed against St. John’s Catholic Prep from Frederick,” continued Mr. Baldwin. “Because of the way of the trial took place in Towson, Chelsea was the last witness to testify in the trial. A solid performance would guarantee a win. A case of the jitters would sink us. Chelsea and John, working together, pulled it off and got us into the state-wide finals.”

In Annapolis, the SMR team faced Severna Park. “Despite the difference in team make up, SMR actually tied Severna Park on points,” said Mr. Baldwin. “The victory went to Severna Park because of a tie breaker point.” Although SMR technically won the case (Their defendant was acquitted on all charges.), the  their third state championship title in the past five years. 

“It has been a pleasure to coach the mock trial team for five years now,” said Mr. Baldwin. “Leanne Carr has been a very enthusiastic coach to work with. The students who come out for mock trial exhibit a mixture of eagerness to learn the trial tactics, a willingness to put in the effort required to succeed, and exuberance at doing well. Spending day after day in trial preparation, practices and competition, it is apparent that the team is made up of teenagers who are on the one hand, enjoying their high school experience and on the other hand, looking  ahead at colleges and careers.” 

Since there is only one student on the team who will be a senior next year (John) and the rest of the team will be juniors, supporters and parents are making early predictions of an SMR mock trial dynasty in the upcoming years.


Student News


TPP Member Technical Systems Integration, Inc. (TSI) Prime Office Space Available for Sub Lease

Published: 13 Jul 2010

We are offering for rent 4 offices for sub lease. These offices can be leased furnished as well as unfurnished. All 4 offices are currently furnished with brand new L shaped desks with hutch (7 desks in total), high back leather chairs as well as book shelves for binders and storage. A separate entrance is available to the office area. Two of the offices are large enough to accommodate 3 to 4 employees each. One office is a corner office with two windows, 2 offices have 1 window and only one office is an interior office with no natural light. We are offering to share a large furnished conference room with mounted overhead projection, 2 large white boards and a separate desk and high back chair to accommodate someone operating the overhead projection. We have a small kitchen with a microwave, sink and refrigerator that will be shared. The total office space is just over 2700 sqft. Our rate for sub lease will be dependant upon how much office space you require. Minimum of 1 year lease required. You won’t find more prime office space for a better price! Please contact Dave Ambos at 240-925-5639 (ambosd@tecsysint.com) or Tammy Barrows at 240-725-0460 x 221 (barrowst@tecsysint.com) for more information.





CNO Pays Visit to PAX

Published: 15 Jul 2010

From The Tester

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead came to NAS Patuxent River Monday. Taking the time to brief both the Patuxent Partnership and NAVAIR, he also toured some of the new planes that are in the testing and development phase here.

During his brief at the Patuxent Partnership, Roughead commented on the new platforms being tested and developed onboard Pax River. ‘‘This is an important time in naval history,” he said. ‘‘We are renewing ourselves in naval aviation with programs like the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the venerable P-8 and BAMS, along with other unmanned systems.”

While addressing the crowd of more than 200 in attendance, he spoke of the importance of the Navy in the world today. ‘‘Our Navy is out there making a difference,” he said. ‘‘Our aircraft carriers remain the most significant symbol of power in the western Pacific. We currently have a carrier in the north Caribbean who is providing 30 percent of our fixed wing sorties in the area there. Our P-3s have made a difference in the ground war in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Roughead went on to sing his praises of the P-3, which will soon be replaced by the P-8 Poseidon. ‘‘Whether it is supporting our SEALs, chasing pirates or locating mineral deposits in Iraq, our P-3 has served us well,” he said.

Roughead also addressed the importance of the new platforms, such as the P-8 and the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). ‘‘This is a very exciting time in naval aviation,” he said. ‘‘JSF, UAVs and the P-8 are all more cost effective and safer ways for the Navy to utilize our naval aviation component.”

After completing his brief to the Patuxent Partnership, the CNO gave a closed door briefing to NAVAIR employees. Afterward, he toured the display of planes in Hangar 101 currently in development and testing .

Pax River Commanding Officer Capt. Steve Schmeiser greeted the CNO, and, along with Vice Adm. David Architzel, commander of NAVAIR, they observed the E2-D Hawkeye, an F-35, the new P-8 Poseidon and a BAMS aircraft.

Roughead spent time aboard both the E2-D and the P-8 where members of flight crews explained the new systems. Even though Roughead was not able to sit in the cockpit of the F-35, AMEC (AW) Alex Cadiz and Lt. Col. Fred Schenk from the JSF program took the time to point out some of the features the new plane offers to the CNO.

Upon his return to Washington, Roughead posted an update on his Facebook page addressing his time spent at Pax River.

‘‘I had a great visit to Patuxent River and Naval Air Systems Command today,” said Roughead. ‘‘I met with the Patuxent Partnership and spent time with NAVAIR leadership and spent time in the new P8 POSEIDON and new E2D. Joint Strike Fighter was there as well as our large UAV, BAMS. As I took it all in it was clear to me Naval Aviation is in a great place for the future.”


Navy boss: Economy forces rethinking future

Published: 16 Jul 2010

From The Enterprise

"It's no coincidence that I'm down here," said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, to an audience Monday at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California before his inspection of Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

"For those who question the value of naval aviation, I tend to get a little excited about it," said Roughead, the highest-ranking naval officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He noted that as the century anniversary of Navy flight approaches, "We are in a new dawn for naval aviation."

Roughead pointed to upcoming technologies, such as the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, the unmanned Broad Area Marine Surveillance plane and the P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine patrol plane, as evidence. Roughead praised the base's testing role in these programs.

"Pax River, the work that you do here … all of it is a national treasure," he said.

However, the primary theme of Roughead's speech was a warning of reducing Navy capacity too far in the pursuit of a smaller defense budget.

"It's easy to look at our Navy today and talk about the size in relation to other nations," Roughead said, noting that the Navy currently has four aircraft carriers and seven amphibious assault ships deployed around the world. "I used to drive fleets around. Now I drive budgets around. I'll let you decide which is more fun."

The budgets, like the fleets, are not getting bigger. Roughead said the Navy's funding has just come off a cyclical high point and is heading down a slope.

"Our nation's security rests on our economy," Roughead said. "We started about two years ago in the Navy, to rethink where we were going in the future. … This time it is different. It really is different."

Roughead said the Navy slashed unproductive programs, such as a new destroyer design, unmanned underwater submarines and missiles. It then moved into cyber warfare, increasing its Internet defenses and intelligence-gathering abilities.

As a result, during the recent military buildup, the Navy still lost 37 ships, Roughead said. The fleet saw a 16 percent reduction in manpower, but pays 13 percent more for it. He expects the fleet to shrink from 280 ships to 220 by the year 2020.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) also touched on the reduction theme in his introduction of Roughead, noting that small instances of base realignment and closure are regularly happening outside of any official BRAC process. "The BRAC that is a formal process is a lot less scary than the BRAC that is an informal process," Hoyer said.

Roughead said it is important for the Navy to pursue new capabilities, but, he warned, "It's important that we begin to think about capacity."

Before leaving the podium, Roughead announced that there was one technology that he could use "more than anything else" to increase Navy capacity — safe power for unmanned submarines that can last for weeks and surge when necessary.

"That can change the game for us in the Navy," Roughead said. "If this country can't do it, nobody can."



Published: 15 Jul 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced the full Committee has approved the fiscal year 2011 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. This year’s bill includes $220.2 million in the federal checkbook for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) projects in Maryland. The bill will now move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.


“My promises made to BRAC-impacted communities are promises kept. BRAC brings great opportunities, but it also brings great challenges. It’s my job to put money in the federal checkbook where there is a federal responsibility, but not enough funding. That’s why I fought so hard to put this funding in the federal checkbook. This funding will help keep BRAC on track in Maryland in 2011, and bring tens of thousands of new jobs to the state,” Senator Mikulski said.


The funding bill includes $220.2 million for the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, for the following BRAC projects:


  • $192.6 million for the continued construction of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center hospital. This funding will keep construction on track and make preparations for moving personnel and equipment for the scheduled closure of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.


  • $27.6 million to mitigate traffic hot-spots at the entry of National Naval Medical Center and improve access to the Medical Center metro. This will help traffic flow smoothly on and off the base so patients, care providers and administrators can travel safely to and from the expanded health care campus.


Senator Mikulski was a leader in the fight to prepare Maryland communities and military bases for the 2005 BRAC process. The BRAC Commission's recommendations were a huge success and will bring 45,000-60,000 new jobs to Maryland by 2020, and new sources of state revenue.




Published: 15 Jul 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced the fiscal year 2011 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill honors the nation’s obligations to America’s veterans, putting $120.9 billion in the federal checkbook for several key veterans programs. 


“Whether fighting to defend democracy overseas or standing sentry on the home front, America’s veterans have been there for us. We have a sacred commitment to honor all of the promises made to them when they signed up to fight for us,” Senator Mikulski said. “That’s why I am working hard every day in the U.S. Senate to ensure that the federal government maintains its commitment to veterans. Promises made must be promises kept.”


This year’s funding bill includes $217.6 million for women’s veteran’s programs. It will be used to meet the unique needs of women vets, including a new housing program to provide more family friendly housing for women veterans who are homeless and caring for children. The bill provides an additional $3.4 million for programs that will target overall homelessness rates of veterans.


The bill also includes important funding to improve current health care programs for veterans. The bill provides $590 million for medical and prosthetic research as well as $250 million to fully fund the Rural Health Care Initiative, which works to close the veteran’s care gap in rural areas.


The bill was approved by the full Committee this afternoon. In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.




Published: 15 Jul 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced the fiscal year 2011 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill includes $634.8 million for construction projects on military bases in Maryland. The bill, which passed the full committee this afternoon, will now move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.


“I told Maryland’s military leaders I would fight for this funding. My promises made are promises kept,” Senator Mikulski said. “A stronger America begins at home. That’s why I fight every year to make sure our military has the tools it needs to keep us safe. I will keep fighting to make sure Maryland has the funding it needs in the federal checkbook to support our military families and bases.”


The funding bill includes $12.8 million to complete the second phase of construction of the Indian Head Energetics Technology Lab complex in Maryland. Senator Mikulski specifically requested this funding in the federal checkbook, which will give employees a modern facility and the best tools to protect our troops.


This new energetic technology lab complex will consolidate work among 19 different work stations and bring the employees and the mission together to a single modern, safe and cutting edge facility. This new facility will support the Defense Center of Excellence for Energetics Technology research in energetics and development supporting our national security.


The funding bill also includes the following funding to support several key projects at Maryland’s military bases:


Aberdeen Proving Ground:


  • $105 million for the third phase of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense.


  • $14.6 million for the second phase of the automotive technology evaluative center.

Andrews Air Force Base:


  • $14 million to build a new fuel storage and distribution facility for the Defense Logistics Agency.


Bethesda Medical Center


  • $17.1 million for parking lot upgrades and expansion.


  •  $62.9 million to build transient wounded warrior lodging facilities.


Fort Detrick


  • $17.4 million for the next phase of new the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease. This facility is the cornerstone of our military’s effort to stay one step ahead of potential threats to our troops from biological agents. The more modern facility will ensure the engineers and scientists at Fort Detrick have the tools to complete their mission. They will also ensure that they carry out their work in facilities that have the most modern safety and security features.


  • $23.1 million to construct a consolidated logistics facility at Fort Detrick.


  • $4.3 million to expand the information services facility.


  • $15.6 million to upgrade and repair supplemental water storate and water treatment plant at Fort Detrick.


  • $2.7 million for security fencing for the National Interagency Bio-Defense Campus.


National Security Agency, Fort Meade


  • $219.4 million for the next phase of the South Campus utility plant construction.


Fort Meade


  • $25 million for construction of the wide band satellite communications (SATCOM) operations center.


  • $7.6 million for construction on an indoor firing range.


Martin State Airport, Baltimore Maryland


  • $11.4 million to replace the operations and medical training facility for the Air Force National Guard.


Naval Station Activity Indian Head


  • $34.2 million for the second phase of the agile chemical facility.


Naval Station Patuxent River


  • $42.2 million for the second phase of the broad area maritime surveillance training facility.


St. Inigoes, MD


  • $5.5 million for the construction of a tactical unmanned aircraft system facility for the Army National Guard.


Published: 14 Jul 2010

July 14, 2010 - Glenn Frank, CPA, Askey, Askey & Associates, CPA, LLC provided best accounting practices to home-based business owners at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center.    The two hour speaking engagement informed home-based business owners about the need for a team, who should be on your team, and what things to look for in an accountant as a team member.  Your accountant should help small business owners understand the importance of keeping adequate books and records, allowable business expenses , home office deductions , and tax preparation and financial statements.

Hans Welch, DECD Manager of Business Development provided the introduction and kicked things off by giving participants an opportunity to discuss and network their businesses.

Glenn Frank, CPA clearly explained what tax deductions are and requirements needed before deductions are allowed.   “Most businesses pay over 40% of their net earnings in some form of tax to the federal and state government,” said Glenn Frank, III, CPA.  “However, claiming deductions that are not allowed can easily result in significant penalties and even jail time.”    

Each participant received a comprehensive checklist to ensure that they cover all the basics.

“This seminar was wonderful!  The information provided was very helpful and is what all home-based business owners must know,” said Carolyn Huff, Manager Training Simplified, LLC.  “We always enjoy the opportunity to lead discussions for businesses to help with accounting, tax and financial matters”, added Glenn Frank.


NSWC Dahlgren, University of Mary Washington expand Educational Partnership

Published: 08 Jul 2010

From The South Potomac Pilot

DAHLGREN, Va. – Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren and University of Mary Washington leadership announced the expansion of an educational partnership agreement, June 22.

The expansion provides the university’s students with the opportunity to work with Navy engineers and scientists on diverse and mutually beneficial innovative research projects.

“This expansion of our educational partnership is the next step to generate University of Mary Washington students' interest and participation in Navy research,“ said Chris Hodge, head of NSWC Dahlgren’s Chemical, Biological and Radiological Concepts and Experimentation Branch. “It allows us to attract and develop the Navy's, and the Nation's, future workforce through potential internships.“

NSWC Dahlgren, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), provided a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer on loan to the university which will be housed in a renovated laboratory at the Jepson Science Center on the Fredericksburg campus. The high-resonance instrument will provide valuable information about the structure of molecules, and will be used cooperatively by the Department of Chemistry and NSWC Dahlgren scientists.

Assistant Chemistry Professor and an expert in molecular recognition, Janet Asper collaborated with NSWC Dahlgren in the loan of the high-resonance instrument.

‘‘With the NMR spectrometer in place, the chemistry department has all the modern instrumentation of any university chemistry department, and our students will be exposed to all instrumentation that they will use after they graduate from Mary Washington, either in industry or graduate school,” Asper said.

The university also received a $10,000 grant from the warfare center in 2009 providing funds to purchase additional equipment and operate projects related to the spectrometer.

‘‘I’m delighted the university has been able to partner with NSWC Dahlgren, and look forward to ever-increasing ties as we plan for the opening of a new facility adjacent to the Center next year,” said Acting President Richard V. Hurley. ‘‘This partnership provides the seed for limitless educational opportunities that will benefit both students and faculty at Mary Washington, and the scientists at Dahlgren.”

The original Educational Partnership Agreement - established in July 2008 to aid in the educational experience of UMW students – provides a mechanism by which students can benefit from NSWC Dahlgren’s staff expertise, unique facilities and equipment related to chemical, biological and radiological defense.

The expansion of the partnership between NSWC Dahlgren and the University of Mary Washington is one of many educational programs across the NAVSEA enterprise demonstrating the command’s commitment to developing the next generation of leaders through academic community outreach.


Middle school students join Navy technologists to solve problems

Published: 22 Jul 2010

From The South Potomac Pilot

Middle school students used their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to solve problems of Navy interest at the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) Virginia Demonstration Project (VDP) Summer Academy from June 28 to July 2.

More than 90 students joined mentor volunteers - Navy scientists and engineers - at the summer camp to work on STEM activities and projects impacting eight simulated naval robotic missions at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division.

“Providing 'hands-on-activities' in an environment with teachers and subject matter experts promoting STEM careers is a great opportunity for our area middle school students,“ said Jane Bachman, Summer Camp Director and NSWC Dahlgren Advanced Concepts and Payloads engineer. “It was exciting to see students' interest in STEM careers continue to build throughout the week.“

Navy and NDEP officials anticipate that the students may one day use their STEM skills at Naval Warfare Center laboratories to design future technologies supporting U.S. warfighters and America's homeland defense and security.

“The NDEP VDP's goal is to increase the attraction of the Navy's Warfare Centers and Shipyards as an eventual place of employment for the students participating in the program,“ said NDEP VDP Program Manager Bob Stiegler. “Experience to date has shown that students can be attracted to and retained in engineering programs if they are exposed early to the joys of creation through design, discovery through research, and invention through hands-on experimentation.“

Throughout the event, 17 science teachers from the greater King George, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline and Fredericksburg area school systems challenged students with scenarios mimicking real engineering problems such as land mine clearing, oil spills over a Coral Reef, and using sonar to map an ‘‘ocean floor”.

The teachers teamed with NSWC Dahlgren mentors who shared valuable insight with the students who worked on technological solutions to save fictional lives and deliver humanitarian aid.

“It is important to provide encouragement and stimulation to our young people regarding the field of science,“ said Bachman. “The working environment experience where students can sense the why, what and how things are done through interaction with scientists and engineers can benefit them when making their future career decisions.“

NDEP VDP originated under the Office of Naval Research (ONR) N-STAR (Naval Research - Science and Technology for America's Readiness), a science and technology workforce development program launched in 2004 by the Office of Naval Research. It was initiated to show a diversity of pre-teens and teens that math, science and engineering are fascinating, fun and socially relevant.

The program teams up teachers with practicing scientists and engineers from the mentor-rich environment at the Naval Warfare Centers. During the school year, science and math themes featuring robotics problems were integrated throughout the curriculum.

Moreover, the College of William and Mary impacted VDP and the summer camp by developing a curriculum for students who learn about STEM at military bases and providing training to Navy Warfare Center mentors. NDEP's VDP process is more than students learning how to program robots or build, assemble and demonstrate the projects. It's also about team building and is all inclusive.

“We teach teamwork and how to communicate with each other and how to share ideas so that their skills come out while having a lot of fun,“ said Stiegler, concluding that, “the goal is to get them all interested in mathematics and science.“ Since its inception, VDP's ultimate goal has been to establish educational outreach programs at other Navy research and development centers throughout the country.

The initiative could eventually expand beyond the Navy and evolve into a national demonstration project encompassing all Department of Defense laboratories in a sustained effort to secure the long-term competitiveness of America's science and technology workforce by hooking more kids on math and science at an earlier age. As a result, the number of students earning university degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology is expected to exponentially increase.


Maryland economic leaders visit Indian Head

Published: 22 Jul 2010

From The South Potomac Pilot

The managing director and staff for Maryland’s Office of Military and Federal Affairs visited Naval Support Facility Indian Head last week for an update on the installation, its mission activities and economic impact.

Retired Marine Brig. Gen. Michael Hayes headed the delegation, which is a component of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Development. The department promotes economic growth in the state and works with Maryland’s legislative leaders to make sure facilities that support the warfighter have state support to continue and whenever possible increase their mission.

The Office of Military and Federal Affairs coordinates and leverages resources in the public, private and academic sectors, and serves as the state’s liaison to federal government agencies located in Maryland.

The office develops business relationships between U.S. military bases, federal laboratories and private companies in Maryland, and works to minimize the adverse impact of closures of military bases or federal facilities.

Cmdr. Dennis Quick, executive officer for Naval Support Activity South Potomac, welcomed the group and hosted a briefing on NSF Indian Head that profiled the installation’s history and the current community of military commands resident on the base, and their primary missions.

On-going and planned development for NSF Indian Head, as well as recent initiatives to improve the base’s infrastructure and address environmental issues, was also discussed.

The group then received an overview briefing on Indian Head Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (IHD NSWC). Capt. Andy Buduo, Commander IHD NSWC, explained the division’s importance, stating, ‘‘We are the only warfare center whose mission statement says we serve the Navy, joint forces, and the nation.” About 68 percent of IHD NSWC’s customer base is Navy; the rest are other services and departments within the government.

Buduo also explained that IHD NSWC is the only Department of Defense organization that executes substantial work in all aspects of energetics. Energetics are explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics, reactive materials, related chemicals and fuels and their application in propulsion systems and ordnance.

IHD NSWC's importance in Charles County was also highlighted for the visitors. Dr. Rob Gates, IHD NSWC’s Technical Director, emphasized, “We are the biggest technical employer in Charles County.“ IHD NSWC employs about 1,300 employees at the Indian Head location, and with BRAC moves, expects to employ about 1,500 by the end of 2012. Most of IHD NSWC's workforce are carrying on a tradition. Buduo explained to the group, “If you go into the family business here...you come to work at Indian Head.“

Buduo added, “We are a very educated workforce.“ The division employs more than 50 Ph.D's, 160 employees have master’s degrees, and more than 500 have a bachelor's degree.

In addition to an educated and highly skilled workforce, IHD NSWC has a unique “cradle to grave“ philosophy. Scientists and engineers at the facility not only research and develop the processes; in some cases, components needed to build the energetic devices are manufactured at Indian Head.

Buduo also highlighted the critical role that safety plays in IHD NSWC’s operations. ‘‘Because we’re in an explosive environment, safety really dominates our day-to-day operations,” he emphasized as he described how many of the industrial facilities on the installation were designed. IHD NSWC’s safety program has been extremely effective, enabling the command to celebrate two million safe work hours earlier this month, he announced.

During the IHD NSWC briefing, Hayes commented, ‘‘Some of us who have been here before know Indian Head is not just a Maryland treasure, but a national treasure.”

The visit also included a tour of IHD NSWC’s Detonation Science Facility, where the group learned more about the division’s ‘‘cradle to grave” abilities. Rob Beagley, manager of the Detonation Technology Branch, explained the concept, saying, ‘‘I can take your IED (Improvised Explosive Device) of choice, detonate it in the (detonation) chamber, analyze it, tell you how it’s made, and what’s in it, then dispose of the remaining debris safely, all within the gates of Indian Head.”

Accompanying the members from the Office of Military and Legislative Affairs for the visit were Dr. Rebecca Bridgett, making her first visit to the installation since she was selected to be Charles County Administrator last summer, along with Dennis Chappell, president of the Indian Head Defense Alliance.

Gary Wagner, NSASP Public Affairs Officer, contributed to this article.


Captain Smith relieves Captain Patterson at Dahlgren

Published: 22 Jul 2010

From The Tester

Capt. Michael Smith assumed command of Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division, relieving Capt. Sheila Patterson on July 9 as they stood beside a 16-inch naval gun during a change of command ceremony at the Naval Support Facility Dahlgren parade field.

‘‘I pledge to do everything possible to support you as you do what you've proven to be so capable at doing – being the technical expertise and brain trust of the Navy's warfare systems,” Smith told over 700 employees watching the ceremony in person or on their computers via a live broadcast.

The ceremony also marked Patterson’s retirement following 28 years of naval service. Reflecting on the command’s accomplishments during her three-year tenure, she commended NSWC Dahlgren Division personnel for achievements impacting a wide-range of programs.

“The strength of Dahlgren Division lies in its people from the technical director and board of directors to the scientists, engineers and technicians in our technical departments to our business professionals throughout the command,“ said Patterson. “It lies in our relationships with our sponsors, our customers and partners, and our leadership.“

Highlighting a few of ‘‘Dahlgren’s many accomplishments,” Patterson recounted a myriad of milestones in the Joint Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, Electromagnetic Railgun; Littoral Combat System Surface Warfare Mission Package; Navy Expeditionary Overwatch System; Shipboard Protection System, Hydra Hunter Joint Force Protection, Strategic and Weapon Control Systems, Laser Weapon System, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Gunslinger and Asymmetric Defense systems programs.

NSWC Commander Rear Adm. James Shannon, the event's principal speaker, compared Patterson’s career and her command of NSWC Dahlgren Division with the naval service of Rear Adm. John Dahlgren, the “Father of American naval ordnance” and inventor of the Dahlgren gun.

‘‘Similar to the Dahlgren Gun, Capt. Patterson opened the doors of the new Naval Directed Energy Center and successfully tracked, engaged and destroyed targets representative of potential threats, validating the military utility of Directed Energy,” said Shannon. ‘‘Just like Dahlgren conducted cannon firings across the Anacostia River, Sheila led the team in conducting record-setting firings of the Electromagnetic Railgun – next generation weaponry for our 21st century Sailors and Marines.”

The NSWC commander also compared NSWC Dahlgren Division’s new commander with the legendary civil war admiral known for technological innovations that helped pave the way for today’s maritime force.

‘‘I look forward to your (Smith’s) dynamic leadership in taking the NSWC Dahlgren Team to new heights — delivering cutting edge science and engineering to our 21st century warfighters,” said Shannon. ‘‘You too, follow Commodore Dahlgren’s legacy. This is both an honor and privilege that few naval officers can claim.”

NSWC Dahlgren Division Technical Director Carl Siel addressed the outgoing and incoming commanders in his welcoming remarks, thanking Captain Patterson for her leadership and friendship and assuring support for Captain Smith. ‘‘One thing I can say with confidence – you (Captain Smith) have the commitment of the entire NSWC Dahlgren Division workforce behind you,” said Siel.

‘‘The NSWC Dahlgren and Dam Neck Team, NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command), the Engineering Duty Officer community, the Navy and our nation thank you (Captain Patterson) for your hard work and your tireless dedication,” added Shannon. ‘‘More importantly, your visible, and empowering leadership style as well as your genuine compassion for the men and women under your command, embodies the definition of a true leader.”

Captain Smith – who reports to NSWC Dahlgren Division from assignment as the deputy program manager for the Zumwalt Class (DDG-1000) Program at the Washington Navy Yard – also reflected on Patterson’s career and achievements.

‘‘Not only has she (Captain Patterson) done great things working in the various programs that she has been a member of or led – not to mention being the commander here at the Warfare Center in Dahlgren for over three years – but she has tirelessly mentored numerous combat systems-focused engineering duty officers, ensuring that the community has the talent and skills to develop and support the Navy's warfare systems,” said Smith. ‘‘She has ensured that this important segment of our community is ready today, and what is more, she has groomed future generations of leaders.”

Smith’s extensive operational and acquisition experience includes tours aboard USS Robison (DDG-12), supervisor of Shipbuilding Pascagoula; technical director for Program Executive Office Ships-Fleet; North Atlantic Treaty Organization Seasparrow Project Office; the DD(X) Program; and the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Surface Warfare Directorate in the Pentagon.

The new NSWC Dahlgren Division commander first enlisted in the Navy in 1976, reaching the rank of hospital corpsman second class before attending Humboldt State University. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental resource engineering and his commission as an engineering duty officer.


Carderock hosts first summer institute for STEM teachers

Published: 22 Jul 2010

From The Tester

Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD) was host to a first of its kind weeklong summer institute for high school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers June 28 – July 2.

‘‘The goal of the institute is to expose teachers to the real-world of engineering so that they can bring relevance to the material they are teaching their students,” said Toby Ratcliffe, NSWCCD’s outreach coordinator and event hostess. ‘‘This is the first year of the institute and Carderock plans to continue this summer institute next year, and expand to other local school districts throughout the area.”

For the initial summer institute, high school teachers from Maryland’s Montgomery County and the District of Columbia were invited to Carderock to get a tour of the facilities in which the scientists and engineers work, and to receive information on how to incorporate science and technology (S&T) mentoring programs into their schools. The institute was also designed to bring teachers into the world of naval engineering for a week, and to begin to foster a relationship for the upcoming school year.

After attending the institute and getting a better appreciation of local S&T facilities, the teachers were encouraged to bring their students to other local engineering work spaces, such as the David Taylor Model Basin; meet scientists and engineers in person; and provide engineering mentors and volunteers in the classroom, when needed.

During the session, the teachers were able to learn about the equipment that is provided by the Navy’s partner in promoting STEM education in the classrooms, the National Defense Education Program (NDEP), and experience a more hands-on engineering through use of Vernier Labquest data loggers and scientific probeware, LABVIEW data collection software, Calculator-Controlled Robots, and a small rapid prototyping machine, called a MakerBot, which the students will learn to use during the mentoring process for the upcoming school year.

With majority of the teachers already teaching engineering, Carderock mentors hope all of the teachers learned some interesting engineering principles from the institute, which will aid them in embracing the adolescences’ interest in S&T, Ratcliffe said.

During the institute, Anthony Leone, a teacher from Quince Orchard High School in Maryland, expressed an interest in creating ‘‘an emphasis for future technical advances within the classroom.” He added that he will apply the knowledge that he learned from this summer institute and use it to excite students about engineering.

Another teacher attending the institute, Andre Weichbrod, a teacher from Clarksburg High School, asked one question that his students most frequently ask in his classroom, ‘‘when will we use ‘this’ in the real world?” to Ratcliffe and other Carderock mentors. Ratcliffe answered ‘‘we will strive to help students recognize the importance of engineering in our society through STEM and the programs that we will introduce to them.”

‘‘We will give them equipment for the classroom, through our partnership with NDEP, and some ideas for incorporating these materials into their current curriculum,” Ratcliffe said. ‘‘They learned both kinds of research: what we do here at Carderock, and they learned about equipment and software which could be used to enhance their teaching.”

‘‘Math and science take a role in students everyday lives outside of school, these areas of STEM [education] help with defining a problem and finding a logical solution,” said Eugenia Chiu, a teacher from Thomas S. Wootton High School in Maryland.

‘‘This type of program opens up doors,” said Marty Nelson, a teacher from Quince Orchard High School, who believes that later in life outreach prepares students to have a future in the array of engineering fields.


Joint and coalition warfighters test technological solutions

Published: 22 Jul 2010

From The Tester

More than 320 visitors observed 77 U.S. and coalition war fighters test new and emerging technologies on simulated military missions and national emergency scenarios during Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) 2010 at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren from June 16-24.

The war fighters exchanged feedback with CWID visitors – including U.S. and coalition military officials – about the potential of 25 interoperability trials to solve real-world information sharing problems for military and Homeland Security and Homeland Defense forces, including first responders.

“The objective of the demonstration is to improve leader-centric, network enabled operations in an Afghanistan-based ground scenario and with a littoral Navy war scenario,“ said Col. James Bacchus, Marine Corps CWID lead. “In today's technology world, the best tests are against large complex networks spread across coalition networks.”

This is the 11th year NSWC Dahlgren hosted U.S. forces and coalition partners to evaluate new solutions throughout the exercise.

‘‘Providing junior service members the opportunity to test new technology under simulated conditions allows leadership to gain a perspective that may not otherwise be available,” said Army 1st Lt. Jon Hays, CWID National Guard Bureau, Coast Guard and HLS?HLD Operations Center lead. ‘‘In some instances, soldiers that have experienced CWID may come across some of the technologies when fielded to units.”

War fighters at CWID sites from Lillehammer, Norway, to San Diego, tested a total of 32 cutting-edge information technology trials focused on operational shortfalls identified by combatant commanders and government agencies.

‘‘CWID not only offers an opportunity to demonstrate technologies that are a few months from being sent to the fleet, it also provides an opportunity for programs of record to plan for the future,” said Cmdr. Robert Green, Naval Sea Systems Command CWID program manager, in his June 25 CWID blog post at http:??usjfcom.dodlive.mil. ‘‘One such interoperability trial is the Future Surface Combatant. CWID has given the FSC an opportunity to investigate various layouts of workstations, evaluate procedures used in providing missile intercepts, exploring different roles for the ship, and investigating technology that may be applicable to this and other ships.”

The forum is the only DoD-hosted event that brings together new and emerging information technologies into a global network environment with interagency and multinational partners.

U.S. Joint Forces Command — in its role as the leader of joint capability development — coordinates assessment results to determine which CWID trials meet defined requirements and have the potential to fill identified capability gaps.

‘‘The next step is the preparation of the final report (published later in 2010) which will provide a formal assessment of the interoperability trials based on comments and feedback from those who used them,” Green said.


TPP Member St. Mary's College of Maryland Seeks New Local Internship Sites

Published: 03 Aug 2010

It is now more important than ever for new college graduates to have substantiveprofessional experience on their résumé. In addition to making students more competitivefor jobs, such preprofessional internships allow them to develop transferrable skills,network with employers, gain exposure to different work settings, and test potential career choices. Here at the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) Career DevelopmentCenter (or “CDC”), we are working to identify organizations in the local community thatwould be interested in providing such opportunities for our students. By developing alist of local sites that have been approved for credit, we will be able to better meet studentdemand for internships in various settings. We will also be able to assist students in fulfilling the newly-instituted College graduation requirement of participation in an off-campus experience. Local internships are especially attractive because students can participate in them part time while enrolling in other traditional courses. Though internships should primarily benefit the student, employers experience many benefits as well including access to highly motivated preprofessionals who can provide temporary support for projects and programs. Many of your neighbors, including Calvert Marine Museum, The Enterprise newspaper, the Sheriff’s office, and even the Chamber can attest to the value and excitement that come from having a talented intern on board.

Interns should have the opportunity to develop professional knowledge and skills and should spend the majority of their time on substantive, challenging projects. Potential sites are asked to provide details about expected work responsibilities and learning opportunities so that suitability for credit can be assessed. When an acceptable intern has been identified by an approved organization, we then ask that the site supervisor work with the student to articulate learning objectives that are unique to the student and the organization’s current needs. Credit internships can be paid or unpaid, though we encourage organizations to provide some sort of compensation, if possible, to offset the expenses incurred by the student (e.g., college tuition, transportation, professional clothing).

For more information please visit www.smcm.edu/careercenter/employers.html where you can find our standard site approval form and our manual for employers titled “Developing a Quality Internship Program.”

If your organization is interested in recruiting credit interns, please return the site approval form by mail, fax, or e-mail (preferred). The content on your form will be reviewed and entered in our searchable electronic database, which will allow interested students to contact you directly to discuss the possibility of an internship during an upcoming If you are interested in recruiting interns but do not wish to participate in our credit internship program, please consider filling out the site approval form as a means of providing us with information that we can distribute. We value the participation of local professionals in other CDC programs and events as well (e.g., mentorship, networking events, workshops, or recruitment). If you would like to become involved with the SMCM CDC in other ways please let us know.


TPP Member Smartronix Awarded Treasury.gov Modernization Project

Published: 03 Aug 2010

Smartronix is proud to announce the award of the Treasury.gov Modernization contract. Under this contract, Team Smartronix will support the modernization effort to create a new innovative Treasury.gov site and two cohosted sites: FinancialStability.gov and MakingHomeAffordable.gov.

Team Smartronix brings together a visionary and creative group of industry experts in Share-Point, Cloud hosting and security, Web design, transparency, open government data, social collaboration, and emerging Web technologies. Most notably, the Team, consisting of Smartronix, Synteractive, TMP Government, and KPMG, with close collaboration from Amazon Web Services (AWS), was responsible for building Recovery.gov 2.0—the portal for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act hosted on AWS. In addition, this Team is at the forefront of building highly robust secure solutions with SharePoint 2010 on Cloud infrastructures.

The new design will support the communications and publishing requirements of Treasury, support the strategic initiatives of Treasury, and enable transparency and increased access to Treasury resources and assets. Leveraging a user-centric and task-based approach will enable Treasury.gov to support modern capabilities and features that are expected in a critical Web channel such as Treasury.gov, including social networking, Web 2.0 capabilities, robust Search options, and multi-media resources. Additionally, Team Smartronix will deliver foundational capabilities enabled by the powerful content management features of SharePoint 2010.

This solution will provide an unprecedented level of capabilities to Treasury. “Our goal is to help transform communications and collaboration across the Department of the Treasury and establish Treasury.gov, FinancialStability.gov, and MakingHomeAffordable.gov as the absolute leaders in Government 2.0 innovation,” says Smartronix Chief Technology Officer Robert Groat. “With support from leading technology vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Akamai, Team Smartronix will be leveraging proven expertise in Web development, SharePoint 2010, and the AWS platform to successfully execute the program. We look forward to  working closely with Treasury to implement their vision.” www.smartronix.com


TPP Member Tech Wizards Celebrates 5th Year Anniversary

Published: 03 Aug 2010

Tech Wizards, a local systems and software engineering company, was founded in 2005 and is proud to celebrate its 5 year anniversary. The company's commitment to quality and its vision of "providing its customers with system solutions grounded in efficient and effective design principles", along with its highly talented team of engineers and support staff have proven to be a formula for success.  


Company founders Ken Clark, Mike Conceicao, and Glen Andrews were driven to build a company that provided quality engineering services, but also a company that people would want to work for. “We wanted to develop a corporate infrastructure that attracted the best talent in the region,” said Ken Clark. “Based on previous employment experiences with other companies, we definitely knew what not to do.”


The corporate infrastructure definitely paved the way, but the founders also realized that the commitment and integrity of their employees is what would provide the longevity in maintaining the success of the company. “We worked very hard in establishing a benefits package that we ourselves would want as an employee,” said Mike Conceicao. “It’s all about treating your people right.”


Since its inception, Tech Wizards has grown to over 25 employees and has been awarded both Department of Defense (DOD) single source and sub-contracts to support the sea and air commands of the United States Navy. “We are proud to provide cost-effective, viable solutions to the Navy,” said Glen Andrews, “It’s what we do best.” Tech Wizards has also built strategic partnerships with other local technology companies and expects the successful acquisition of future work in the engineering and technology arena.


As a result of its committed support to the sea and air commands, Tech Wizards has received a Warfighter Award for sustained performance, a letter of appreciation for personal commitment and performance, and a certificate of appreciation for outstanding performance.


Tech Wizards has established offices in Patuxent River, Maryland to support the Hawkeye Greyhound program at the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), and in King George, Virginia to support the Aegis program at the Center for Surface Combat Systems. 


Tech Wizards provides job opportunities to the community by recruiting at local colleges, and advertising in local newspapers and websites when positions become available. Tech Wizards also sponsors a summer internship program to provide real-world experience to local college students.


STEM camps offer chance to shoot rockets, build robots Science, technology gain fans among younger generation

Published: 04 Aug 2010

From The Enterprise

The campers build and program robots, launch rockets and learn about teamwork through a host of challenges.

There were two different summer camps that focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in St. Mary's County at the end of last month, one funded through the Navy and the National Defense Education Program and the other through the public school system. They reflect an evolution in the interests of young people.

Tom Palathra, a chemical engineer from Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head, said that students today realize how important science and engineering is to the world and there is no longer any stigma attached to either boys or girls who show interest in the subjects.

Eighty-six students in grades 4 through 8 participated in the camp at St. Mary's Ryken High School this year where they completed eight challenges and six other tasks or competitions.

"Things have been going terrific … students love it," said Palathra, who led the camp at St. Mary's Ryken.

The camp, funded through the National Defense Education Program, is free to students; Palathra said there was a waiting list this year. The camp cost about $38,000 to put on, including paying for instructors and materials, according to Kathy Glockner, education partnership coordinator for Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division.

The counselors were working engineers, public school teachers and college engineering students to create a multitier approach, he said.

"Throughout the week students are taking data down, considering data," to plan out their challenges, Palathra said.

This is the second year the camp was held at St. Mary's Ryken.

Children in the six schools in St. Mary's involved in the National Defense Education Program during the school year got the first chance to sign up for the summer camp before it was open up to other students.

Shai-anne Smith, 11, of California said she especially liked building things at the camp, including a robot.

The home-schooled seventh-grader said that although the classroom lessons were not that exciting, when paired with the hands-on activities the camp was fun.

"I learned about building and about teamwork," Smith said.

Smith, like several other students interviewed at the camp, said that science was not her favorite subject but after participating in the camp, she said she sees it in a different way and is looking forward to future science lessons.

Paulina Motamed, 11, is going into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics academy at Spring Ridge Middle School this year. During the camp she digitized a drawing of a boat and made a 3-D replica to help plan out a robotics challenge.

The boat was designed by Motamed and others in her team to help cleanup an oil spill like the one in the Gulf of Mexico.

Brendan French of La Plata is a computer science major at the University of Maryland, College Park. A classmate alerted him to the STEM camp and he was quickly hired to be a mentor.

"I really enjoy working with the kids," French said.

He said the students were engaged, even with the tasks that are more complicated and harder to learn.

He helped some of the students figure out how to run simple loops in their robot's programming, a process that is fairly complex.

St. Mary's public schools ran two one-week camps at Great Mills High School in July and served nearly 300 students, said Laura Carpenter, supervisor of instruction for gifted and talented programs.

In the past it was open to students entering grades 4 through 9; this year the camp expanded to host small groups of students entering grades 2 and 3.

"I was very pleased with the interest level," Carpenter said. "We tried really hard this year not to turn anyone down."

The Patuxent Partnership doubled its annual contribution to the camp to $30,000, allowing for the expansion.

"I think it really took the school system's STEM for all [initiative] and really tied everything together," Carpenter said.


Navy’s STEM summer camp provides fun, learning

Published: 05 Aug 2010

From The Tester

‘‘It’s all about science, technology, engineering and math, but most important, it’s about fun.” That was the mission statement made by the Navy’s STEM camp director, Tom Palathra, last week at the camp’s kick off session.

Palathra, a chemical engineer at the Naval Sea Systems Command Indian Head installation, organizes the camp in partnership with the Patuxent River Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s (NAWCAD) education outreach program and St. Mary’s Ryken High School. The camp is funded through a National Defense Education Program grant awarded to the NAWCAD education outreach program.

Each day, students participate in unique STEM activities including building alarm systems and sensors, launching water balloons, building and racing solar cars and launching rockets. Throughout the week-long camp, students are engaged in a robotics challenge that involves a Navy humanitarian mission. The week-long camp culminates with the final team awards, an egg drop contest and the rocket launches. Each activity has components of mathematics and engineering so students are learning while having fun.

Research is also embedded in the program. This year’s engineering design and research project was themed around the Gulf oil spill. Students presented their research to a panel of judges relaying how they would prevent an oil spill, how they would clean up the oil and how they would stop the leak.

For further information on the NAWCAD education outreach program, visit www.ndep.us?LabsPax.aspx.


Building future scientists, engineers one brick at a time

Published: 12 Aug 2010

From The South Potomac Pilot

Indian Head Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (IHD NSWC) teamed up with Naval Air Warfare Center Patuxent River to bring Lego robotics, solar cars, and a host of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities to students in St. Mary’s County. The two bases co-sponsored a STEM summer camp at Ryken High School in Leonardtown, Md.

Education Outreach Coordinator at Patuxent River, Kathy Glockner, said, ‘‘NAVAIR started its STEM involvement about three years ago as a result of a drop in the number of students going into STEM programs.” She said the programs at Patuxent River have been partnering with IHD NSWC for a couple years.

IHD NSWC’s STEM outreach begins with an in-school program. IHD NSWC STEM coordinator Tom Palathra said, ‘‘A lot of them (students) come to the summer camp because they have a lot of fun during the school year.” The in-school program uses Lego robotics kits that allow the students to build robots, program them to perform tasks, and compete against other student teams.

Several events test the students’ skills by requiring their robots to rescue Lego swimmers, deliver model humanitarian supplies, and even remove mines from waterways on a map.

The STEM program also gives the students an opportunity to study current events and suggest solutions. Students at the summer camp research the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As part of a research project, they must answer one of three questions: how could the spill have been prevented, how can the spill be cleaned up, or how can the oil flow be stopped.

In addition to studying the oil spill, the students learned practical scientific applications. Each day, the students study a scientific concept and put it into practice. Whether it’s building solar cars to race against other teams or building sensors to detect the opening or closing of a door, the students are exposed to STEM in ways that are designed to keep them interested. Palathra said, ‘‘We try to energize the students and get them revved up about STEM.”

Little Flower School Seventh Grader Patrick Bouchard said, ‘‘This is my second year and I would like to do it again next year.”

The program is unique because it expands what the students learn at the in-school program. The camp accommodates about 80 students, and this year there was a waiting list. For the students who are able to attend, the camp provides advantages. Palathra said, ‘‘From the reaction on the students and talking to the teachers, they see a change in the students.”

Students aren’t the only ones hoping to benefit from the camp, IHD NSWC has been active in STEM education for more than 30 years. Palathra and Glockner both agree, getting students interested in STEM increases the chance they will someday become Navy scientists.


Navy accepts E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft

Published: 12 Aug 2010

From The South Potomac Pilot

The first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft was delivered to the fleet during a ceremony held July 29 at Naval Station Norfolk.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead accepted the Northrop Grumman manufactured aircraft on behalf of the U.S. Navy.

‘‘Today is a major naval aviation milestone,” Roughead said. ‘‘The E-2D is ready, relevant and capable. It’s going to be a game changer with information dominance for the U.S. Navy. I am very pleased today to accept delivery of the first E-2D to enter the U.S. Navy fleet.”

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the newest variant of the E-2 aircraft platform. It features the newly developed AN?APY-9 radar that works in concert with surface combatants equipped with the Aegis combat system to detect, track and defeat cruise missile threats at extended range. A new rotodome provides continuous, 360-degree scanning capability, while adding an electronically scanned array.

‘‘This new platform features state-of-the-art radar with a two-generation leap in capability and upgraded aircraft systems,” said Capt. Shane Gahagan, Hawkeye, Advanced Hawkeye and Greyhound Program Office (PMA-231) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. ‘‘The E-2D continues the Navy’s integrated war fighting legacy by providing broad area coverage resulting in increased range capabilities. With the E-2D’s enhanced ability to work in the littoral areas and over land, the platform provides a critical capability to protect our nation’s interests.”

Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE TWO ZERO (VAW-120), based in Norfolk, is the first Navy squadron to operate the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. As the Navy’s Fleet Replacement Squadron, the ‘‘Greyhawks” train pilots and naval flight officers to fly the aircraft and operate the systems before assignment to an operational squadron.

According to Lt. John Sokol, a flight officer with VAW-120 and one of the first instructors to train on the E-2D, the differences between the E-2C and the E-2D are exciting.

‘‘It’s like going from a 13-inch black and white television to a 50-inch hi-definition flat screen,” said Sokol.

The Hawkeye’s command and control capability makes it a multi-mission platform through its ability to coordinate concurrent missions that may arise during a single flight, to include: airborne strike, land force support, rescue operations, managing a reliable communications network between widely dispersed nodes and support for drug interdiction operations. The use of the new glass cockpit and tactical fourth operator display allows the five-person crew more flexibility in fulfilling these diverse missions.

‘‘For longer than I have been in the Navy, the fleet has relied on the Hawkeye,” said Vice Adm. Allen Myers, commander of naval aviation. ‘‘It's the first to launch and the last to recover on the flight deck, and has earned the reputation as the ears and eyes of the fleet.”


TPP Member - AVIAN Engineering earns the position of #230 on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States for 2010

Published: 19 Aug 2010

Lexington Park, MD - August 19, 2010 - AVIAN Engineering is thrilled to announce that they have made INC. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States for 2010. AVIAN earned the position of #230. AVIAN is the only St Mary's County founded and headquartered company on this year’s list. For over 30 years, this list has represented the most comprehensive look at America’s top entrepreneurs. AVIAN shares the list with such companies as Microsoft, Under Armour, Visa, and Oracle just to name a few.

AVIAN Engineering is a Service Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small business that provides executive-level consultation and acquisition support to DoD and major Prime Defense Contractors. AVIAN is a uniquely-capable company of former senior DoD professionals that has a proven track record of excelling at program management, systems engineering, crew systems and human system engineering, science and technology, developmental and operational test planning and execution, complex problem resolution, process development and control and concept development and experimentation.

AVIAN has experience with planning, programming and executing all phases of the DoD acquisition process with hands-on experience in ACAT-1 Program Management, Major Program Milestone Execution, Concept Developmental and Experimentation, War Game Development, Development Test & Evaluation, Operational Test & Evaluation, Integrated Test & Evaluation, Live Fire Test & Evaluation, and Systems Engineering for aviation and space-based systems. Our employees have formerly held DoD positions as an ACAT-1 Tier 1 IPT Lead, APM(SE) - Class Desk, APM(T&E), Government Flight Test Director (GFTD), Chief Test Pilot, Chief Operational Test Director, and Lead Government Factory Representative at a major DoD Defense Contractor facility.

AVIAN Engineering was founded in 2005 and is located in Lexington Park, MD. For more information on AVIAN and the services they provide, visit their website at www.avianeng.com or call 301-866-2070.


TPP Member - Boeing contributes to naval air museum

Published: 20 Aug 2010

From The Tester

Dan Gabriel of The Boeing Co. presented a $40,000 check July 17 to Eggert, president of the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association. That brings Boeing's contribution to the association's new museum building fund to $100,000.

The association has raised more than $1.5 million for the new museum and reports that the St. Mary's County procurement office has advertised for an architect and an announcement of the award to the winning design architect is expected soon.

The design is expected to take approximately one year. The new museum will have 22,000 square feet of space and is expected to fit on the already-completed pad site just outside Gate 1 of Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Site preparation for the new museum was completed in the first phase of the project with the installation of all underground utilities including water, sewage, electric, lighting, and phone lines. The new parking lot for the museum is also complete and is being used by visitors to the existing museum.


TPP Member - MIL Corp. celebrates 30 years in business

Published: 20 Aug 2010

From The Tester

The MIL Corp., which has an office in Lexington Park, is marking its 30th anniversary.

Established in 1980, MIL began as a small business that signed its first contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy.

Since then, the organization has won for multiyear, multimillion dollar contracts with 17 federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of the Navy, Commerce, State, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture.

MIL, headquartered in Bowie, was founded by its current president, Maurice I. "Butch" Long, and executive vice president, James C. McIntyre. Long heads up the technical and project management of corporate research and analysis projects. McIntyre is responsible for the overall management, technical direction and contract administrations for MIL.

MIL continues to expand its footprint through a new C4I division, which ventured into the communications, command, and control business providing design engineering, integration, and life cycle support on all DoD-based C4I systems.

The group currently supports NAVAIR, SOCOM, and other Department of Defense-based organizations.


T&E NextGen Apps, Gear and Planes at ANA-TPP Briefing

Published: 27 Aug 2010


The Patuxent Partnership and the Association of Naval Aviation, Patuxent River Squadron announced today their panel presentation, “New Apps, New Gear, New Planes – A Backstage Pass to the T&E Hangars” will occur on Wednesday, September 15 at Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, focusing on Naval Aviation Test and Evaluation. The public is welcome to attend.


Rear Admiral Donald “BD” Gaddis, Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Assistant Commander for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command will lead the participants on the panel.  In their various capacities, the panelists will discuss antisubmarine and strike warfare systems, a wide range of fixed wing, rotary wing and unmanned aircraft T&E, instruction and experimentation at the Test Pilot School and the evaluation of ordnance capability, shipboard compatibility and more. Panelists include CAPT Kevin “Sluf” Kenney, USN, Commander, VX-1; LTCOL John "Phats" Albers, USMC, Commanding Officer, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO; LTCOL Roger “Corndog” Cordell, USMC, Commanding Officer, US Naval Test Pilot School; LTCOL Charles “Haze” Gray, USMC, Chief Test Pilot, VX-23; and LTCOL Tom "Scruffy" Post, USMC, Commanding Officer, HX-21.


            “Test and evaluation are critically important functions to fleet operators and program managers,” said Bonnie Green, Executive Director, The Patuxent Partnership. “The ANA Pax River Squadron has done a superb job of assembling the leaders who represent the exceptional breadth of NAVAIR’s local T&E community.”

“The Pax River ANA Squadron is excited about teaming with The Patuxent Partnership again,” said Mark Converse, the commanding officer of the local ANA Squadron. “The new gear that the Fleet needs is in the hands of our talented testers here on the Patuxent River flight line. This will be an outstanding opportunity to share with the local public the significant contributions that our T&E community is making to the nation’s defense capabilities.”


For those who attend the pre-program reception at 5:30 p.m., there is a $10.00 per person charge. The panel discussion begins promptly at 6:00 p.m. The Museum is located at 22156 Three Notch Rd, Lexington Park. Recommended attire is business casual/flight suits. More information can be found at www.paxpartnership.org.


       The Patuxent Partnership works with government, industry and academia on initiatives in science and technology, hosts programs of interest to NAVAIR and the broader DoD community, supports workforce development including education initiatives and professional development.  Visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.


For almost 100 years, Naval Aviation has grown from a tactical afterthought and support capability to a primary instrument of our national security.  From the Curtiss A-1 Triad, to the F/A-18 Super Hornet, from the USS Langley (CV 1) to the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Naval Aviation has scored an impressive list of achievements in peace and war.  The first crossing of the Atlantic by air, victory at the battle of Midway, and the first American in space, to name a few, put Naval Aviation at the forefront of our national destiny. The Patuxent River Squadron of the Association of Naval Aviation is committed to educating and encouraging an interest among the general public in the importance of Naval Aviation, in the defense of the United States and its allies.  Membership in the Association is open to all. To join, visit http://www.anahq.org/ and click on Membership.

Navy wants more of the Poseidon Testing

Published: 03 Sep 2010

From The Enterprise

The Navy has gotten a taste of the P-8A Poseidon, and it wants a little more.

This month, the military's Defense Acquisition Board approved the anti-submarine aircraft for low-rate initial production. The aircraft has only been testing at Patuxent River Naval Air Station since June, but the Navy's Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Group is itching to get its hands on the new surveillance and weapons platform.

The coastal patrol group is still operating with prop-driven P-3C Orion aircraft, as it has since the 1960s. The unit is keeping the Orions limping along, but, as group commander Rear Adm. William F. Moran said in June, the unit is eagerly anticipating the modern electronics, sensors and weapons of the Poseidon.

The acquisition board's Aug. 11 approval is another step closer to deploying the Poseidon to the fleet in 2013. Boeing will now begin producing the planes, but not at full capacity.

"They will do at a very low rate while the testing continues," said Doug Abbotts, public affairs officer for the P-8 program (PMA-290).

The Navy plans to deploy the first operational squadron of Poseidons to Florida's Jacksonville Naval Air Station.

"The team has worked extremely hard to reach this major acquisition milestone," said Capt. Mike Moran, manager of PMA-290, in a statement. "The airplane is performing very well in testing, which should result in an on-time and on-budget delivery to the warfighters."

Two days after the acquisition board's decision, Pax River testers received their third Poseidon test aircraft, dubbed T-3.

Unlike the previous two test vehicles that have arrived this summer, T-3 is ready to be armed and dangerous.

The plane is equipped with a full mission systems suite and will be used to certify weapons release and accuracy.

The P-8's beefier wings have hard points for mounting Boeing's SLAM ER guided missile.

The P-8 also has a rear bomb bay door that opens to deliver torpedoes.

The first test aircraft, T-1, arrived in April and has flown more than 20 test flights at Boeing's test range in Washington and at Pax River. T-1 was used to test the airframe and develop the aircraft flight envelope, according to the Navy.

The second aircraft, T-2, arrived June and has been used to test mission systems in a dozen flights.

"We're looking forward to the testing being complete," Abbotts said. "It's been a very successful summer."


Testing officials say their business is booming at base Six officers, partnership say all is bullish except for test pilot school

Published: 24 Sep 2010

From The Enterprise

When it comes to the U.S. military budget, the news out of Washington, D.C., is all gloom and doom, but officials in charge of the Navy's aircraft testing sounded bullish at a roundtable discussion held last week.

The Patuxent Partnership and the Association of Naval Aviators invited six officers to come by the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum last Wednesday to discuss the state of the testing and evaluation business at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

"T&E at Pax is booming," declared Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis, commander of Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division.

Gaddis said he remembered his first experience watching a Harrier jump jet hover over the base decades ago. Now, he said he watches the Marine's F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter do the same.

"It's pretty neat, pretty unique to see how naval aviation has grown," Gaddis said. "Business is good. … It doesn't come without its challenges. I don't have space for a lot of people. We've run out of phone lines. People are living in conference rooms."

Gaddis expressed confidence in Pax's future, noting that allies in the South Pacific are pressuring the Navy to shift its strategic pivot point from Afghanistan to the South Pacific and ramp up its presence there.

"Everyone's worried about China," Gaddis said. "Whatever we buy … they're going to be tested right here at Pax."

Marine Lt. Col. John Albers, commander of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Twenty (VX-20), noted that his people are busy with testing the E-2D Hawkeye, the Broad Area Marine Surveillance drone and the P-8 Poseidon.

"Those guys are hot and heavy," Albers said of the P-8 program.

Lt. Col. Tom Post, commander of Rotary Test Wing (HX-21), said, "From our perspective, we're as busy as we've ever been."

Post doesn't anticipate slowing down, noting that with the upcoming presidential helicopter program reboot, V-22 Osprey testing and other projects, the wing will be testing the "replacement of the entire Marine Corps fleet of aircraft."

Lt. Col. Charles Gray, commander of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX-23), said he is keeping busy with the F-35B, which has flown more than 150 sorties in the last year.

All this testing also keeps Capt. Kevin Kenny, commander of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VX-1), busy making sure that the aircraft are ready to integrate operationally with the rest of the fleet. Kenny said his job is to be the naysayer.

"Somebody has to come in and say, ‘That is one ugly baby,'" Kenny said, noting that his squadron often flies and shares data with the other squadrons in order to accelerate the testing process. "It's an incestuous little ball, but it saves a lot of money."

The only area where the Pax testing business appears to be faltering is in finding new recruits for the base's U.S. Test Pilot School.

Lt. Col. Roger Cordell, TPS commander, said he is only seeing 70 percent of the normal application traffic. A recent call for applications netted a dozen candidates, where it would usually have drawn 40 to 50, he said.

"The caliber of applicants is still there," Cordell said. "Maybe it's just a [public relations] problem."

Cordell acknowledged that the winding down of the Space Shuttle Program has had an impact on recruiting numbers, since NASA has traditionally recruited Navy test pilots as astronauts. And Gray suggested that the drop in applications could be due to pilots opting to enter the F-35 transition program, rather than go to TPS.


UM's "Watershed" To Compete in Upcoming Solar Decathalon

Published: 27 Sep 2010

The University of Maryland's “Watershed” solar house, competing in the Solar Decathalon on the Mall from September 23 through October 2, embraces an ecosystem model and draws inspiration from natural systems that operate cyclically and sustainably through time.

The house is formed by two rectangular units capped by a butterfly roof, which is well-suited to capturing and using sunlight and rainwater. This spacious and affordable house features:

A rooftop photovoltaic array

An edible green wall and garden

Innovative, smart technologies that allow residents to control temperature, ventilation, humidity, and light for year-round comfort

Building and finish materials that are beautiful, sustainable, cost-effective, and durable


Watershed Team Web site: http://2011.solarteam.org


Naval test bed helicopter completes first project, receives digital avionics suite

Published: 29 Sep 2010

Naval aviation’s sole helicopter technology test bed recently completed its first technology project -- an evaluation of a traffic collision avoidance system to reduce the risk of mid-air collisions.

Operated by the Naval Aviation Center for Rotorcraft Advancement, the test bed aircraft, a former Marine Corps UH-1N named “T-Rex,” conducted a “quick look” qualitative evaluation of the Zaon Portable Collision Avoidance System technology, according to Chris Becker, NACRA flight test director.

“Our over-arching purpose was to assess this particular technology’s potential to enhance aircrew situation awareness and minimize the risk of a mid-air collision,” he explained.

The next phase for the Zaon technology is expected to include testing with an MV-22 Osprey.

T-Rex’s next test project will be the Sandel ST3400H – a commercial off-the-shelf ground proximity warning system and helicopter terrain awareness warning system (GPWS/HTAWS).

“The Sandel technology could provide this needed capability to aircraft like the AH-1W Super Cobra cost-effectively and relatively quickly,” said Brad Schieferdecker, NACRA associate director for Technology Development. “It’s our job to look for good ideas like this.”

Super Cobras are scheduled to remain in the active inventory for almost another decade and NACRA was tasked to provide a preliminary assessment of the GPWS/HTAWS technology by the Marine Corps, Schieferdecker explained.

To aid in future testing, Northrop Grumman recently signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the Navy to supply NACRA with a stand-alone digital avionics suite and integration support for T-Rex. The digital avionics suite is half of the system currently installed on the AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter, and will allow test integration with minimal changes to the systems avionics or the aircraft.

“It will serve as an enabler for economical integration and evaluation of other systems in a representative flight environment,” Schieferdecker said. “The system is critical in providing a relevant test environment for T-Rex as all new Naval rotorcraft are being fielded with mission computers and modern “glass” cockpits.”

The aircraft is being configured to rapidly execute projects and this capability will enhance its ability to quickly evaluate new technologies, he added.

“T-Rex”, NACRA’s Test Bed for Rapid Warfighter Response and Experimentation, is a risk reduction/rapid test capability centered on a UH-1N Huey configured as a dedicated flying test bed. The aircraft is equipped with modern communications, navigational and survivability equipment, including a 1553 data bus, ARC-210 radios, embedded GPS and an external sensor with in-dash display – all tied into the aircraft’s equipment racks (in place of the rear passenger seats) to allow rapid configuration changes and flight clearance approval.


Pax River accounts for $6.5 billion of economic activity Money flowing from Navy base is 1 percent of state's total output

Published: 06 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

It's hard to place a value on St. Mary's County's biggest economic engine, Patuxent River Naval Air Station, but researchers from University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business gave it a shot.

Researchers peg the base's total impact at nearly $6.6 billion, nearly triple the $2.3 billion estimated in a similar report conducted by the university eight years ago.

However, Bob Schaller, director of economic and community development for St. Mary's County, cautioned that the two studies are not directly comparable.

"It's apples and oranges," Schaller said Monday, noting that the 2002 study only accounted for salaries, while the new study also accounts for tax revenues and other income for the state. "This one is more inclusive. … the methodology is the same, but they expanded it."

Schaller said the base's direct impact accounts for 1 percent of the state's total economic output. The base has the second-largest impact of any state military base, ranking under Fort Meade's $17.8 billion.

Todd B. Morgan, president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance and Republican candidate for county commissioner in District 4, quoted the $6.6 billion number at the alliance's dinner in St. Mary's City on Monday.

"My kids said that must be the number of downloads of Lady Gaga," Morgan said. "It shows the great contribution that naval aviation makes to the state at the end of the day. … Six point six billion is a hell of a lot of money."

Bill Scarafia, president of the county chamber of commerce, said the base's impact illustrates that need for increased state funding of infrastructure here. "This report proves that … the state needs to step up and help as much as they can," he said. "The state is getting more out of the base than the county is."

Pax River employs more than 10,000 workers in-state with a combined payroll of $830 million. It also makes $1.7 billion worth of purchases in-state and generates $29 million in spending by visitors.

When the total base's total direct, indirect and induced impacts are included from inside and outside the state, the facility is responsible for 41,000 jobs and $2.4 billion in employee compensation.

This latest report, commissioned by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and released last week, was compiled by a team led by Richard Clinch, director of economic research at the university's Jacob France Institute.

"We knew the number a long time ago, but we just couldn't release it," Schaller said, saying that he had to wait until the rest of the study was completed.


Base partnerships with schools here continue to grow NAWCAD has outreach programs

Published: 08 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

Patuxent River Naval Air Station has one of the largest, most diverse partnerships with local schools among U.S. Navy installations, according to Pax officials.

St. Mary's school board members at a recent meeting were briefed on the many outreach programs offered by Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, a tenant command on Pax River. The connections have grown and solidified over the last three years since a formal educational partnership agreement was signed in 2007.

The school board welcomed back former school board member Gary Kessler, who is now the executive director of NAWC AD. "We're fully behind this program and we want to continue to grow it," Kessler said.

He emphasized the growing relationships with both the public school system as well as area higher education institutions.

"We want to grow a workforce that can grow in this environment and make sure we stay ahead of our adversaries and to protect our freedoms around the world," Kessler said. He said the Navy invests hundreds of thousands of dollars in education each year, including through programs connected with the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center.

Pax River employs more than 10,000 engineers, counting civilians and contractor support, and has to hire as many as 1,000 a year to keep its ranks filled. "The magnitude of the work continues to grow," he said. "We find the ones that want to stay here have roots here, grew up here," he said.

Programs can help pay tuition for a mechanical engineering degree through the University of Maryland, with a guarantee of a job at Pax River, as long as they stay on a certain amount of time.

The base is solidifying agreements with the College of Southern Maryland, too.

"We're trying to make sure that the pipeline is seamless" from high school to college to employment, St. Mary's School Superintendent Michael Martirano said. Kessler and Martirano said they would like to see some of the high school STEM classes at Great Mills High count as college credit through CSM.

Kathy Glockner, education outreach coordinator for NAWCAD, said Pax River has the largest, most diverse education outreach program in the Navy and serves eight times more students than the average Navy base. Glockner attributed this to available funding and the work of local base employees.

Glockner has direct partnerships with 15 St. Mary's schools, including seven private schools, as well as 13 Calvert schools (including two private schools) and two public schools in Charles. Altogether, there were some 8,000 students reached by the various programs, she said.

Glockner said 25 percent of the education outreach time is spent on tours She gave about 50 last year and expects to give 70 this school year.

"It's very much focused on the curriculum," she said of the tours, which are tailored to particular classes' studies.

The base also helps with robotics programs, lab experiments, as speakers at school events and internships for students over the summer.

Pax River was also the first Navy command to hire high school teachers under the expert consultant authority last summer and expanded the process this summer with two physics and one chemistry teacher from St. Mary's public high schools, she said.

This is the first NAVAIR command to award a K-12 education grant, Glockner said.

The $45,000 grant will go toward FIRST Robotics programs, educator training, equipment and field trips.

"We really got some great proposals and we're really looking forward to giving you the money," Glockner said.


Engineers urged to do more for SEALs Science adviser talks at alliance's annual dinner

Published: 08 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

The engineers at Patuxent River Naval Air Station and Webster Field in St. Inigoes do a lot of research and development for the military's special forces, but the science adviser for the Special Operations Command said they can do more.

Speaking Monday night at the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance's annual dinner, William Shepherd, a retired Navy captain, former Navy SEAL and a three-time astronaut, said there are multiple opportunities to modernize SOCOM.

Shepherd said he is trying to bring innovation to the command, which he said is still organized for capabilities better suited for the Cold War than modern counterinsurgency warfare.

"These capacities are not aligned with the fight we are in," Shepherd said.

Using evolutionary technologies with a moderate level of risk and a clear benefit, Shepherd said he wants to bring SOCOM up to speed.

He noted that Webster Field's Air 4.5 division has helped the command with communications, psychological operations and special capabilities for unmanned aircraft. But he said that SOCOM has needs that other Pax River divisions and contractors could help with as well.

Shepherd said SOCOM needs a "interoperable plug-and-play backbone" in its ground and air vehicles that can use interchangeable communications, sensor and computing packages.

"I call it ‘Future Combat Systems without the Army,'" Shepherd said, cheekily referencing the Army's ill-fated modernization program that was dismantled last year. "Pax can really help us with this."

Shepherd said SOCOM also needs a universal command and control system that can work with equipment used by U.S. allies and a quiet airplane that can be used for secret missions.

"It's hard to look at this map of the world and see it as anything other than a maritime strategy," Shepherd said of SOCOM's operations areas. "We need to go places where people don't know we're there … The Navy is very expeditionary. The Navy gives you that mindset. You're out at sea. If something breaks, you fix it. … The Navy can be a very innovative outfit."

Shepherd said the Navy's SEAL force has changed radically since his day, noting that it is now full of college-educated men ready to use advanced technology.

"It's really a different force," Shepherd said. "They know more about how to fight the war than the colonels and generals do."

Local officials and contractors have been viewing SOCOM as a potential growth market once the current wave of manned aircraft testing begins to taper off next decade.

This summer, officials held a conference in Lexington Park to examine SOCOM's needs.

Navy Alliance President Todd B. Morgan, who is a Republican candidate for county commissioner, told the dinner audience Monday that the alliance expects growth to continue for the next few years, but warned that military cuts are looming.

"We have tremendous opportunities for program development," Morgan said. "At the same time, [Defense Secretary Robert Gates] has made it clear he wants to find $1 billion."

Morgan quoted the admonition of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) that "if you're not growing, you're going," and said, "we're convinced that growth is the answer."


TPP Member - Smartronix expands website services

Published: 08 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

Smartronix of Hollywood announced Tuesday that it struck a $46 million blanket purchase agreement with the General Services Administration to provide computer cloud-based hosting of open government datasets for federal agencies.

Under the agreement, Smartronix would provide hosting for the government website Data.gov.

Smartronix heads a team of contractors, including Synteractive, TMP Government, and KPMG, that, along with close collaboration from Microsoft, implemented Recovery.gov 2.0 and is currently modernizing Treasury.gov.

"This solution will mark a tremendous new capability for agencies providing open government datasets to their constituents through Data.gov and their own portals," Smartronix Chief Technology Officer Robert Groat said in a statement. "The goal is to make accessing and visualizing open government data as simple for citizens as possible. At the same time, we will radically reduce the complexity and burden of open government dataset hosting for agency" chief information officers.


TPP Member - SAIC breaks ground for consolidated offices

Published: 08 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

Science Applications International Corp. broke ground Thursday on the planned new SAIC building at Park Place in California, at the intersection of Route 235 and Shady Mile Drive. The new 80,000-square-foot facility will enable SAIC to consolidate five existing locations in nearby areas. The building will house more than 385 employees by late 2011, with the goal of achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver certification to achieve energy savings, water efficiency, and carbon dioxide emissions reduction, the company said.

"This is a great opportunity for SAIC to enhance its presence in Maryland while at the same time achieving significant energy savings. Our employees here are proud of the contributions they make for our customers and we look forward to continued growth in the Southern Maryland community," Jim Thigpen, SAIC business unit general manager, said in a statement.


TPP Member Compass Systems, Inc. "Scores" in The Gazette of Politics and Business (P&B) Exceptional 53 Awards

Published: 15 Oct 2010

Compass Systems, Inc. was honored to receive the #17 ranking at the Gazette's P&B Exceptional 53 awards banquet held in the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland on September 15th, 2010.  And, CSI also scored big in the category of "Fastest Growing" local area business.  Of the top eight companies honored at the dinner, CSI ranked fifth posting a 186 percent growth for 2009 - 2010.

The Gazette, part of the Community Newspaper Group of Post-Newsweek Media Inc., a division of The Washington Post Company, has been publishing weekly newspapers in the Maryland suburbs since 1959 and is a recognized leading provider of news and community resources.  For the past three years, The Gazette has assembled the P&B53 panel of judges to evaluate and rank local companies on their creativity and innovation, business practices and planning, work environment, and community service. 

This is the second year in a row that CSI has made the P&B's team of 53 Exceptional companies.

Mark Pinekenstein accepted the award from Cliff Chiet, publisher of The Gazette P&B. “This award illustrates what a great team we have here at Compass and our success allows us to give back to the community”stated Pinekenstein.

The ceremony was kicked off by a keynote speech by Darrell Green, a noted humanitarian and Hall of Fame cornerback for the Washington Redskins.  Darrel spoke on "What it takes to be exceptional in business and in life."  His remarks were right on target for the night's festivities, noting that "to be exceptional, you must make 'exceptional' your 'ordinary', striving for excellence in all aspects of your life.

Said Cliff Chiet, publisher of The Gazette P&B said in his closing remarks, “I applaud these exceptional Maryland businesses that are consistently on the leading edge of innovation and doing their part to help through their proactive community service programs. To make the 53 list is a great accomplishment.”


Hoyer marshals military support Congressman's foes say backing of civilian defense community misplaced

Published: 15 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

Since he became Southern Maryland's representative in 1992, opponents and critics of U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have questioned whether the congressman had any real influence in the survival of the region's military installations through rounds of national base realignments.

Some prominent members of the region's defense community would beg to differ and did so by collectively endorsing Hoyer for re-election Wednesday morning at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park.

They joined former Navy Secretary John Dalton in support of the 15-term incumbent, citing principally his role in shepherding the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center and Webster Field in St. Inigoes through five rounds of Base Realignment and Closure while facilitating their expansion.

Dalton, who served as Navy secretary from 1993 to 1998, credited Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) with showing him the importance of Southern Maryland's bases and touted the congressman's in-depth knowledge of the facilities and their operations.

He dismissed as naive notions that elected representatives play no role in defending their district's military installations from closure.

"I'd say that whoever said that is misinformed in that clearly members of Congress do have an impact," Dalton said. "Steny Hoyer made it clear to me that as part of my responsibility as secretary of the Navy I needed to understand these facilities in Maryland, and he was right. I didn't go to all of the facilities that were being considered under BRAC. He convinced me that I needed to come to his."

During the 1993 BRAC, Webster Field's activities were designated for relocation to Charleston, S.C. But a last-second decision by the BRAC commission kept the majority of the facility's operations at St. Inigoes, a development Robert Waxman, a former technical director for Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Activity at Webster Field, attributed to Hoyer.

"He's been our quarterback," said Keith Fairfax, senior vice president of Southern Maryland Navy Alliance. Fairfax, who was the group's president from 2001 to 2004, credited Hoyer with helping relocate the Naval Air Systems Command to Pax River despite heavy lobbying from those at NAVAIR's former location in Crystal City, Va.

Supporters also praise Hoyer for protecting the Indian Head base from consolidation at huge West Coast bases, particularly Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and Edwards Air Force Base, both in California, since the mid-1990s.

When asked afterward for a response to his critics who say that he is claiming undue credit for the expanded and continued military presence in Southern Maryland, Hoyer deferred to those who had just endorsed him.

"This was the response. This was people who were intimately involved over the last 20 years in accomplishing the objectives and what they said was, ‘That's malarkey,'" Hoyer said. "But that's what every one of my opponents says because they can't very well say, ‘Look, I'd like your votes but I know Hoyer's been instrumental in building these bases.'"

Hoyer made plain that those assembled at the Navy museum Wednesday were like-minded friends rather than an impartial lot, but even some who might otherwise politically oppose Hoyer acknowledge his impact over the years.

As a Republican candidate for St. Mary's County commissioner, Navy Alliance President Todd B. Morgan made sure to limit his comments, but he did acknowledge at the alliance's annual membership dinner Oct. 4 that "there are things that have happened here at the base that if it weren't for Congressman Hoyer wouldn't have happened."

But others insist that the congressman is simply taking credit for the hard work of members of the military, including Hoyer's Republican opponent on the Nov. 2 election, Charles Lollar.

"There's a lot of hardworking admirals and enlisted soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, that are responsible for those bases' success," Lollar said following a candidate forum Wednesday evening at the Jaycees center in Waldorf. "Steny Hoyer should certainly be noted for being that rooster and letting us know the sun's coming up, but whether the rooster [crows] or not that sun's still going to come up. That base is going to always be successful and we're going to make sure so."

Lollar, a Marine Corps Reserves officer, believes the region's military bases would be thriving irrespective of Hoyer and that his own military background will provide the credibility needed to advocate for them and "make sure those bases are bigger than one person and one person's influence."

But Hoyer argued that Lollar's military career does not necessarily mean he has the requisite knowledge needed to represent the region.

"I frankly have no way of knowing because he hasn't been involved in Pax at all nor have I had any discussions with him so I don't know the depth of his knowledge but I think you heard Secretary Dalton say that Hoyer knows a lot about these bases and has been very successful. So my response would be talk is cheap, performance is a better gauge," he said.

The BRAC process was created in 1988 as an independent way to consolidate excess military resources. It was a politically charged initiative unpopular with constituents who as a result faced significant job losses.

The BRAC commission's recommendations had to be accepted or rejected in their entirety by Congress.

Even if Hoyer did play a role, it would have been improper for an elected official to try sway an independent process, said Charles County Board of Education member Collins Bailey, who ran unsuccessfully against Hoyer in 2008 and lost to Lollar in the Sept. 15 Republican primary.

"BRAC was set up to prevent a person trying to influence the decision," he added.

So many of Hoyer's supporters and critics view the congressman's involvement differently — one side sees it as his duty to advocate at the Pentagon and elsewhere for military bases in his district, while the other looks at it as wielding undue influence.

Supporters point to Hoyer's electoral history as evidence of his successful representation. The congressman was first elected to Maryland's 5th District in 1981.

At the time, the entire district was comprised only of heavily Democratic Prince George's County, which led to easy re-elections for Hoyer — he received 81 percent of the vote in 1990.

But the district was redrawn following the 1990 census to include all three Southern Maryland counties and a portion of Anne Arundel County, all of which were historically conservative. Hoyer won only Prince George's County in 1992, but it was enough for him to win 53 percent of the district total.

But following the 1993 BRAC, Hoyer won all but Anne Arundel County en route to claiming 59 percent of the vote in 1994.

After winning the 1996 election by a 14-percent margin, Hoyer has been re-elected by a 30-percent margin or higher ever since.

The in-district support is bipartisan, said Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary's), a senior adviser to Hoyer, who estimated that some of those fundraisers over the years have been attended by more Republicans than Democrats.

That influence could also come in handy in the coming years, his advocates say, when the Department of Defense plans to make significant budget cuts that could leave officials scrambling to claim the leftovers for their constituents.

Hoyer's leadership role puts him in a good position to be heard in in Washington in the 435-member House of Representatives.

"Government officials hear from a lot of different congressman, but when the majority leader calls or someone of his stature, you take their calls and you listen to what they have to say," Dalton said.

Bailey countered that, if the Republicans reclaim the House as many expect, it might be advantageous to have a freshman representative like Lollar who has yet to step on any toes versus Hoyer, whose political enemies may be looking for revenge.


TPP Member Technical Systems Integration (TSI), Inc. has moved to a new location.

Published: 21 Oct 2010

TSI continues to provide our customers with world class service and exceptional responsiveness in our new location at 23077 Three Notch Road, Suite 302, California, Maryland, 20619. The phone number remains the same at 240-725-0460.  Our team consists of people who have the expertise, a willingness to contribute, a commitment to excel, and a strong sense of personal integrity. Please come by and see where we develop products and solutions that support our customer’s actions and decisions.


Dave Ambos, TSI’s Patuxent River Divisional Manager, said, stated, “We are pleased to be in the May Professional Building, one of the newest office buildings centrally located in California, Maryland. Our team members have the expertise, a commitment to excel, and integrity.  Potential customers and teaming partners are invited to come by and see where we develop products and solutions that support our customer’s actions and decisions.”







Military facilities add $36B to state economy

Published: 22 Oct 2010

The report, "Mission Maryland: Measuring Economic Impact of Maryland's Military Installations," released September 23 shows military facilities contribute $36 billion to the state's economy, which is 7.5 percent of total economic activity. The study said the installations create or support more than 268,000 jobs.

The study was conducted by the Jacob France Institute of the University of Baltimore, in coordination with the Department of Business & Economic Development and funded through the Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation. View the report here.


3rd Annual Youth in Technology Summit to Raise Career Awareness with Middle, High School Students

Published: 22 Oct 2010

Registration is being accepted for the third annual Youth in Technology Summit, to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 13 at the College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Physical Education (PE) Building. The free program introduces middle school, high school and college students and parents to career opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.


Students will participate in workshops as well as meet and discuss with professionals in their fields of interest. The day includes opening ceremonies, exhibit hall access to interactive demonstrations, workshops, lunch, and closing ceremonies with prize drawings.


Exhibitors will offer first-hand knowledge in defense technologies, information technologies, health technologies, energy technologies and trades technologies. Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies and organizations. To become a sponsor or exhibitor, or for the full list of participants, contact Martina Arnold, 301-934-7649 or martina.arnold@csmd.edu.


Volunteer opportunities are also available to community members interested in participating in the event.  Volunteers are needed between the hours of 7:15 a.m. - 2 p.m. on the day of the event. To become a volunteer or for more information, contact Christie D’Angelo,

301-934-7703 or cdangelo@csmd.edu.


For registration, exhibitor and sponsorship information as well as photos from previous summits, visit www.csmd.edu/YouthInTechnology.



The Patuxent Partnership urged to back STEM programs Annual meeting focuses on education

Published: 22 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

The Patuxent Partnership — a St. Mary's nonprofit group dedicated to bringing the defense industry, local government and academia together to learn from each other and protect local military bases — held its annual meeting Tuesday morning and put a spotlight on local math and science education.

The Patuxent Partnership was established in the late 1990s, initially to support the Naval Air Systems Command's move from Crystal City, Va. Today, the group facilitates the exchange of knowledge and information in support of naval aviation.

The meeting, held at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, focused on education issues affecting the local defense community and included a presentation by Michael Martirano, superintendent of public schools for St. Mary's.

Martirano explained the importance of the county's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program in training the next generation of highly skilled local workers and called on partnership members to defend it against future budget cuts.

"I need your help in terms of talking to our public officials about the importance of a STEM program," Martirano said. "We all need to be committed to this program."

Kathy Glockner, educational outreach coordinator for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, noted that STEM is a bright spot in an otherwise dreary portrait of the nation's competitiveness in recruiting students to science and engineering.

"We're no better off than we were five years ago," Glockner said. "As a nation, we're not doing so well."

For the first time the partnership also issued an annual report, listing all of the programs the group has sponsored over the past year.

The group was particularly proud of the establishment of the Patuxent Policy Group, an outgrowth of the partnership's annual spring policy conference, which sponsored four events this year. It also noted that the Hybrid Airships for Heavy Lift Conference, held in April, drew international attention.

The report also highlighted the ongoing program of panel discussions held in conjunction with the Association of Naval Aviators at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.

"This has been an exciting year for the partnership," noted President Jane Walter in the opening statement of the report.

At its annual meeting Tuesday the partnership also elected new board members, but did not respond to requests for board election results by press time.


TPP Member Smartronix chief technology officer awarded for innovation

Published: 22 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

Rob Groat, chief technology officer for Smartronix of Hollywood, received the first Washington Technology Government Contractor CTO Innovator Award for a mid-sized company from the Northern Virginia Technology Council on Tuesday.

This award recognizes chief technology officers within the region's government contracting community for their contributions to achieving results for their clients and their leadership within their own companies.

The winners were announced at the NVTC's annual banquet at the Ritz-Carlton in McLean, Va.  

"Smartronix is fortunate to have Rob Groat as CTO and proud to have him as an executive representative of the company," said Smartronix Chief Executive Officer John Parris in a statement.

Groat said, "Smartronix has maintained a focus on utilizing technology in support of some of the most technically challenging program implementations, including the Recovery.gov and Treasury.gov programs.

"With the government's emphasis on and U.S. citizenry's right to transparency, we have been fortunate to develop and partner with a group of experts to ensure success in this field."



TPP Member Spalding Consulting overflows into second Lexington Park office

Published: 22 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

Spalding Consulting hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony last month to celebrate the opening of their second location, Spalding South, in Lexington Park.

Spalding's new South office is located on Corporate Drive. The locally owned and operated company said its expanded location will allow it to continue to meet the growing needs of its customers.

Founded in 2001, Spalding is a small business professional services firm specializing in the areas of program management, information technology, government financial management and SAP integration.


Maryland Broadband Cooperative Announces New Executive Board

Published: 27 Oct 2010

At its Third Annual Meeting of the Members held in Frederick, Maryland on October 21, 2010, the Maryland Broadband Cooperative (MdBC) elected a new Executive Board for the coming year and expressed its appreciation to the previous Board, particularly former Chair Mr. Virgil Shockley, Worcester County Commissioner.


The new Chair is Mr. Tom Tudor, Contract Administrator for Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative. The new Vice Chair is Mr. Danny Jobe, Mid?Atlantic Regional Manager for MetroCast Communications. Serving another year as Treasurer is Mr. Geoff Oxnam, Vice President of Operations for Easton Utilities. Lastly, joining the Executive Board for the first time in the role of Secretary, is Mr. Guy Winterberg, Assistant Director of the Tri?County Council for Western Maryland.


The MdBC Executive Board, made up of two members from Southern Maryland, one from Western Maryland and one from the Eastern Shore will be focused on important state?wide broadband initiatives. The top priority will be working with the State of Maryland on the $115M broadband infrastructure grant. The grant is designed to connect 1,006 governmental entities with high?speed internet (about 30% of which are in rural Maryland) over the next three years.


In addition to verifying that the right facilities are being connected, the Executive Board will be focused on assuring that the people and small businesses of rural Maryland also receive more and better broadband services as a result of the project. An important milestone in this process is a detailed agreement between the State and MdBC, which the Board expects to review prior to the November 17th Board of Public Works meeting. MdBC also encourages all Maryland residents and businesses to go to our interactive Broadband Map site at www.mdbroadbandmap.org. You can test the speed of your connection, learn about available services in your census block, and report errors or dead zones in broadband availability.



‘Scooter' takes its place on Navy history's flightline The A-4 joins the museum's aircraft display

Published: 29 Oct 2010

From The Enterprise

If the F/A-18 Hornet sitting on the flightline at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park is the U.S. Navy's supersonic muscle car, the A-4M Skyhawk that just joined it is the sporty coupe.

At a ceremony Wednesday marking the installation of the Skyhawk at the museum, retired Capt. Raymond Dudderar, former commander of the Navy's strike weapons program office, called it a "great little beast," noting that it was a unique aircraft.

According to Harry Errington, the museum's flightline curator, the airplane rolled off the assembly line in 1969 as an A-4F but was soon fitted with a new, more powerful engine.

It came to Patuxent River Naval Air Station in 1971 to serve as a test vehicle for the upcoming A-4M Skyhawk II series.

Having been stripped of its mission systems and burdened only by test instruments, the plane weighed in at less than 10,000 pounds. However, it contained a J52-P-408a engine with 11,200 pounds of kick in the pants.

"That bad boy was a lightweight," Dudderar said. "The thrust was greater than the weight."

Dudderar recalled pulling the Skyhawk's nose vertical and rocketing into the blue until the engine began gasping for oxygen at around 20,000 feet. While not a supersonic jet, the Skyhawk was prized by aviators for its simple construction and high maneuverability.

"It was just a terrific little airplane," Dudderar said. "There wasn't another like it."

Capt. Tom Huff, commander of Naval Test Wing Atlantic, said the plane was known as "the Scooter."

"That airplane never let me down," Huff said. "That engine actually made that thing a little rocket ship."

Huff noted that the aircraft served a very public role as the plane of choice for the Navy's Blue Angels demonstration team from 1974 to 1986. The plane also had a starring role in the 1986 movie "Top Gun" as the plane flown by the instructors of the Navy's Fighter Weapons School. The plane was used at TOPGUN until 1993 as a surrogate for the Russian MiG-17.

"A-4s are still flown today as an adversary," Huff said. "A well-flown A-4 can still outmaneuver an F-18 in a dog fight."

The museum held the ceremony to honor the volunteers at the Navy's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VX-1) who restored and repainted the plane for display as well as maintain the planes on display around the base and on the museum's flightline.

The Skyhawk is the second aircraft the crew has readied for display this year.

"I like airplanes to look nice," Huff said. "Unfortunately, I don't have the money and resources to make them that way. I don't like bird poop on airplanes. I don't like rotted tires on airplanes. I don't like deflated struts. .. None of that [maintenance] is simple to accomplish."

Capt. Stephen Schmeiser, commanding officer of Pax River, also credited the mechanics and painters, saying, "This is all about volunteerism."

Schmeiser said the aircraft displays ground today's testing attempts in yesterday's successes.

"We can't determine where we're going till we know where we came from," Schmeiser said.


P-8A launches first sonobuoys at the Atlantic Test Range

Published: 28 Oct 2010

From The Tester

One of three P-8A test aircraft completed several sonobuoy launches Oct. 15. This event marks the first time the new Poseidon has launched sonobuoys since it began testing at NAS Patuxent River this summer.

A total of six sonobuoys were involved in three low altitude launches at the Atlantic Test Range. The range provides airspace for safe operating clearance of test missions.

Each P-8A employs a rotary launch system that uses three launchers with the capacity to hold 10 sonobuoys each and the capability of launching single and multiple shots. The system can accommodate any sized sonobuoy and the storage capacity of 120 is 50 percent greater than the P-3.

This event is just one integral part of the P-8A’s overall weapons system testing mission. Initial operating capability on the P-8A is scheduled for 2013 at NAS Jacksonville, Fla.


Navy Ball steeped in tradition at Pax River

Published: 28 Oct 2010

From The South Potomac Pilot

On Oct. 13, 1775, the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy. On Oct. 15, NAS Patuxent River celebrated the Navy’s 235th birthday at the River’s Edge Catering and Conference Center at the annual Navy Birthday Ball.

Naval history and heritage command reports that ‘‘The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775, by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work. All together, the Continental Navy numbered some fifty ships over the course of the war, with approximately twenty warships active at its maximum strength.”

The theme of this year’s event was without a doubt traditional. Pax River Executive Officer Capt. Ted Mills served as master of ceremonies. ‘‘On behalf of Capt. Stephen Schmeiser, the Patuxent River Naval Air Station I would like to welcome you to this evening’s celebration of the United States Navy’s 235th Birthday,” he said.

After welcoming the guests to the event, Mills introduced the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps who performed in uniforms patterned after those worn by the musicians of Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army. The Corps played a medley of traditional music including Reveille and Yankee Doodle.

Following the performance by the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, there was a presentation of colors with the national anthem performed by AZC David Wolfe. Pax River Chaplain Lt. Christilene Whalen gave the invocation.

A history of the flag was given by Randy Geck, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who serves as the area representative for the Nation Sojourners, the military body of the Masonic Order. He also offered up a toast to the flag. Immediately following Geck, Pax River Command Master Chief R. Mark Cummings performed the POW?MIA ceremony recognizing prisoners of war and those still missing in action.

The Calvert High School NJROTC also gave a performance during the event.

Following dinner, Pax River Commanding Officer Capt. Stephen Schmeiser said, ‘‘I would like to thank those who have made this evening truly memorable.

‘‘We share a proud heritage and come together to celebrate. We who serve honorably continue the legacy of those who have gone before. We shall remember and never forget those who have given their lives for our Navy and our nation. We are indeed a global force for good,” he said.

The surprise of the night came during Schmeiser’s speech when he singled out retired Lt. Cmdr. Harry Errington who was celebrating his 80th birthday at the ball. ‘‘It is indeed fitting and proper that I ask Harry Errington, lieutenant commander, United States Navy to join me at the podium for a presentation,” said Schmeiser.

Schmeiser presented Errington with a birthday cake saying, ‘‘I may be the Mayor of Pax River, but Harry is ‘Mr. Pax River, Happy Birthday Harry.’”

Commander Naval Air Systems Command Vice Adm. David Architzel served as guest speaker for the event.

Today’s Navy consists of 282 ships with a goal of 313 ships total for the fleet and more than 330,000 active duty Sailors.


“Aviation, Allies & Military Assistance” at ANA-TPP Briefing

Published: 02 Nov 2010

The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) and the Association of Naval Aviation (ANA), Patuxent River Squadron announced today their panel presentation, “Aviation, Allies & Military Assistance” on Wednesday, November 17 at Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, focusing on security cooperation in Naval Aviation.


Vice Admiral Jeffery Wieringa, USN (ret), former Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) will lead the panel.  His tour at DSCA was capped with the first sale of the Super Hornet to Australia and transfer of the first amphibious warship to India (ex-USS Trenton).  Selected by the Secretary of Defense on August 29, 2007, VADM Wieringa was the first Navy flag officer in over 30 years to direct DCSA.  VADM Wieringa was also the first Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer assigned as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for International Programs and Director, Navy International Programs Office.


“The United States, with the help of industry, is working hard on the strategy of building partner capacity.  This represents billions of dollars of security cooperation opportunities that we will discuss,” said VADM Wieringa.


Panelists discussing their areas of expertise include Mr. Tim Hoffman, SES, Director, Security Cooperation Reform Task Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Wing Commander Peter Cluff, Royal Australian Air Force, Director Foreign Military Sales, Office of Counselor Defence Materiel, Embassy of Australia, and other experts in the specific subject matter.


            “Responsible arms sales further national security and foreign policy objectives, improve the balance of trade, and sustain highly skilled jobs in the defense industrial base,” said TPP’s Executive Director, Bonnie Green.


“With several major international aviation programs here at Pax River, this will be an outstanding opportunity to share with the public the significant contributions that they are making to the defense capabilities of our nation and allies,” said Mark Converse, commanding officer of the local ANA Squadron.


The panel discussion begins promptly at 5:30 p.m. The Museum is located at 22156 Three Notch Rd, Lexington Park. Recommended attire is business casual/flight suits. More information can be found at www.paxpartnership.org. There is a $10.00 per person charge.


       The Patuxent Partnership works with government, industry and academia on initiatives in science and technology, hosts programs of interest to NAVAIR and the broader DoD community, supports workforce development including education initiatives and professional development.  Visit www.paxpartnership.org.


Naval Aviation has grown to a primary instrument of U.S. national security, scoring an impressive list of achievements in peace and war, the first crossing of the Atlantic by air, victory at the battle of Midway, and the first American in space, to name a few. The ANA Patuxent River Squadron is committed to educating and encouraging an interest among the general public in the importance of Naval Aviation, in the defense of the United States and its allies.  Membership is open to all by visiting http://www.anahq.org/ and click on Membership.



DCS Corp Awarded $200M Weapons and Systems Integration Support Services Contract

Published: 03 Nov 2010

DCS Corp, headquartered in Alexandria, VA, announced today that the company has been awarded the Weapons and Systems Integration Support Services (WSISS)  contract providing support to the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD).  The WSISS (2010) contract is a follow-on contract to WSISS (2005) with an estimated value of approximately $200 million.

Under the new contract, DCS will continue to provide weapons and systems integration expertise to NAWCWD’s integrated product teams and their associated weapons including F/A-18, EA-18G, AV-8B, H-1, Joint Strike Fighter, and unmanned aerial systems.  

“This is a significant contract win for DCS that will allow us to continue our commitment to apply leading-edge technology solutions to naval aviation programs,” said Jim Wood, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“We are pleased that DCS employee-owners will continue this important work with the Navy,” said Dave Russell, President and Chief Operating Officer. “Our employee-owners remain committed to proactively managing program details and ensuring customer satisfaction.”

Work under the contract will be performed in China Lake and Pt. Mugu, CA, by DCS’s Navy Weapons Systems Production & Deployment sector from DCS’s Ridgecrest, CA office.

DCS Corporation offers advanced technology and management solutions to Government agencies in the national security sector.  The transformative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit that characterize our more than 800 employee-owners allow DCS Corp to ensure the success of each client’s mission and actively contribute to the well being of the Nation. For more information, please visit:


International Defense Markets: Seizing Opportunities, Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Published: 09 Nov 2010

December 2010

By Mrinal Menon and Aleksandar D. Jovovic

The past decade has been a period of unprecedented growth in U.S. arms sales overseas. Foreign military sales could reach a record $50 billion by the end of fiscal year 2011.

Annual foreign military sales grew from $8 billion to $38 billion over the last 10 years, and in the past several months alone, the United States has announced a $5.8 billion sale of C-17 aircraft to India, a $6 billion agreement to provide a range of defense equipment to Iraq and a massive $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. This uptick in international business comes as a welcome respite from dreary forecasts for the U.S. defense industry’s domestic market, and it elevates foreign sales from an often ancillary activity to a major growth opportunity.

U.S. companies looking to expand their footprint abroad are encountering a rapidly changing international landscape. The well-developed markets for U.S. defense products in Western Europe and other NATO countries are lagging as a result of acute budgetary pressures. Instead, the Middle East, and emerging markets in Asia and South America will account for the bulk of major arms purchases over the next decade.  

While many top tier defense firms are well versed in the complexities of international sales, for others the imperative of growing their business will force them to confront a host of unfamiliar challenges. Even for the largest defense primes, the shift in emphasis from large platform sales to more diverse systems and subsystems will stress their existing operating models and practices.  

Compared to highly regimented and relatively transparent processes in the United States and, to some extent, NATO allies, the defense acquisition practices in many growing markets are a continuing source of frustration for Western firms. Regulations and decision-making processes are often both opaque and underdeveloped, making it difficult to ascertain the playing rules, let alone the requirements for success. Decisions take years longer than expected.  

Long a part of international sales, offsets remain a key component of many transactions. While direct offsets tied to building indigenous defense industrial capabilities are still part of the mix, the offset framework has expanded to encompass a broad range of indirect (and barely related) trade and investment initiatives. Depending on the size of the acquisition, offset obligations can be extensive and difficult to discharge. The most successful firms take a proactive approach to offset requirements, seeking to fulfill their obligations in ways that not only satisfy the overall program intent, but also build good will and thus improve their competitive positions over the longer term.  

Export restrictions for U.S. technology also are likely to remain major obstacles to international sales. Delays, denials, and uncertainty regarding which technology or technical data can be transferred to foreign countries impose additional costs and delays that undermine the competitiveness of U.S. firms as compared to their foreign competitors.  

European firms, as well as less familiar competitors from China, Russia, and Israel, have worked tirelessly over the past decade to build and sustain a solid footprint in key emerging global markets. For example, while U.S. firms are still struggling to determine how best to serve the Indian market, Israeli firms can look back at nearly a decade of remarkable success. Moreover, non-U.S. firms are often quite adept at navigating murky bureaucratic processes, are keyed in to customer preferences, and are unburdened by stringent anti-corruption measures, such the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  

Despite these challenges, the allure of new global markets will drive many U.S. companies to try to expand their international business presence. International sales approaches can range from resource-intensive corporate efforts, to opportunistic ventures undertaken by individual business units.

Unsurprisingly, the more aggressive a firm’s international revenue targets, the higher the necessary commitment of resources.

Firms with smaller scale offerings typically elect the tactical route, seeking sales with shorter lead times and greater certainty of fruition. An international footprint that relies heavily on local agents and commission-based sales representatives may prove sufficient to provide exposure and accomplish sales across a number of countries. Conversely a portfolio of large platforms or other high-value items requires a more resource-intensive approach. “Badged” employees and a full time in-country presence are often necessary in key countries to manage long-term capture efforts, and oversee local partnerships, subsidiaries or acquisitions. In-country employees can shape demand and requirements, but engender substantial costs in overhead and leadtime. The most successful firms opt for a calibrated response.

The appropriate human resources, legal, and other internal processes must be in place to vet, hire, and train personnel in foreign countries. Legal teams must be well versed in both local and U.S. laws and export control regulations, which are crucial to correctly interpreting complex acquisition procedures and avoiding costly fines and penalties.

While the international arena will present challenges for most U.S. defense firms, it represents a key avenue of growth at a time of strained domestic defense spending. With forethought and preparation, organizations can capitalize on opportunities in the international market while avoiding pitfalls that many U.S. firms have faced abroad.

Mrinal Menon is a senior analyst and Aleksandar D. Jovovic is a senior associate at The Avascent Group. Stephen T. Ganyard, president of Avascent International, contributed to this piece. They can be reached at mmenon@avascent.com, ajovovic@avascent.com and steve.ganyard@avascent.com



TPP Member - Compass Systems Incorporated Receives a Contract Award From DTRA

Published: 10 Nov 2010

Lexington Park, Maryland  October, 2010

Compass systems Inc. has just been awarded an 18 month; 2.5 million dollar contract to design, develop and implement a handheld tool for mobile mapping.  The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Fort Belvoir, VA, and Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Edgewood, MD, required a military and surveillance instrument for geo-referencing sensor data and integrating these datasets into a common-operating-picture (COP). Compass Systems Inc proposed to design and develop the next generation of the Handheld Apparatus for Mobile Mapping and Expedited Reporting device (HAMMER)™ to accomplish the task. Compass Systems expects to deliver the finished product ahead of schedule. 

 Our engineering and production team in Johnstown, PA is ready for the challenge” said David Bjornberg, lead Engineer for Compass Systems Inc. “While we have delivered similar technology in the past, this will represent a leap forward in the capabilities of the HAMMER™”.

"We are very excited and are looking forward to delivering a solid product to our customer.  We are anticipating that this effort will lead to many more opportunities both within the Government and also commercial arenas" said Mark Pinekenstein, CEO of Compass Systems Inc. "We have successfully designed similar technology for the US Army Corp of Engineers which involved mapping the oil spill damage in the Gulf region as well as American Samoa where there was a devastating tsunami.  Both of these exercises were instrumental in the design criteria for the HAMMER™.

 About Compass Systems Incorporated:

CSI is a customer-focused engineering services company employing an exceptional staff of highly qualified engineers, software professionals, systems integrators and support personnel.  We understand cutting-edge technology and support emerging tactical sensors and systems.  Our forte’ is the ability to integrate new systems into current architectures while keeping in mind the compatibility and interoperability requirements of the future.  Our corporate capabilities and past performance span an extensive set of sensors and systems (e.g., Manned and Unmanned aircraft platforms, EO/IR systems, data links, radars, networks, and communications systems including Satellite Communications) in support of DoD, Federal and commercial customers. 


What sets Compass Systems, Inc. apart is the ability to fully understand our customers’ requirements, embrace new ideas and technology, and deliver services and products expeditiously.  CSI takes pride in adhering to an honest, ethical approach with customers, vendors, partners, and employees. We are engineering innovation with solid performance.



Dahlgren Heritage Museum - Shining a spotlight on 'this fabled base'

Published: 15 Nov 2010

The Dahlgren Navy base is a treasure trove of military history unrivaled in its focus on ordnance--all the things on Navy ships that go "boom."
To gather, protect, display and explain materials dating to World War I, a group has been formed to start a museum.
"It is being shaped as a brand-new pilot project for the Navy museum system," says Gary Wagner, a spokesman for the Naval Support Facility Dahlgren.

The Navy museum system comprises 13 sites around the country.
"As a new feature, they are creating Navy Heritage Centers and using this project as a pilot for that new [model]," Wagner said.
The museum will be run not by the Navy, but by the newly created Dahlgren Heritage Foundation.
The base was established in 1918 as the Naval Proving Ground, to test guns destined for Navy warships. Over the years, the site along the Potomac River evolved into one of the Navy's premier research and development labs. It includes a 25-mile firing range along the river.
"Interest in establishing a museum about Dahlgren really took off following our celebration of the base's 90th birthday in 2008," Wagner said.

For the rest of this article click here


TPP Member - Spalding Consulting refuses to retreat Firm expands amid talk about budget cuts to contractors

Published: 12 Nov 2010

From The Enterprise

Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense.

Spalding Consulting, an information technology, program management and data management contractor, recently opened a new office in Lexington Park in addition to its Great Mills office. The company also expanded its marketing arm, adding a media representative and planning an open house for early next year.

With this expansion of non-billable, overhead activity, you would think that no one told this company of 100 employees about Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plans to reduce outsourcing in what some local leaders have bitterly dubbed the "global war on contractors."

But owner and founder Barry Spalding said he is well aware that trying times are ahead for the Southern Maryland contracting community. And he and his staff have no intention of taking it lying down. "We've decided to counter that by spending money, rather than hiding and hoping for the best," Spalding said at the company's new Lexington Park offices, jokingly called "Spalding North" by employees.

The office smells like optimism — fresh paint, clean carpet and new furniture. The only things hanging on the wall are two pieces of artwork in the conference room. You would never guess this company is nearly 10 years old.

"We're fortunate to be a small business in the government arena," Spalding said. "It's been a good year."

According to the company, revenue has increased by 250 percent in the last three years, nearly topping $20 million. Lisa Clark, vice president of business intelligence, credits this surge to a solid foundation of "slow, steady, sustainable growth" built in the previous seven years.

According to Bob Schaller, director of economic development for St. Mary's, Spalding's quiet, steady rise is reflected in other local contracting firms that have carved a unique service niche.

"There are a lot of pockets of rapid growth," Schaller said. "They tend to stay below the radar. … They're not beholden to one customer, and that's why they're able to grow." Schaller noted that small, niche firms face less risk than more generalized support service firms, saying, "If you're kind of a general, more homogenized service, you're going to be affected by [government] insourcing."

One of Spalding's niches is searching and organizing data from NAVAIR's massive DECKPLATE maintenance database into actionable intelligence. The system tracks part replacement on Navy aircraft, and Spalding uses these records to determine which parts are wearing down too quickly and how they are affected by environmental conditions.

Spalding said his company surgically chooses which contracts to pursue, applying for only those it can do well.

"We're going to focus on our strengths," Spalding said of obtaining future contracts. "We're very competitive."


Navy version of F-35 arrives

Published: 12 Nov 2010

From The Enterprise

The first carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter arrived Saturday at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Lockheed Martin announced, joining the short takeoff and landing versions of the plane already being tested at the base.

The F-35C Lightning II arrived at Pax River on Nov. 6 at 2:37 p.m. Piloted by Lockheed Martin pilot David Nelson, the jet departed Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at 11:31 a.m. and refueled during the flight. At Pax River, the F-35C will conduct air-to-air refueling and performance testing.

This variation of the aircraft, designated with the testing code"CF-01," has a larger wingspan and sturdier landing gear for carrier operations.

According to Lockheed, the development of the Navy and Air Force variants of the plane continue on schedule, but the Marines' short takeoff and vertical landing variant, the F-35B, is still trailing. Overall, the program has completed 321 flights this year, 28 flights ahead of plan through October. The Air Force aircraft logged 22 flights against a plan of 17; Marine jets flew 27 times against a plan of 28; and the Navy jet flew three times against a plan of five. Additionally, the STOVL jet flew supersonically, and, at Mach 1.3, has flown faster than any other variant to date. However, the STOVL variant is 41 flights behind plan for the year. Lockheed acknowledged that reliability problems continue to plague the STOVL variant. The plan calls for 51 flights in November, toward the total of 394 for 2010.


TPP Member - Calvert Systems Engineering Awarded Calvert County Small Business of the Year Award

Published: 16 Nov 2010

Calvert County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year  received award on October 20, 2010

Calvert Systems Engineering, Inc. (CSE) was incorporated in 2003 and began operationally in September 2005 with one employee/owner. The target customer base was the federal government, specifically the Department of Defense, which is a challenging market for a new small business. With one part-time contract, CSE continued until August 2006 when a second employee/business partner was added to the staff. These two engineers, Donna Croll and Tammy Myers, were dedicated to creating the foundation that would support a diversified portfolio of contracts that supported the federal government, state government, and commercial initiatives. The CSE Headquarters, located in Owings, Maryland, was identified with the assistance of the Calvert County Department of Economic Development (CCDED) and the Small Business Incubator Program of Southern Maryland.

Since beginning operations in September 2005, Calvert Systems Engineering, Inc. has demonstrated excellent employee recruitment and revenue growth.  Sales, for multiple years, have doubled. 2010 was an excellent year demonstrating an increase in excess of 400% in revenue over 2009.

CSE’s motto is “Where Vision and Technology Converge.” Vision and imagination enable technology to be used to achieve a common purpose. Working as part of a team to help our customers achieve their goals is our primary objective.

Customers have consistently provided extremely positive feedback of CSE employees saying that CSE is easy to work with and is consistently responsive to short turn-around actions. In order to provide the best value to our customers, CSE operates with low overhead, managing the 23 employees and 6 contracts from the CSE Headquarters which is on the third floor of the Home Towne Center in Owings, Maryland.

For more information about Calvert Systems Engineering, Inc., please visit our website at www.calvertsystemsengineering.com.


TPP Member - Smartronix Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Rob Groat Awarded N VTC-- CTO Innovator Award

Published: 16 Nov 2010

The first Northern Virginia Technology Council/Washington Technology Government Contractor CTO Innovator Awards for mid-sized companies has been awarded to Rob Groat of Smartronix. This award recognizes CTOs within the region's government contracting community for their critical contributions to achieving results for their clients and their leadership within their own companies. Winners were announced at the NVTC’s Annual Banquet today at the Ritz-Carlton in McLean, Virginia. Smartronix’ Chief Executive Officer John Parris was in attendance for the announcement and stated that “Smartronix is fortunate to have Rob Groat as CTO and proud to have him as an executive representative of the company.” Awardee Rob Groat, who was born and raised in St. Mary’s County, reiterated that “Smartronix has maintained a focus on utilizing technology in support of some of the most technically challenging program implementations, including the Recovery.gov and Treasury.gov programs.” He added “with the Government’s emphasis on and U.S. citizenry’s right to transparency, we have been fortunate to develop and partner with a group of experts to ensure success in this field.”


TPP Member - Lockheed Martin F-35 begins flying block 1 software

Published: 18 Nov 2010

From The Tester

The fundamental building block for all future avionics software on the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter has entered flight testing on an F-35 test jet.

‘‘Block 1,” the first of three principal software-development blocks for the F-35’s mission systems, made its inaugural flight Nov. 5 in the F-35B short takeoff?vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft known as BF-4. The functional check flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent River lasted 1.5 hours, and all planned test points were accomplished.

‘‘Getting this software up and flying in an F-35 is a big step in the process of validating our avionics system and ensuring that it operates in a way that gives our war fighters a clear advantage over any adversary,” said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin F-35 program general manager. ‘‘The flight went as planned, and we look forward to expanded mission systems testing in the coming months.”

The Block 1 software will enable most of the primary sensors on theF-35, which possesses the most powerful and comprehensive mission systems package of any fighter ever to fly. Block 1 forms the foundation of all subsequent software blocks. It enables information fusion from the F-35’s radar, electronic warfare system, distributed aperture system, electro-optical targeting system and other sensors, and provides initial weapons-release capability.

Block 1 has been undergoing airborne testing since May on the Cooperative Avionics Test Bed, a highly modified 737 airliner that incorporates the entire integrated F-35 mission systems suite, including an F-35 cockpit. The test bed provides initial in-flight validation for F-35 software blocks before they are introduced into actual F-35 aircraft.

The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

Article submitted by Lockheed Martin


NAWCAD represented at Youth Summit

Published: 18 Nov 2010

From The Tester

Engineers and scientists from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) showcased their work while inspiring students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the third annual Youth in Technology Summit held at the College of Southern Maryland Nov. 13.

Approximately 400 students attended this year’s event, which featured a myriad of engineering and technology exhibits, campus tours, and workshops.

John Daley, Chris McDaniel, Desiree Smith and Brandon Hall from the Human Systems department provided a hands-on demonstration using high-speed video and talked to the students about crashworthiness testing. Cold atoms and sensors drew students’ interest to Dr. Frank Narducci’s demonstration using liquid nitrogen. Jack Romano from the Manned Flight Simulator drew long lines for students to fly his portable simulator and try their hand at landing on an aircraft carrier.

Daniel Grant from the Avionics department staffed the Pax River information display, and Peter Petkofsky, from research and engineering, partnered with Connecticut Corsair providing hands-on discussions on engines and components.

In addition to the displays, the outreach office provided workshops for students and parents on education pathways to STEM careers, local education opportunities and the life at Pax River.


British testers here shift focus to carrier JSF Royal Navy budget cuts change strategy about aircraft

Published: 19 Nov 2010

From The Enterprise

Following a deep cut to the British Royal Navy's budget, the local contingent of U.K. testers stationed at Patuxent River Naval Air Station is shifting its focus from the STOVL variant of the Joint Strike Fighter to the newly arrived carrier variant.

Speaking at a panel discussion of foreign military sales at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum on Wednesday night, Cmdr. Bowden Wheaton of the British Royal Navy said that his country's 2010 Strategic Defense and Security Review calls for the axing of 7,000 of the Royal Navy's 38,000 personnel and the discontinuation of its jump jet tradition.

Wheaton said the British Harrier program will come to an end next year, and the U.K. will not have a carrier-based strike capability until the Joint Strike Fighter is fielded in 2020.

"I think it was a real dent in the Royal Navy when he got rid of our maritime strike capability," Wheaton said of Prime Minister David Cameron. "I hope he thought long and hard about that."

Wheaton was asked how U.K. pilots will remain qualified for carrier duty for the next decade while waiting for the JSF. He said, "There are various avenues being discussed, but nothing has been decided." By that time, the version of the JSF that Britain had been evaluating, the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing variant, could be replaced by the F-35C carrier variant. Wheaton said civilian planners questioned why the Royal Navy was pursuing a STOVL capability when the country's newest aircraft carriers, the Queen Elizabeth class, are big enough to carry a catapult.

Wheaton said Royal Navy planners are looking to use an electromagnetic catapult on the QE class carriers, rather than a traditional steam mechanism. "We're still talking the same numbers" of jets, he said ,and characterized the JSF as "the most important project in the U.K." The British have invested $2 billion into the development of the JSF, he said.

Wheaton said he has a staff of 30 working at Pax River. Much of the U.K.'s ground-level evaluation and testing has been aimed at ensuring that Royal Navy maintenance crews can independently maintain the new fighters.

"Britain's very keen to maintain operational sovereignty," Wheaton said of the JSF. "They're looking particularly how this aircraft is going to perform on our Queen Elizabeth class carriers."

Australia also remains interested in the JSF, according to Wing Cmdr. Peter Cluff, head of foreign military sales for the Australian Embassy, who also appeared on the panel, which sponsored by The Patuxent Partnership and the Association of Naval Aviators. "We're Pax River's biggest customer," Cluff said, noting such major projects as the F/A-18 Hornet, Super Hornet, P-3 Orion and JSF.

Keeping allies such as Britain and Australia up to speed on strike fighter technology is part of a new attitude that has overtaken the U.S. military's foreign military sales apparatus.

"During the Cold War, the model was not strategic," said Tim Hoffman of the Security Cooperation Reform Task Force chartered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates' office. "It was more about influence."

This has now changed as the Pentagon aims to make foreign arms sales part of its global defense strategy. Instead of focusing solely on the actual items being sold to allies, the Pentagon wants foreign military sales to bolster its overall defense strategy, changing the process to be more anticipatory and proactive than reactive.

"The idea is to link selling with what we're doing with our allies," Hoffman said.

Jeffery Wieringa, a retired vice admiral and former head of the Navy's International Programs Office, said that Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seeks to leverage foreign military sales to strategically strengthen allied forces and create a "1,000-ship Navy."

Under Wieringa's tenure as head of the International Programs Office, foreign military sales jumped from $8 billion each year to $38 billion. Last year, sales topped $100 billion, and Wieringa said they would range between $50 and $100 billion this year.

"The buzzword is ‘export control reform,'" Wieringa said.

Wieringa said Gates wants the military to reduce its list of technologies prohibited from export to a more manageable size and increase protection of these core technologies."This potentially makes it much easier for you," Wieringa said to the defense contractors in the audience.

Wieringa said the Pentagon is also aiming to standardize a syllabus for training foreign military sales officials across all military services. "There's great interest to get stuff to our allies very quickly," Hoffman said, noting that the current foreign sales and technology transfer process is mired in a tangle of bureaucratic hurdles and does not share uniformity across services.

"There's no single point of failure," Hoffman said. "You have folks that are working under different guidelines, different incentive structures. … The system is rather inelastic."

Hoffman said his task force has proposed a two-pronged approach to fixing this. The first step is the creation of a fast-track process that bypasses and consolidates the current process to facilitate emergency arms and material sales. This process will be called Compressed Rapid Acquisition Fielding and Training — CRAFT. The regular foreign sales process could be improved, Hoffman said, by stockpiling high-demand items with a long production lead time.

Cluff noted that the United States' foreign sales system deals with 205 countries, some of which have complicated relationships with the American military. "It's that complexity and the complexity of the customer that makes [foreign military sales] a tough program to improve," Cluff said. "I have a staff of eight that work tirelessly to understand the U.S. system."


Maryland Workforce Exchange, State Funds and Contract Training Grants Available

Published: 02 Dec 2010

Take Charge of Your Company’s Hiring Needs with the Maryland Workforce Exchange

Manage your entire hiring process at no cost on-line at your One-Stop Career Center or “24/7” via the Internet at www.mwejobs.com


·   Reach today’s top talent to staff your job or business

·   Gain maximum exposure for your job openings

·   Get quick access to current economic and local job market data


If you are seeking to expand your business in Maryland, the Maryland Workforce Exchange allows you to:

·   Create and manage your own recruitment strategy on-line through your own business folder

·   Search the job seeker pool for potential candidates and track those that are referred to your job openings

·   Create and maintain multiple job offerings

·   Sign-up for workshops or business seminars offered in your community

·   Access local economic and labor force data

·   Find business and economic development resources to help your business grow


The Maryland Workforce Exchange has enhanced the services your business can receive from your One-Stop Career Center staff by enabling them to:

·   Manage services provided to their business accounts

·   Coordinate employer contacts and services

·   Post and manage job offerings on behalf of business customers

·   Create and manage workshops or seminars that are targeted to local businesses

·   Develop customized labor market information materials


For more information, contact George R. Clark, Business Service Representative for
Tri County Council for So. Md. So. Md. Workforce Services at 301-880-2810 (office), 240-412-3602 (cell) or email gclark@tccsmd.org.



State Funds Available for Employer-based Training and Certifications

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Division of Workforce Development is offering a program to support existing Maryland businesses in the retention and growth of their workforce. The state has been awarded $1 million of incentive grant funds under the Workforce Investment Act earmarked for training incumbent workers. The program encourages promotion, creates additional job opportunities and improves worker retention by increasing the skill level of the existing workforce. The employer-based training projects are targeted for small businesses, the healthcare industry, and specific demand occupations requiring a $1 for $1 match from the employer. Demand occupations include: Healthcare, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Bioscience, Construction, Education, Retail, Finance/Insurance, Hospitality/Tourism, Information Technology, Professional/Business Services, Transportation/Warehousing industries, and any Green industry/occupation. Let the state help you with increasing the occupational skills level of your existing workers. For more information and eligibility contact George Clark, Business Service Representative for St. Mary’s County, Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, at 240-412-3602 or email gclark@tccsmd.org


New Contract Training Grants Provide Short-Term Training for New Hires Prior to Employment

Southern Maryland Workforce Services and the Tri County Council for Southern Maryland present Contract Training Grants.


·         Driven by business employment needs

·         Provides short-term-training for new hires prior to employment

·         Training classes paid for by the Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board

·         Classes must be made up of at least five unemployed jobseekers preapproved by the Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board and employer

·         Business must sign contract that the employee will be hired full-time after successful completion of the course or certification

·         Training provider must be certified by the Maryland Higher Education Commission

·         All trainees must be entered into the Workforce Investment Act Program prior to training start date

·         More than one employer may be involved in a single class

·         Grant includes tuition, books and/or other pre-approved training requirements


For more information and eligibility contact George Clark, Business Service Representative for St. Mary’s County, Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, at 240-412-3602 or email gclark@tccsmd.org.




Navy tests new fuel in Seahawk helo at Pax River

Published: 02 Dec 2010

From The Tester

Moving closer to achieving the objective of decreasing its need for petroleum-based fuels, the Navy flew an MH60S Seahawk on a 50?50 biofuel blend Nov. 18 in Patuxent River, Md.

The helicopter, from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 21 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River tested a fuel mixture made from the Camelina seed, which is in the same family of plants as the mustard seed and rapeseed.

Camelina needs little water or nitrogen to flourish and can be grown on marginal agricultural soil.

“These biofuels provide the Navy with an 'off-ramp' from petroleum to increased energy security,“ said Rear Adm. Philip Cullom, director, Navy Task Force Energy.

The tests focused on the MH60S, one of the Navy's newest helicopters. The mission of the MH60S is anti-surface warfare, combat support, humanitarian disaster relief and search and rescue, aero medical evacuation, special warfare and organic airborne mine countermeasures.

Earlier this year, the Navy tested this biofuel blend on the F?A-18 Super Hornet. Results from those tests indicated the aircraft performed as expected through its full flight envelope with no degradation of capability.

“We expect today's helicopter tests will further demonstrate this fuel made from an alternative, non-petroleum feed stock is a viable option for use in Navy aircraft,“ said Rick Kamin, the Navy Fuels lead.

According to Kamin, the flight isanother step toward the certification of fuels from non-petroleum sources for use in all Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. Testing will continue across additional aircraft models in 2011 with a target of approving the 50?50 biofuel blend for use in the Navy ships and aircraft by early 2012.

The Navy Fuels team embarked on its current path to certify many alternative sources for fuel more than two years ago. At the 2009 Navy Energy Forum, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus committed the Navy to a goal of decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels. The secretary outlined five energy targets at the forum. Closest to home for the Navy Fuels team was the idea of demonstrating a Green Strike Group by 2012.

“In October 2009, I issued five energy targets for my department, the most important of which is that by the year 2020 — a decade from now — half of all the energy we use afloat and ashore, in the air, on the sea, under the sea or on land will come from non-fossil fuel sources,“ said Mabus, in October 2010 at the Energy Security Forum held at the Pentagon.

“The most significant impact of a dependence on fossil fuels is on our people,“ said Mabus. “Getting a gallon of gasoline to a Marine at forward operating bases (FOBs) in Afghanistan is not easy. Every single day, young Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and Airmen guard those vulnerable fuel convoys as they move from the logistics hubs to our FOBs. Gasoline is the single thing we import the most into Afghanistan.“

“We have to change the way we operate. We have to change the way we produce and we use energy,“ Mabus said.


Dahlgren Programs Briefed to USNA Midshipmen

Published: 06 Nov 2010

Twenty midshipmen and four instructors from the Naval Academy added a one-day field trip to the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren, Va., to their itinerary and saw how technological advancements and systems integration are transforming current and future warships – and their crews. Background on the major technology programs briefed to the midshipmen appears below.

·  Electromagnetic railguns provide a capability for sustained, offensive power projection, complementary to missiles and tactical aircraft. They may be a cost-effective solution to the Marine Corp Naval Surface Fire Support requirements because of their unique capability to simultaneously satisfy three key war-fighting objectives: extremely long ranges, short time-of-flight and high lethality (energy-on-target).


·  The Integrated Warfare Systems Laboratory (IWSL) is the principle Navy facility supporting computer program engineering for operational Aegis cruisers and destroyers. Although its mission is to provide a site adequately equipped and staffed to support the Lifetime Support Engineering Agent in generating, maintaining, updating, and certifying Aegis Combat System computer programs, the facility is broadening its business base with the addition of other programs, customers, and labs. Primarily, the IWSL provides the Aegis fleet, warfighters, and community with the facilities and support services to generate, test, integrate, and deliver quality-assured Aegis tactical, simulation, support, and training computer programs. All computer programs delivered to operational Aegis ships come from the IWSL. The facility houses shipboard computers, displays, and peripherals, along with simulation, program generation, data reduction, systems analysis, configuration management, and communications equipment.


·  The Integrated Command Environment (ICE) and Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) team and facilities, due to the location at NAVSEA Dahlgren and partnership with the Center for Surface Combatant Systems (CSCS), provide a valuable link between science and technology, research and development activities, and the acquisition and Fleet communities. Performing research in the context of operational needs ensures Fleet interest and participation, appropriate focus, and a clear transition path. Strong Fleet participation (1,500 officer and enlisted participants in the last five years) and human systems engineering expertise have been key to the success of the ICE?HPL.

The ICE?HPL team's focus is human performance, stressing optimization of manpower, usability, maintainability, decision support, and knowledge superiority in an effort to enhance the capabilities of our warfighters and improve total system performance and affordability over the entire life-cycle of a platform or system. A sound, systems engineering approach is applied to problems, emphasizing that a system is not only composed of hardware and software but also includes the human operators, maintainers, decision makers, and the shore support infrastructure manpower.

·  The Potomac River Test Range gun line: Since 1918 Dahlgren has been an important national resource for the testing of naval guns and ammunition as well as for a wide variety of military testing and training efforts utilizing explosive and non-explosive ordnance. Highlights of Dahlgren’s ordnance work include test-firing every type of naval gun and its ammunition, and conducting a variety of short-term programs, such as serving as a bombing range for military pilot training during World War II. Dahlgren has two range complexes where most ordnance is tested: the Potomac River Test Range and the Explosives Experimental Area.


SMHEC Now Offers Procurement and Management Course

Published: 06 Dec 2010

The Southern Maryland Higher Education Center is pleased to announce a new course being offered by one of the newest colleges to join the SMHEC Campus, Webster University is now offering, PROC 5840 "Negotiations" course involves scope, strategies, and objectives related to negotiated acquisitions. The preparation, conduct, and documentation of the negotiation process are included. Beginning January 8, 2011, Saturdays 9:00am - 1:00pm/ M.S. in Procurement and Acquisitions Management.


Request from the Acquisition Improvement Team

Published: 21 Dec 2010

Request from the Acquisition Improvement Team (AIT):


If your organization or company has experience with Government organizations other than NAVAIR, specifically with implementing Multiple Award Contracts (MACs) and task order competitions, please share your experiences with us.  The goal is to provide options for AIT consideration as we assist NAVAIR in making the MAC process more efficient.  Please email details of an effective MAC process to NAWCAD.NBO@NAVY.MIL.


Readying the Next Generation of Tinkerers - Local Defense Contractors, Tech Firms Sponsor Robotics Competitions at CSM

Published: 03 Jan 2011

            Local robotics team, “Under the Son,” is heading to St. Louis and another FIRST Robotics World Championship contest after outscoring the competition at the College of Southern Maryland’s Annual Maryland FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for high school students Dec. 11 in La Plata. The team of Renee, Erik, Mary and Laura, home-schooled children of David and Lydean Spangler of Hollywood, returned from Atlanta last spring with a trophy for competing on the World Championship team—they hope to repeat in 2011.

            The Spanglers will be joined by the team G-Force, a club team sponsored by 4-H/GEARS, Inc. of McHenry, which earned the day’s Inspire Award for serving as an inspiration to what the FIRST program and young minds can accomplish.

            Elementary and middle school students also competed in the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Southern Maryland Qualifier. Five teams from St. Mary’s County and two from Charles County will be heading to University of Maryland Baltimore County for February’s State Championship competition.

            Between the FTC and FLL, 55 teams from throughout Maryland participated in the tournament, including a visiting team from Aviano, Italy comprised of U.S. Department of Defense dependents whose parents are stationed abroad.

            “These competitions are important not only for our students in Southern Maryland, but for our businesses, too,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “Locally, there are many high-paying, high-tech jobs that are going unfilled or are being filled by people outside of our area. When our community comes together to get Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s students excited about pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, everyone wins.”   

            “Today the average age of our engineers is the mid-50s. We see only 15 percent of our college graduates majoring in engineering or the natural sciences, far below that of South Korea at 38 percent, or France at 47 percent or Singapore at a whopping 67 percent,” said Gottfried. “America’s call to action is to commit ourselves to keeping the United States competitive, and this community college, CSM, along with our strong partners, are key players in that vision,” said Gottfried, adding that competitions such as FTC and FLL are encouraging students to pursue STEM careers.

            Sponsors of this year’s event, BAE Systems, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, PTC, Rockwell Collins, Charles County Tech Council, Energetics Technology Center, TIME Center and The Patuxent Partnership, hope that students stay excited about science and technology all the way through college and into the workforce.

       “Our support of FIRST is not only about getting young people excited about science and technology, it is also about developing our future workforce,” said Mark Keeler, BAE Systems vice president of communications – electronics solutions business based out of California. “As a strategic partner, we see students benefiting from an experience that teaches teamwork and innovation. It’s important and exciting for our Southern Maryland community to come together to help young people learn.” Including CSM’s competition, BAE Systems committed $2.81 million and sponsored 14 regional competitions in 2010.

            Another competition sponsor, the Charles County Tech Council (CCTC),

works to ensure the competitiveness of its members through community education and outreach programs such as robotics competitions, said CCTC President Mark Czajka. Representing more than 70 companies and individuals, CCTC members volunteer and work as judges or fill in where needed during the day-long competition. In addition to providing manpower, CCTC has provided scholarships and robot kits that can be prohibitively expensive for some middle school and high school teams. Over the last four years, CCTC has donated more than $7,000 to students through the CSM Foundation, said CSM Development Director Martina Arnold.

            For complete list of award recipients and FTC ranking, visit www.ftc.csmd.edu.   


Celebrating 10 years as a regional college, the College of Southern Maryland provides programs and services with a special focus on local workforce development to maintain and grow a healthy economy and community. CSM is a two-time silver level recipient of the Maryland Performance Excellence Award and the fifth largest community college in Maryland with campuses in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. For information about CSM, call 301-934-7765 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7765 or visit www.csmd.edu.









Teams Advancing to FTC World Championship in St. Louis, April 2011

Under the Son, Spangler Software Incredibles Robotics & SSI Robotics, Hollywood

G-Force, 4-H/GEARS, Inc., McHenry, Md. (Garrett County)




Teams Advancing to the Maryland Championship at UMBC, February 2011

Drugbusters, Father Andrew White School, Leonardtown

Heart Burn, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

Doctor D’s Deficiency Blood Tester, Father Andrew White School, Leonardtown

Bot Brigade Blue, California

Kidz 4 Change 4-H Club, Indian Head

LFS Patriots, Little Flower School, Great Mills

CyberKnight, Grace Christian School of Maryland, Waldorf


For a complete list of award winners, visit http://www.ftc.csmd.edu/.

To view photos of award recipients, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/10DecRobotics.html



Southern Maryland FTC and FLL Teams by Location


FIRST Tech Challenge Tournament Team List


St. Mary’s County Teams



Los Fuegos, The Kings Christian Academy



Under the Son, Spangler Software Incredibles Robotics & SSI Robotics



Pacman and Shazaam, Dr. James A. Forrest Career & Technology Center High School

Raider Robots, Leonardtown High School

Ryken 1 and Ryken 2, NDEP and St. Mary’s Ryken High School


Great Mills

GMHS 1 and GMHS 2, Great Mills High School


FIRST Lego League Tournament Team List

Calvert County

Prince Frederick

Telepathic Turtles


Charles County

Indian Head


Kidz 4 Change 4-H Club








St. Mary’s County


Bot Brigade




Eagle 6.0



Great Mills

LFS Patriots



St. Johns




Doctor D’s



Heart Burn



TPP Member - Edward Jones Financial Advisors Rate the Firm Highest in Overall Satisfaction

Published: 05 Jan 2011

Edward Jones financial advisors gave the highest satisfaction ratings in six of the eight study factors which placed the firm 193 points ahead of the industry average

Edward Jones also ranked highest in the 2007 study and tied for the highest ranking in 2008. The study was not conducted in 2009. 

Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 12,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals -- from college savings to retirement -- and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy.  Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment  options available today.


Science Fair judges sought

Published: 07 Jan 2011

From The Tester

Judging for the 51st annual St. Mary's County Science and Engineering Fair will take place from 7:45 a.m. until noon at Great Mills High School on Feb. 5 (Snow date Feb. 12). Information on the fair can be found at www.sm-sef.org. The website has a link for judges that includes a registration form and information on rules and advice. Anyone interested in being a judge can go to the website or contact Dr. Allen Hovland at akhovland@smcm.edu or 240-895-4354.


Air Expo '11 Poster Contest

Published: 07 Jan 2011

From The Tester

The Executive Steering Committee for Air Expo ’11 is holding a design contest for the official Air Expo ’11 poster. Each submission must be in a digital format and should include the dates for Air Expo ’11 (Sept. 3-4, 2011), the words “NAS Patuxent River Air Expo ’11“ and “Celebrating 100 Years of Naval Aviation.“ Submissions should be photo ready and include the Blue Angels who are the headlining act for the expo. The poster should also allow space for placement of sponsor logos at the bottom.

All entries must be submitted by e-mail to Events Coordinator Katie Coughlan at katherine.coughlan.ctr@navy.mil by Jan. 15. The contest winner will be announced by Jan. 31 and will be awarded four tickets to Friday night's “Meet the Performers Party“ and four tickets to the Hospitality Chalet (for either Saturday or Sunday.) NAS Patuxent River and Air Expo ’11 will retain all rights to the artwork?graphic content of the poster.

This contest is open to everyone. For more information contact Coughlan at katherine.coughlan.ctr@navy.mil or Kim Upshaw at kim.upshaw.ctr@navy.mil.


Robotics: From the factory line to the classroom

Published: 07 Jan 2011

From The Tester

They’re small and pack a big punch of fun while delivering all the lessons any educator could want in science, technology, engineering and math. They are robots.

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s education outreach program has significantly increased its efforts this school year to support local robotics programs by providing grants to fund existing and new teams, providing an in-school robotics curriculum and funding robotics team coaches.

The decision to increase robotics support was an easy one, as robots have moved from the assembly line to landing squarely in the lap of education. By designing, building and operating autonomous robots, students learn key engineering subjects and develop systems-thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills necessary for today’s engineers and scientists.

According to a Brandeis University Education study, students who participate in robotics have a 50 percent more likelihood of attending college and are twice as likely to major in science or engineering.


FIRST® Robotics Programs

Published: 07 Jan 2011

From The Tester

FIRST® stands for ‘‘For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” and is the international leader in providing robotics programs for students. FIRST is a not-for-profit organization, which recently received a five-year, $20-million grant from NASA to assist FIRST in reaching more students.

‘‘This is the largest NASA-funded student program geared toward robotics activities,“ said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “For the next five years, approximately 25,000 students across the country will not only learn from our nation's best and brightest, but also compete and have fun at the same time.“

Founded by Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway and the first portable infusion pump among many other inventions, started FIRST as means to improve student achievement in science and math. Kamen supports the notion of scientists as the 21st-century superstars.

FIRST provides four levels of robotics engagement from Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) for K-third grade, FIRST LEGO League (FLL) for elementary and middle school students, and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for high school students.

Many colleges and universities, professional associations, and corporations offer college scholarships to high school students participating in FIRST teams. For 2011, more than 128 scholarship providers are making available more than 853 individual scholarship opportunities valued at $14 million.

Randy Gross, an engineer from the systems engineering department, is the official ‘‘robotics go-to guy,” coordinating NAWCAD employee coaches supporting FIRST robotics teams in St. Mary’s County. Gross has supported the robotics program at the Dr. James Forrest Career and Technology Center for many years, and is now lending this experience to a broader base of students in his new role. He has established a FIRST robotics coaches’ alliance to collaborate and share resources. Gross also coaches two First Tech Challenge teams at St. Mary’s Ryken.

Coaches from NAWCAD include Paul Hood, Jennifer Long, Michael Matthias, Charles Rea and Erik Semrud coaching St. John’s, Father Andrew White, St. Mary’s Ryken and Little Flower schools. The teams competed in the regional finals in December and all did well. The results are posted on www.ftc.csmd.edu.


County suspends new design work on Navy museum Supporters asked to find cash for displays and operations

Published: 07 Jan 2011

From The Enterprise

Two steps forward; one step back.

Just as work on the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum's new facility began moving after a decade of delays, the project has hit a new snag.

St. Mary's County government has notified the team redesigning the building to "pause" their work on interior display designs until the museum association can line up cash to pay for displays and operations.

County Administrator John Savich notified Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association President Gus Eggert of the county's decision last month. Savich said the county made the decision after learning from the association that the Naval Heritage Command would not have the money to fund displays at the museum as previously thought.

"We're taking a cautious approach in a time of austerity," Savich said Wednesday, noting that the county does not want to build an empty building. "It's been a long saga, but it's still worth being careful."

Savich said the county would consider not halting the design plan if the museum team can put together a viable funding plan.

However, the association has pleaded with Savich to reverse the decision and continue the county's design work through August.

In a Dec. 10 letter to Savich, Eggert stated the delay in design could slow the building's construction, adding to the building's price tag as construction costs inflate. In 2005 the building was estimated to cost $12 million in federal, state, county and private funds.

Eggert said his board is "very concerned about the message this action will send to the many local and corporate donors who have been very supportive and have already given $1.5 million to the actual construction of the new museum over the past 10 years."

Eggert said Wednesday he doesn't think the county's hesitation will scare off the museum's largest donors. "The substantial donors are solid and on the record," he said. However, he doesn't want to endanger future support.

The museum is expecting a visit from representatives of the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla., who will review the museum's operations and fundraising and suggest changes.

"The board is taking aggressive steps to secure other sources of operating funds," Eggert wrote in his Dec. 10 letter. "We are confident that over the next five to six months, we will be able to demonstrate a viable plan to ensure sustainment of operations for the new museum."

The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum has been operating out of a temporary warehouse location near Gate 1 of Patuxent River Naval Air Station since 2000. Attempts to construct the building in 2006 met with funding shortfalls, but the project appeared to be moving forward last summer when the county opened bidding for a redesign of the building.

The new museum is planned to have 22,000 square feet of space and is expected to fit on the already completed pad site near the existing temporary museum and flight line of aircraft. The new design features a simpler, sloped roof rather than the dramatic, angular winged structure proposed a decade ago.

"We're looking forward to the groundbreaking, but it's still a few years away, I think," Eggert said. "As far as I'm concerned, it's on track."


New missile tested on Super Hornet

Published: 07 Jan 2011

From The Enterprise

The Navy will soon be deploying a new air-to-ground missile, and now it knows how that missile will affect the flight performance of its main attack aircraft, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

Missile contractor Lockheed Martin announced that six tests with a Super Hornet loaded with dummies of its Joint Air-to-Ground Missile were conducted at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The dummies were six instrumented measurement vehicles equivalent in weight, size and dimensions to tactical JAGM rounds and outfitted with resistive temperature devices, acoustic sensors and accelerometers to measure flight conditions experienced by the launchers and the missiles.

During 11 hours of flying time, the aircraft flew at altitudes of 5,000 to 35,000 feet and at speeds approaching the speed of sound.

Fully outfitted, the Super Hornet could conceivably be configured to carry 18 JAGMs, as opposed to four of the Maverick air-to-ground missiles that JAGM will replace.


NAVAIR leaders network with small businesses

Published: 13 Jan 2011

From The Tester

Naval Air Systems Command hosted its annual Small Business Aviation Technology Conference at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center recently.

More than 200 small businesses from across the country attended the two-day event coordinated by NAVAIR’s Naval Aviation Enterprise Chief Technology Office (NAE CTO) and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

NAVAIR Commander Vice Adm. David Architzel opened the conference with an overview of NAVAIR’s organizational structure. He encouraged the small businesses to reach out to the program offices to make connections and learn about their technology requirements.

“We rely heavily on industry and, in particular, our small business partners who have the flexibility and innovation needed to deliver warfighting capabilities,“ he said. “We need this flexibility and innovation to meet the requirements of today's and tomorrow's warfighters. You [small business] play an important role in helping us achieve our goals.“

The small businesses had an opportunity to hear from the NAVAIR program executive officers, Naval Air Warfare Center and the chief technology officer, as well as the directors of Navy’s Office of Small Business Programs and the SBIR?STTR program.

In addition, the companies were able to participate in question-and-answer panels regarding specific topics that were advertised in the recent 2011 proposal solicitation, as well as one-on-one meetings with the NAVAIR technical points of contacts to discuss the topics in more detail.

‘‘The overall structure of the conference provided an opportunity for small companies to gain insight into the NAVAIR organization, the NAE Science and Technology Objectives, and the process that NAVAIR uses for technology development, maturation and transition,” said Janet McGovern, SBIR program manager. ‘‘This will benefit the small companies in understanding the technology requirements and will benefit NAVAIR in receiving more focused proposals.”

The SBIR?STTR is a highly competitive, three-phase award program, which provides small business with opportunities to propose high-quality innovative solutions that meet the specific research and development needs of naval aviation.


Pax CO graduates from Leadership Maryland class

Published: 13 Jan 2011

From The Tester

Pax River Commanding Officer Capt. Steve Schmeiser recently completed an eight-month leadership development program sponsored by Leadership Maryland.

Leadership Maryland celebrated its 18th graduating class at a black-tie reception and banquet held in early December at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore.

‘‘Captain Schmeiser brought a unique and valuable perspective to this year's class as a result of his impressive leadership and his service to the nation as a U.S. Navy officer,“ said Nancy Minieri, president of Leadership Maryland. “Each class represents a broad spectrum of highly qualified executives from an extraordinary group of statewide applicants and his contributions were an important and appreciated part of our 18th year.“

Leadership Maryland, an independent, educational leadership development organization, informs top-level executives from the public and private sectors about the critical issues, challenges and opportunities facing the state of Maryland and its regions. After participating in a broad range of experiences, these statewide leaders are prepared to address these issues and serve as important participants in the unified effort to shape Maryland’s future.

‘‘To be informed about statewide and regional issues, and having the opportunity to engage and interact with leaders who put themselves on the front line every day, has prepared these individuals to be the catalyst for positive change in Maryland,” stated Leadership Maryland Board Chairwoman Sharon R. Pinder. A 1998 graduate of the program, Pinder is president and CEO of The Pinder Group LLC, in Clarksville, Md.

‘‘This was a great program,” said Schmeiser. ‘‘With 55 classmates from all parts of Maryland, I met quite a few interesting people in the class and leaders throughout Maryland. Getting to know those folks and learning about their regions issues and strengths was a real highlight for me.”

‘‘These are the leaders to watch, now, and in the future,” said Minieri. ‘‘Their experience confirms that the quality of leadership affects the success of the solutions. Problems are solved when committed, dynamic leaders with vision and passion are willing to take the risk to lead.”

Schmeiser also spoke of how what he learned in the class will affect him in the future. ‘‘Having more experience and knowledge about the state of Maryland and knowing what leaders in all the regions are doing to effect change are great building blocks for change wherever I may find myself in the future,” he said.


RDML Mahr Initiates New Communications Tool

Published: 19 Jan 2011

"Welcome to the first communication in the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Commander’s Blog. I’ve come to appreciate blogging as a communication opportunity, and this site will be one way we can discuss the goings-on at NAWCAD. I hope it will also give you a chance to provide comments and feedback to me from your perspective..." begins a new blog from Rear Admiral (RDML) Randolph Mahr, Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD).

View and post your comments to RDML Mahr here:http://www.navair.navy.mil/nawcad/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.blog_post_list.


Robotics: From the factory line to the classroom education

Published: 13 Jan 2011

From The South Potomac Pilot

They’re small and pack a big punch of fun while delivering all the lessons any educator could want in science, technology, engineering and math. They are robots.

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s education outreach program at NAS Patuxent River has significantly increased its efforts this school year to support local robotics programs by providing grants to fund existing and new teams, providing an in-school robotics curriculum and funding robotics team coaches.

The decision to increase robotics support was an easy one, as robots have moved from the assembly line to landing squarely in the lap of education. By designing, building and operating autonomous robots, students learn key engineering subjects and develop systems-thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills necessary for today’s engineers and scientists.

According to a Brandeis University Education study, students who participate in robotics have a 50 percent more likelihood of attending college and are twice as likely to major in science or engineering.


TPP Member CTSI jumps into rapid fabrication business Market growing in Southern Md

Published: 21 Jan 2011

From The Enterprise

All the cool guys are doing it.

When Coherent Technical Services Inc. opened its new fabrication facility in Lexington Park two months ago, it became the latest Southern Maryland military contractor to join the trend.

At an open house event last week at CTSI's new facility, St. Mary's County Economic Development Director Bob Schaller noted that, like its competitors, CTSI is pursuing a small but growing market in Southern Maryland for rapid prototyping and small-scale production.

Compass Systems, JF Taylor Inc., L3 Communications, Smartronix and others already have rapid prototyping and small-scale production operations running, but CTSI hopes to bring a unique spin to the idea.

First, CTSI is aiming to stay lean and fast.

"We're small," said Tom Sanders, the company's owner. "We're not looking to large scale."

Jason Wyatt, CTSI's fabrication shop director, managed a shop for a competitor until recently. "It got to be a big company, so it wasn't rapid anymore," he said. Wyatt said he hopes to get back to truly rapid production with turnaround times measured in hours and days, not weeks and months.

By staying fast, CTSI hopes to get jobs from NAVAIR producing small runs of brackets, connectors and other odds and ends that are frequently needed to secure new computers and other systems during aircraft testing.

CTSI's second aim is to use the shop as a support for its main product — computer software and data collections.

"The product is the data," Sanders said. "What the customer wants is the data."

One of the first pieces of hardware the fabrication facility will produce is the "Mudbucket," which is designed explicitly to collect data.

Despite its grimy name, the Mudbucket is a sophisticated box of computer hardware that can be quickly installed on a grounded aircraft and be used to test its flight system for anomalies. The Mudbucket sends sensor and control input data to the aircraft's flight computers and records their output for analysis without having to waste fuel or risk a crash.

"You can test the real aircraft with real data in a simulated environment," explained Jared Marmen, CTSI's senior systems engineer.

Another example of CTSI's hardware pursuing data is their work on unmanned aerial vehicles. Other local shops are specializing in developing UAV platforms and instruments for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, known collectively as "ISR."

"All the big guys are doing that stuff," Sanders said.

Instead, CTSI is producing UAVs to test and tweak the flight control systems of larger, manned aircraft.

The company has been contracted to assemble and fly a hyper-accurate scale replica of one large Navy aircraft, complete with small jet engines, to test the aircraft's response in extreme situations.

The company can test the aircraft's ability to recover from stalls and flat spins, as well as loop and roll it, without risking the life of a crew or billions in taxpayer dollars.

CTSI is also using UAVs to test and model unmanned flight control software for both NASA and the Naval Air Systems Command.

The modeling will eventually be used to teach UAVs to avoid collisions with larger bodies in a confined space, much like what CTSI is trying to do with its business.


Pax River announced as winner of Bainbridge award

Published: 27 Jan 2011

From The Tester

NAS Patuxent River is the winner of the Navy's 2010 USS Bainbridge (CGN 25) award for providing outstanding support to the community.

‘‘I am proud of the cooperation and collaboration that exists between NAS Pax and our surrounding communities,” said Patuxent River Commanding Officer Capt. Steve Schmeiser. ‘‘We can be of service to so many because we have a caring work force of dedicated Sailors, civil servants and contractor personnel engaged with the needs of our community.“

The USS Bainbridge (CGN 25) award is named in honor of a ship and its crew that consistently provided tremendous community support and is given annually to a Navy command for their outstanding efforts in working with America's communities.

Schmeiser also gives credit to the community for being selected as the winner of this year’s award.

‘‘We couldn’t do things like this without the community’s involvement,” he said.

Sailors, DoD employees, contractors and their families have greatly impacted the community by contributing more than 4,400 volunteer hours to more than 10,300 students, 1,025 volunteer hours for the Special Olympics 40th annual spring games, the Starbase-Atlantis program and Earth Day. They have provided continued support for St. Mary's County Christmas in April, repairing 589 homes and 14 nonprofit facilities, and remain active with Habitat for Humanity. These are just a few examples of this command's tireless effort to improve the community in which these Sailors live and work.

Naval Air Station Patuxent River received the award for providing outstanding support to their community.


TPP Member Sabre promotes Perrygo, Schuster

Published: 28 Jan 2011

From The Enterprise

Sabre Systems has appointed its former principal subject matter expert, Joel Schuster, to executive director for program management support and its former business director, Chris Perrygo, to executive director.

In his new role, Schuster will manage the Sabre team supporting the Maritime, Patrol, Reconnaissance Forces Aircraft Program at the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station while continuing to provide program management support to the P-8 Joint Program Office Cooperative International Program. Schuster joined Sabre in July. Perrygo will serve as the program manager for Sabre's information technology management support team at the Naval Air Systems Command at Pax River. He will also continue to manage existing projects at the Naval Aviation Community for Rotorcraft Advancement and Risk Exchange at the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office. Perrygo joined Sabre in August 2005.


Pentagon's quality sheriff comes to town Greer returns with report card

Published: 28 Jan 2011

From The Enterprise

As of March 1, Ed Greer, the former executive director of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, will have spent a year at the Pentagon as its chief quality inspector.

So, when he came to the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California last week to give an account of his job for the last eight months, there was a bit of a homecoming air.

"Many of you know Ed Greer from his tenure at Pax River," said Bonnie Green, director of The Patuxent Partnership, which sponsored the event. "We are proud to welcome him back."

Replying to her introduction, Greer said, "It's good to be back home. Lots of friends. No commute."

And then he immediately got down to business with a slide of the Pentagon building that declared Developmental Test and Evaluation "is back in the building."

It's not that the Pentagon is necessarily happy to have its quality control department back, Greer admitted. The department has been absent since 1995, and, in its absence, problems have begun to compound with increasingly complex programs.

In 2008, a report by the Pentagon's systems engineering office found that half of the programs arriving at the military's final operational testing phase failed their effectiveness or suitability tests, causing delays and cost explosions.

As a result of this state of affairs, Congress passed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act which created Greer's new job — deputy assistant secretary of defense for developmental test and evaluation.

"It wasn't the Pentagon that created this position; it was Congress," Greer said. "There are a lot of people in the Pentagon that would rather not have DT&E exist, because we are a speed bump. … You need a voice inside the Pentagon if you want to survive. Otherwise, the void will take over."

Greer's office oversees quality control on 290 major programs with 57 employees and a budget of $11.5 million. He said he is scheduled to ramp up to 70 employees and $18.9 million, but military budget cuts could prevent that.

Calling himself a "black hat," Greer said his job is often adversarial to military program managers who are rushing to get their weapons and infrastructure projects quickly tested and in the field. He said he has been trying to "engage these programs early and continuously" to stop problems from becoming entrenched.

He listed a few success stories. He said his office has put 30 programs on notice about their testing problems; successfully grappled with NAVSEA to oversee its next class of submarines; convinced the Air Force's small diameter bomb program to reinstate a longer test schedule; and correctly predicted that the latest block of Global Hawk unmanned planes would not receive final approval.

Greer said his office is also working on policies that would put government testers back in charge of approving military programs for production. "If you develop a weapons system, in my mind, someone else needs to assess the system," Greer said. "My goal is to reduce the number of developers assessing their own system."

Greer noted that the Air Force currently has prime contractors doing 47 percent of its testing and subcontractors doing another 24 percent. Greer would like to see the government doing at least 50 percent of the testing.

"The Air Force has, I think, skewed way too far," Greer said.

But Greer praised his old outfit, the Naval Air Systems Command, for its testing regimen, excepting the troubled Joint Strike Fighter program, which has become a symbol of over-budget and behind-schedule military programs.

"Hats off to Navy aviation," Greer said. "There are always outliers, so let's not talk about the JSF."

Near the end of his speech, Greer addressed an issue raised by Todd Morgan, Southern Maryland Navy Alliance president and now a St. Mary's County commissioner, in 2009. Morgan warned that private contractors were using government money to improve their own test facilities while government test facilities like Pax River were severely in need of maintenance.

Greer said he is looking to stop the practice of program managers "making unilateral decisions to invest in prime contractors' facilities." He said that $5.6 billion in taxpayer money has been sucked into building and maintaining private companies' facilities.

"Your first option ought to be looking at the government capabilities," Greer said.


"The Electrical and Environmental Laboratory at Pax River is soliciting for a sand and dust chamber"

Published: 04 Feb 2011
"The Electrical and Environmental Laboratory at Pax River is soliciting for a sand and dust chamber to be used to provide controlled environments during testing of Naval aircraft/shipboard/ground electrical or mechanical components and systems. Responses are due February 15, 2011."

TPP Member Smartronix moves feds into ‘the data cloud'

Published: 04 Feb 2011

From The Enterprise

While the Department of Defense is trying to figure out a way to securely host its computer operations on privately owned virtual computer networks, Smartronix of Hollywood has already ushered other arms of the federal government into "the data cloud."

This week, Smartronix announced the launch of the new EducationJobsFund.gov, FederalTransparency.gov and Treasury.gov websites as well as the migration of four other Treasury websites (SIGTARP.gov, MyMoney.gov, TIGTA.gov and IRSOversightBoard.treasury.gov) from federal computer servers to Amazon Web Services

According to Smartronix, this marks the first time a cabinet level agency has moved its web sites to Amazon Web Services.

Smartronix has been working with a team of companies since June 2010 to launch the sites.

"We are excited to be part of this redesign of Treasury's primary web presence," Smartronix CTO Robert Groat said in a statement. "This site ushers in an era of new capabilities for Treasury and meets several of the administration's mandates for use of cloud computing and Web 2.0 technologies."


TPP Member Spalding updates logo for 10th anniversary

Published: 04 Feb 2011

From The Enterprise

Spalding Consulting Inc. introduced a new company logo this month that adds the words "Celebrating 10 years of Excellence." As of January 2011, Spalding has been in business for 10 years and the new logo celebrates this milestone. The company plans to announce commemorative events and community initiatives to mark its decade of providing program management, information technology, government financial management and SAP integration solutions for its military clients. The new logo comes on the heels of the company's recent expansion. Visit scipax.com



Navy's plan to lease land to developers stalled in Congress Private firms could construct office buildings on base property

Published: 04 Feb 2011

From The Enterprise

The Navy's proposal to build new private office buildings at Patuxent River Naval Air Station remains stalled in Congress, and the base has yet to solicit any bids from developers.

Ed Zeigler, spokesman for Naval District Washington, the agency responsible for the lease process, said the congressional approval needed to move forward is held up in the House Armed Services Committee.

Zeigler said he attended a status meeting about the project Wednesday and said that the Navy's plan to lease 42 acres on seven Pax River sites under its Enhanced Use Lease program is awaiting congressional consulting approval. He said the Navy's report on the proposed project is at the House Armed Services Committee.

"I can tell you that Congress must approve all EULs, but for particulars on why this particular project has been held up I will have to refer your local representative's office," Zeigler said.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md. 5th) and his staff remained circumspect about what is holding up the EUL process during their trip Tuesday to St. Mary's County.

"We're working with the Navy and the contractor community outside the base to find a way that works for both, and it's tough," Hoyer said in an interview Tuesday.

Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary's), an aide to Hoyer who has acted as the congressman's representative to the local business community concerning the project, declined to elaborate on Hoyer's comment.

Last year, Bohanan said that Hoyer's office had placed a hold on the EUL proposal in Congress, which the Navy wanted lifted by the end of the summer.

"It's a very complicated situation," said County Commissioner Todd Morgan (R), who also serves as president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, a group that works to preserve the Navy's economic impact in the region.

Morgan said if the Navy proceeds with its plan to let private developers build office buildings on the base to consolidate activities and relieve overcrowding in dilapidated buildings, it needs to be willing to expand Pax River's mission.

"We shouldn't be doing just naval aviation there," Morgan said, noting that aviation would remain the primary mission, but more activities are needed to support the Navy's office plan. "It's a 50-year [lease] proposition we're getting into."

Several contractors and developers who attended the project meetings held by the Navy and Hoyer's office last year expressed concern that Navy programs might require contractors to locate their operations in the new buildings, leaving commercial landlords outside the gate in the cold.

As for when the project might proceed, no one interviewed would hazard a guess on the record. Zeigler said the project timeline rests in congressional hands.

"Timeline updates are dependent upon the pending [congressional] approval, so it is impossible to say what an updated timeline will look like," he said.


TPP Member St. Mary's College of Maryland physics department works closely with Pax River labs

Published: 04 Feb 2011

From The Enterprise

St. Mary's College of Maryland is a public liberal arts school. Patuxent River Naval Air Station is a center for cutting-edge research, development, testing and evaluation of naval aircraft.

So what do a liberal arts college and a high-tech military base have to offer each other?

Pax River gives some students real-life access to real-life science and engineering labs. College students provide interns to scientists and engineers and, in some cases, hires to help fill the ranks.

The Navy base employs more than 10,000 engineers, counting civilians and contractor support, and has to hire as many as 1,000 a year to keep up, according to base officials.

Though only a limited number of graduates coming out of St. Mary's fit the needs at Pax River, those who do may be sought after as a valuable resource for the laboratories associated with the base.

Kyle Gordon, who graduated last year from St. Mary's College, fit that bill. He said he changed his focus in college from an education degree to experimental physics because of "the base and the relationship between the campus and the base."

After working at Pax River one summer with associate professor Charles Adler, "I just stayed because I really liked it here," the lab technician said.

"We run the experiment, the optics … and if we run into trouble we talk to Frank" Narducci, a physicist at Pax River, Gordon said.

Narducci said he has hired about 20 students as paid interns in recent years.

"It seems to be a kind of win-win situation," he said.

It is a relationship that has developed informally. There is no written memorandum of understanding between the base and college, but that could change in the future.

"It's informal, but it's a very strong collaboration," Narducci said.

The college started working with Pax River's atomic physics lab about seven years ago. "We realized we had a lot of research interests in common," Adler, chair of the college's physics department, said.

A number of St. Mary's students have done their St. Mary's Project — the culminating senior research project before earning a bachelor's degree — working at Pax River, Adler said.

"We can pool resources, we can bounce ideas off each other," he said.

Adler and his colleague, Joshua Grossman, assistant professor of physics, go to Pax River a couple of times a week to help work in Narducci's high-tech laboratory. They also work on base during the summer between college semesters.

Adler's lab on campus is funded through the college, but Grossman's college lab was funded in part by money from the Office of Naval Research.

"All the projects we give [the students] are real projects," Adler said.

Both the college and Narducci's lab at Pax River are working on experiments involving the cooling of atoms. Real-world applications being studied at the college and the Navy base include use in fine-tuning atomic clocks, Gordon said.

Labs at the college and base can split a laser beam using a series of lenses and mirrors. Using pressure associated with the light waves and specially tailored magnetic fields, atoms are slowed down and confined. The atoms are cooled to less than a 10,000th of a degree above absolute zero and slowed down to a few centimeters per second, allowing the students to study the atoms' properties. "In our case, but not every case, temperature and velocity are related," Adler said.

An ultra-sensitive atomic clock could be used in a Global Positioning System satellite to improve accuracy while tracking an object on Earth, Adler said. It also could be used in gravity sensors to better track anomalies in the ground, such as oil or an underground bunker, he said.

"Gravity affects the passage of time so there have to be really accurate clocks up there" in space, Gordon said.

"These guys now have their names on research papers that are published," giving the students a leg up when looking for a job, Narducci said.


Four NAVAIR Employees Honored as Navy's Top Scientists and Engineers

Published: 04 Feb 2011

From FLC NewsLink

Two NAVAIR scientists and engineers were among 18 honored by Zachary Lemnios, director for defense research and engineering, in a Pentagon ceremony July 23.

Russell Shannon, Dexter Kan, El Sayed Arafat and William C. Nickerson were among those recognized for contributions to the Fleet, abroad and at home, and saving the Navy more than $18 million a year.

"These awardees are technical leaders who have made substantial contributions in their fields, from counter improvised explosive devices, to insensitive munitions technologies, to aircraft diagnostic systems, to submarine periscope systems, to directed energy weapons, to name a few," Lemnios said. "Each has displayed innovative leadership in identifying solutions to the challenges faced by the Navy."

The milestones achieved are expected to change how the Navy and Marine Corps operate. The innovations recognized aligned with overall Department of Defense goals in research and engineering.

"Across the department's Research and Engineering enterprise, our focus is on innovation, speed, and agility, which are critical to transforming how the department examines processes, provides solutions, and fields capabilities to our Warfighters," Lemnios said.

NAVAIR winners were:

Russell Shannon, a NAVAIR Lakehurst engineer, was recognized for his groundbreaking expansion that could save more than $92.1 million in spending over its life cycle. According to NAVAIR engineers, nearly 72 percent of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft problems are avionics-related. To resolve this, Shannon developed the Integrated Diagnostics and Automated Test Systems (IDATS) laboratory, which helps identify the cause of aircraft system failures.

Previous fault detection technology frequently resulted in false alarms because engineers did not have the capability to identify the exact component of a system that was failing. This led to the removal and replacement of possibly flawless avionics boxes. Unnecessary removals were detrimental because they dramatically increased support cost, repair times and aircraft downtime.

Shannon generated a laboratory equipped with technologies to isolate specific faults in the avionic aircraft electrical equipment and pinpoint parts in need of replacement. One of the new IDATS technologies, a miniaturization of a diagnostic avionics tester, received funding from the Department of Defense, Office of Technology Transition, Technology Transition Initiative (TTI) Program. The objective of the program is to accelerate and assure the transition of advanced science and technology capabilities to the warfighter. The IDATS laboratory has the potential to save $16.3 million per year in the reduction of maintenance and is a valuable resource to increase aircraft availability.

Dexter Kan, a Patuxent River Naval Air Station engineer, was recognized for solving a problem that has baffled countless engineers. Generator converter units (GCUs) are the chief readiness degrader and a substantial AVDLR (aviation depot level repairable) cost drivers for F-18 aircrafts. Kan "reverse-engineered" the GCU operation and determined the most efficient way to test systems so they could quickly identify and "trap" internal hard and intermittent failures.

Kan designed and built a prototype silicon controlled recifier (SCR) Module Tester for the F/A-18 GCU. The SCR module is the top failure item within the GCUs and is largely responsible for their costs and reliability hits. His invention is conservatively estimated to save the Fleet nearly $5 million a year in false equipment removals and AVDLR costs. Fundamentally, the benefits of his invention are improved reliability (the SCR Module Tester will eliminate 20 percent of GCU failures), lower costs (suggested $5 million in savings), and improved maintainability (reduced troubleshooting time from 17 hours to 4).

Kan tested 1,000 SCR modules in "F" condition (awaiting repair) in Oceana, Va., and used his SCR Module Tester to see if some of those modules could be returned to service. The Navy was short on SCR modules, which impacted their mission capability, and Kan was able to RFI (ready for issue) 622 of those modules, thus averting a Fleet-wide shortage.

El Sayed Arafat, a Patuxent River Naval Air Station chemist, gained recognition for his accomplishments with "green" substitutes for harmful chemicals formerly being used by the Fleet. Solvent cleaners previously used had various environmental issues, including air pollution (caused by volatile organic compounds, or VOCs), toxicity, flammability and incompatibility with plastics. Arafat has formulated a next-generation cleaner that has an improved cleaning efficiency and meets stringent green requirements.

He developed MIL-PRF-32295, a low-VOC solvent that contains no hazardous air pollutants. This invention will eliminate the need for at least 70 percent of harmful cleaning solvents currently being used. The greener cleaner will reduce environmental pollution, waste and disposal costs, and worker safety issues. It will also provide the Fleet with a safer and more effective cleaner that complies with local and state environmental regulations. It is predicted by the Defense Logistics Agency to generate as much as $700,000 income in sales.

William C. Nickerson, a NAVAIR chemist, was also recognized for his green efforts by creating a safer and more environmentally friendly technology. For years workers have been exposed to materials containing chromate, a carcinogen, in the treatment of metallic aircraft surfaces. In an attempt to combat this safety issue, Nickerson pioneered a new surface chemistry that eliminates the hazardous exposure. His new product has been proved to perform just as well as, if not better than, the material it was intended to replace.

Nickerson dubbed his new chemistry the Trivalent Chromium Process (TCP). His invention helps to maintain coating performance while improving worker health and safety. This cuts the overall cost and liability of metal finishing essential to aircrafts. Without TCP, Navy and Marine Corps aviation would be forced to use inferior or expensive surface treatments and spend more time and money in corrosion control.

Prior to Nickerson's invention, coating had to be applied by hand to the aircraft surface due to environmental, safety and health regulations, which restricted spray application of the hazardous material. In contrast, TCP can be sprayed on to the craft in about half the time, and it eliminates workers' exposure to chromate as well as the flow of waste into the environment. The reduction of man-hours and increased safety is estimated to save the Fleet over $36,000 per year. The TCP has also been patented by the Navy, and worldwide sales exceeded $5 million in 2009.


Math in Real Life launches Fall 2010-2011 Challenge program

Published: 03 Feb 2011

From The South Potomac Pilot

More than 300 fifth to seventh grade students from the Washington, D.C. and southern Maryland gathered at North Point High School in Waldorf, Md., for the 2010-2011 Naval Warfare Center and National Defense Education Program (NDEP) in-school robotics challenge on Dec. 18, 2010.

This kick-off was the first of several activities for the Fall 2010-2011 Robotics Challenge program. The program challenges students to recognize the importance of mathematics in everyday life and possibly inspire them to become future Navy scientists and engineers.

The budding scientists build and program Lego kit robots to perform up to eight different robotic challenges. The teams also conduct research projects focused on energy efficiency and green principles. Fifth graders build model homes that are environmentally friendly or energy efficient, while seventh-grade groups design a new product or method that is environmentally friendly.

The students develop a five-minute PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate their research projects to the program judges before subsequent interviews on those activities. The judges evaluate the teams’ ability to work together solving complicated math problems and answering questions about their robotics skills.

When asked what challenges his team faced, 10 year-old Skyler Wells said, ‘‘Sometimes time is the enemy in programming.”

The competition is part of the ‘‘Math in Real Life” program sponsored by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) and NDEP as part of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach program. These programs aim to build students’ interest in the STEM disciplines and hopefully develop future scientists and engineers.

Volunteers from NSWC IHD as well as the community help organize and judge the competitions. Chris Josephsen was a first time volunteer for the program. Even though she doesn’t have children, she sees the benefits of this and other STEM programs. She said, ‘‘I think it’s fantastic that kids as early as fifth grade can get involved and they seem knowlegable.”

STEM events will continue throughout the school year, and conclude with camps during summer break. The next competition is May 14.


Integration, Interoperability Focus at TPP-ANA Panel

Published: 11 Feb 2011

The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) and the Association of Naval Aviation (ANA), Patuxent River Squadron announced today their next panel presentation, "Integration and Interoperability Way Forward" will be on Tuesday, March 8 at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. The public is welcome to attend.

Vice Admiral David Architzel, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command will discuss NAVAIR's role as part of the Navy and Marine Corps effort to improve the integration and interoperability of platforms and weapons systems. "The goal is to deliver integrated systems that provide an immediate and sustainable increase in overall warfighting capability,” said Vice Admiral Architzel. “There are many smart and energetic people throughout the Navy who are dedicated to making this a priority. Our warfare centers have the in-house expertise, facilities and tools to solve this complex challenge in close partnership with our program sponsors, program managers, systems engineers, operational testers, maintenance planners and the Fleet."

Joining VADM Architzel on the panel will be RADM David Dunaway, Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, Norfolk VA; Mr. Scott M. O’Neil, Executive Director & Director for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake CA; Mr. Tom Rudowsky, Director, Integrated Battlespace Simulation and Test Department, NAVAIR (AIR-5.4); and Ms. Amy Markowich, Deputy, Department of the Navy Test & Evaluation Executive, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Washington D.C.

            “This program will provide a new perspective on initiatives to improve interoperability” said Bonnie Green, TPP’s Executive Director. “We are pleased that Vice Admiral Architzel is leading the discussion.”

 “The Pax River ANA Squadron is pleased to team with TPP again,” said Mark Converse, the commanding officer of the local ANA Squadron. “This will be a superb opportunity for the local public to hear how NAVAIR is collaborating with other organizations on the integration of naval systems into the joint and coalition battlespace to ensure mission success.”

For those who attend the pre-program reception at 5:00 p.m., there is a $10.00 per person charge. The panel discussion begins promptly at 5:30 p.m. The Museum is located at 22156 Three Notch Rd, Lexington Park. Recommended attire is business casual/uniform of the day. More information can be found at www.paxpartnership.org.

       The Patuxent Partnership works with government, industry and academia on initiatives in science and technology, hosts programs of interest to NAVAIR and the broader DoD community, supports workforce development including education initiatives and professional development.  Visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.

Over the last 100 years, Naval Aviation has grown to a primary instrument of our national security.  From the Curtiss A-1 Triad, to the F/A-18 Super Hornet, from the USS Langley (CV1) to the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN77), Naval Aviation has scored an impressive list of achievements in peace and war.  The first crossing of the Atlantic by air, victory at the battle of Midway, and the first American in space, to name a few, put Naval Aviation at the forefront of our national destiny. The Patuxent River Squadron of the Association of Naval Aviation is committed to educating and encouraging an interest among the general public as to the importance of Naval Aviation in the defense of the United States and its allies.  Membership in the Association is open to all. To join, visit http://www.anahq.org/ and click on Membership.


TPP Member Barefoot Graphics Launches E-Commerce Website for Printing

Published: 18 Feb 2011

 “Barefoot Graphics introduces its e-commerce website, now offering instant print quotes, online ordering, real-time job tracking and multiple payment options”.

CALIFORNIA, MD, Feb. 18, 2011  – Barefoot Graphics is pleased to announce the launch of its new e-commerce website: www.BarefootGraphics.net.  The new website is of interest to anyone who desires to make their business’ or organization’s printing purchases local, online and at a reduced cost and risk. 


According to Josh Frauenfelder, Barefoot Graphics Vice President, “We have been hard at work for over a year creating a website that will be both useful to our customers while automating the ordering process.” 

By visiting www.BarefootGraphics.net, customers can:

ü  Obtain & print instant printing quotes via website price calculators

ü  Place orders for common printing products with multiple stock & color options

ü  Obtain estimates and place orders for custom jobs

ü  Utilize secure payment options with extended terms or tax exempt status

ü  NEW:  Receive and apply coupon codes for monthly promotional discounts

ü  Track real-time job status from account dashboard

ü  Online PDF proofing, easy reordering & more!


Barefoot Graphics launched the new website in September 2010.  “So far the response has been great!  Customers love being able to get estimates instantly for their employers as well as the organizations they belong to,” according to Mr. Frauenfelder. 

Barefoot Graphics continues to improve the website, continually adding more products and making it more user-friendly.  Registered customers now automatically receive monthly discounts in the form of dynamic coupon codes.  “It takes just a few seconds to create an account on the website.  Customers can begin saving instantly!”


Barefoot Graphics has provided advanced printing solutions for Southern Maryland since 2007.  The storefront is conveniently located at 22685 Three Notch Rd., Suite C in California, Md.  Mr. Frauenfelder may be reached at 301-862-5157 ext. 114.


Website:  http://www.barefootgraphics.net



Navy’s STARBASE-Atlantis graduates 100,000th student

Published: 24 Feb 2011

From The Tester

With the graduation of the latest STARBASE-Atlantis class on February 14, NAS Patuxent River Starbase-Atlantis helped celebrate the graduation of the 100,000th STARBASE student Navy-wide.

The 20 students from George Washington Carver Elementary fidgeted nervously in their seats last Monday as they awaited the start of the ceremony that would mark this major milestone in the STARBASE-Atlantis program. A slide show of the students and the activities they participated in throughout their five weeks in the program played prior to the start of the ceremony, bringing laughter to the students as they reminisced about all they had accomplished during their time in the program.

Pax River Commanding Officer, Capt. Steve Schmeiser, who served as guest speaker at the ceremony congratulated the students saying ‘‘Science technology, engineering and math are the future for what we do here, and I hope that STARBASE has tapped into an interest that follows you through middle and high school. Congratulations on a job well done.”

Guy echoed those sentiments telling the students ‘‘don’t lose that excitement. If you have dreams keep working towards them because you can reach them.”

The students all received a certificate of graduation from the academy with some receiving recognition for saving ‘‘Eggbert” or for having a perfect flight in flight simulators.

The first STARBASE-Atlantis opened in September of 1994 at NAS Pensacola. Pax River’s academy is the youngest of the Navy’s 15 academies throughout the United States having opened in the fall of 2007.

The program offers local fifth-grade students an opportunity to participate in a variety of learning experiences designed to increase knowledge and interest in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects. The program has since expanded throughout the Navy.

According to Guy, since opening the Patuxent River STARBASE-Atlantis academy has graduated 97 school classes and 16 summer classes from the program. ‘‘By the end of this school year 11 more school classes will complete the program with an additional four classes will completing the program this summer.” A total of 2,610 students have graduated from Pax River’s academy.

Success wasn't guaranteed for the program, which started off on a shoestring budget and without a permanent home.

“This milestone reflects the successful partnership between the Navy and the community to help the students who need it most,“ said Henry Giles, the Navy's STARBASE-Atlantis and community outreach program manager at the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC). “Watching the program grow has been extremely gratifying. We started as single site that shared space with the base chapel, and have grown into 15 sites with academies on nearly every major Naval Base in the U.S.“

The STARBASE-Atlantis curriculum includes physics, chemistry, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Course topics include Newton's laws of motion, fluid mechanics and aerodynamics, model rocketry and much more. Students 'fly' aircraft on a computer flight simulator, as well as build and launch a model rocket as the final project for the course. Tours of Navy training facilities such as Aviation Survival Training Center, the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and numerous hangars, allow the students to see the STEM subjects they are learning in the classroom applied directly in the real world.

Eggbert is a lesson in engineering design. ‘‘Eggbert is an egg who simulates a space shuttle pilot. The task for students is to design a seatbelt to make him one with the shuttle so when the shuttle crashes on the moon, which is actually a cinder block,” explains Guy. After designing the seatbelt Eggbert who is belted into his seat is screwed into a wooden space shuttle that is attached to a zip line. The shuttle, with Eggbert strapped securely inside zooms down the zip line and crashes into the moon. ‘‘The lesson is that he will continue moving forward when the shuttle stops unless he is one with the shuttle,” said Guy.

STARBASE partners with local area schools at each site, rotating class attendance throughout the school year. Students from schools that are not in rotation for a particular year can get the STARBASE experience by applying to attend one of several weeklong sessions during the summer break.

Operated by each of the armed services, there are more than 60 Starbase programs throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information on the 15 Navy STARBASE-Atlantis programs, visit www.netc.navy. mil?comunity?starbase?sa.html




Navy test pilot completes first F-35C flight at Pax

Published: 24 Feb 2011

From The South Potomac Pilot

On Feb. 11, the carrier variant of the F-35 (CF-1) flew for the first time with a Navy test pilot at the controls. Taking off at 2:06 p.m., Lt. Cmdr. Eric ‘‘Magic” Buus flew the F-35C for 2.1 hours. Buus’ first flight in CF-1 checked the function of the flutter excitation system, which will help measure structural loads of the airframe during various flight maneuvers.

‘‘The aircraft flew great for more than two hours with no issues. It’s a really smooth, solid flying airplane and a joy to fly,” said Buus. ‘‘This flight was a great milestone for me, personally, and more importantly, for the Services during the 100 year anniversary of naval aviation. This airplane is going to give us a great leap in capability, and I’m looking forward to putting it through the demanding carrier suitability tests required to ensure it’s ready for the Fleet.”

The F-35C is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment.

‘‘Magic's flight today is a tremendous accomplishment for him and the test team, and a historic event for naval aviation,” said Capt. Thomas Huff, commodore of Naval Test Wing Atlantic. ‘‘The determination and thoroughness of test professionals across all our programs is shaped by the education and training they receive at the United States Naval Test Pilot School and Test and Evaluation University, ensuring delivery of warfighting capability to Sailors and Marines.”

Coincidentally timed with the kickoff of the Centennial of Naval Aviation in San Diego, Calif., this milestone represents the Navy’s first hands-on experience in its future fighter aircraft with stealth capabilities.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program is in the system development and demonstration phase, focusing on delivering three different, new aircraft variants to the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. The integrated test force at NAS Patuxent River is focused on testing and evaluation of the F-35B and F-35C.


JSF engine cut not expected to impact local economy House pulls funding for alternative

Published: 25 Feb 2011

From The Enterprise

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have voted to pull the funding from an effort to develop a second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, now being tested at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

The 238-198 vote stripped $450 million from a 2011 defense appropriations bill last week, which now goes to the Senate.

Testing of the Navy and Marine versions of the JSF, with its original Pratt & Whitney engine, is currently in full swing at Pax River. County officials don't believe the second engine cancellation will much affect business here.

"I don't think it will bother us one bit," said St. Mary's County Commissioner Todd Morgan (R), who until recently monitored the program as president of the region's military lobbying group, the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance. "From my point of view, no major impact."

St. Mary's County Economic Development Director Bob Schaller said that while the engine cut will not directly affect the local economy, it could be a sign of things to come. "My bigger concern is what it means for the program," Schaller said. He noted that the JSF is the military's biggest weapons system and a high-profile target for budget cutters. "They have nowhere else to turn to. Congress has very few options other than to take a look at the defense budget."

The second engine, being developed by General Electric and Rolls Royce, was been targeted for cancellation by President Obama and former president George W. Bush. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has served under both presidents, labeled the second engine "an unnecessary and extravagant expense."

The push for a second General Electric engine was kept alive by members of Congress members who represented districts where the engine was being developed. They argue that having two competing engine suppliers would save the government money in the long run.

Funding for the second engine could be restored by the Senate when it takes up the bill. Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, is counting on it.

"Last week's vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to hand a no-bid, $100 billion monopoly to our competitor for the Joint Strike Fighter engine was disappointing, but it is not the end of this process," Immelt said in statement released to the press Wednesday. "The F136 engine is 80 percent complete; I am determined to finish the job and continue to compete."


Flight Test engineers graduate from Naval Aviation T&E University

Published: 03 Feb 2011

From The Tester

The Cohort 0 and Cohort 1 classes of flight test engineers enrolled in the Naval Aviation Test and Evaluation University (NATEU) graduated from core training classes on Jan. 5. The graduation ceremony was held in the Integrated Systems Evaluation, Experimentation and Test (ISEET) Department headquarters, bldg. 304.

NAVAIR’s Test and Evaluation Department (AIR-5.0) created the NATEU as a comprehensive, test and evaluation professional development program to “enable T&E technical excellence“ via “increased knowledge and learning“ for NAVAIR Test and Evaluation engineers.

It is the mission of the NATEU to provide comprehensive and standardized training, career development and professional guidance to all members of the NAVAIR T&E community, related NAVAIR competencies,COMOPTEVFOR and our industry partners.

A total of 18 students graduated from Cohort 0, the ‘‘Fighting Guinea Pigs.” The ‘‘Pigs” were named for their status as the first cohort to complete core training and because they hold rank as the original testers of NATEU courseware.

Twenty-one students graduated from Cohort 1, the ‘‘Alphas.” The ‘‘Alphas” completed core training in six months. These cohorts represent flight testers across the 5.0 domain including Air Vehicle T&E, Mission Systems T&E, Range Support, Target & Threat Systems T&E, and Integrated Battlespace Simulation and Test.

NATEU is geared toward entry-level and journey-level testers at Patuxent River, Point Mugu and China Lake. The NATEU culture provides structure to training, is based on a standardized curriculum and builds esprit de corps amongst students.

Core training courses consist of an introduction to the Navy and NAVAIR environments in which new flight test engineers will operate; Flight Test Basics, where testers learn the basics of flight testing and the fundamentals necessary to perform effectively and safely in the T&E environment; Test Planning covers the NAVAIR Test Planning Instruction and handbooks, associated references, processes, and the products required to plan and document effective and safe tests; and, bringing it all together, in Test Reporting students learn how to collect,analyze and effectively report on the results of testing.

Journey-level courses expand upon domain specific T&E including: Introduction to Carrier Suitability T&E, Introduction to JMPS (Joint Mission Planning System) and T&E Across the Acquisition Lifecycle.

Leslie Taylor, director, Flight Test Engineering and NATEU chief of academics, lead the ceremony providing opening remarks, recognition of key participants and presentation of awards. Taylor awarded students a core training completion certificate and patch designed specifically for their classes. Speakers included Gary Kessler, deputy assistant commander AIR-5.0A Test & Evaluation, and Steve Cricchi, director, AIR-5.1 ISEET.

‘‘In just over one year, more than 60 students have completed core training and more than 300 have completed specialized training through the NATEU,” said Taylor. ‘‘But this is just the beginning for the NATEU and our flight test engineers. We expect to graduate six cohorts a year, beginning in 2011, including the NAWCWD Cohort 0, whose graduation ceremony took place Jan. 12 at NAS China Lake.”

For additional information on NATEU, contact NATEU program manager Lori Jameson at lori.jameson@navy.mil.


NAVFAC Washington-built facility at Pax gets LEED Gold certification

Published: 03 Mar 2011

From The Tester

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Aircraft Flight Test & Evaluation Facility at Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Washington, was recognized Feb. 22 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified.

The facility scored 39 (out of a possible 69) points to earn the certification. It is the second LEED Gold-certified facility built by NAVFAC Washington and the first at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.

“I have some pride knowing that this is the first LEED Gold building on this base,“ said Capt. Stephen Schmeiser, commanding officer, NAS Patuxent River. “We will do more like this.“

On behalf of NAVAIR, Conrad White, deputy platform coordinator for theE-2C?C2 mission, accepted a large glass LEED Gold certification plaque issued by the USGBC.

Tom Cox, chief engineer, NAVFAC Washington, also spoke at the event, listing water efficient landscaping, optimized energy performance, and the use of locally procured and recycled materials as big factors in the achievement. The building also features a white-top roof which reflects heat, and 90 percent of the working space is infused by sunlight.

The LEED system promotes design and construction practices that improve the impact of buildings on the environment and their occupants. NAVFAC is dedicated to seeking ways to increase energy efficiency and support the U.S. Navy as they strive to become a leader in environmental responsibility.


NAS Pax PEP program adopts Lexington Park school

Published: 03 Mar 2011

From The Tester

Students at George Washington Carver Elementary School in Lexington Park learn more than just the standard academic lessons. Principal Annette Wood uses frequent award ceremonies to show her students that diligence, effort and strong character bring success.

At an awards ceremony held on Feb. 28, Capt. Stephen Schmeiser and a delegation of Pax River volunteers joined school staff in congratulating students at the school who have demonstrated academic achievement and improvement, perfect attendance, or praiseworthy character traits during the first and second quarters of the academic year.

The visit also celebrated a renewed relationship between the school and the Personnel Excellence Partnership, which connects Pax River volunteers with public, private, parochial and charter school students throughout Southern Maryland. Schmeiser and Wood each signed an official agreement marking the ‘‘adoption” of Carver Elementary School by the NAS Pax River PEP program.

Once volunteers join PEP, they are subject to a background screening performed by the school. They are then matched with individual students or groups, based on interests, skills or talents the volunteer can share, as well as their desired age group.

‘‘The school is open to almost everything: mentoring, coming to have lunch and interact with the kids, helping in the classroom, reading books. Any support you can give,” explained PEP coordinator MAC Scott Johnson. ‘‘They’re looking for pretty much anything they can get.”

Johnson explained that the PEP program has volunteers involved with students at many tri-county schools, but is renewing and ‘‘changing the model” of the program to adopt Carver in a special relationship with volunteers station-wide. Volunteers will be transported to Carver from Building 409 at least twice per week, but are welcome to help at the school at other times as well, Johnson said.

Outgoing PEP coordinator ADC Jay Lindsay said approximately 60 people have already volunteered to participate in PEP programs in local schools.

Johnson said that he hopes that tenant commands at Pax River will adopt other schools as their own. So far, he said, several tenant commands have started to build stronger relationships with local schools. As the PEP program grows, potential volunteers can know that they are working together as a team in the community.

‘‘In a lot of cases, all you have to do is make a suggestion. A lot of people are looking for a chance to volunteer, and when they know it’s more than just one person—it’s a command—it removes the perception that it’s just one person carrying that burden,” said Schmeiser, who noted that several of the students receiving awards at the Feb. 28 ceremony were recent graduates of the Starbase Atlantis program. Schmeiser described both programs as an outreach which can help students and the community, while also benefitting base personnel.

‘‘We look forward to many more opportunities to send our people around Carver. We want you to learn about what we do, and we want to learn a little bit about what you do in school,” Schmeiser said in remarks to the assembled students.


Former astronaut to visit museum

Published: 10 Mar 2011

From The Tester

Sen. John Glenn will present certificates to science fair participants and provide remarks on the value of STEM programs in education during a formal event at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum on Wednesday, April 13 between 4 and 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Glenn will then speak at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association’s fundraiser, ‘‘An Evening with John Glenn,” at the River’s Edge Catering and Conference Center. Tickets for the fundraiser, scheduled for 6-9 p.m., are $100 per person. Funds raised at this event will benefit PRNAMA’s Capital Campaign Phase II.

For information, call 301-863-1900. For invitation information, visit http:??paxmuseum.com?events?an-evening-with-john-glenn.


What happens here if federal government shuts down? Impact on base and elsewhere in St. Mary''s unclear if Congress doesn''t agree on budget

Published: 11 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

Patuxent River Naval Air Station accounts for 80 percent or more of the county's economic activity, according to the St. Mary's County Department of Economic and Community Development.

But if Congress cannot reach an agreement on the federal budget by March 18 and the government shuts down, county leaders aren't sure how much of that activity would continue.

The federal government is currently operating under a funding resolution, which Congress extended for two weeks on March 4 to keep services running at fiscal year 2010 funding levels. If Congress cannot reach an agreement or doesn't extend the resolution again, most government services will be curtailed.

Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary's), an adviser to Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th), doesn't think it will happen. "It's very unlikely," Bohanan said, noting that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives suffered political backlash when they forced a government shutdown 15 years ago. He said he believes both parties will reach an agreement to keep the government running.

"There's nothing good to be gained from it," Bohanan said. "That's a scorched-earth path." But if it happened, "It would be like a tsunami hitting the [Southern Maryland] peninsula. Small businesses would feel it greatly."

Not all of St. Mary's County business and political leaders share Bohanan's confidence that a shutdown will be averted. Commissioner Todd Morgan (R), the immediate past president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, a lobbying group dedicated to advancing the region's military-based economy, declined to make a prediction about the likelihood of a shutdown.

"In all honesty, I don't know," Morgan said. When asked how a shutdown would affect the county's economy, he said, "That gets a lot more complicated. It becomes very unpredictable."

Pax River is not a unified entity. The base's two largest tenant commands — the Naval Air Systems Command and its subsection, the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division — are funded from different sources. And contractors will only continue to be paid as long as their contracts are scheduled to last.

Naval District Washington, the command that oversees the maintenance and operation of the base property, does not have a hard and fast plan for what will happen in the event of a government shutdown. According to Ed Zeigler, spokesman for the command, only critical base functions would continue in the event of a shutdown. "If you're one of those critical billets, you continue to work," Zeigler said.

Aside from security, fire and emergency services, the rest of what is considered a critical function is still being considered. "There isn't any official guidance being passed down," Zeigler said. "We're trying to plan off guidance that was passed down previously. … We want to be clear that there hasn't been anything announced."

Bill Scarafia, executive director of the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce, says the uncertainty about a shutdown permeates the local business community. "I keep hearing two different stories," Scarafia said. "There is the potential that if [congressional representatives] get angry enough, then they will dig their heels in."

Scarafia said that from anyone's perspective, a shutdown is a bad thing that could have ripple effects all across the local economy.

This opinion was shared by Bob Schaller, St. Mary's economic development director, who also said he doesn't know how likely a shutdown is. "My hope and prayer is that it doesn't happen," he said. He urged local businesses to be prepared for whatever may happen. "It's a big deal. It would be a huge deal here."


F-35C breaks sound barrier for the first time

Published: 11 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

A Marine test pilot at Patuxent River Naval Air Station took an F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter to a speed of Mach 1.02 last Friday, marking the first time the Navy variant of the plane has flown faster than sound.

The test took place at 30,000 feet over Pax River's high-speed test track over the Chesapeake Bay with Marine Corps pilot Lt. Col. Matt Taylor at the controls.

According to a JSF program statement, the test plane, dubbed CF-1, gathered supersonic flutter data for an evaluation of structural loads on the aircraft experienced at various speeds and while performing prescribed maneuvers.

The F-35C is distinct from the Air Force's F-35A and Marines' F-35B variants due to its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for carrier take-off and landing.

Carrier suitability testing for the F-35C variant is scheduled to begin later this year with land-based catapult and jet blast deflector testing.


Polvino takes helm of VX-20

Published: 11 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

Cmdr. Robert J. Polvino was scheduled Thursday to relieve Lt. Col. John L. Albers as commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Zero (VX-20).

Under Albers' leadership at VX-20, the squadron achieved the first P-8A Poseidon mission system test flight; test and deployment of the first KC-130J Harvest Hawk weapon system; E-6B Mercury Block One Operational Assessment; the successful completion of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Operational Assessment ;and first carrier landing and suitability evaluation of the E-2D aboard the USS Harry S. Truman.

Polvino has been the chief test pilot since December 2009, serving previously as a joint staff officer in the Operational Concept Development Branch, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. During this tour, he was responsible for conducting high-level, strategic development and analysis of future political-military issues. Additionally, he organized strategic seminars and symposia which brought top NATO leaders together to evaluate and disseminate guidance for long range military and socio-political objectives.

Cmdr. Jason L. Rider will be taking over as chief test pilot. Previously, Rider served as deputy program manager and integrated product team lead for the Littoral Surveillance Radar System in the Advanced Sensor Technologies Program Office.


Mobile Vet Center now available in Charlotte Hall

Published: 11 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

The Veterans Affairs Mobile Vet Center is next scheduled to visit the St. Mary's County Welcome Center in Charlotte Hall on March 24 and 25. The vet center is scheduled to be in the area on the last Thursday and Friday of each month through 2011 (except in November, when the center is scheduled for Nov. 17 and 18 due to the Thanksgiving holiday and in December, when the scheduled days are Dec. 15 and 16 due to the Christmas holiday). Staff will be available on Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Fridays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Mobile Vet Center program is a gateway into the Veterans Administration. Staff will provide a variety of services including readjustment counseling services to combat veterans and their spouses; VA health care enrollment; linkage to job resources; housing; financial services; referrals to veterans' service organizations for claims support; ordering documents/records; and referrals for discharge upgrades. See www.va.gov.


ONR promotes STEM programs at conference

Published: 17 Mar 2011

From The Tester

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) joined educators at the 2011 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference in San Francisco, Calif., March 10, as part of ONR's continuing effort to encourage youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The conference ran through March 13, and featured exhibits and workshops focused on the organization's mission of promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning. More than 10,000 attendees were expected to attend the three-day event.

“ONR's presence at the NSTA conference will inform people of the Navy's programs and efforts in the STEM disciplines,“ said Dr. Anthony Junior, ONR education programs manager. “It will also give us an opportunity to learn about new technologies in advancing and teaching STEM curriculum. We are joining a community of educators, teachers and professionals so we can leverage those relationships.“

Junior said ONR and NSTA share the same ultimate goal of fostering student interest in STEM. As the demographic landscape of America changes, the need for a diverse work force to meet the Navy's technological challenges is even more vital.

“We have a dire need to identify and to help educate and grow the next generation of STEM professionals who may come to work for the Navy,“ he said.

ONR's exhibit was located at Booth 1441 at San Francisco's Moscone Center. ONR provides educational outreach materials through its STEM2Stern website at www.stem2stern.org.

The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.


Career Fair Scheduled at National Harbor

Published: 17 Mar 2011

From the South Potomac Pilot

A career fair will be held in conjunction with the CyberFutures Conference and Technology Exposition of the Air Force Association (AFA) on April 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The conference, exposition and career fair will take place at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, in National Harbor, Md.

The career fair, sponsored by RecruitMilitary, will feature leading aerospace and defense firms. Many companies will be recruiting for cyber tech openings as well as for many of their other open positions. Representatives of educational institutions will be on hand to discuss their courses in cyber technology and all of their other available course and degree options.

The career fair is free and open to all men and women veterans and non-veterans who are interested in careers in cyber technology and related fields.

To register for the event, go to the career fair information page on the web at https:??recruitmilitary.com?expos?404-National-Harbor?candidates?information


CSM offers women's science essay contest

Published: 23 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

The College of Southern Maryland is offering an essay contest to increase awareness of women's contributions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The contest, sponsored by CSM's mathematics, physics and engineering division, is open to girls 13 to 21. Contestants are required to interview a woman in a STEM career working in academia, industry or government and write a 500- to 800-word narrative based on the interview by April 8.

This year, two winners will receive prizes valued up to $250. For information, contest guidelines and entry form, visit www.csmd.edu/Women&Math/essay/index.htm or for more information contact Sandra Poinsett at sandrap@csmd.edu or 301-934-7808.


Forum on defense issues to focus on emerging Africa Subjects take on new urgency after citizen uprisings in recent months

Published: 25 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

When the members of The Patuxent Partnership sat down last August to plan next month's Patuxent Defense Forum, they had no idea how prescient their choice of Africa as a subject would turn out to be.

Forum organizers sought to focus on the continent's emerging economy and global clout as the source of increasingly rare energy products and other natural resources. However, as wave after wave of revolutionary protests spread through North Africa and the Middle East, the forum subject has taken on a new importance and sense of urgency.

"I think [the citizen uprisings] are very much part of it," said Bonnie Green, executive director of The Patuxent Partnership, a nonprofit group that works to facilitate communication between local military and civilian leaders as well as engineering and scientific experts.

Green said the revolutions are a symptom of Africa's growing affluence, importance and diversity. She said, "This highlights just how different the countries are."

For the past five years, the forum, held on the quiet, remote campus of St. Mary's College of Maryland, has focused on the future roles and global stature of the U.S. Navy; the privatization of the military; the role of the military in failed states; and the collaboration of military and civilian agencies in war zones.

"We're bringing together a diverse set of experts," said Todd Eberly, acting director of St. Mary's College's Center for the Study of Democracy, which joins with The Patuxent Partnership to host the event.

This year, the keynote speaker will be Rear Adm. Wendi B. Carpenter, commander of the Navy Warfare Development Command in Norfolk, Va., who has represented the Navy in several forums on Africa, according to her official biography.

Eberly said next month's forum will focus specifically on global competition for Africa's natural resources, the role of the military's African Command (AFRICOM) and the roles of the continent's 54 countries. "How do we reconcile these competing interests?" Eberly asked rhetorically.

According to Glen Ives, vice president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance and former commander of Patuxent River Naval Air Station, the forum's subject does affect the role of local military commands and contractors.

"This forum really brings together key parts of our community," Ives said. "The ability to be exposed to this kind of debate and deliberation, it kind of takes you out of the day-to-day."

Ives said the forum will give local workers a sense of the big picture and where they fit into it, without having to travel to a far-flung city. "I don't have to travel to [Washington, D.C.]; I don't have to travel to Boston," Ives said.

He said the forum is far from a dry technical review. "These are emotional topics," he said. "These are topics that people feel strongly about."

If you go

The 2011 Patuxent Defense Forum is scheduled for April 19-20. For more information or to register for the event, visit www.smcm.edu/democracy/events/defense_forum.


TPP Member CSM joins student veteran compact

Published: 25 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

The College of Southern Maryland has joined community colleges and public four-year institutions in signing the Maryland Campus Compact for Student Veterans, which aims to improve on-campus services for veteran students.

Participating institutions pledge to designate an office or staff person for student veterans to help them navigate everything from GI Bill paperwork to behavioral health counseling. At CSM, this position has been available since fall 2008.

For the 2010-11 academic year to date more than 600 students have received veteran certification status at CSM. Visit www.csmd.edu/Current/Veterans to get more information.


Hoyer hears of how job training funds were used Congressman defends stimulus spending

Published: 25 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

Rep. Steny Hoyer defended Tuesday federal stimulus packages and called for more federal money to be spent promoting local economic growth. Funding for job placement services in the region are among the programs that a bill, which has passed the House of Representatives but not the U.S. Senate, would eliminate nationwide.

Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) met with members of the Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board and others at the Southern Maryland Business Center in Waldorf to call for continued funding for local programs aimed at helping people find and keep jobs.

Ellen Flowers-Fields, director for regional economic development for the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, said the Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board is entirely dependent on federal funding. Of its total budget of $1.6 million in fiscal 2011, about $800,000 came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $600,000 came from routine funding allocations, with the balance was cobbled together from smaller federal grants. The council administers the program.

The workforce investment board used the stimulus money for four main purposes: launching a mobile career center, buying new accounting software, marketing efforts including a new logo and a summer jobs program and other work training, said Flowers-Fields and Austin "Joe" Slater Jr., chairman of the board. Slater is also president and CEO of the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.

The Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board provides job search help for "dislocated workers," Slater added. "That is hard to measure but you can imagine the impact is huge on the economy and the community."

"From what I'm hearing you say, at least the money you got was very effectively used," Hoyer answered.

Stimulus funding is "pretty controversial," Hoyer acknowledged. Tri-County Council Executive Director Wayne Clark noted that, beyond workforce investment funding, Southern Maryland was able to get sewage treatment plant upgrades and service from improved commuter buses from the money.

"This is not a partisan visit but we should not kid ourselves: Some of this money is being used very productively." Hoyer said. "My presumption is if this board thought the money was being wasted, you wouldn't be here asking for it,"

While calling the federal deficit, which has reached $1.4 trillion, unsustainable, Hoyer said Congress should not look to start balancing the budget by eliminating programs that help people locally. Instead, it should look to the "vast amount of entitlement spending. This is a big issue. I have some other words, but I know the press are here and they would love the other words I could use," he said.

In an interview after the meeting, Hoyer identified the largest of the entitlement programs in his sights as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He said he wasn't looking to cut them, but to restrain their growth to "fashion them so they'll be available for others in the future."

He said there are a number of proposals for Social Security reform, including changing the age at which someone becomes eligible or considering the Consumer Price Index and other measures of the cost of living when deciding how much to pay out.

Hoyer also heard from the executive director and five clients of the Job Match Re-Employment Center in Waldorf, which opened in 2009 to help unemployed professionals find work.

Among them was John Reith of Prince Frederick, who is self-employed, selling insurance, after getting help from Job Match. "Had you told me this 10 years ago, I would have said, ‘No way in the world. It's not going to happen. No way in the world I have the courage to do that.' It's amazing what you find within yourself," Reith said.

Amanda Vaccaro, a military wife from Waldorf, said job counseling helped fix problems with her approach to seeking work. In her resume, "I came across as dry toast. Maybe a doer and not so much an achiever," she said. After reworking the resume, she has had two interviews with a prospective employer, but hasn't heard back yet. "You feel you're prepared for anything that comes your way, but it still is a roller coaster," Vaccaro said.

Dale Fisher of Chesapeake Beach used props to illustrate how happy he was to have gone to work for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Administration, handing Hoyer a Metro baseball cap and Hoyer's assistant a bag of chocolate for writing a letter of recommendation.



Published: 25 Mar 2011



                The Board of Governors of the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, at its bi-monthly meeting held on March 24, 2011, approved the presentation of a new degree from Towson University, a Master of Science in Mathematics Education: Secondary School Track.  Graduates are prepared to become master teachers, curriculum developers, mathematics supervisors, and other positions of leadership.  The educational experience of high school students in Southern Maryland will be enhanced by dedicated mathematics teachers with the skills to bring the classroom experience to new levels of success.  Courses will start in the Fall, 2011 semester, and will be offered at the SMHEC campus located at 44219 Airport Road in California, Md. Information on this 12 course degree will be available at the SMHEC Open House Thursday, March 31, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. For more information on SMHEC go to www.smhec.org or call 301-737-2500.



STEM Intern Billets

Published: 24 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

The STEM program requires an Internship or Research project for graduation. More than 30 students need an internship opportunity. Internship requirements: minimum 100 hours internship; mentor assigned by your organization provides evaluation of the student; remuneration is not required, although stipends (to help with driving expenses, etc.) are welcome.

Subject areas may include: Science (natural or physical): biological, environmental, ecological, health or medical fields. This includes chemistry and physics. Laboratory testing, research, medicine, or fieldwork may be included; Technology: program design, program application, data collection and collation, system design, and graphic applications, and the application of technology in conjunction with relevant subject (e.g. UAVs); Engineering: materials and materials testing, materials application, engineering, structural design, robotics, and the application of engineering principles to solve real-life problems; Mathematics, including logistics and statistical analysis.

To support an intern this summer, contact Ted Klapka at 301 904-1252 or ted.klapka@L-3com.com, Stephanie Hampton, STEM internship coordinator at skhampton@smcps.org or Mary Kukla at 301-866-0541 or mary.kukla@paxpartnership.org


Site Re-Interpretation Results in a NEW Guided Tour at Sotterley Plantation

Published: 29 Mar 2011

Hollywood, MD Sotterley Plantation is pleased to announce the NEW Guided Tour “Discovering Sotterley” of the 1703 Plantation House, which will be ready for public viewing on Sunday, May 1st, first day of the 2011 tour season.


A team of people came together beginning in the summer of 2010 to collaborate on the creation of a new guided tour for Sotterley Plantation. The goal was to not only gain a consistent and strong tour that would better recount Sotterley’s 300 year history, but to ensure that the stories of all who lived and worked here, including those enslaved, were remembered and told. The end result produced a tour which offers far more than Sotterley’s original goal, however, and the new tour will stand out from other sites in its approach and the experience it offers to visitors.


The new guided tour will still examine the complex and rich three century history of Sotterley Plantation, but will now also look at the site and its people through the lens of the Colonial Revival movement. At the turn of the 20th century when there was a resurgence of patriotism in our nation, the site was purchased and painstakingly restored by Herbert and Louisa Satterlee. Their restoration efforts focused on portraying the ideals of our colonial past, yet in doing so both highlighted and masked different aspects of Sotterley’s history. The new tour will not only offer new glimpses and perspectives into this National Historic Landmark’s past, but will also showcase collections pieces not previously displayed, which help to tell Sotterley’s stories.   


This tour was made possible when Sotterley was awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant last summer due to the efforts of Board of Trustees member Merideth Taylor. The new tour was written by Ken Cohen, Professor of History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and this summer Professor Cohen will also help create a Plantation Tour of the grounds which will then be made into an audio tour for visitors. Finally, the grant will produce an audio version of the guided tour, a 10-minute video about Sotterley Plantation, and help place streaming videos on the website. 

1703 Plantation House Guided Tour: May 1 - October 31. Check in at Visitor Center. $10 for adults | $8 for seniors | $5 ages 6-12 | 5 and under free.                                                                                                                                                             Tuesday - Saturday Tours at 10:30 & 11:30 am, 1, 2 and 3 pm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sunday Tours at Noon, 1, 2 and 3 pm.                            


St. Mary's College president says his inauguration reaffirms goals

Published: 30 Mar 2011

From The Enterprise

Making St. Mary's College of Maryland more inclusive through affordability and accessibility is among his top priorities, Joseph Urgo said Saturday as he was officially installed as the college's new president.

A few hundred professors, staff, students and others associated with higher education attended Urgo's inauguration under a tent on the college's townhouse green.

Urgo took over as the head of the public liberal arts college last summer, but the college marked his inauguration last weekend with a series of events to showcase the college and its campus, which employees had worked to beautify in recent weeks.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th), a college trustee, described St. Mary's College as "an honors college that reflects its mission in reality" by being a welcoming place for all types of students. "It reflects the tolerance we just celebrated at Maryland Day."

Neighboring Historic St. Mary's City held its Maryland Day celebration earlier Saturday.

"We took a long time choosing this new president," Hoyer said. "You select a president to give you vision, energy and commitment, and how pleased we are at St. Mary's College that we have chosen so well."

The trustees initially rejected four finalists for president in the fall of 2009 before starting over and eventually naming Urgo in February last year. He replaced Maggie O'Brien, who was the college's president for 13 years. J. Renwick Jackson, president of St. Mary's College from 1969 to 1982, attended Saturday's ceremony.

St. Mary's College was founded in 1840 as a girls' seminary school. It transitioned to a junior college in the mid-1900s and by the end of the 1960s had become a coeducational four-year college.

Molly Mahoney, president of the college's trustees, said Urgo brings with him a generosity to students. "It's a very happy day for us and we are very thankful," Mahoney said.

Urgo, a native of Hartford, Conn., is a professor of English and was most recently was chief academic officer at Hamilton College in upstate New York.

Urgo's family participated in the weekend events, including his wife, Lesley, who led a ribbon-cutting Saturday morning for the St. Mary's Arboretum Association.

His son, George, sang and played guitar in a rendition of "I'm Ready" by Willie Dixon.

"We need champions of the liberal arts ... We need teachers who believe in civilization, in civilized people, in civility itself," George Monteiro, a Brown professor emeritus and one of Urgo's mentors, said during the inauguration. "And to see how that challenge has been met in an individual case, one need look only at Joe Urgo."

Urgo said his formal installation as president marks a new beginning and a reaffirmation of the college.

"Yes, we need data; yes, we need technical skills; yes, we need assessment measures," Urgo said during his speech. "But none of these processes and admonitions will move us forward without emotionally invested human beings. As the president of St. Mary's College, I pledge to take this model of personal interaction, of investment in collaboration and influence, and make of it the core value of what we do here."

The college hosted an academic symposium Friday evening in conjunction with the inauguration. The weekend's activities concluded with a student-presented variety show called "InURGOration."


Glenn honors science fair winners, addresses museum

Published: 31 Mar 2011

From The Tester

Sen. John Glenn will present certificates to science fair participants and provide remarks on the value of STEM programs in education at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum on April 13 between 4 and 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Glenn will then speak at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association’s fundraiser, ‘‘An Evening with John Glenn,” at the River’s Edge Catering and Conference Center. Tickets for the fundraiser, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m., are $100 per person. Funds raised at this event will benefit PRNAMA’s Capital Campaign Phase II.

For information, call 301-863-1900. For invitation information, visit http:??paxmuseum.com?events?an-evening-with-john-glenn.


Vice Admiral David Architzel joins Leadership Maryland 2011 Class

Published: 05 Apr 2011

VADM David Architzel, along with TPP Member PsiPax’s Robert Hor and Calvert Schools Superintendent Jack Smith are in the roster for the Leadership Maryland 2011 class. View the story on the Leadership Maryland website here: http://www.leadershipmd.org/uploads/ACS8PXsmgKv8M43kT6sUFQ/m9x-NPChp0PfMmTzdhCrfw/April_2011.pdf




National study presents economic benefits of Navy's technology transfer agreements

Published: 22 Nov 2010

To read article, please go to:






RADM Tyson gives briefing

Published: 07 Apr 2011

From The Tester

The Patuxent Partnership, Leadership Southern Maryland and Women in Defense, Chesapeake Chapter are hosting a briefing by Rear Adm. Nora W. Tyson, commander, Carrier Strike Group Two on Friday, April 8. The free briefing will be held at Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, Building 2, Center Hall, 44219 Airport Road, California.

Tyson will give a ‘‘fleet-side perspective on the challenges for the future of naval sea power,” said Bonnie Green, executive director of the Patuxent Partnership. Tyson served three tours in Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 4 at NAS Patuxent River and Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., including one as commanding officer.

She also commanded the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, leading the Navy's contributions to disaster relief efforts on the U.S. Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and deploying twice to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Other tours at sea included duty as assistant operations officer aboard the training aircraft carrier, USS Lexington (AVT 16), and as navigator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65).

Ashore, Tyson served as Airborne Communications Officer Course instructor and officer in charge at Naval Air Maintenance Training Detachment 1079, NAS Patuxent River.

She has also completed tours on the Joint Staff as a political-military planner in the Asia-Pacific Division of the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate; as executive assistant for the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; as director of staff for commander, Naval Forces Europe?commander 6th Fleet; and as executive assistant for the chief of naval operations. Her most recent assignment was as commander, Logistics Group, Western Pacific?commander, Task Force 73.

Women in Defense is a NAS Patuxent River-centered organization which supports the advancement and recognition of women in national defense through networking, education and career development. The Patuxent Partnership works with government, academia and industry on initiatives and programs of interest to NAVAIR and the broader DoD community, and supports workforce development. Leadership Southern Maryland is a tuition-based program to develop local leaders who can foster regional collaboration.

Seating is limited, and advance registration is required to guarantee a seat. To register, or for more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org.


Northrop, Navy complete second, third flights of X-47B UCAS Flights begin expansion of tests to prove aircraft’s performance, handling

Published: 07 Apr 2011

From The Tester

Less than a month after the first flight of the U.S. Navy’sX-47B UCAS-Demonstration aircraft, flight test engineers from Northrop Grumman Corp. and the Navy have successfully completed the aircraft’s second and third flights.

The flights, conducted at Edwards Air Force Base, mark the beginning of ‘‘envelope expansion,” during which the test team will begin proving that the tailless aircraft can perform safely over a broad range of altitudes, air speeds and operating weights.

During the X-47B’s 39-minute second flight on March 1, the aircraft flew to an altitude of 7,500 feet at speeds up to 200 knots. During its 41-minute third flight on March 4, the aircraft reached an altitude of 7,500 feet and a top speed of 180 knots. By comparison, the X-47B flew only to 5,000 feet at a top speed of 180 knots during its first flight Feb 4.

‘‘Conducting two flights of a brand-new type of aircraft within one week, and both within a month of first flight, speaks not only to the robust design of the X-47B aircraft, but also to the dedication and engineering skills of the joint UCAS-D flight test team,” said Janis Pamiljans, vice president for the Navy UCAS program for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. ‘‘These flights continue to add momentum to the team’s march toward demonstrating in 2013 that we can safely operate this tailless, low-observable-relevant air system on a Navy aircraft carrier.”

Phil Saunders, chief engineer for Northrop Grumman’s Navy UCAS program, said that envelope expansion is designed to fully characterize the aircraft’s flying qualities and prove that they match the system’s performance requirements and the test team’s predictions.

‘‘Over the next few flights, we’ll continue to expand the envelope in terms of air speed, altitude and operating weight range,” he said. ‘‘By gradually ramping up the complexity of requirements, we will systematically prove that this air system can safely take off, fly and land in all anticipated flight environments.”

Northrop Grumman and the Navy expect to complete the planned 49-flight envelope expansion program at Edwards AFB before moving the first X-47B to NAS Patuxent River later this year, he added.

One of the most important measures of performance, Saunders explained, is aircraft stability. The X-47B, which relies on high-speed computers to manage its flight control surfaces, must be able to adjust quickly and automatically to unpredictable environmental conditions such as air turbulence or crosswinds. The recent test flights included a series of maneuvers designed to measure the aircraft’s ability to maintain a smooth, level flying state in the presence of such conditions.

The flight tests also confirmed that the X-47B’s flush-mounted air data system — a nod to its low-observable-relevant design — is accurately sensing and communicating the aircraft’s air speed, a critical factor in takeoff and landing.

The tests also validated the aircraft’s engine performance, its command and control system, and its ability to fly at a constant angle of attack and a constant rate of descent while on final approach to landing, simulating what it will have to do to make successful landing on an aircraft carrier.

The Navy awarded the UCAS-D prime contract to Northrop Grumman in August 2007. The six-year contract calls for the development of two X-47B fighter-sized aircraft. The program will demonstrate the first-ever carrier launches and recoveries by a tailless, unmanned aircraft. Autonomous aerial refueling will also be performed after carrier integration and at-sea trials.

Northrop Grumman’s UCAS-D industry team includes GKN Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Eaton, GE, Hamilton Sundstrand, Dell, Honeywell, Goodrich, Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace and Rockwell Collins.


Lexington Park Business and Community Association unveils Navy logo, banner

Published: 07 Apr 2011

From The Tester

The Lexington Park Business and Community Association has unveiled a new logo representing the community's proud and historic relationship to the United States Navy. The logo will be used to brand the Lexington Park community as the region's center of excellence for high-technology enterprises.

Images within the logo portray a shadowed outline of the USS Lexington, the WWII aircraft carrier for which the Park is named, and a soaring jet representing continued advancement in naval aviation, woven onto the backdrop of the community's name — Lexington Park, the gateway community to NAS Patuxent River, the country's premier Acquisition, Research, Development, Test and Evaluation installation for the United States Navy.

In celebration of this year's Centennial of Naval Aviation, the association also unveiled a banner featuring the new Lexington Park logo and the logo of NAS Patuxent River.

“This is fantastic,“ said Capt. Stephen Schmeiser, commanding officer, NAS Patuxent River. “The Business Association has taken the lead to create community-wide exposure for this year's Centennial of Naval Aviation.”

The logo and banner were designed by Jeff Hobrath, retired Navy chief, CEO and founder of Jeff Hobrath Art Studio (JeffHobrath.com), a Leonardtown-area business. Hobrath offered his assistance to the Business Association free-of-charge to support the group's initiative. True to his love of the United States Navy, he summarized his thoughts about the project by saying, “I am so honored to be the artist for this project. Thanks for allowing me to contribute.“

“This is what St. Mary's County is all about,“ said Bob Schaller, director, St. Mary's County Department of Economic and Community Development. “The Lexington Park Business and Community Association has created a perfect way to recognize NAS Patuxent River's accomplishments during this year's centennial anniversary. My hat's off to them.“

The banners will be located throughout the community and are intended to be visible to the 22,000 members of the Pax River team as they commute to work, and to the many visitors to the military installation. Of the 300 banners planned, 100 are slated to be displayed on station. The other 200 will hang on Route 235 and Great Mills Road.

Working with the Lexington Park Business and Community Association, SMECO has agreed to mount the banners on posts. The banners will hang approximately 12 feet from the ground.

More than 100,000 visitors to Lexington Park are expected to see the banners during the Air Expo, scheduled for Sept. 3 and 4.

Corporate sponsorships will support the cost of producing the anniversary banners. Robin Finnacom, director of the Community Development Corporation, is coordinating the effort to sell banner sponsorship kits.

Depending on corporate sponsorship response and other factors, the banners are expected to be on display by early July.

For anniversary banner and collateral material sponsorship information, contact Finnacom at the Community Development Corporation at 301-863-7700.

The Business and Community Association meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at the Bay District Fire Department Social Hall on South Shangri-La Drive. Individuals who are committed to the revitalization of Lexington Park are encouraged to attend.


Offshore Wind Bill Tabled by MD Lawmakers, plus Mitre report on Wind Farm Interference with Radar

Published: 08 Apr 2011

Recently, the Southern Maryland Naval Alliance hosted a briefing on Wind Turbines in the Atlantic being considered by MD elected officials. The following story was recently posted online. 

Lawmakers table offshore wind bill for further study - Opponents of O'Malley's legislation worried about costs to ratepayers

Legislative leaders shelved a measure Thursday aimed at putting huge wind turbines off Maryland's Atlantic coast, saying they needed more time to study the likely impact on the state's ratepayers of investing in that form of "clean" energy.

The move was a setback for Gov. Martin O'Malley, who had wanted to boost offshore wind energy development by making Maryland utilities promise to buy electricity generated by the turbines.

The governor and wind supporters had pointed to the potential for thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs associated with building the turbines 12 miles or more off Ocean City, and he stressed that Maryland was in a "race" with other Atlantic Coast states to be the first to start generating electricity from windmills offshore.

But opponents had questioned the potential costs to the state's residents and warned of soaring electricity bills.

"It is just not ready for prime time yet," said Sen. E.J. Pipkin, an Eastern Shore Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. "There is a lot more work that needs to be done."

Shaun Adamec, O'Malley's press secretary, said the wind bill's shelving was "not unexpected" because other major, complex legislative proposals have taken more than one year to pass. He pledged that the governor would work with lawmakers to study the issue and bring the bill back next year.

"This is a massive, complex idea," Adamec said, "essentially creating a multibillion-dollar industry for the state of Maryland. So it's at least understandable that there are legislators that want to take some time to look at the implications of it."

Proponents of offshore wind contend that developers need guaranteed buyers for their electricity in order to secure the financing needed to build projects estimated to cost $1.5 billion to $2 billion. O'Malley's bill would have required utilities to sign 20-year contracts pledging to buy from 300 to 600 megawatts of electricity.

The proposal had enthusiastic backing from environmentalists, who see wind as a clean-energy alternative to burning coal and other fossil fuels. It also had the support of labor leaders, won over by predictions that thousands might find work building and running the wind turbines, and potentially even working at manufacturing and assembly plants lured to the state by the development. - Story appeared online on April 07, 2011, written by Timothy B. Wheeler, Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun

Separately, Mitre prepared a report on "Wind Farms and Radar" which can be viewed here:



Dunkin Joins Compass Systems

Published: 11 Apr 2011

Local bussinessman William (Bill) Dunkin has joined defense contractor Compass Systems Inc. as Vice President of Business Development.  Born in Knoxville, TN and raised in the twin cities of Bristol, VA-TN, Bill is a graduate of Bristol, VA High School (Class of 74), the U.S. Naval Academy (BS in Systems Engineering – Class of 78), the Naval Postgraduate School (MS in Electrical Engineering – Class of 1985), and the Defense Systems Management College (Class 92-01 - DAWIA Level III in Program Management, Systems Engineering and Communications Engineering).

After graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, he followed a 23 year career as a Naval Flight Officer (P-3 NFO) with a command tour in VP-40 and as a DoD Acquisition Professional with multiple tours at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). While at NAVAIR, Bill was a P-3 Computer Resources Engineer, P-3 Class Desk (chief engineer) and Deputy Program Manager for P-3 programs. He retired from NAVAIR and the U.S. Navy as a Captain in 2001 after serving in operations and acquisition positions on the PEO (A) staff providing RDT&E acquisition and Science &Technology (S&T) oversight of the nine (9) associated program offices (PMAs).

Upon his military retirement, Bill entered DoD commercial industry positions with WAM!NET, Sabre Systems, Inc. and Eagle Systems, Inc. With these firms, he fulfilled various program, engineering and corporate management positions as well as business development duties. In 2008, he founded Aloft Solutions LLC, a DoD consulting firm serving 15 clients, whose success led him to his current position with Compass Systems, Inc.

Bill is married to his high school sweetheart, Pam, and they have two children, Kimberly and Will, Jr. Everyone resides in St. Mary’s County, MD.


First Robotics Team Wins Gold and Silver

Published: 11 Apr 2011

Mr. James Campbell, ARINC, Senior Director Aviation Systems Engineering is challenging our business community in the PAX area to match or beat his $1,000 contribution for the RoboBees.

Our local First Robotics Team 836, The RoboBees recently won gold and silver at the competition held in Baltimore.  Mr. David M. Buddenbohn, Engineering Instructor at Dr. James A. Forrest Career & Technology Center is the leader of this group.  This team will represent St. Mary’s County at the FRC World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri on April 28-30, 2011.  They are the only team in St. Mary’s County and the tri county area to win the Chairman’s Award, and this team needs to raise over $27,000 in funds to participate in this event. 


To find out how you can help, please contact Ms. Rose Whitmoyer by phone at 304-989-0522, by email at drwhitmoyer@gmail.com, or contact Mr. Erik Wood at ejwood0@gmail.com.



St. Mary’s County Before and After BRAC - Is Subject of April 17 Pax Museum Program

Published: 12 Apr 2011

The Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) process has had a huge impact on the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The effects of all those changes will be the subject of the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association program “Life in St. Mary’s County Before and After BRAC,” set for Sunday, April 17, 3-5 p.m. at the museum.


The NAS Patuxent River today employs over 20,000 civilians and military staff, but it didn’t always.  A large part of its economic impact today can be traced to the Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) process, which began in 1989 and has had four more rounds of base closings since.


In the process, Pax River has added programs and people from Warminster, Pa.; Lakehurst, N.J.; Trenton, N.J.; Indianapolis, Ind.;  and Wright Patterson Air Force Base. In 1997, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) arrived from Crystal City, Va.


Three notable county citizens will be on the panel:


l   John Hanson Briscoe, former circuit court judge and speaker of the Marylkand House of Delegates. A native of St. Mary’s County, Judge Briscoe served in the House of Delegates from 1962 to 1979, the last six as speaker, and then as circuit court judge from 1986 until his retirement in 2002. He has been chair of the St. Mary’s City Commission and president of the Historic Sotterley Board of Trustees, and is currently president of the St. Mary’s County Historic Society.


l   Jack Gelrud, who came to St. Mary’s County in 1948 after service in the U.S. Army, where he earned two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, he opened his first pharmacy in Lexington Park in 1949, and then his second in Leonardtown in 1955. Now retired, Gelrud and his wife Sue work with charitable organizations locally.


l   Bob Waxman, senior consultant at The MIL Corporation, was one of the original employees at Webster Field in St. Inigoes.  A graduate of the University of Maryland and George Washington University, he is recipient of the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award.


“St. Mary’s County Before and After BRAC” is part of the PRNAM series of programs commemorating the 100th year of naval aviation. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association at association@paxmuseum.com.


Starbase Atlantis open enrollment

Published: 14 Apr 2011

From The Tester

Students completing fifth grade who have not attended STARBASE-Atlantis, a Navy community outreach program to increase student knowledge and interest in STEM careers, offers summer sessions June 20-23, July 5-8, July 11-14, and July 19-22, from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Students explore chemistry, physics, technology, engineering and design, mathematics operations and applications, build and launch model rockets, ‘‘fly” airplanes on flight simulator programs, perform experiments, use CAD to engineer a lab module for a space station and work in teams to save Eggbert from disaster. All sessions are held in Bldg. 588, room 102. For information, visit www.dodstarbase.org.

Children of active-duty military have priority placement until May 13. After May 13, children of retired military and DoD personnel will be placed in the order in which their applications were received, followed by civilian applicants. Parents or guardians provide transportation and lunch.

Base access will be arranged for parents providing transport. For an early registration form, call Julie Guy, academy director, at 301-3422-2789 or email julie.guy@navy.mil.


Pax Defense Forum to focus on Africa Rising

Published: 14 Apr 2011

From The Tester

On April 19 and 20, the Patuxent Partnership and St. Mary’s College Center for the Study of Democracy will host the 6th Patuxent Defense Forum. The focus of this year’s forum is ‘‘Africa Rising.”

The forum brings together members of the DoD community, military officials, policy analysts and academics to discuss policies and concepts that affect national defense. The goal, said Todd Eberly, the Center for the Study of Democracy acting director, is to ‘‘get away from each existing within their own ‘bubble.’ It gets them to talk with one another.”

This year’s focus was chosen in August 2010, before the current political unrest and military involvement unfolded in North Africa. Bonnie Green of the Patuxent Partnership said that the forum will look not only at current events or potential failed states, but at the resources and potential markets within Africa.

‘‘All may have different ideas on what Africa needs and how we can contribute, especially the military,” Ms. Green said. ‘‘Hard, or soft power? What is our role?”

The forum will include panel discussions on the impact of international interests and competition, on ‘‘If AFRICOM is the answer, what is the question?” and economic development and capacity building across the continent, as well as remarks by Lt. Col. Shannon Beebe of DoD, St. Mary’s College professor of comparative politics Fevzi Bilgin and Tom Cargill, assistant head Africa Programme Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

RADM Wendi B. Carpenter, Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command, Norfolk, Va., will be the keynote speaker for the forum.

It’s not just the topic and subject matter, although it’s vital that we pick one that’s relevant and important, but what strikes me is the partnership between the Navy base, the contractors, and academia,” said former NAS Patuxent River Commanding Officer Glen Ives, now Group Vice President at Sabre Systems. ‘‘We’re really growing stronger together. The Patuxent Partnership does a really nice job of being an integrator, bringing people together.”


Stick with science, Glenn says Former astronaut, senator tells students nation's future depends on it

Published: 15 Apr 2011

From The Enterprise

As Matt Sassaro stood Wednesday to introduce John Glenn at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, he looked at the former astronaut and senator and said, "I feel like I'm 12 years old again."

Sassaro, a retired Navy captain and one of the supporters of the beefed-up science, technology, engineering and math program in St. Mary's County schools, then said, "We are truly in the presence of greatness." He turned toward an audience filled with actual 12-year-old students and added, "I think you'd agree that these students are truly great."

That introduction set the tone for Glenn's address to the participants of the county's science fair. Glenn has a lot of stories to tell — his fighter pilot days in World War II and Korea; his test pilot experiences at what is now Patuxent River Naval Air Station; his record-setting forays into outer space; or his accomplishments has a U.S. senator. But Glenn chose to talk about the children in front of him.

"This is very overwhelming," Glenn said after Sassaro skimmed his lengthy biography. He recalled telling his wife several years ago, after receiving a similar introduction, that there really are few great men in the world. His wife, he said, replied, "And there's one less than you think there is."

"It's a pleasure to be here today, and I mean that very sincerely," Glenn continued. He told the students that America's fast rise to being a world power was built on investments in free public education and basic scientific research.

"We learned the new things first," said Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. "We see that other nations are beginning to emulate that."

Glenn said that U.S. students from kindergarten up through fourth grade consistently rank in the top four nations for science and math education. By high school, American students drop near the bottom of the scale, he said.

"We need to reverse that," Glenn said. "If we're outdone for a length of time … then we someday will be a second-rate nation."

So Glenn said he came to honor the students Wednesday who invested the time and energy to conduct scientific research and present it for review. "I just hope you keep it up and enough recognition is given to you that other kids will follow," Glenn said.

Glenn made an impact on Quinn Alsheimer, 12, of Lexington Park. The Spring Ridge Middle School student won the junior grand prize in the Prince George's County Regional Science Fair for her work in analyzing the impact of bud earphones on human hearing. "I think he was really nice and cool," Alsheimer said after shaking Glenn's hand as part of the ceremony following Glenn's speech.

Alsheimer's friend, Rose Young, 13, of California agreed, holding up a signed copy of the manual she used for her project on fruit fly mutation.

Barbara Ives, education lead for the Patuxent River Naval Air Association, observed, "It's not too often you get to see an American hero up close and personal."


Pioneering admiral says she benefitted from ‘good timing'

Published: 15 Apr 2011

From The Enterprise


When Carrier Strike Group Two deploys from Norfolk on May 11, led by the mighty USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, it will answer to a woman, Rear Adm. Nora Tyson.

Tyson will be the first woman to command a carrier strike group. She joined the Navy in 1979, when women weren't even allowed to deploy with a strike group, much less command one.

But to hear Tyson explain her career last week at an event sponsored by The Patuxent Partnership, Leadership Southern Maryland and the Chesapeake Chapter of Women in Defense at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California, she was simply the beneficiary of good luck and good timing.

Tyson punctuated her autobiographical speech with plenty of humility, saying, "I think I was just really the victim of … Victim is the wrong word. I was the beneficiary of good timing. … I wasn't Ace of the Base" as a junior officer.

Tyson recalled that she didn't really know what she was signing up for as an English student at Vanderbilt University. When she was informed that she was admitted to the Navy's Officer Candidate School, she said she didn't know how to react.

"He said, ‘Aren't you excited?'" Tyson said of her recruiting officer. "I said, "Am I supposed to be?'"

Tyson earned her wings as a flight officer and, after working a brief stint in Washington, D.C., Tyson transferred to Patuxent River Naval Air Station to serve with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Four (VQ-4).

She then did a tour on the training carrier USS Lexington before returning to VQ-4 to serve as commander. "I want to say this is frightening, because there are so many people from my past in this room," Tyson noted.

Legal changes in the early 1990s opened further command doors for Tyson. She attended the U.S. Naval War College and served as navigator for the carrier USS Enterprise before taking command of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan.

Tyson deployed twice to the Persian Gulf in support of the Iraq invasion. She recalled picking up a load of 1,900 Marines, including fresh recruits, to take to the war zone. "These guys were walking out the door on Parris Island, and, next thing they know, they're on a ship," Tyson said.

But the moment she cherished most is picking them up. "One of the most memorable experiences was when the Marines came back," Tyson said, recalling the sailors wading into the ship's cargo bay to relieve the Marines of their packs. "They smelled to high heaven. It was beautiful."

Tyson was returning from an Iraq mission, her ship was anchored off New Orleans, when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. "We're sitting off in New Orleans when the levee broke and all hell broke loose," Tyson said. For the next several days, Tyson coordinated an international collection of Canadian, Dutch and Mexican ships in performing helicopter rescues. The collective became jokingly known as "Task Force Tyson."

Tyson's Katrina experience in international cooperation landed her a job as one of Adm. Mike Mullen's assistants, traveling the world with him. It also colored her view of the future of the Navy. "We're not going to do it alone in the future, and we have to nurture our partnerships around the world," Tyson said. "I think we're going to have some pretty big challenges."

The Navy is going to need good sailors and officers to make that transition, and Tyson warned that the pool of candidates is shrinking. "We're competing with each other," she said. "We're competing with other services. … It's a different world now than when I came into the Navy. It's never been a better time for women."


Association unveils centennial logo

Published: 15 Apr 2011

From The Enterprise

The Lexington Park Business and Community Association unveiled a new logo last week, representing the community's historic relationship to the Navy. The logo will be used to brand the Lexington Park community as a center of excellence for high-technology enterprises.

The logo was designed by Jeff Hobrath, retired Navy chief and owner of Jeff Hobrath Art Studio in Leonardtown. Hobrath offered his services free to support the association's initiative.

The logo will be featured on 300 banners located throughout the community, and are intended to be visible to both Patuxent River Naval Air Station visitors commuting to work and to visitors Navy base. One hundred banners are to be displayed at the base and the other 200 will hang along Route 235 and Great Mills Road.

Working with the Lexington Park Business and Community Association, SMECO has agreed to mount the banners on posts. The banners will hang approximately 12 feet from the ground.

More than 100,000 visitors to Lexington Park are expected to see the banners during the Air Expo, scheduled for Sept. 3 and 4.

Corporate sponsorships will support the cost of producing the anniversary banners. For anniversary banner and collateral material sponsorship information, contact Robin Finnacom at 301-863-7700.


Developer blasts plans for private project at Pax River

Published: 15 Apr 2011

From The Enterprise

A local developer is criticizing the St. Mary's County commissioners for urging Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) to aid an effort to bring private commercial development to Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

Wayne Davis, president of W.M. Davis Inc., a Leonardtown-based development firm, stated the March letter sent to Hoyer "has a chilling effect on the local development" since local landowners are unlikely to invest in office development if Congress is going to approve private development behind base gates.

The Navy stated in February that its plan to lease 42 acres on seven Pax River sites under what it calls the Enhanced Use Lease program is awaiting congressional consulting approval.

On March 29, the county commissioners signed a letter to Hoyer stating, "Although we have concerns about the potential impact of an EUL on businesses in Lexington Park, we believe that the working of the EUL process will provide the best opportunity to review and respond to those impacts."

The board noted that the Navy faces a critical shortage of office space inside the gate that could "affect the nature and quantity of work assigned to Patuxent River." The commissioners stated they wanted to remedy the situation and wrote, "…It is clear that the pending EUL should be pursued to its conclusion before other options are considered."

The commissioners then asked Hoyer to assist in obtaining the project's release from the Congressional Armed Services Committee.

Davis, a former participant in the Lexington Park planning process, said the commissioners "have single-handedly implied that St. Mary's County has not invested sufficiently to meet the needs to the base and the investment by many is not important."

Davis said in a letter to the commissioners, which he also sent to The Enterprise, that the EUL would only benefit large, out-of-county developers and draw contractor money away from local private property owners. Davis claimed the project has the potential to cause vacancies, foreclosures and lost county revenues.

"In this difficult economic climate, I would have expected more support from the commissioners for our local businesses," Davis wrote.

Davis said Thursday that the county is currently spending planning and promotional money to revitalize Lexington Park, but the EUL could defeat that effort.

Pax River Commander Stephen Schmeiser declined Wednesday to comment on Davis' claims. However, St. Mary's County Commission President Jack Russell (D) said, "There's more to this than meets the eye." He said the county wants to get the EUL process moving to leave the Navy options, but plans to lobby for provisions in the EUL process that allow local developers to compete for parts of the project.

Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) said he is still not a proponent of the EUL process but said the county has to at least let it begin. He said an EUL process will not necessarily result in a finished project. "Quite frankly, I agree with Wayne," Morgan said. He said the county will continue to push the Navy to consider taking possession of the former Flattops.


BRAC threat raised

Published: 20 Apr 2011

Accessed: 4/20/11 http://www.somdnews.com/stories/04202011/entetop104824_32342.shtml



Navy wants offices on base to solidify work here

The specter of a new round of Base Realignment and Closure in 2015 helped to secure tentative support from the region's banking and development leaders for a Navy plan to bring private office buildings to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

The Obama administration is rumored to be pursuing a 2015 BRAC, and contractors and politicians invoked that possibility at a meeting Monday in Lexington Park to rally local support for allowing the Navy's Enhanced Use Lease Program to proceed through Congress.

The Navy stated in February that its plan to lease 42 acres on seven Pax River sites under the EUL program is on hold, awaiting congressional consulting approval.

The morning meeting, held at the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department social hall, saw a vigorous, face-to-face discussion of the EUL program that until now has occurred only off the record and behind closed doors.

"There are rumors flying about a 2015 BRAC," warned Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary's), representing the office of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th).

Bohanan and county leaders argued that the development and banking communities' resistance to the EUL process could leave Pax River open to program poaching by other bases, including California's China Lake, if Pax River leaders cannot find space to grow.

John Simmons, senior adviser with Akin Gump, a Washington, D.C., consulting group, told the gathering that the danger is more pronounced.

"Don't be focused on BRAC 2015; they can take your mission today," Simmons warned. "All of those missions are subject to being moved around."

Currently the Navy has 2,156 employees housed in relocatable buildings, according to George Hurlburt, treasurer for STEMCorp, a nonprofit organization seeking to submit a proposal for the EUL project. A further 674 employees are located in buildings outside the base fence.

Currently, Congress is not funding military construction requests for new office space. Navy leaders are looking to lease space to private investors to get new buildings built inside the fence.

"MILCON is going to be very tough haul," said J. Michael Hayes, director of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development's government and federal affairs office. Hayes noted that the Navy is receiving no new office construction anytime soon.

The EUL process, he said, is "a gentle workaround" the MILCON process, even if Navy officials can't admit this fact publicly.

Simmons said, "What Congress is trying to prevent is an end run around MILCON. … They don't want the government competing with the private sector."

"The Navy's been ready to move on this since the summer time frame," Bohanan said. "They view us as holding them up. … We were ready to let the Navy proceed on this, but there was a lot of pushback from the community, so we held back. … We have to work with the Navy. They are our partners in this. If they can't grow [inside the gate], we can't grow outside."

Bohanan asked the developers and financers at the meeting to consider the consequences of not giving the Navy a chance to expand its operations at Pax River.

"There are consequences for being full up at Pax," Bohanan said, later noting that the region lost a chance to snatch remnant pieces of the Joint Forces Command that the Pentagon disbanded in Norfolk, Va., last year.

However, the original EUL proposal, as presented by the Navy Facilities Engineering Command last year, is not a good deal for the local economy, according to Wayne Davis, president of W.M. Davis Inc., a Leonardtown-based development firm.

In a letter to the St. Mary's County commissioners last week, Davis argued that the EUL would have a "a chilling effect on the local development" and only benefit large, out-of-county developers, drawing contractor money away from local private property owners.

Local developer John Parlett was initially skeptical as well. He noted that his industry does not want to "kill the goose that lays the golden egg," but warned that any office buildings built on base are going to draw contractor tenants out of private buildings. "We've already got a disaster on Great Mills Road because of all the contractors moving north on [Route] 235," Parlett said. "I haven't seen anything or heard anything that makes sense outside the fence line."

Tom Dougherty of Cherry Cove Development said, "I just don't want Lexington Park to be forgotten in this whole process. I think it's important to have things outside Gate 2."

Local leaders conceded that the current EUL form is not ideal, but asked the development community to support it in order to get the process moving and possibly changed to allow local developers a better chance to participate.

"I think there will be enough demand inside the gate to fill these spaces," Bohanan said.

"The NAVFAC ground rules have, so far, been all or nothing," Hurlbert said. "I have to agree with our leaders in the community. If we accept the EUL as currently configured, it makes no sense for the community or the Navy."

However, both Hurlbert and STEMCorp chairman Keith Fairfax believe the Navy will reconfigure the EUL project if the right ears are bent. Fairfax noted that the EUL projects at the Solomons Rec Center and the Indian Head Naval Support Facility have not moved as fast as the Navy had hoped.

"They haven't been very successful at Indian Head; they haven't been very successful at Solomons," Fairfax said. "I don't know how successful they'd be here."



NAWCAD Robotics Competition kicks off

Published: 28 Apr 2011

From The Tester

Nothing gets a group of young engineers going like a little practical competition.

On April 25, 10 teams of Engineering and Scientist Development Program and Scientist and Engineer Acquisition Intern Program members from various competencies around Patuxent River gathered in Bldg. 2370 for the kick-off of a NAWCAD-wide, six-week engineering challenge based on the FIRST Technology Challenge, a robotics tournament developed for students and young professionals by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a nonprofit organization dedicated to STEM initiatives.

Over the next few weeks, 10 teams of apprentice-level Pax River employees, as well as two teams from NAWCAD Lakehurst, N.J. and one team from NAWCAD Orlando, Fla., will work together to create functional robots able to lift, carry and deposit small rods across a 12-foot-by-12-foot playing field complicated by varied and mobile terrain.

“It’s not BattleBotssorry,” said Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, who attended the kick-off. “It’s about winningabout winning as a team. I expect that you all are going to come up with a lot more innovative designs.”

Most intriguing to Mahr was the idea that this competition condenses the concept-to-working-model experience that can sometimes take years on a large project into a six-week span.

“This will help the ESTPs to get to know each other and give them a real project with a problem, software code to write, testing, and testing again,” Mahr said. “It’s a lot of trial and error, build-test-build.”

Each team received a kit of parts and the competition rules, modified slightly from those followed by high school, middle school and college teams to make the competition more challenging and interesting for working engineers. As they create and test their robots, they are not allowed to consult professional engineersjust students. Fortunately for them, the World Champions for last year’s FTC live right here in St. Mary’s County. That team, a group of home-schooled high school students, loaned their game arena to the NAWCAD competitors for the duration of the challenge.

The teams will compete against each other in the semifinals on June 1, and the final four teams will fight for bragging rightsand as-yet-undetermined prizeson June 2, with both events occurring here at NAS Patuxent River.

The competition was organized by Randy Gross, NAVAIR SEDIC and a FTC coach for local high school teams. His goal for the competition, beyond providing a fun and challenging learning experience for apprentice-level engineering employees at Pax River, is to encourage more young engineers to reach back and establish mentoring relationships with students considering careers in STEM fields.

“I hope at least 10 percent of you say, ‘This is fun! I’d like to do this with high school kids,’” Gross explained to the Patuxent River teams at the kick-off meeting.

Gross also intends to coordinate a similar competition again for the summer engineering interns.


Navy celebrates 500th Super Hornet, Growler program delivery

Published: 28 Apr 2011

From The Tester

The Navy and its industry partners marked the 500th delivery of the F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft during a recent celebration at the Boeing facility.

“Today is another significant milestone for a program that has by any measure exceeded expectations for cost, schedule and performance. The PMA-265/Hornet Industry Team has consistently delivered capable and reliable aircraft to our fleet customer,” said Capt. Mark Darrah, F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager (PMA-265).

Industry partners Northrop Grumman, General Electric Aircraft Engines and Raytheon also attended the ceremony. Northrop Grumman builds the aft and center fuselage portion of the airframe and provides the ALQ-218 AEA system for the Growler, while GE Aircraft Engines manufactures the F414 engine. Raytheon produces the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, multiple racks and launchers and the ALR-67V(3) Radar Warning System.

“Today the Department of the Navy is employing more than 1,100 Legacy Hornets, Super Hornets and Growlers supporting operations world-wide, demonstrating exceptional flexibility across several mission areas and geographic locations,” Darrah said.

Built on the nation’s first multi-mission strike fighter, the Hornet, the F/A-18 Super Hornet continues to give the operational commander more flexibility in employing tactical aircraft in rapidly changing scenarios. The Airborne Electronic Attack EA-18G Growler recently began its first deployment supporting overseas operations


STEMCorp has big plans for Navy land

Published: 29 Apr 2011

From The Enterprise

St. Mary's County, there is a new nonprofit that wants to bring an IMAX theater to Lexington Park.

It took something big to turn people's attention away from that idea last week when the proposal was outlined.

That big something was the frequent and forceful mention of the word "BRAC," as in "Base Realignment and Closure."

With all the breathless rumors of a new round of base shuffling coming in 2015, the contractors, developers and government officials who gathered April 18 at the Bay District Social Hall in Lexington Park barely discussed the proposal their hosts brought them together to hear.

The host was STEMCorp, a new nonprofit organization spun off from the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum and headed by Keith Fairfax, a longtime member and officer of both the museum and the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, a local contractor lobbying group.

Although the focus of last week's meeting drifted from STEMCorp's presentation, Fairfax said the group is still committed to the idea of bringing a conference center, office space and, yes, maybe even a large-format IMAX theater to Navy land currently surrounding the rear side of the museum and its flight line of display aircraft.

"It hasn't changed," Fairfax said Wednesday.

The plan being proposed by STEMCorp would be used to develop Lot 6 and Lot 7 of an Enhanced Use Lease program plan the Navy proposed last year. The Navy's plans to lease 42 acres on seven Pax River sites; however, the plan is on hold, awaiting congressional approval.

"This is probably the most valuable real estate in the tri-county area," said George Hurlbert, STEMCorp's treasurer, during last week's presentation. "The development and investment community need to be brought into this."

Hurlbert outlined a loose proposal that would bring additional amenities such as the theater and the conference center to the museum while including office space for Navy. He estimated that the Navy has 2,156 employees housed in relocatable buildings on base and a further 674 employees located in buildings outside the base fence.

The Navy is not likely to receive any new construction funds to house workers in better conditions, so it is using the EUL process to try to entice private investors to construct buildings for it to use.

Hurlbert proposed that STEMCorp's project could provide new, Class A space for 1,250 workers, though he cautioned this week that the number would likely change.

"We'd need some help from the commissioners and the state legislators to do some of this," Fairfax said this week.

He said the county's government and private sector need to do something to help the Navy with its space problem, or BRAC 2015 may not go well for Pax River. "If the Navy has a problem, then the community has a problem. … We need to help them as much as we can."


Retail out of Navy proposal

Published: 04 May 2011

From The Enterprise

If the Navy's plan to lease land to private developers to build office buildings at Patuxent River Naval Air Station becomes a reality, there probably won't be any retail stores or restaurants in the mix.

Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary's) said this week he met recently with Capt. Ramé Hemstreet, deputy commander for operations at Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Washington, D.C., to rework what the Navy calls its Enhanced Use Lease proposal for Pax River.

According to Bohanan, an amendment to the proposal will be attached that specifically prohibits retail and restaurant uses, except for sandwich shops operating during normal working hours.

However, the Navy's request for qualifications, the document sent to developers explaining the parameters for the project, is still being held up by Congress at the request of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th).

A spokesman for NAVFAC did not have any immediate comment on the meeting.

Bohanan has been working with local government officials and Navy contractors for the past year to convince St. Mary's County's investment and development community that the Navy's EUL plan needs to proceed.

Some St. Mary's developers are wary of the Navy's plan, announced last year, to lease 42 acres on seven Pax River sites. Developer Wayne Davis, president of W.M. Davis Inc., a Leonardtown-based development firm, publicly argued last month that the EUL would have a "a chilling effect on the local development" and only benefit large, out-of-county developers, drawing contractor money away from local private property owners and private buildings outside the gate.

Davis did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment on the latest EUL changes.

At a meeting last month, Bohanan and county leaders argued that the development and banking communities' resistance to the EUL process could leave Pax River open to program poaching by other bases or losing programs in a rumored 2015 base realignment and closure process if Pax River leaders cannot find office space to grow.

Currently the Navy has 2,156 employees housed in relocatable buildings, according to George Hurlburt, treasurer for STEMCorp, a nonprofit organization seeking to submit a proposal for the EUL project. A further 674 employees are located in buildings outside the base fence. Currently, Congress is not funding military construction requests for new office space. Navy leaders are looking to lease space to private investors to get new buildings built inside the fence.

Keith Fairfax, president of STEMCorp, said Monday he was aware of the meeting between Bohanan and NAVFAC. He said the retail prohibitions would not affect his organization's plans to bring office space, a conference center and an IMAX theater to two lots of Navy property surrounding the back side of the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park.

"We weren't looking to put things inside the base to compete," Fairfax said. "It doesn't impact us as far as I know."

Fairfax said he thinks the changes are "a good thing" and urged everyone involved with the EUL debate to remember that the final form of the plan is far from solidified.

"It's not a project right now; it's a process," Fairfax said.


Petraeus nominated to head CIA

Published: 05 May 2011

From The Tester

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus plans hang up his uniform in September to lead the CIA.

President Barack Obama recently announced his intention to nominate General Petraeus to succeed Leon E. Panetta as CIA director.

Mr. Panetta is the president’s choice to succeed retiring Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

General Petraeus said he would be grateful to continue his public service by heading the CIA.

His nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

The general, who assumed command in Afghanistan on July 4 after serving 20 months as commander of U.S. Central Command, announced his plans to retire to take the CIA position.

General Petraeus’ retirement will end a four-decade career highlighted by his development of the Army?Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual and his leadership of U.S. and coalition forces through the ‘‘surge” credited with turning around the war in Iraq.

He is a 1974 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, and he holds a doctorate from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


Applications being taken for space camp

Published: 11 May 2011

From The Enterprise

St. Mary's public schools, in collaboration with The Patuxent Partnership, has extended the application period for the 2011 Space Camp Program at Great Mills High School. Camp sessions designed for students entering second through sixth grades offer young scientists the opportunity to practice and improve their problem solving and teamwork skills while working on individual and small group challenges. Students in these grades may attend a one-week session July 18 to 22 or July 25 to 29. Camp sessions for older students are available for students entering seventh through 11th grades. Students in these grades may attend both weeks of camp if desired. The first session will focus on rocketry and the second week will focus on robotics. Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day Call Laura Carpenter at 301-475-5511, ext. 142, to learn more.


Chief of Naval Research issues $1 Million STEM Challenge

Published: 12 May 2011

From The Tester

The Chief of Naval Research issued a $1 million challenge to the education, scientific and business communities May 3 in an effort to generate increased interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives.

The announcement was made as the Office of Naval Research launched the Sponsoring Scholars in Science Awards program to generate projects that cultivate student interest and participation in STEM.

ONR is supporting the Navy’s goal to fuel the pipeline of future scientists and engineers into the Naval workforce.

‘‘The $1 million challenge not only demonstrates ONR’s commitment to spurring interest in the STEM fields, but also shows how important it is for the future of the Navy and the nation to grow this vital workforce,” said Dr. Michael Kassner, ONR’s director of research, whose responsibilities include overseeing the Naval STEM Coordination Office.

As many as 10 compelling proposals will earn awards of $100,000 each as part of the 2011 Naval STEM Forum. All submissions must be presented onsite at the event, which will be held June 15-16 at the Hilton Mark Center Alexandria in Alexandria, Va. Winners will be notified this fall.

Proposals call for incorporating a range of topics that support the Department of the Navy’s goals for STEM academic curricula and community outreach programs, including:

  • Incorporating energy efficiency into curricula through hands-on experimentation;

  • Making physics fun through immersive, discovery-based learning;

  • Designing a STEM advocacy education kit;

  • Using high-tech modeling and simulation to teach high school students and Navy recruits;

  • Using sound to explore and communicate in the undersea environment;

  • Designing affordable sensors for the SeaPerch Remotely Operated Vehicle;

  • Harvesting energy underwater, aligning with physical sciences study and green initiatives.

    The Sponsoring Scholars in Science Awards joins the growing portfolio of government programs designed to spur interest in specialized technical fields. With the supply of American graduates in STEM education not keeping up with the Department of Defense demand — and a growing number of international graduates returning home with technical expertise obtained here — the Navy is striving to engage U.S. pupils as early as primary school to increase the talent pool of future Naval scientists and engineers.

    Both Secretary of the Navy Raymond Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead are scheduled to speak at the June event, stressing the importance of the STEM effort.

    In addition, ONR will open opportunities for attendees to meet one-on-one with subject-matter experts on K-12, higher ed and educational research opportunities.


    Wyle Labs tapped for another Leading Edge Award

    Published: 20 May 2011

    From The Enterprise

    When representatives of Navy contractor Wyle Laboratories accept their Leading Edge Award at next month's ceremony, it will be the second time in three years that the company has received one of the College of Southern Maryland's honors.

    In 2009, the Lexington Park division of the company was selected by the CSM Foundation for Partnership in Education Award category. This year, the company is being recognized by the board of The Patuxent Partnership as the Member Firm of the Year.

    "The Pax partnership makes that selection," said Karen Smith-Hupp, spokeswoman for CSM and its awards event.

    According to Gene McHugh, chair of The Patuxent Partnership board, the organization chose Wyle after an extensive selection process.

    "We've been doing this for five or six years now," McHugh said. "We don't take it lightly."

    The partnership board began identifying potential candidates in November 2010, McHugh said, polling board members for suggestions. The candidates were then vetted by partnership staff to ensure that they are members in good standing. A list of 11 candidates was presented to the board.

    The board then solicited applications from the candidates, and seven responded with six-page narratives about their companies' business performance, employee culture and community involvement.

    The seven candidate profiles were presented to the board in February, and a two-tiered vote was taken. "In this case, Wyle Labs ended up being the clear winner," McHugh said, citing the company's 10 percent growth last year, $100 million in sold contracts and active employee and company support of local charities.

    Wyle was pleased to hear the news. "This is the biggie, the company of the year award," said Bert Johnston, vice president and general manager for technology and testing at Wyle. "We're really pleased to see the recognition."

    Johnston said the company has worked to earn the award by being "a good teammate to others" and supporting community involvement by its employees.

    "We're really proud of what we do," Johnston said. "We're just going to enjoy [the award], and we hope success doesn't change us."

    The Leading Edge Awards ceremony, now in its 11th year, will commence at 6 p.m., June 22 at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center.

    The annual event celebrates individuals and businesses that spur economic growth within the region. This year's honorees exemplify the qualities synonymous with business success: performance excellence, innovation and an unwavering dedication to customers and staff, according to Daniel Mosser, vice president of the College of Southern Maryland's Corporate and Community Training Institute.

    The ceremony will also honor another St. Mary's County business, Gateau Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, as Small Business of the Year. Co-hosting and presenting this year's Leading Edge Awards are Calvert County Technology Council, Charles County Technology Council, The Patuxent Partnership, Small Business Development Center for the Southern Region of Maryland, The Corporate Center at CSM, CSM Foundation and Southern Maryland Economic Development Association.

    For more information regarding sponsorship opportunities or to attend, call 301-934-7585 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, ext. 7585, or visit www.corporatecenter.csmd.edu.


    Public forum scheduled for Navy development

    Published: 20 May 2011

    From The Enterprise

    The Southern Maryland Navy Alliance will be hosting a public forum next week on a Navy plan to lease 42 acres on seven Patuxent River Naval Air Station sites for the construction of new office space.

    The program about the enhanced use lease proposal begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, at the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department in Lexington Park. The program will open with Navy officials, explaining the need for new office space on base.


    Pax surveying region's residents

    Published: 20 May 2011

    From The Enterprise

    The NAVAIR Ranges Sustainability Office at Patuxent River Naval Air Station has commissioned an awareness survey for residents of Southern Maryland. The study will measure how informed residents are about operations at Pax River and will examine how the NAVAIR Ranges Sustainability Office can improve community outreach. The sustainability office works to educate the public about the flying mission of Pax River and how the base impacts the Southern Maryland area. The survey does not require previous knowledge of Pax River and takes about five minutes to complete.

    To take the anonymous Internet survey, log onto http://www.paxriversurvey.com/. Residents can call the NAVAIR Ranges Sustainability Office at 301-757-1725 to request a paper copy of the survey.


    Navy summer STEM camp registration open

    Published: 20 May 2011

    From The Enterprise

    Registration is open for the Navy Sea Perch Summer Camp scheduled for July 25-29 at St. Mary's Ryken High School.

    This year's camp is funded by the National Defense Education Program and administered by the education outreach programs at the Naval Sea Systems Command at Indian Head and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Patuxent River Nava Air Station.

    The camp is open to students going into seventh, eighth and ninth grade next school year. There is no charge for the camp. Camp starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 pm.

    The camp format creates teams of six assigned a teacher and an engineering mentor. Students will construct and operate an underwater robot called Sea Perch. They will also participate in engineering challenges including a water balloon cannon challenge, egg drop contest and robotics. Lunch will not be provided. No transportation will be provided.

    Registration forms are available at www.ndep.us/labspax.aspx by going to the Program Offerings tab and then under the resources area to the student section. Schools participating in the Navy's robotics program (Father Andrew White, St. John's, Chesapeake Charter School, Spring Ridge Middle School, Lexington Park Elementary School and Mother Catherine Spalding) will have first chance to register.

    For students not currently enrolled in one of these schools that participated in the Navy's in-school robotics program, registration will be open after May 26 with available openings. The signed registration form must be mailed to Education Outreach Coordinator 22347 Cedar Point Road, Bldg. 2185 STE 2100, Patuxent River, MD 20670. For further information call 301-342-2281. Request an application at PaxR_education_outreach@navy.mil.


    TPP Member SMECO Sponsors Elementary Math Competition

    Published: 24 May 2011

    The annual Elementary Mathematics Challenge Competition, co-sponsored by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, for fourth and fifth grade students, was held at Esperanza Middle School last month.  Nineteen elementary schools (16 public and 3 non public) sent teams of seven fourth grade students and seven fifth grade students to compete.  The competition consisted of a team portion and an individual portion.  During the team portion, team members collaborated to answer several multiple step mathematics problems.  Individual team members then took a test consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions.  The scores of the top five finishers on the individual tests from each school were combined to make the individual school total.  The individual school total was combined with the team score to make the final school team score.

    Oakville Elementary School was first place winner for Grade 4, and Leonardtown Elementary School was first place winner for Grade 5.


    TPP Member Boeing Sponsors Educators Space Camp in Huntsville

    Published: 24 May 2011

    Hollywood Elementary School 5th grade teachers, Ms. Candice Berthiaume and Ms. Jackie DePiazza, and Piney Point Elementary School instructional resource teacher, Ms. Cheryl Raley, have been selected to participate in the 2011 Boeing Educators to Space Camp program at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Space Camp® in Huntsville, AL, July 17-23, 2011.


    Throughout the week, Boeing Educators to Space Camp will take part in a wide variety of activities that use space to meet math and science objectives. All activities are correlated to National Science, Math, and Reading standards.  Most activities can be adapted to any grade level and most subject objectives, but are mainly designed for 4th-9th grades, or ages 9 to 14 years. Each participant will be give access to an educator’s web site where all lesson plans, standards, and any other relevant information needed to adapt these activities to individual class environments will be included.  Educators will also have an opportunity to experience three simulators -- 5DF Chair, Multi-Axis Trainer, and the 1/6th Gravity Chair. 


    According to the selection committee, Ms. Berthiaume and Ms. DePiazza were selected based on their demonstration of genuine concern for students and their commitment to excellence in education. All tuition and fees are paid by Boeing.  For more details, visit www.spacecamp.com/educators/boeing.


    According to the selection committee, Ms. Raley was selected based on her demonstration of genuine concern for students and her commitment to excellence in education. All tuition and fees are paid by Boeing.  For more details, visit www.spacecamp.com/educators/boeing.




    TPP Special Advisor VADM Denny McGinn USN (Ret.) Takes Helm of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)

    Published: 27 May 2011

    The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) today announced new leadership positions at the organization. Retired Vice Admiral and ACORE Advisory Board member, Dennis V. McGinn has accepted the position of President of ACORE, effective today. And Dan Reicher, formerly DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and currently Director of Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, has become Chairman of ACORE’s Board of Directors, with ACORE Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors, John Geesman, stepping down.

    Admiral McGinn served 35 years with the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer and national security strategist. He served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs at the Pentagon; Commander of the U.S. Third Fleet; Chairman and CEO of RemoteReality; corporate officer of the Battelle Memorial Institute’s energy, transportation and environment division; and as an international security senior fellow at Rocky Mountain Institute, among other posts.

    McGinn is actively engaged in efforts at the national level to highlight the close link between energy, climate and national security. He is a strong advocate for innovative government policy, public and private partnerships, and investments that will promote clean energy growth and innovation.

    “As ACORE begins its next ten years of renewable energy leadership, we recognize that much has changed since the founding in 2001,” said McGinn. “ACORE will continue to evolve and grow as a member-driven organization. We are going to reach out to our members and partner organizations to ensure a sharp mission focus and to match our priorities and programs to move forward with the critically important work of creating a more secure and prosperous America with 21st century renewable energy.”

    “We will continue to bring together the most visionary thought-leaders and high impact stakeholders at the national, state and regional levels,” continued McGinn. “By continuing to expand and improve our highly-regarded conferences, research and webinars, ACORE will lead the most important collaborations on technology, policy and finance which are essential to scale-up renewable energy in America.”

    “The energy policy decisions that we make now will shape the world in which our children and grandchildren live. The longer we wait to address our clean energy challenges, the higher the hill will be for them to climb,” said Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “ACORE understands the urgency of this, which is why I am pleased to welcome Admiral McGinn as he takes on the role of president at ACORE.”

    Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said, “The U.S. is blessed with an abundance of domestic and diverse energy resources. Development of these resources, including alternative and renewable energy, is needed to ensure our nation’s economic growth and prosperity. Admiral Denny McGinn understands the importance of these issues, and I welcome the opportunity to work with him in his new role as ACORE President.”

    “Dennis brings a wealth of experience and expertise to ACORE’s membership that will help them facilitate the growth of sustainable, secure energy supply through education, communication and coordination on a global basis,” said Jeffrey Holzschuh, Vice Chairman, Morgan Stanley.

    “For the past 20 years, Denny and I have collaborated closely on how energy efficiency and renewable energy can help the Navy and advance national security,” said Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, and ACORE Advisory Board member. “His new mission with ACORE is a wonderful choice that aligns nicely with his deep working knowledge of the space. Denny’s outstanding leadership, acuity, and devotion will engage and inspire ACORE members.”

    ACORE also announced that Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors, John Geesman, a former Commissioner of the California Energy Commission, and former ACORE Advisory Board member, is stepping down from the ACORE board.

    “Having served on the Board of ACORE with John, I appreciated his valuable guidance that has assisted ACORE in becoming a global convener of the renewable energy industry. His thoughtful leadership has created a legacy that will help guide ACORE in its next ten years,” said Lisa Frantzis, Managing Director, Navigant Consulting.

    Dan Reicher will now become Chairman of ACORE’s Board of Directors. Reicher, who has more than 25 years of experience in energy and environmental technology, policy, finance and law, is the Executive Director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance at Stanford University and a faculty member of the Stanford law and business schools. Formerly, he was Director of Climate Change and Energy and Initiatives at Google, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under President Clinton, and a member of President Obama’s Transition Team.

    Reicher said: “I am thrilled to be working with Denny to advance the next decade of ACORE’s essential role as the smart and strong voice for all of renewable energy. We have great opportunities but many challenges in moving renewable energy into the mainstream of U.S. and global energy production in the 21st century. ACORE, with Denny at the helm, will be in a great position to address both.”



    TPP Member Wyle employees support PMA-231 chili cookoff

    Published: 02 Jun 2011

    Everybody has a favorite chili recipe. At PMA-231, those recipes face a high-stakes, annual competition complete with skits, songs and a panel of judges to prove which chili deserves a trophy.

    Chris Frayser, deputy program manager for PMA-231, explained that the chili cook-off is one of many major social events PMA-231 schedules throughout the year, in an effort toward teambuilding for a group of people who have not always had the opportunity to work together on a daily basis.

    “E-2D used to be on the road 270 days a year,” Frayser said. “This gets people out of the office to meet each other. We’re trying to not be an ‘all-work” organization.”

    On May 5, teams from across PMA-231 met at the Beach House for an afternoon dedicated to chili and silliness. Each team presented at least one chili, from mild and sweet to tear-inducingly spicy. There were healthy options featuring low-fat chicken, and decadent chilies flavored with whiskey or piled high with pasta, corn bread, sour cream and shredded cheese.

    On chili cook-off day, each team’s work ethic shines through. This year’s presentations included a Grease-inspired (but definitely not greasy) musical number, a health-focused introduction to the Weight Watchers point system, a raucously re-tooled commercial jingle, and something that sounded like opera -- but somehow included a serape, sombrero, dark sunglasses and PowerPoint.

    “Presentation is key,” said Mark Smith, E-2/C-2 Sector manager for Wyle Aerospace Group and operations officer for PMA-231. “You can make one really great chili, but if you just hand the judges a bowl you’re not going to win.”

    As always, though, the real fun had little to do with food.

    Mike Durst’s presentation for the E2-C2 team made observers just a little nervous, at first. Thinking back to the recent threat of a government shutdown, Durst’s team created a chili for those with no funding. The chili, served from a repurposed coffee pot (slow cookers are expensive, you know) into dishes made of folded cardstock, was served alongside the classic poor-man’s pantry basics of ketchup, cat food and ramen noodles.

    The judges, Capt. Drew Williams of PEO(T), VX-20’s Lt. Cmdr Bill Selk, and Nancy Frayser, were then subjected to the added indignity of having to fill out forms to be allowed to finish their entire bowls of chili.

    Most years, the competition also included “Wing Wars,” a chicken-wing judging. For 2011, PMA-231 instead hosted a salsa competition.

    This year’s winning chili and salsa entries each were presented by members of the Foreign Military Sales office. Stuart Beck expressed surprise when his “Two-Burn Chili” won, saying, “I’ve made this chili for the past four years, but this is the first time I’ve won. I just change it a little bit each year.”

    Want to try Beck’s winning chili? The recipe is below -- but you have to find your own sombrero-wearing opera singer to serve it.

    Two-Burn Chili

    2 T vegetable oil

    1 1/2 lbs coarse ground beef

    1 lb sausage (mild or hot, to taste)

    1 large onion, chopped

    1 garlic clove, minced

    2 cans Lone Star beer, 12 ounces each

    (or other regional beer)

    15 ounce can tomato sauce

    1/3 C chili powder

    1 t cayenne pepper

    2 T paprika

    1 T oregano

    1 t ground cumin

    1 t cilantro

    0.5 t black pepper

    1 green bell pepper,

    seeded and chopped into pieces the size of kidney beans

    3 jalapeno peppers, chopped

    1 t fresh lemon juice

    1 T sugar

    Dash or two of Tabasco sauce

    2 cans kidney or pinto beans, 16 ounces each, drained

    Salt (to taste)

    4 T masa (or 2 T flour + 2 T corn starch)


    Put oil in chili pot and small saucepan. In chili pot, brown meat and sausage together and drain. Cook onion and garlic together in saucepan until tender. Add onion mixture, 1 can beer, and tomato sauce to the meat mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

    Mix the spices in a bowl, then stir into the meat mixture. To liven it up a bit, add some chili powder and about 1 T cayenne. Add beer as necessary to keep chili from burning. Cover and simmer for at least 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.

    Add green pepper, jalapenos, lemon juice, sugar, Tabasco and beans. Cover and simmer about another half-hour.

    Now it is getting good and you should sample it frequently, adding the salt and other ingredients to taste.

    Put masa flour in a small bowl. Add enough warm water to make a thin paste. Stir this into the chili, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

    Serve with ceramic utensils; eat with caution. Serves 6-8.


    TPP Member Zekiah Staff Volunteers at GiveCamp

    Published: 10 Jun 2011

    On the weekend of  April  1-3, 68 dedicated volunteers gathered together hoping to improve the outreach of multiple local charities through technology. The draw for all of these volunteers was the second annual Southern Maryland GiveCamp, hosted at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  GiveCamp brings technology to local charities by connecting volunteers and charities together to build websites and applications for the charities.

    GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where technology professionals including designers, developers, database administrators, marketers, and web strategists donate their time to provide technical solutions
    for community non-profit organizations.  Sponsors provide food, beverages and other goodies to keep the volunteers comfortable, some of whom stay the entire weekend at the event. This year’s event sponsors included ASP.Net Expert, Booz Allen Hamilton, Component One, DevExpress, DiscountASP.net, Elite Beatz, Infragistics, Microsoft, TDH International, Telerik and Zekiah Technologies.

    The volunteers come from a wide area and from varied backgrounds. Employees from twenty-eight different companies attended, as well as students and self-employed professionals. During the weekend competition among companies is set aside, with teams organized by skill sets to ensure they can succeed and get the charities the help they need.  Twelve local charities were helped this year: the Maryland Resource Parent PTSA, Discover U Children's Museum, St. Mary's County Child Advocacy Center, Bay K9 SAR, Optimist Club of Tall Timbers, 2nd District, Mattawoman Watershed Society, Town of Indian Head's Rail Trail Outreach Committee, Christmas in April*St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland Center for Independent Living, Inc. (SMCIL), Pets On Wheels, Tri-County Youth Services Bureau, and the Charles County Technology Council.

    Started in 2010, Southern Maryland GiveCamp has helped 31 charities and provided a venue for volunteers to donate over $600,000 worth of free development work to local charities and organizations. GiveCamp also offers an opportunity for professional development. It is a place where developers and designers can come together to learn and serve as mentors on meaningful projects, often getting a chance to try out new technologies. In addition, a handful of this year’s volunteers were students who got an opportunity to apply the skills they’re learning in a real-world scenario. The students worked side by side with the more experienced developers, getting invaluable experience in tools and processes that work.


    Hepler relieves Belcher as Program Manager Aviation Support Equipment

    Published: 15 Jun 2011
    NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Capt. Fred Hepler relieved Capt. Mike Belcher and became the new program manager for Aviation Support Equipment, PMA-260, following a change of command and retirement ceremony today in the atrium of the Rear. Adm. William A. Moffett building here.

    Belcher retires from the U.S. Navy after 32 years of service.

    “PMA-260 is clearly the number one resource of choice for support equipment solutions needed in aviation so our nation can continue to put combat ready aircraft in the air, anytime, anywhere, in support of the war fighters who protect our loved ones at home,” said Hepler. “We will strive to thrive and pursue opportunities for improvement. We must continue to reduce life cycle costs, right size the Aviation Support Equipment inventory footprint and modernize Automatic Test Systems and Ground Support Equipment.”

    Born on Flag Day in Philadelphia, Pa., Hepler enlisted during his senior year of high school and reported to active duty June 23, 1976. After graduating from boot camp, he attended Avionics “A” and Advanced First Term Avionics School. His avionics technician assignments included: HM-12, VAW-124 and USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

    He served as an enlisted detailer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel and was initiated to the rank of Chief Petty Officer on Sept. 16, 1984. Hepler received his commission as an Avionics Limited Duty Officer (LDO) Ensign July 1, 1986. His LDO assignments included: USS Enterprise (CVN 65), Naval Air Station Moffett Field and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

    After being selected as an Aerospace Maintenance Duty Officer (AMDO), he served as Support Equipment Logistics officer and CV/CVW Readiness officer at Commander Naval Air Force U. S. Pacific Fleet. He served as Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) officer in USS Peleliu (LHA 5) that included a deployment to East Timor, Indonesia that involved humanitarian services in support of Operation Stabilize.

    His next assignment was at NAVAIR to serve as the AMDO Community manager. His last operational tour was as AIMD officer in USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) that included an around the world cruise that involved combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Hepler’s previous program office experience includes: Autonomic Logistics Systems Engineering Integration Team Lead for the F-35 Joint Program Office; Deputy Program Manager (PM); Air Vehicle Systems for the F/A-18, PMA-265; EA-18G Program Office Aviation Support Equipment Program Office, PMA-265.

    During off duty hours, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Masters in Business Administration from City University of Seattle. He attended the National Defense University (NDU) Industrial College of the Armed Forces and attained a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy.

    He completed the NDU Chief Information Officer Certificate Program with an Information Assurance concentration and the Defense Acquisition University PMT401 Program Manager’s Course and PMT402 Executive Program Manager’s Course.

    A member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, Hepler is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) level III career field certified in Life Cycle Logistics, Production/Quality/Manufacturing, Program Management, Systems Planning Research Development &Engineering Science Technology Manager and Test & Evaluation Engineering.

    His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards) and Navy Achievement Medal (three awards) in addition to numerous unit and service awards.


    Hoyer Applauds Investments Benefitting Fifth District Military Facilities, Veterans

    Published: 15 Jun 2011

    Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) announced that the Fiscal Year 2012 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act approved today by the House contains significant investments that will ensure our veterans have access to the resources they need and that our national security and quality of life of those serving in our armed forces remain a top priority.


    “I am pleased that the House passed this bill today, which makes important investments to ensure that we can meet the needs of our veteran population, who have sacrificed so much on behalf of our country,” stated Congressman Hoyer. “This bill also makes significant investments in our national security, and continues investments in our Fifth District military facilities. The work done at local military facilities is highly valued by the military, and continued investments in these facilities reflect that. These facilities are contributing in significant ways to strengthening the local economy, bolstering our armed forces, and maintaining our nation’s status as the premier military innovator in the world.”


    At Congressman Hoyer's urging, President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget will enable the VA to expand the Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) at Charlotte Hall and establish another in the vicinity of Pax River.  The bill passed by the House today would enable these projects to move forward. 


    The following military construction projects were also included in the President’s Budget and passed by the House, and each was strongly supported by Congressman Hoyer for their benefits to the Fifth District:


    Aircraft Prototype Facility Phase 2, Naval Air Station, Patuxent River – $45.8 million

    Funding will be used to construct the second phase of this important project for Pax River Naval Air Station. APF represents the future for Pax River and will transform the time it takes to field systems from years down to months and even weeks.  This secure capability opens many new opportunities for Pax River to support programs directly involved in fighting terrorism around the world and solving immediate challenges for our warfighters.


    Decentralized Steam System, Naval Surface Warfare Center at Indian Head – $67.8 million

    Funding will be used to replace the existing Goddard Power Plant at Indian Head with a Decentralized Steam System which will provide Indian Head with a secure, reliable, and cost-effective energy source.


    Army National Guard Readiness Center, La Plata – $9 million

    Funding will be used to construct a 28,630 square foot readiness center to house all elements of the Maryland Army National Guard’s 253rd Engineer Company, providing this Guard unit with a modern facility in support of their critical mission.  The Maryland National Guard has played a crucial role in support of our nation’s efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan.



    TPP Member St. Mary’s College installs six new trustees

    Published: 15 Jun 2011

    From The Enterprise

    Six new trustees, including two alumni, have been approved by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to join the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Board of Trustees.
    “We are honored to welcome a distinguished group of new trustees to the St. Mary’s board,” “They bring a wide array of abilities including business, legal, marketing, academic and military expertise,” Molly Mahoney Matthews, board chair, said in a statement. “Two of our new trustees have served in leadership positions at Patuxent River Naval Air Station and will enhance our partnership there. Two are senior executives in large corporations, one is a former federal judge. Half of the members of the new trustees represent diverse communities, furthering our goal of inclusion at the leadership level."
    The new members are:
    Ÿ Timothy M. Broas of Chevy Chase, who has been a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Winston & Strawn since 1995 where he practices white collar criminal defense and internal investigations.
    Ÿ Donald Bryan of Clarksville, a native of St. Mary’s County who earned his bachelor’s degree in social science from St. Mary’s College in 1973. He worked as an admissions counselor for the college and was also the head basketball coach and assistant lacrosse coach at St. Mary’s. He is a district sales manager with Horace Mann Companies in Columbia, an insurance company which focuses on the nation's educators and their families.
    Ÿ Elizabeth Graves of New York City, who is vice president and editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings, a bridal magazine. She was previously the beauty and health director for Real Simple and editorial director for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Graves received her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from St. Mary’s in 1995, where she was voted Collegiate All-American Sailor and won the women’s collegiate sailing championship.
    Ÿ Timothy L. Heely of Leonardtown, who is a vice president with Cobham plc, headquartered in London, England. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1975. A Navy pilot, he flew single-seat, fighter-attack jets from aircraft carriers in the Pacific and Indian oceans. He commanded an FA-18 squadron during the first Gulf War from the USS Independence. In August 2000, he was selected as a rear admiral and served in numerous positions at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. In his final position with the Navy he was responsible for the Navy and Marine Corps unmanned air vehicle efforts. He retired in the summer of 2008 after a 33-year career.
    Ÿ Sven Erik Holmes of New York and Washington, D.C., who is the vice chairman for KPMG LLP where he directs the office of general counsel, government affairs, risk, regulatory, security, and the firm’s ethics and compliance programs. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton as U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma, where he served from 1995-2005, and as chief judge from 2003-2005.
    Ÿ Glen Ives of California, who is a vice president for Sabre Systems. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Army College, he served as a naval officer and pilot throughout the world. His last assignment was as commanding officer of Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Ives has been past honorary chairman of the United Way, Christmas in April, Special Olympics, Metropolitan Commission Task Force, and leader of the Catholic Schools task force.
    Joining Matthews as St. Mary’s College trustee officers for 2011-2012 will be Larry Leak, vice chair; Arthur “Lex” Birney Jr., secretary; and John Wobensmith, treasurer.
    New member named to college foundation board

    Robert F. Boyd, managing director at Balentine, has been elected to the board of The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Foundation. The foundation works closely with the university to enhance support for scholarships and a range of college initiatives. Boyd will bring 40 years of investment experience and 25 years advising foundations, endowments and community organizations to bear on his new role. Given his background and experience, he will focus on the foundation’s investment activities.


    New higher education center building to be designed

    Published: 15 Jun 2011

    From The Enterprise

    The Maryland legislature included in the state’s fiscal year 2012 budget the design and engineering of the new third classroom and engineering building at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center’s campus in the Wildewood Professional Park.

    The distribution of requests for proposal to architectural firms will begin in July. The 38,121-square-foot classroom building will add 17 large seminar rooms, 11 university coordinator offices, a new engineering laboratory and additional flexible meeting spaces to the higher education center campus. The third building will allow the center to expand beyond its 97 academic programs to accommodate the demand for graduate education in Southern Maryland.


    Hoyer releases hold on Navy lease plan

    Published: 22 Jun 2011

    From The Enterprise

    Station to private developers is now free to move through congressional approval and be implemented.

    Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary’s), adviser to Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md., 5th), told a gathering Monday of nearly 100 contractors, Navy officials and local officials at the ManTech building in Lexington Park that Hoyer had released his hold on the Enhanced Use Lease project’s approval.

    But the Navy’s plan to lease 42 acres on seven Pax River sites is not what Bohanan really wanted to talk about.

    “I guess I should say something about EUL,” Bohanan said as he was wrapping up his presentation. “EUL is now free to move forward.”

    Bohanan spent most of his time talking about another three-letter acronym UAVs. He warned the gathering that a provision of the latest defense acquisitions bill working its way through Congress would require the Federal Aviation Administration to establish four or more zones around the country to be designated for testing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for eventual integration into civilian airspace.

    “We believe that the Navy and, particularly, Pax River need to stay on the forefront of UAVs,” Bohanan said, noting that there is “no more logical place” in the country to have one of the FAA zones.

    When asked how important getting a zone designated at Pax River and Webster Field would be, Bohanan said it would be necessary to continue testing UAVs in Southern Maryland.

    That got everyone’s attention. If you’re not involved in UAVs, you’re not going to be as relevant,” Bohanan continued, noting that now is the chance to get in on the ground floor of UAV development for the Navy. “We are in the relatively early stages of UAV development. … We ought to be peeling off a lot more of that [funding] and keeping it here.”

    Getting an FAA designation will not be easy, Bohanan warned. He said, “The lobbying here is going to be fierce.”

    In order to catch and keep future UAV programs, Bohanan has argued, Pax River needs to create more office and testing spaces. The EUL program is one way of doing this, even though several local private developers charge that the program would sap the life out of office projects outside the base.

    St. Mary’s County Commissioner Dan Morris (R) said he has been hearing several complaints about the potential adverse impacts of the EUL and asked Bohanan to set developers’ minds at ease. Those same complaints were the reason Hoyer’s office gave for putting a Congressional hold on the project last year.

    “[Base capacity] is one of the most important challenges we face, however we do that,” Bohanan said. “I think the Navy is very willing to work with us on EUL. … The EUL that was rolled out in May of 2010 is not what will ultimately be implemented.”

    St. Mary’s County Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) said there are other points where he disagrees with Bohanan on the EUL program, but he agrees that the project will morph significantly over the next several months. He urged the community to let the process play itself out.


    Core of Lexington Park is community’s focus

    Published: 22 Jun 2011

    From The Enterprise

    After two meetings seeking community input about the future of the Lexington Park area, the specific zone of interest so far is just outside of Patuxent River Naval Air Station’s Gate 2.

    Almost 130 people attended the first meeting last month to update the master plan for the Lexington Park Development District, an area of about 17,000 acres. The meeting last week drew about 115 people, said Jeff Jackman, senior planner with the St. Mary’s County Department of Land Use and Growth Management.

    Now it is up the county’s consultant, Chris Jakubiak, to sift through all of the public comments and to put them into written form for more public review.

    “He’s going to take what he’s heard so far and fold it into a first draft,” Jackman said. There will be another meeting in September for the public to review it.

    “There’s a lot to be analyzed and wrapped up into this,” he said.

    The last update to the Lexington Park Development District plan was approved in 2005. The core of Lexington Park was not the focus then as it is now, said Robin Finnacom, director of the Community Development Corporation, which works to revitalize Lexington Park’s downtown.

    “Now we’re actually visiting the Lexington Park plan as part of the development district plan,” she said.

    The amount of community input, she said, is “impressive it really is.”

    The first plan to revitalize Lexington Park was adopted in 1999 and outlined several infrastructure improvements that were needed. Most of those goals are met now or soon will be, Finnacom said.

    Great Mills Road is being streetscaped. Nicolet Park was upgraded. John G. Lancaster Park was established off Willows Road. Lexington Park Elementary School was renovated. A new Lexington Park library was built. A new post office for Lexington Park was built. The blighted neighborhood of Lexington Manor was razed and its residents relocated. The Bay District Volunteer Fire Department opened a new building next to the library. A replacement Carver Elementary School was built to take it out from underneath Pax River’s airspace.

    “Revitalization is long-term, deep-in-the trenches work,” Finnacom said.

    But the end of Great Mills Road heading to Pax River still needs work, Jackman said. He is a resident of Patuxent Park off Great Mills Road, where utility lines are being replaced.

    Near Gate 2, he said, Lexington Park is “run down and needs some fixing up. Let’s make that the spark of the area.”

    The stores along Tulagi Place are part of the first shopping center built in Lexington Park after the opening of Pax River in 1943.

    The Navy base employs about 22,400 people. About one-quarter of the 105,151 people counted in 2010 in St. Mary’s County live in the Lexington Park Development District, which includes Great Mills and California.

    Jackman said the people who work on the Navy base need to be folded into the community as well. “Too often these military communities are islands to something they don’t relate,” he said.



    TPP Member Zekiah Technologies announces in-depth contracting blog

    Published: 23 Jun 2011

    New to government contracting?   Or trying to explain to coworkers how you establish government billing rates?   Join Zekiah for a 2 part blog that demystifies the process.


    Part I:     http://www.zekiah.com/index.php?q=node%2F158


    Part II:   http://www.zekiah.com/index.php?q=blog/6





    ONR sets multimillion-dollar ‘STEM Grand Challenge’ plan

    Published: 23 Jun 2011

    From The Tester

    Chief of Naval Research announced an incentive plan to award up to $8 million for ideas aimed at boosting K-12 education in the sciences, June 15.

    Rear Adm. Nevin Carr made the announcement during the Naval STEM Forum, being held in Alexandria, Va., June 15-16.

    "Today's approaches to training and education must seek new, innovative ways to sustain America's position as a global technology leader," Carr told the more than 650 government, academic, and business leaders gathered at the forum.

    "I wouldn't begin to pretend that the Navy is going to solve the country's STEM problem. There are others out there working very hard to do that," Carr said, "but we also want to make sure we are all intersected in a way that we can get the most out of the collective."

    The challenge is one of many efforts the Navy has developed to encourage students, parents and teachers to pursue STEM education and careers.

    The Navy seeks to increase the talent pool of future Sailors, naval scientists and engineers through its STEM initiatives.

    The Navy will award up to $1.5 million to each Phase One selectee. Teams will compete to advance to Phase Two.

    In the second stage, up to two teams will be awarded as much as $1 million each to extend their Phase One success to a Navy training challenge for another year. The technologies will be designed to meet students' individual learning style.

    ONR will issue the proposal as part of its Long-Range Broad Agency Announcement for Navy and Marine Corps science and technology efforts. Contract awards are expected in fiscal 2012 and ONR officials anticipate multiple awards for Phase One.

    In Phase One, participating Grand Challenge teams must develop an intelligent tutor, a system that uses computers and provides direct customized instruction to augment the classroom and serve as an aid for teaching middle to high school STEM curriculum.

    Teams will be evaluated on how well they demonstrate significant student improvement in retention, reasoning and problem solving, at an affordable cost. Based on these results, up to two teams will be selected to advance to Phase Two.

    In Phase Two, selected team(s) must adapt their "tutor," or software, to effectively address Department of the Navy-specific training audiences and criteria.

    The winning team will be able to demonstrate a tutor that cost-effectively produces significant improvements similar to its Phase One effort.

    For details on the STEM Grand Challenge, contact Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Cohn at joseph.cohnnavy.mil or Dr. Ray Perez at ray.perez navy.mil

    About the Office of Naval Research

    The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage.

    Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners.

    ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.


    Unmanned aircraft competition teaches troubleshooting skills

    Published: 24 Jun 2011

    From The Enterprise

    Air Force, which prefers to call its fleet of autonomously aircraft “remotely piloted vehicles.”

    As teams from 26 colleges and high schools from the U.S., Canada and India discovered and demonstrated last week at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International student competition in St. Inigoes, it takes a lot of people to fly an “unmanned” aircraft.

    Even then, it’s hard to get them into the air, keep them flying and make them productive.

    Take Mississippi State University’s team for example. Seven men gathered in a tent next to a runway at the Navy’s Webster Field installation last Friday and went through a pre-flight routine that would have impressed NASA head count, flight plan review and equipment checks, the whole deal.

    The crew rolled their plane onto the runway. And then the bloody engine wouldn’t start.

    After calling a timeout with the judges, team leader Eric Hill immediately went to work on morale, saying, “Everybody relax. We’re not out of the game. This is nothing that can’t happen to any other team.”

    Or to any military mega-contractor. Northrop Grumman has had a rough month with its UAV products. Last week, Pentagon testers declared Northrop Grumman’s latest Global Hawk drone, similar to the one the Navy will be testing at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, “not operationally effective.” The plane was only able to accomplish its mission 27 percent of the time.

    Northrop had another embarrassment this week when a Fire Scout unmanned helicopter crashed while conducting reconnaissance in Libya. This is the same system that escaped from Webster Field last year and wandered into Washington, D.C., airspace.

    So it was little wonder why Northrop, along with SAIC, Johns Hopkins University and Lockheed Martin, had recruiting tables set up at the AUVSI event last week. They need students who have experience with troubleshooting.

    “The future of the engineering workforce is out here,” said Joe Brannan, chief engineer for the Navy’s Support and Commercial Derivative Aircraft program office (PMA-207) and AUVSI’s student competition director. “These are the guys who will be running [Naval Air Systems Command] in 15 years.”

    Brannan said the teams were competing for $70,000 in prize money, including placement in overall performance as well as completion of smaller goals. Each team had to build an aircraft, present a paper on in for the judges and use it to find and photograph several targets around the airfield. This last part was timed.

    The University of Texas at Austin managed to pull a 12th-place finish, despite having a disastrous hardware failure half an hour before their scheduled flight.

    “We’ve been developing an autopilot of our own,” said team leader Michael Szmuk. “Unfortunately the mother board burnt out on us.”

    The U.S. Air Force Academy knows all about fickle autopilots. The team was crushed last year when their aircraft’s freshly-activated autopilot promptly wandered through the competition boundary and ditched the plane into the woods.

    This year, Cadet Chase Welch brought back the team’s honor by piloting a soft landing after a successful flight test of their latest aircraft. Their reward for everything going right was respectable fourth-place finish.


    Commissioners want new Patuxent bridge at same height

    Published: 01 Jul 2011

    From The Enterprise

    The study to enlarge the Gov. Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge over the Patuxent River is just about finished. Now comes the hard part finding the $750 million or more to build it.

    The Maryland State Highway Administration briefed the St. Mary’s County commissioners Tuesday on the planning status and asked for the board’s preferences on options to expand the bridge and to fix the intersection at Route 235 and Route 4.

    The state funded $5.5 million for the project’s planning, said Jeremy Beck, project manager, but noted “this project is not currently funded beyond project planning.” There are still the final design, right-of-way acquisition and construction phases to go.

    The state’s estimate is still $750 million for the entire project.

    Options include building a new second span parallel to the existing bridge. The existing span would carry two lanes of traffic southbound and a new span would carry two lanes northbound with an additional 10-foot lane for pedestrians and bicyclists.

    Another option would be to construct an entirely new bridge with four lanes for vehicles, with a lane for pedestrians and cyclists, and then tear down the existing bridge. An entirely new span would be 7,310 feet long, Beck said.

    The commissioners had no unified opinion Tuesday, but in interviews Wednesday, three of them agreed any new span should be tall enough to allow large ships access underneath in the future.

    The current span at its highest point is 140 above the river’s channel, which is 130 feet deep. The Navy wanted the bridge built that high in 1969 during design to allow its ships to anchor at the base’s Solomons annex. Ships aren’t moored there anymore since the Navy pier burned up a few years ago, but the area remains a deep-water port. A commercial port was once proposed at today’s Myrtle Point Park in California.

    Beck said federal officials are comfortable with any new bridge at least 70 feet tall. “Lowering the bridge would potentially reduce costs,” he said. “They do not need that height anymore,” he said of the Navy.

    “If you’re going to spend a billion dollars-plus, why shortchange yourself?,” said Commission President Jack Russell (D) on Wednesday. “I think we ought to put a bridge back that will replicate the one we have now.”

    “We probably need to keep the height as it is for the Solomons annex,” said Commissioner Larry Jarboe (R) on Wednesday. “It would be a logical place in the future with federal support for cruise ships running out of Solomons,” he said. He said he didn’t have much of a preference between adding a second span or building an entirely new one. “Regardless of which way you do it keep the height,” he said.

    Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) said Wednesday, “70 [feet], I don’t think works. We have that deep-water channel there. You don’t want to ruin opportunity economically on either side of the bridge.”

    The State Highway Administration will produce its preferred bridge alternatives this fall and the location and design approval is scheduled for the spring of 2012, Beck said.

    There are three options for the intersection of Route 235 and Route 4, the busiest intersection in St. Mary’s County with between 40,000 and 55,000 vehicles a day using it. One option would allow a constant flow, another would build a ramp from Route 4 to southbound Route 235 and another would build an urban intersection where Route 4 would cross underneath Route 235.

    “We want to have traffic ease in St. Mary’s County to maximize our transportation system,” Russell said, though he does not have a preference on what kind of intersection goes in.

    He said of the entire project, “It’s going to cost a tremendous amount of money ... which we don’t have now.”

    Jarboe said of the intersection designs, “Let’s see what they come up with as the safest.”

    Morgan said he had no preference, but said he didn’t want to see “a mixing-bowl design,” like the kinds found in Northern Virginia.

    The Thomas Johnson bridge opened in December 1977 at a cost of $26 million then. It was estimated to cost $10.6 million in 1966 when the project was approved.


    TPP Member Precise Systems offering stock to workers

    Published: 01 Jul 2011

    From The Enterprise

    Employees at program management services contractor Precise Systems will soon be sharing the wealth of the company.

    The Lexington Park company announced the formation Tuesday of an employee stock ownership plan at its summer “All Hands” meeting as a boost to its benefits package.

    All 160 employees will be given shares in the company; a move that owner Tom Curtis hopes will improve performance, recruitment and retention.

    “I’ve always had it in mind that I’ve wanted to share ownership and share success,” Curtis said Thursday. He noted that the company’s services depend on the quality of its employees. “We are a people company. … We are indeed who our people are.”

    Precise Systems specializes in augmenting Navy programs with contracted program managers, engineers, logistics professionals, and information technology professionals.

    Curtis noted that the competition to hire and retain quality program managers has become fierce in St. Mary’s County.

    “We’re a small business,” Curtis said, noting that the company is classified as a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business in contract competitions. However, it gets no special treatment when it comes to the employment market. “We also compete with the big contractors as well.”

    Precise Systems was founded in 1990, and Curtis, a former Navy pilot, bought the controlling interest in the company in 2005. The company earned $25 million in revenue last year and is on track to take in $30 million this year, Curtis said. In addition to its Lexington Park headquarters, the company also has offices in Herndon, Va., and Havelock, N.C.

    According to Bob Schaller, director of the St. Mary’s County economic and community development department, companies use employee ownership programs for recruitment and retention, but also as a hedge against being easily absorbed by a larger firm.

    “I think they’re doing the right thing here,” Schaller said. “The good thing about this firm is that they are forward-thinking.”

    Schaller echoed Curtis’ point about the need to retain good employees, noting that in St. Mary’s service support industry, “We’re selling gray matter.”

    Curtis said his firm has been approached about merging, but not aggressively. He said the stock program is more about generating cohesion in his company and encouraging employees to take both initiative with and ownership of the firm’s business.

    “We want to nurture a culture of entrepreneurship,” Curtis said, adding that he wants to “create a business and corporate identity that works for all of us.”


    Leading by Example in Southern Maryland - Leadership Southern Maryland Offers Opportunities to Give Back

    Published: 10 May 2011

    10 May 2011
    Leading by Example in Southern Maryland - Leadership Southern Maryland Offers Opportunities to Give Back

    Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.”  Leadership Southern Maryland takes seriously its namesake and unique task of nurturing trusteeship among community leaders for the benefit of the entire Southern Maryland region.  It provides three distinct opportunities to enlist the aid and support of others:


    ·          Become a Class Member

    ·          Join the Leadership Circle

    ·          Contribute to the Legacy Fund


    Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) is a nine month tuition-based program specially designed to develop leaders from the Southern Maryland area for regional collaboration. The LSM program is dedicated to building a cadre of informed leaders prepared to address regional issues and bring long-term benefit to their neighbors and communities.  Applications are now being accepted for the Class of 2012.  If you are a leader who believes our region has great potential and you are looking for an opportunity to learn and give back, visit the LSM website at www.leadsomd.info for application instructions. 


    Leadership Southern Maryland is strengthened by the financial contributions and meaningful involvement of corporations, foundations and individuals from across Southern Maryland.  Those who contribute are considered members of the LSM Leadership Circle.  You are invited to join them at a level that is personally significant. Your support ensures that LSM can continue their mission of training and educating the next generation of Southern Maryland's leaders.  Visit the LSM website for information and recognition levels.


    Members of the Leadership Southern Maryland Class of 2010, in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Charles County, established an endowment to finance needs discovered through the class series. The Leadership Southern Maryland Legacy Fund fosters nonpolitical, region-wide collaboration to create and sustain opportunities and enhance quality of life for Southern Maryland's citizens, while preserving the foundations of the region's unique historical character. The LSM Legacy Fund is unique!  It is the only financial vehicle designed to benefit all three counties of Southern Maryland:  St Mary's, Charles and Calvert. To contribute to the Fund and continue the tradition of improving the quality of life for your neighbors, visit www.somdgiving.org. 


    For additional information on Leadership Southern Maryland, the Leadership Circle or the Legacy Fund, or how to submit an application, contact Karen Holcomb, Executive Director, at (301) 481-2727


    Local AUVSI show coming next year

    Published: 22 Jul 2011

    From The Enterprise

    The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International recently mailed out invitations for its biannual Unmanned Systems North America convention to be held in Washington, D.C., next month. Noticeably absent on the event schedule was the demonstration day event traditionally held at Webster Field in St. Inigoes to complement the convention.

    According to AUVISI and the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, the demonstration event will be held next summer, possibly in a more comfortable month than August.

    AUVSI spokeswoman Melanie Hinton confirmed that the event would be held next year, but said, “We’re going to announce the date at Unmanned Systems North America.”

    However, Jamie Cosgrove, spokeswoman for PEO (U&W), said her office is aiming for a June 2012 date.


    Navy document proves EUL is moving

    Published: 22 Jul 2011

    From The Enterprise

    The Navy has finally released a Request for Qualifications for its plan to lease 42 acres on seven Patuxent River Naval Air Station sites to private developers to build office space.

    The release comes after a year of wrangling between Navy officials and St. Mary’s County’s government and development community. The Navy was held back from pursuing the project until last month, when Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) released a hold he had put on the project in Congress.

    The 67-page RFQ is available for download at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command web site, NavyEUL.com. To access the file, select “Project Status” then “NAS Patuxent River” then “Documents.” The link for the final RFQ is at the top of the documents list. Also available is the final Environmental Condition of Property Report for all of the sites associated with the EUL.


    TPP Member Barefoot Graphics Expands Offerings with Direct-to-Substrate Wide Format Printer

    Published: 28 Jul 2011

    Barefoot Graphics has further expanded its reach into wide-format print markets with its acquisition of a new UV-curable flatbed inkjet printer manufactured by Japanese-based Mimaki Engineering Co. 


    According to Harry Frauenfelder, President of Barefoot Graphics, “It is clear our wide-format department is expanding.  We have had our sights on UV Flatbed technology and the day to bring this technology to Barefoot Graphics has come.  We specifically chose a printer that would meet the speed, quality and size demands of our customers.” 


    The newly acquired UV printer is capable of printing directly onto numerous rigid substrates, exceeding dimensions of 5’x10’ and up to 2” thick.  Utilizing a 6-color ink set plus white ink, the printer produces bright, vibrant colors on all types of substrates, including, but not limited to: acrylic, PVC, vinyl, aluminum, corrugated plastic, wood, fiberglass and foam.  The ink is instantly cured via dual UV lamps, enabling immediate handling and packaging.  With a maximum resolution of 1200x1200 dpi, the image quality produced is near photographic, suitable for indoor/outdoor sign and display graphics for both far and close viewing distances.   


    “This is such an exciting time at Barefoot Graphics,” says Josh Frauenfelder, Vice President and General Manager.  “The businesses and organizations of Southern Maryland now have access to a vast range of visual display possibilities and indoor/outdoor sign applications.  By choosing a flatbed printer that is capable of printing white ink, we are now printing on clear, colored and metallic substrates such as glass and brushed aluminum.  Barefoot Graphics is achieving a more efficient workflow and our customers are benefiting from a higher level of quality and local service.”


    In the upcoming months, more UV-printable products will be added to their e-commerce website, www.BarefootGraphics.net.  In the meantime, all sample requests and estimates wishing to utilize UV printing should be directed to Mr. Josh Frauenfelder who may be reached at 301-862-5157 x114 or emailed at Estimating@BarefootGraphics.net


    Barefoot Graphics has provided advanced printing solutions for Southern Maryland since 2007.  The storefront is conveniently located at 22685 Three Notch Rd., Suite C in California, Md.  Barefoot Graphics is open Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm.  http://www.BarefootGraphics.net


    TPP Member Metrocast Offers Opportunity to Sponsor STEM In our Schools Television Programs - Local Channel 10, Southern MD Television

    Published: 18 Aug 2011

    Skills that local school students are acquiring now will strengthen the future workforce to drive our business community in Southern Maryland.


    The activities and accomplishments of these students and their teachers will be featured on Channel 10 beginning this fall as Metrocast takes a look inside the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Academy.


    This program provides affordable sponsorship opportunities for organizations that expect employees to have advanced education and want to reach these highly accomplished STEM students and their families.


    Metrocast will air programs two times a month, each program running for a week and airing 40 times during the week, giving sponsoring organizations maximum exposure while the series airs throughout the year.


    For more information contact John Levay, 301-373-3201 x4003 or john.levay@metrocast.com.




    Banners arrive in Lexington Park to herald naval aviation’s centennial

    Published: 05 Aug 2011

    From The Enterprise

    They’re here. They’re finally, really here.

    On Wednesday morning, the Lexington Park Business and Community Association gathered in front of the Lexington Park United Methodist Church on Great Mills Road to watch Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative install the first of 308 banners commemorating this year’s centennial of naval aviation.

    Just prior to the installation, the bells began ringing in the church. And, as SMECO lineman Todd Farr hung the banner, Robin Finnacom, director of the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation, squealed, “Oh my God, it’s so gorgeous!”

    This moment was the culmination of months of work for the association. The group originally only expected a few businesses to sponsor banners displaying a newly designed logo for Lexington Park’s business district.

    However, by June the association had 36 sponsors wanting 250 banners. Last month, the number shot up to 43 sponsors wanting 308 banners. The association was forced to delay the rollout of the banners by a month to complete the huge order.

    “The response to the sponsorship was so overwhelming, it doubled our production time,” said Finnacom, who coordinated the project.

    Finnacom credited Capt. Stephen Schmeiser, commanding officer of Patuxent River Naval Air Station, with proposing the banner idea. However, Schmeiser threw the compliment right back to Finnacom.

    “There is a person who is downplaying her involvement with this, and that’s Robin Finnacom,” said Schmeiser, who told the small gathering of association members, business leaders and county commissioners who came to witness the first banner installation that Finnacom was the glue that held the project together.

    Finnacom said the association has enough banners to put on every other utility pole on Great Mills Road and Route 235 between Pax River’s Gate 2 and Route 4. There are also enough banners for Shangri-la Drive, and about a third of them will appear on Pax River’s Buse Road and Cedar Point Road.

    SMECO will be installing the banners approximately 40 feet off the ground. The banner rollout will continue for the rest of the month and should be complete in time for the Pax River’s Air Expo in September. The banners will remain in place until the end of the year.

    Mark Pinekenstein, CEO of Compass Systems and chairman of the association, said he had been excitedly anticipating the banner installation.

    “It’s really great to see the community come together with the base to do something for Lexington Park,” Pinekenstein said. He hinted that the mounts for the 6-foot banners could be used for future banner campaigns, but said those details have not yet been finalized.

    Bob Schaller, St. Mary’s County’s economic and community development director, said the banners serve as a vanguard for future Lexington Park revitalization efforts.

    “Somebody’s got to start the thing,” Schaller said. “That’s what this does.”



    Zoning may aid Webster Field

    Published: 05 Aug 2011

    From The Enterprise

    The acronym AICUZ doesn’t mean much to most people. But when that zoning category is overlaid onto property in St. Mary’s County, the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone means everything.

    It could mean your house could be bought by the federal government. Or it could mean you can’t build anything new on a lot.

    An AICUZ area around Patuxent River Naval Air Station was first established in 1977. Its boundaries have changed over the years, depending on the flights lines at the Navy base and associated noise levels.

    An AICUZ was studied for Webster Field in St. Inigoes in 1978 as well, but was never established.

    Now, St. Mary’s County government is looking to create the zone an extension of one of the runways at Webster Field that shoots 8,000 feet to the northeast past Route 5 and into a residential area.

    The affected area lies between Villa Road and Beachville Road. Most of the properties are large and wooded or agricultural, but there are some homes that would lie underneath the AICUZ.

    About 43 properties would be affected, Phil Shire, acting director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Land Use and Growth Management, told the county commissioners on Tuesday.

    The property owners haven’t been notified yet because the zoning map amendment process is just beginning. “We will absolutely provide all notification and chance for public comment,” Shire said.

    The AICUZ is not immediately needed; it is intended to protect future flight missions at Webster Field, Shire said.

    The idea is to stay ahead any development pressure that may arise around the confines of the small Navy installation in the future, said LeRoy Mattingly, AICUZ specialist for Pax River. Webster Field could bring in more jobs and more economic activity in the future.

    “We ought to do it before it becomes an urgent need,” said John Savich, county administrator.

    What is called the clear zone of the AICUZ is the most restrictive, Shire said. It runs 3,000 feet from the end of the northeast runway and is 1,000 feet wide, Mattingly said. There are a few houses off of Grayson Road under the clear zone that may have to be taken, Shire said.

    Beyond the clear zone is the accident potential 1 zone, which extends 2,500 feet and is 1,000 feet wide.

    The final stretch is the accident potential 2 zone, the least restrictive to development. It runs another 2,500 feet and is 1,000 feet wide.

    The runways at Webster Field are short so jets and large aircraft can’t use them, said Commissioner Todd Morgan (R). Unmanned aerial vehicles are the primary user there.

    “It’s free from the clutter that goes on at Pax,” he said.

    Shire said Wednesday that the permitted uses for property in the three zones have to be worked out because the operations at Webster Field are completely different than those at Pax River.

    “That’s kind of a big question for everybody,” he said of how the restrictions will be crafted.

    Text amendments to the zoning ordinance will also have to be written. Once the county commissioners review the proposal, it will go to the St. Mary’s County Planning Commission for public hearing.

    Webster Field was acquired in 1943 when the Navy bought 852 acres for an outlying field for Pax River, according to the 1978 AICUZ study. Another 116 acres were added in 1949.

    It was initially called “Naval Air Station, Beachville, and its mission was to serve as a dispersal field in the event of possible air invasion,” during World War II, according to the study.

    “The Beachville Air Station was used for dive bombing, rocket bombing, aerial gunnery target practice and glider control experiments,” the study said.


    TPP Member Melwood names new officers

    Published: 05 Aug 2011

    From The Enterprise

    Melwood has announced its new officers for its volunteer board of directors.

    The officers were elected June 29.

    Melwood is a nonprofit organization that helps create opportunities for people with disabilities.

    “The board is crucial to our efforts to realize a world where people with disabilities are fully included, and our new officers bring a wealth of experience that will help guide Melwood into the future,” Janice Frey-Angel, Melwood president and CEO, said in a news release.

    Dana Brewington Stebbins of Mitchellville was elected board chairwoman.

    Stebbins is an attorney with an advanced degree in human behavior and is president and CEO of The Cornelius Group, which provides organizational development, business management and other services for a variety of clients.

    She has more than 25 years of experience in strategic and legal services for community and economic development projects.

    Richard Mahan of Howard County was elected vice chairman and is an audit principal in Reznick Group’s Bethesda office with more than 20 years of experience in public accounting practice and private industry.

    George Watkins of Marbury was elected treasurer.

    Watkins is president of Watkins & Associates and brings nearly 30 years experience as a certified public accountant to the organization.

    He is currently a trustee with the Charles County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

    Donald A. Donahue Jr. of Washington, D.C., has been re-elected as board secretary.

    Donahue is the director of health policy and preparedness programs at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and CEO of Diogenec Group.

    He brings more than 25 years of health care administration and planning experience and more than 30 years of service as a member of the U.S. military.

    Since 1963, Melwood has been enhancing the lives of thousands of people in the capital region through career training, job placement, individual support and recreation, according to the release.

    Specifically, more than 870 Melwood employees with disabilities work through the AbilityOne Program, which pairs federal agencies with other organizations to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities.


    TPP Member WestWind Technologies, Inc. Wins $4 million U.S. Navy Contract

    Published: 09 Aug 2011

    WestWind Technologies, Inc. was recently awarded a $4.6 million contract by the Army Contracting Command at Ft. Eustis, Virginia to modify the U.S. Navy HH-60H Seahawk aircraft. The effort is in support of NAVAIR PMA-299 at Patuxent River, Maryland.


    The HH-60H Seahawk is the U.S. Navy’s primary Combat Search and Rescue helicopter. The aircraft modification will be designed to alleviate equipment obsolescence, improve system performance and enhance crew capabilities and will incorporate dual Embedded Global Positioning Systems / Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI).


    The contract provides for engineering development, integration, qualification verification, and validation of the HH-60H upgrade kit to include publications and provisioning data.  WestWind will manufacture, provide kitting, and deliver 35 HH-60H Cockpit Upgrade kits  to the U.S. Navy as well as perform installations on 35 aircraft. An additional two EGIs will be used to support qualification testing and a training system.


    WestWind Technologies Chief Operating Officer Roger Messick said, "WestWind is extremely pleased to support this aircraft modification program, and we look forward to providing across-the-board support utilizing so many of WestWind's on-site capabilities."


    Work will be performed over the next 36 months in Huntsville, Alabama at WestWind's hangar facilities located at Huntsville International Airport.


    WestWind Technologies, Inc. is a privately-held small business with corporate headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama. Since its founding in 1999, WestWind has been providing both military and commercial customers with solid performance and unparalleled response times. The core capabilities offered by WestWind are engineering, manufacturing, logistics, as well as modification and integration. With primary corporate operations located just minutes from Redstone Arsenal and hangar operations on the Huntsville International Airport, WestWind holds ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100:2004 Rev B certifications. For more information, visit www.westwindcorp.com.


    WestWind Technologies, Inc., 2901 Wall Triana Hwy., Suite 200, Huntsville, Alabama 35824-1529




    Students Compete in Unmanned Aircraft Competition

    Published: 23 Jun 2011

    From The County Times


    In the early morning hours, a platoon of U.S. Marines conducts a security patrol in a dusty nameless village of Afghanistan. They have spent the last few hours searching the area, looking for the evidence of insurgent operations. With the sun breaking over the horizon, the Marines hurry to finish their patrol before the entire village is awakened by the sounds of a

    Cobra attack helicopter providing air cover. Unheard was the drone of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV, overhead providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) for the platoon.


    The quiet was suddenly broken by the sounds of small arms fire directed at the Marines. From all over, rounds were bouncing off the mud walls of the homes as the Marines sought cover. With a “whoosh,” an enemy RPG rocketed towards the incoming Cobra. With a bang, the RPG strikes the exhaust area of the helicopter. The injured pilot skillfully landed the crippled Cobra and takes up a defensive position.


    Meanwhile at a remote base over 250km away, a group of operators sit in the air conditioned comfort of the ground control station that is monitoring the ISR mission. The live video feed catches the muzzle fire of the insurgents and the arc of the RPGinto the Cobra. Their routine mission has now become a matter of life or death. The imaging operators hurriedly call out enemy positions and gun emplacements to the pinned down Marine platoon. The mission commander directs them to locate the downed pilot.

    While this type of scenario plays out routinely in Afghanistan, one doesn’t expect to find it occurring in St. Mary’s County. Yet this was the scenario presented to students from around the world last week at the 2011 Student UAS Competition at Webster Field in St. Inigoes.


    For three days, teams from as far away as New Delhi Technical University, India, and as close as Great Mills High School competed for over $70,000 in prize money. The teams were graded on their oral presentations covering safety, design, team roles, and how they will conduct their missions on the first day of competition. The next two days were occupied with nonstop flying.


    Simulating real world tasking, the teams were given 10minutes to gather all of the equipment needed to support the mission. This included their UAV, starting equipment and a myriad of computers to evaluate and classify the targets that had been put around the airfield. The team and support equipment were taken to the runway and given 40minutes to setup the ground control station and prepare the UAV. The students had previously been given a map of the airfield showing the safe fly and out of bounds areas along with flight waypoint sand search areas.


    At the conclusion of the 40 minutes another clock started ticking. The mission clock was the allotted time to get airborne, conduct the search pattern, land and provide the intelligence gathered to the lead judge. For this scenario as soon as the UAV was airborne the lead judge would inform the team captain that an additional waypoint would be added and that there was a downed pilot in a new search area. The team would have to input all this information and upload it to the UAV, while in flight, so it could perform the additional tasking.


    Under the canopied area that functioned as the ground station, students were clustered around a multitude of displays. These displays showed in real time where the UAV was, its speed and altitude. Other displays showed the video sensor data being transmitted from the UAV. Clusters of computers would perform analysis of the video and alert the operator if a target was in view. The image operator would then be able to identify the target and provide its position to the mission commander.


    While most of the students did not realize it, they were mimicking real operations performed by the military on a daily basis in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world with a fleet of UAVs.


    This was the ninth year of competition sponsored by the Association of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems International and hosted by PEO(UW) from NAS Patuxent River with a grant from the Office of Naval Research.


    According to Joe Brannan, Competition Director, the first competition was held with just three teams with only two showing up. Only one of those teams were successful in getting their UAV airborne. This year’s competition hosted 27 teams.


    “We had three high schools sign up this year. One is a local high school right here in Southern Maryland, Great Mills High School, a Hampton Roads, Va. team consisting of multiple high schools in the Hampton Roads area … and a Roanoke Valley school signed up but realized they couldn’t make it but will try next year,” Brannan said, adding that most competitors were university level.


    Brannan said that while this is a competition for students, it’s also a recruitment tool for government and local defense contractors.


    “We tell the students to bring their resumes with them,” he said.


    All of the students are engineering students. It requires a broad area of expertise to be successful, so the teams are comprised of aeronautical, electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering disciplines.


    While engineering has historically been a male dominated field, many teams included women.


    When asked what made her choose to study mechanical and aerospace engineering, Amanda Gaetano of Rutgers University said: “I had always been interested in airplanes as a kid. My dad worked with NAVAIR and now with the FAA so it was just something I grew up around.”


    Gaetano said more women should to be inspired at a young age to enter the engineering field.


    “Just expose them (to engineering) at a younger age. If you don’t expose kids to that in elementary school they are less likely to develop a strong interest,” she said.


    Students were not the only people in attendance at the competition. Industry had many tables with representatives out talking with students who could end up being employees one day.



    CoNA banners unite Pax River, Lexington Park

    Published: 11 Aug 2011

    From The Tester

    As part of the celebration of the Centennial of Naval Aviation, local businesses and other community leaders have sponsored banners marking the anniversary. On August 3, SMECO linemen hung the first of 308 banners on a power pole next to Lexington Park United Methodist Church. Corporate sponsors, county commissioners and base leadership were on hand to see the beginning of what is expected to be a two-and-a-half week effort to put all 308 banners on display.

    The banners, designed by local artist and Navy veteran Jeff Hobrath, will be on display along Route 235 from Route 4 to Great Mills Road, along Great Mills Road to the intersection with Route 5, and along Tulagi Place and Shangri-La Drive in Lexington Park through the end of the year.

    "Certainly, the home of the Navy is Lexington Park," said Robin Finnacom, President and CEO of Community Development Corporation. "We want to make a strong connection here."

    Finnacom worked with the community and business owners over the course of several months to see this project to fruition.

    "There's always some glue in this, always someone pushing from behind, but Robin was pulling from the front to make this happen," said Capt. Schmeiser.

    When the CoNA banners are removed at the end of the year, Finnacom said, there is some possibility that the hardware will be used to install other seasonal banners in the future.


    Former NASA flight director Gene Kranz inspires Pax Pros

    Published: 11 Aug 2011

    From The Tester

    This week, former NASA flight director Gene Kranz spoke to a packed Center Stage Theatre about his years with Mission Control, including his leadership role in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs. Kranz speaks to military and community groups across the nation, serving as an embodiment of leadership under pressure while raising money for charities. His August 8 lecture, coordinated by the Society of Flight Test Engineers and NAVAIR Test and Evaluation, was simulcast to audiences at NAS Point Mugu, NAWS China Lake and NAWCTSD Orlando.

    Director, Flight Test Engineering, Leslie D. Taylor introduced Kranz as “the most famous flight test engineer ever,” and praised the flight test engineers at Pax River who had assembled to hear Kranz speak.

    “I’ve been your director for three years, and I live vicariously through you,” Taylor said. “You are explorers every day.”

    As one of NASA’s earliest explorers of space, Kranz led the ground crew at Mission Control in Houston as they made critical, life-and-death decisions using limited information, under absolute time pressure, with none of today’s communications and computing technology.

    “When Lovell said, ‘Houston, we have a problem,” all I had were my teams at Mission Control and a learning curve that started 10 years before at Cape Canaveral,” Kranz said.

    Clearly, as the successful return of the Apollo 13 astronauts demonstrated, that was enough for Kranz and his team to do their job perfectly, even when the unexpected happened. He credited the unique pressures of an all-or-nothing task for demandingand producingthe highest quality of work and cooperation.

    “Mission Control is a marvelous leadership laboratory,” Kranz said, dependent on trust in each member of the team’s ability to do what must be done to succeed. “Chemistry, in any organization, is a force amplifier. We must know when the person next to us needs help, and when they need a few more seconds.”

    Kranz also spoke of the unique social atmosphere surrounding the 1960s space program, which made daring space missions a national imperative: the escalating Vietnam conflict, 3 political assassinations, the Civil Rights movement, waning colonial powers worldwide, student riots at American universities, heightened Cold War competition with the Soviet Union and a President bold enough to insist we go to the moon for the bare challenge of it.

    “We were fortunate in those days, in that we knew there is no achievement without risk,” Kranz said. “It was tough to get people to work together, but we knew success would only come as a team, so we learned to check our egos at the door.”

    That included a willingness to reach out to young, inexperienced computer experts just out of school, to balance the engineering and flight expertise of other members of the team. The average age of the ground crew at Mission Control, he said, was just 26 years.

    As Flight Director, Kranz emphasized the need for high morale, toughness, competence, commitment and teamwork.

    “As a team, we must never fail,” Kranz said.

    That did not mean that his team was immune to error. Remembering the events leading up to the Apollo 13 explosion, Kranz described the combination of cryogenics and a heater inside the craft’s fuel cell as “a bomb. All we needed was the spark of ignition.”

    When that moment came, Kranz and his team worked with the Apollo 13 astronauts to re-think the mission and create the possibility of a safe return, using ingenuity, determination and the scraps at hand.

    “We had never lost an American in space,” Kranz remembered. “Over the next four days we pulled off a miracle, to bring those men home.”

    Kranz’ efforts and his signature white vestshave earned him international acclaim. Still, he expressed disappointment in the direction of the American space program.

    “Our nation abandoned the moon in 1972,” Kranz said.


    Students, Teachers, Mentors Travel to United States Naval Academy for Maryland Regional SeaPerch Challenge

    Published: 13 May 2011

    From The South Potomac Pilot

    he SeaPerch Program, inspired by the book, “Build Your Own Underwater Robot and Other Wet Projects,” was originally created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology SeaPerch Grant College Program in 2003, with the goal of generating interest in underwater studies. Eight years later, Naval Surface Warfare Centers, Carderock and Indian Head joined forces with the United States Naval Academy to host the Maryland Regional SeaPerch Challenge April 30 at the Academy’s Rickover Hall.

    “The success of today’s event was due to the collaboration between my colleagues Dr. Angela Moran at the Naval Academy and Tom Palathra at NSWC Indian Head. During the school year, midshipmen, scientists, engineers, and technicians from all three Navy sites mentored these students. And today, the excitement of the students, the cheers from other competitors, and the continued encouragement from the mentors made science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) come alive,” said Toby Ratcliffe, NSWC Carderock’s outreach coordinator.

    The Regional SeaPerch Challenge is a district-wide one-day design challenge to take what students have learned, in school and in after-school clubs, to the next level. The challenge fosters an end goal, rewards sportsmanship, and spirit and presentation skills, as well as mastery of the concepts, said Ratcliffe. At the challenge, students were interviewed during the morning session on vehicle performance, maneuvering and recovery, innovative design, team presentations, design notebooks, and team spirit.

    “We started in the beginning of the [school] year every Friday. We would always want to stay after for an hour longer for extra time to work on our SeaPerch robot,” said Bao Minn N. Bui, a 7th grader from Eastern Middle School, Silver Spring, Md.

    Students were able to respond to a simulated sea floor oil spill well failure like the Gulf spill in 2010. Teams were also encouraged to think outside of the box and were permitted to change the shape and configuration of the SeaPerch remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), as long as modifications cost less than $20. Prior to the challenge, each SeaPerch ROV performed a dry compliance check during the qualifying round before being inspected by an official. There was a triage area setup for any repairs on the SeaPerch ROV for students’ use throughout the day.

    Keeping in mind the national competition obstacle course is made of hoops 24 inches in diameter, the students could not add additional thrusters thus only using the motors that came with the SeaPerch kit. However, the final product is at the discretion of the students, and accessories may be added or removed depending upon the competition round.

    Basic ROVs were timed during the speed and maneuverability trials. The students used a remote control to drive their SeaPerch across an 8 foot tow tank and return to the other side. During the maneuverability trial, the students directed their SeaPerch through an S-shaped slalom course.

    Throughout the challenge, the ROVs must move only under the students own power source, the thrusters. Students were not permitted to pull on the tethers or lead the ROV by the tether, which would lead to immediate disqualification. The scores were based on the fastest time to successfully complete the mission.

    “Making the design ensured the SeaPerch would be lighter and more hydrodynamic,” said Tremil Cain, an 8th grader from Eastern Middle School, Silver Spring, Md.

    Naval Academy graduate and NSWC Carderock Technical Director C.F. Snyder said it was pretty satisfying to return to the academy for such an event and these outreach programs are very important for the nation. As he walked through the classrooms, Snyder listened to the students talk about trial and error.

    “The students are experiencing it now, [and] when they hear the theory later they will say, ‘Oh that’s what we were doing and why,’” Snyder said.

    Former science teacher and Maryland Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Executive Director Paula Shelton said that her organization MESA paired with SeaPerch allows students to get exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at an early age and adds new dimensions to the student’s life.

    “A lot of schools do not offer “shop” and these skill sets are very important at a young age. More students are reached in afterschool activities. Together we can develop a direct pipeline of hands-on education for the students from professional engineers and teachers,” said Shelton. “We want to give the students an opportunity to feel a sense of pride.”

    The SeaPerch Program is funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) as part of the National Naval Responsibility for Naval Engineering (NNRNE) to jumpstart the next generation of naval and marine architects and engineers. The curriculum is already prepared for the participating students, teachers, and engineers. The students are able to learn principles such as: buoyancy; propulsion; design; electrical; water proofing; tool safety and usage; and career possibilities.

    “I enjoy guiding the students through the learning process of engineering and encourage the students to always ask questions, and try and try again,” said Anthony Hagler, an electrical engineer and mentor from Carderock. “Teaching the students that not everything will go as planned is beneficial for them. That is why we make great strides to teach them how to assess the robots and develop new solutions.”

    “As a team, we can encourage these students and give them useful information on their SeaPerch that they are building; they will perform better and become more enthused with STEM,” said Snyder.


    COMREL Council brings local leaders together

    Published: 20 May 2011

    From The South Potomac Pilot

    The quarterly meeting of the South Potomac Civilian-Military Community Relations Council brought together military personnel from Dahlgren and Indian Head and local leaders at the King George Citizens' Center on May 12 to discuss base and community issues.

    The most recent iteration of the COMREL, now in its third year of operation, covered a wide range of issues affecting Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren and NSF Indian Head and the surrounding communities in King George and Charles Counties, and the towns of Colonial Beach and Indian Head.

    After a breakfast, the Pentagon Division of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps opened the meeting program with a presentation of colors.

    Joe Grzeika, chairman of the King George County Board of Supervisors, welcomed the 50 guests in attendance. He thanked NSASP commands and commemorated the military's recent success killing the nation's most wanted terrorist.

    "It's a pleasure to host this meeting of the COMREL," said Grzeika. "We enjoy the fellowship and the partnership with the base and our community. Every day we thank the men and women in uniform who protect us and keep our freedom safe. It was demonstrated once again how proficient the armed forces of this country are when they took down Osama bin Laden. Every one of these [servicemembers] have a part in that."

    Grzeika also praised the cooperation among the local communities and Naval Support Activity South Potomac to provide comprehensive emergency services in the region. The longstanding "mutual aid" system shares emergency service resources among civil and military authorities, allowing the region to better respond to crises.


    NSWCDD Chief Scientist receives ASNE "Jimmie" Hamilton Award

    Published: 27 May 2011

    From The South Potomac Pilot

    James D. Moreland, Jr., a principal engineer with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) was presented with the 2009 "Jimmie" Hamilton Award at the 11 May meeting of the Fredericksburg Chapter of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE).

    The award was in recognition of the technical expertise presented in Moreland's paper, "Structuring a Flexible, Affordable Naval Force to Meet Strategic Demand in the 21st Century." In his paper, Moreland explains the challenges faced by the naval enterprise, methods for improving our force planning and acquisition processes, and the need for naval capabilities to be transformed through the co-evolution of technology and organizational cultures.

    "It's an honor to receive the "Jimmie" Hamilton ASNE award," Moreland stated. "My article strived to bridge the ASNE 2008 symposium theme on Engineering the Total Ship (ETS) by enabling affordable ships for the 21st Century needs to the NSWCDD's vision of delivering innovative, affordable and effective solutions for the Navy, Joint Forces, and the Nation."

    The ASNE Journal Committee annually recommends that the author(s) of the best original technical paper, published in Naval Engineers Journal during that award year, receive the "Jimmie" Hamilton Award. The bases for selection are the professionalism of subject matter, depth of treatment, importance and lasting value, clarity of composition and style, and individual effort.

    Dennis Kruse, ASNE executive director, presented Moreland with his award. Guest speaker for the event was Brian Persons, executive director for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Capt. Michael Smith, NSWCDD Commander, also participated in the presentations and praised Moreland for his outstanding leadership in support of the command.

    Moreland began his government career with NSWCDD in 1989. In 2010, Moreland was appointed to his current position as chief engineer in the command's Asymmetric Systems Department (Z04). He currently also serves as the NAVSEA Technical Warrant Holder for Joint Warfare Analysis and serves as the NSWCDD liaison to the Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC) with oversight on major analysis, research and development initiatives.

    Moreland has been awarded two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards, for exceptional meritorious achievement in support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Joint Forces Command, and the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award.


    IH Division team earns top honor

    Published: 10 Jun 2011

    From The South Potomac Pilot

    The Department of the Navy recently announced the selection of a Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) team as the recipient of a 2010 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award.

    Announced May 26, it was the second consecutive year the Navy selected an NSWC IHD team for one of the prestigious awards.

    The NSWC IHD team won the award for developing reactive materials that will be used to replace inert steel in the bomb casings of next-generation weapons systems.

    Jason Jouet, the lead scientist and team lead, said that the new materials, which have more energy than TNT, have the potential to dramatically increase the energy output of current and future systems without increasing the traditional explosive element.

    Jouet said traditional fragmenting ordnance systems only impart kinetic energy to their targets.

    "By replacing the inert steel with reactive materials, we now add chemical energy to what was an inert fragment with devastating effects," he said.

    Jouet, who holds a doctorate in organometallic chemistry, also said the new materials will therefore use those fragments more effectively. Because most ordnance systems are less than 30 percent energetic by mass, the new material dramatically increases the energy density of most weapons with little or no compromise in design.

    The new reactive material, what Jouet dubs IHRM (Indian Head Reactive Material), answers the question he posed, "If you're already carrying the weight, why not get some energy from it?"

    The other scientists and engineers on Jouet's team include Joel R. Carney, James M. Lightstone, Richard J. Lee, John H. Wilkinson, Joseph P. Hopper, Sam C. Thuot, J. Grant Rogerson and Edward A. Lustig, Jr. All nine team members work in NSWC IHD's Research or Engineering Departments working on theory, modeling or experimental evaluation of reactive materials.

    Jouet also noted that his team collaborated with academia and private industry on the Office of Naval Research sponsored-work, which enhanced the reactive material engineering discipline.

    The recipients of the 2009 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award at NSWC IHD were Christine Michienzi and Christine Knott. They received the award for their work on the development of the Navy Insensitive Low Erosion gun propellant that improves safety, increases storage time and reduces the costs for the Navy's 5-inch shipboard guns and two Special Operations Command weapons.

    The Navy established the annual Etter awards to honor civilian and military employees for exceptional scientific and engineering achievements.


    Tech Watch Laboratory Techs Ready for Transfer - Method and Device for Maxium Packaging of Cylindrical Objects

    Published: 11 Aug 2011

    From FLC NewsLink

    SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific seeks to commercialize a device that uses an optimized packing algorithm to create concise coordinates for the placement of cylindrical objects that allows for their maximum packing. Originally designed for cell batteries, including those used in many high-tech and high-energy devices, this technology uses established optimized packing algorithms for the development of space-saving holders that can be easily configured for various applications. The technology effectively allows the user to optimize for space, structural support, or both simultaneously. Applications may include the organization of cell batteries, electrical wiring, or plumbing; thermal management of cell batteries; and packaging of cylindrical objects for storage and transport—all with the option of enclosing objects in epoxy for weatherproofing and/or shock mitigation.

    Current methods and devices for holding cylindrical objects (i.e., cell batteries) do not fully maximize packing density, limiting their space saving potential. Some of these common approaches include gluing objects in rows and symmetrically arranging them in geometrical shapes. Although easy to employ, such approaches are limited when forming complex, space-saving configurations.

    Benefits of the SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific system include: uses optimized packing algorithms in conjunction with cylindrical cavities to form customizable space-saving tray configurations for cell assembly; tray assemblies are easily scalable and can be stacked or used as a "designed-in" fixture to provide stabilization and structural integrity; and electrical contacts can be pre-molded into trays.

    For more information, contact SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific at ssc_pac_t2@navy.mil.


    Tech Watch Laboratory Techs Ready for Transfer - Integrated Radar Optical Surveillance and Sighting System (IROS 3) Technology

    Published: 11 Aug 2011

    From FLC NewsLink

    Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division's integrated radar optical surveillance and sighting system (IROS3), chosen as the Department of the Navy's (DON) 2010 DON TTIPT video award recipient, was given the opportunity to have a video profile created by the Office of Naval Research's photographer/videographer, John Williams of Jorge Scientific. During the November 13-16, 2010, DOD TTIPT Workshop held in Philadelphia, Pa., attendees were able to view the completed video and learn more about the technology.

    Born out of the USS Cole tragedy in October 2000, when the United States Navy destroyer was attacked by a suicide bomber during harboring for refueling in the Yemini port of Aden, the IROS3 technology was developed in response to the increasing threats to high dollar value and exposed naval equipment. The proven and demonstrated system provides the capability to surveil, track, and actively respond to threats or to deter threats in a manual or semi-automated fashion using nonlethal and lethal responses. "Critical infrastructure assets"—or those physical systems that are critical to the minimum operations of the economy and government, high dollar-value assets, with a large or complex protection area and exposed to a higher than standard risk—would benefit from the scalable and adaptable IROS3 system.

    The core of the system consists of an intuitive user interface coupled with software drivers for external devices (i.e., cameras, spotlights, and audible warning systems) and a digital input/output card capable of up to 32 connections. The system can replace many different and unique human interface devices with a single and standardized system, allowing for aggregation and presentation of data from multiple sources to the user for response. It provides a common tactical scene that allows a ship to maintain 24-hour situational awareness, providing shipboard protection from asymmetric threats while pierside, at anchor, and transitting restricted waterways where navigation and detection systems (other than navigational radar) are restricted, prohibited or secured.

    The IROS3 system gives the user flexibility to "detect and track," "warn," "track and identify," and "engage" the threat if deemed necessary.

    A nonexclusive patent license agreement was signed with Nextwave Systems for one of the six protected patents.

    For more information on the IROS3 system, contact the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, at Cran_TEO@navy.mil.



    At inauguration, U-Md. president Loh outlines priorities

    Published: 28 Apr 2011

    From The Washington Post

    The University of Maryland at College Park must retain more of the state’s top students, recruit more aggressively in other countries and turn more of its research into business if it is to continue its upward trajectory, President Wallace D. Loh said Thursday at his inauguration ceremony.

    Loh has been on the job for six months and used his formal inauguration to unveil his chief priorities, developed through listening sessions with students, faculty members and community leaders.

    “If there is one promise I want to make to you today,” he said, “it is this: We will stay the course in our rise to excellence.”

    Loh said that over the next 10 years, the university will add 4,000 students between its College Park and Shady Grove campuses and will increase by one-third the graduates it produces in science, technology, engineering and math.

    He praised a recent Board of Regents decision to support a Purple Line Metro station in College Park and promised that the community would benefit from a new town center on east campus.

    He also announced the creation of a center for innovation and entrepreneurship, which he described as a “one-stop concierge service” for faculty members who want to capitalize on their research. He said the university, led by his predecessor, C.D. “Dan” Mote Jr., will raise $60 million for the center, and he set a goal of creating 100 new companies in the next 10 years.

    On the international front, Loh, who was born in China and raised in Peru, said College Park lags behind its peer universities in attracting the best students from other countries. He said the university must market its proximity to Washington to such students. He also called on Maryland athletic teams to serve as ambassadors by playing in other countries.

    “How cool is that?” he said. “Think of all the Chinese fans who could learn to fear the turtle.”

    Loh spoke about how his immigrant experience — he arrived for college in Iowa with $300 in his pocket and little command of English — taught him the power of education.

    “My personal story is of no consequence other than as a broader story of this nation’s promise,” he said. “It’s a story for every young person who can grow up thinking, ‘If he can make it, so can I.’ ’’

    Despite his optimistic plans, Loh has encountered bumps and surprises during his first school year in College Park. He presided over the decision to replace football coach Ralph Friedgen. Last month, he learned that state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) wanted the regents to study a possible merger between College Park and the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

    Loh said Thursday that he could aid with the study, which is expected to produce a report at the end of the year.


    A Roboticist's Trip From Mines to the Moon

    Published: 02 Jul 2011

    From The Wall Street Journal

    Robots created by William "Red" Whittaker have crawled into mines and volcanoes, crossed deserts, won a 60-mile road race, helped clean up nuclear waste and harvested alfalfa. He has sheaves of academic awards and more than a dozen U.S. patents. "I have a very robot-centric view of the universe," he said.

    Now the 63-year-old professor of robotics at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University is gambling on his boldest venture yet: designing and making a spacecraft capable of carrying one of his robots to the moon.

    Mr. Whittaker and a band of students are among 29 teams vying for the Google Lunar X Prize, which will award $20 million to the first privately funded team whose robot reaches the moon, travels 500 meters and flashes data back to the Earth. Though no one on his team has ever made a spacecraft, Mr. Whittaker is undaunted by his goal of reaching the moon in April 2014.

    Loping around a white-walled university workshop, the brawny, 6-foot-3-inch-tall professor shows off shiny aluminum parts for the landing craft, spread around the floor like giant Lego pieces. "Like most things in life," he said, "it comes without instructions."

    Mr. Whittaker's original plan was to make only the lunar robot (or "rover") and entrust the design and building of the landing craft to aerospace experts. But he grew impatient waiting for their plans and decided two years ago to try his hand at spacecraft. Mr. Whittaker, who sometimes refers to himself in the third person as if narrating a tale of adventure, recalls thinking, "Now Red's making a lander."

    He is bored by incremental research. He likes projects that "border on the unachievable."

    What makes Mr. Whittaker shoot for the moon may be the same taste for risk that impelled him as a teenager to try wrestling an ape at a carnival—the ape won—and dabble in boxing. He credits his parents for encouraging exploration and boldness. His father, a World War II Air Force bombardier, sold explosives used in mining and road construction. His mother was a science teacher who also flew planes. Once she flew him under a bridge. While figuring out what to do with his life, he spent two years in the Marines, rising to the rank of sergeant. Then, after earning a civil engineering degree at Princeton University in 1973, Mr. Whittaker moved to Carnegie Mellon for graduate school.

    Two decades ago, he bought a hillside cattle ranch 90 miles east of Pittsburgh after concluding that his academic life was too sedentary and citified. He wanted physical activity "that also adds up to something" and "to do it with my muscles, not my money." He also likes tinkering with old machinery; he recently rebuilt an old pickup truck.

    Mr. Whittaker came up with some of the earliest techniques using global-positioning systems to create farm and mining equipment that steers itself. Early systems weren't fast enough to calculate where a moving vehicle was, so he needed to "create a computer model to estimate where you are while predicting and controlling where you are going."

    "A lot of times you don't really have to be good, just first," Mr. Whittaker said. He believes in getting the idea "90% right" and plunging into production by trial and error, rather than seeking the perfect design.

    Mr. Whittaker's right-hand man on the lander design is Jason Calaiaro, 24, a mechanical engineer who plays the drums and was thinking about going to cooking school before getting the space gig. Mr. Whittaker tends to attract like-minded colleagues, and Mr. Calaiaro shares Mr. Whittaker's supreme self-confidence. "We are very capable people who have no problem putting in 90-hour weeks," he said.

    Their first concept involved a traditional three-stage system, in which the first two stages fall off after spending their fuel. But that would have been expensive and complicated. Mr. Whittaker decided to create a single-stage lander, which he saw as less fuel-efficient but more likely to get the job done.

    Excess weight is a bad idea. When possible, he avoids moving parts: The four legs that are to touch down on the moon have no joints and won't need to be repositioned for landing. He is skimping on shock absorbers. "I will be betting on a great landing," guided by sensors, Mr. Whittaker said. The lander is "squat and wide," to reduce risks of tipping over on the moon or "flexing" during takeoff from Earth.

    The design may look inelegant, said Mr. Whittaker, but he recalls the story of Dick Fosbury, whose highly unorthodox method of high jumping—the Fosbury flop—at first drew laughter and then won him a gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1968.

    Some of his robots haven't worked out. One trundled into a coal mine and couldn't get out; a Hummer programmed to drive itself flipped over. It is counterproductive to dwell on the risks, he said: "Worry is a formula for failure."

    Design breakthroughs don't come while taking a shower or "thinking about the top 20 pop songs," he said. Instead, they come from focusing intensely on a goal, or "dwelling in the intention," as he put it. Creativity, he said, happens "in the heat of the action" rather than while musing in a comfortable perch.

    Mission statements should be brief: "Strip away all of the 'how' and the tangential," he advised. Albert Einstein's goal might have been boiled down to "understand the universe," says Mr. Whittaker. His own goal is more modest: "land on the moon."


    Airships Receive Lift From New Technology

    Published: 27 Aug 2010

    From The Wall Street Journal

    CARDINGTON, England—Say the word "airship" to most people and it conjures up pictures of huge, lumbering, cigar-shaped aircraft that tended to crash.

    But that negative image is about to change, thanks to new technology and the U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

    The turning point has been the U.S. Army's award earlier this year of a contract to Northrop Grumman Corp. to design and build as many as three football-field-size airships that will sit high over Afghanistan, monitoring everything that moves over hundreds of square miles.

    The military already uses unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance, intelligence and combat operations. Now, the coming unmanned long-endurance multi- intelligence vehicle, or LEMV, will patrol for three weeks at time, sending a constant stream of data to operators below, at a fraction of the operating cost of current unmanned aerial vehicles.

    The Army's sudden interest in the technology that it pioneered in its basic form as the spotter balloon is, in part, related to the need to step up surveillance and intelligence to help compensate for the drop in troop numbers. "We're exchanging technology for people," says Alan Metzger, head of Northrop's LEMV program.

    The $517 million that the Pentagon is spending on the LEMV surveillance airship prototype, two follow-up planes and support over 18 months is the largest sum spent on airship technology in decades, and is acting as a pump primer for a new type of airship technology. Northrop will supply the on-board surveillance systems, and it has selected Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. to build the craft. Privately-owned HAV, a three-year-old English company, was chosen because it has developed a hybrid technology that gets over problems that have thwarted the widespread use of airships.

    Airship enthusiasts say the contract is a breakthrough. "What's been lacking is the money," says Trevor Hunt, an airship pilot and consultant. "Like everything in aeronautics, building a prototype is hugely expensive, and no one has been willing to come forward. We haven't found a Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin who's going to say, 'Great, let's go for it.' "

    Von Zeppelin was the father of Germany's airship industry before World War I. The company he founded later built the ill-fated Hindenburg, the world's biggest airship, which crashed in 1937 in a fireball in Lakehurst, N.J.

    Coming after a string of airship crashes in the 1930s—including the British R101, built at the Cardington, Bedfordshire, base where HAV operates—the Hindenburg disaster left airships with a toxic reputation. The replacement of highly flammable hydrogen, which inflated airships such as the Hindenburg, with helium, an inert gas, has eliminated the fire risk. But airships have never really caught the imagination of an aerospace industry that has been more focused on flying machines that are less unwieldy and can carry heavy loads of people and cargo quickly over long distances.

    "The problem with airships is that they float and fly beautifully, but they're really terrible on the ground," says Gordon Taylor, HAV's head of sales and marketing. Airships require significant ground-handling infrastructure, as well as a ground crew to hold onto ropes. Often, the lighter-than-air crafts need to vent expensive helium to get down on the ground.

    The system used for HAV's planned SkyCats is heavier than air, getting only 60% of its lift from helium. The remaining upward thrust comes from the hybrid's aerodynamic shape. Four diesel-powered thrusters are used to propel the craft, raise it up or push it down on the ground. And a fourth technology, a hovercraft-type skirt, can be used to suck the craft to the ground and keep it immobile while loading and unloading, or keep it off the ground.

    HAV expects the airship contract to serve as a stepping stone to leverage the company's technology into civilian applications, especially transporting heavy cargo in areas that are difficult to access by road, rail or air. A SkyCat will be able to land without elaborate infrastructure, needing a ground crew of just two or three people. An LEMV-size vehicle would be capable of lifting 20 tons and cruising at 90 miles per hour, while a bigger SkyCat with a 200-ton payload capacity could cruise at 110 mph. Potential civilian applications could include carrying 180-foot wind-turbine blades that can't be transported by road or rail, supplying heavy equipment to oil drilling operations in inhospitable areas, and providing assistance to populations where infrastructure is either nonexistent or has been destroyed.

    With virtually no interest in investing in airships on the civil-aviation side, the U.S. military order may be the catalyst that kick-starts the industry. "It was always about finding a launch customer," says HAV Chief Executive Gary Elliott.

    At Northrop, Mr. Metzger says the defense contractor is in talks with HAV "about a long-term relationship."

    But Tom Crouch, senior curator of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and an authority on lighter-than-air flight, remains skeptical that the LEMV program represents a breakthrough in airship technology. "There have always been great problems landing and taking off, ballasting and dealing with bad weather," Mr. Crouch says. "Modern materials might help a bit, but some difficulties will remain."

    Mr. Crouch says that, while the potential for an airship role in reconnaissance is a valid solution, he is doubtful that the potential market for cargo transportation is big enough to be profitable.

    Carrying heavy loads means airships can't fly very high and are, therefore, affected by the weather. "However, flying passengers is another matter," he says, adding that he can envision a time when a small fleet of large airships on the scale of the Hindenburg—800 feet long with sleeping cabins and a dining room—might be carrying passengers across the Atlantic in a throwback to the 1930s.

    "The reason airships fascinated everyone was because they were so large and flew slow and low, making a huge impression when they appeared in the sky," Mr. Crouch says. "The attraction would be to people who could say, 'I flew the Atlantic and survived.' "


    Navy’s Shipbuilding Challenges Loom Large in the 2020s

    Published: 11 Aug 2011

    Builders of U.S. Navy ships are attempting to rein in costs that have doubled over the last 20 years. They are pursuing capital improvements, streamlining construction methods and lowering overhead expenses. But whether their efforts are enough to help close the $3 billion gap between the Navy’s projected budgets and estimated ship costs remains to be seen.

    Congressional watchdogs predict growing shortfalls in the Navy’s fleet numbers as defense budgets tighten. The Navy projects an annual shipbuilding budget of about $16 billion, but analysts at the Congressional Budget Office report that the sea service needs to average closer to $19 billion to afford all the new vessels naval leaders want to buy in the next 30 years.

    Shipyard officials on the other hand remain confident that their cost-cutting measures will help the Navy boost the fleet size to 313 ships from 287 ships.

    The Navy, for its part, is keeping a watchful eye on the industrial base.

    “The biggest issue is the decade of the ‘20s,” says Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead.

    Ships that were constructed during the Reagan-era weapons build-up in the 1980s — including many submarines and surface combatants — will begin reaching the end of their service lives in the next decade. The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine fleet is due to be replaced, so the nation will be building several multi-billion-dollar replacement boats throughout the decade. At costs estimated to be nearly $6 billion per ship, it will be a “significant piece of the shipbuilding plan,” Roughead pointed out.

    The 2020s also will mark the first time the Navy will be decommissioning nuclear aircraft carriers. Nimitz-class flat tops will begin hitting the end of their 50-year service lives. To decommission those carriers will cost the Navy a couple billion dollars, Roughead said.

    “We add all those up in the ‘20s, and the nation is looking at a challenge to shipbuilding that I believe we need to start thinking about now. We need to start working on ways to address that,” he told reporters.

    The Navy’s shipbuilding enterprise still faces a series of challenges, said David J. Berteau, senior adviser and director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Those hurdles include uncertain force structure requirements, unpredictable future missions, disconnects between shipyard capacity and funded programs and potentially declining budgets.

    “We face a drawdown of indefinite length and unspecified proportions,” Berteau said. The Navy has contended with economic downturns and defense draw downs before. But in previous situations, its efforts to expand the fleet yielded many ships before the decline occurred. This time around, the latest cycle of defense expenditures has not produced a remarkably larger Navy, so “we actually start with a weak spot,” he pointed out at a defense industry conference.

    That means the Navy must climb the proverbial slippery slope to boost its fleet numbers on fewer dollars than before. Its limited purchasing power will relegate industry to shoulder more of the burden.

    “If the budgets are going to go down and you have lower volume, then you have to learn how to be as efficient as you can at that low volume,” Ronald O’Rourke, specialist in national defense at the Congressional Research Service, told industry representatives at the same conference. The Virginia-class submarine program demonstrates how that can be done, he added. Two shipyards are constructing the fast-attack boat: General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., and Huntington Ingalls Industries, formerly Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, in Newport News, Va. That teaming arrangement is aimed at preserving two yards in submarine construction even though the volume is relatively low, O’Rourke said.  

    The Navy is moving out of a decade where it pursued new warship designs and built a number of first-of-class ships. This decade the service will commence serial production of those maturing designs. Yards are angling to capture that business.

    At Huntington Ingalls’ Gulf Coast operation in Pascagoula, Miss., the focus is shifting back to serial production, said Mike Petters, the company’s president and CEO. “That’s a different mindset than building lead ships. That requires different management processes and different management techniques,” he said.

    At Pascagoula, where many of the production facilities were replaced and recapitalized after Hurricane Katrina flooded the yard with 10 feet of water in 2005, company officials made several key decisions to reset the business.  

    “I don’t think in 2006 or 2007 anybody fully appreciated how much the baseline of the business had changed because of Katrina,” said Petters. “When you lose 15 percent of your work force and they all have 25 years of experience, that’s a pretty substantial change in the cost baseline of business. You’re bidding the business to say those folks are there, and they’re not.”

    Before Katrina happened, 20 percent of the shipyard’s work force had 25 years of experience. Afterwards, less than 5 percent of the corps possessed that expertise.

    “We realized we needed to go back to reset that culture, reset that fabric,” Petters said.

    The longtime Navy contractor also experienced an internal shake-up when former parent company Northrop Grumman divested the ship construction business and its corresponding yards in Newport News, Pascagoula and Avondale, La. The business commenced operations under its new name in April.

    Officials there examined the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan and realized that the programs they wanted to pursue for their Gulf Coast operations could be executed within Pascagoula’s facilities. They made a decision to wind down Navy operations at the Avondale shipyard to remove that cost from the company’s government programs.

    In Avondale, two ships currently are under construction: the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships LPD-23 and LPD-25. When LPD-25 delivers in 2013, officials will proceed to shut down the shipyard.

    “We’re closing Avondale because the 30-year footprint does not require that capacity to execute that work,” said Petters.

    Officials will remain open-minded about credible business alternatives for the yard that would give the company a better chance for success, he said. But lacking those options, the plan remains to shutter the facility.

    Petters told reporters that he expected Huntington Ingalls to garner contracts to work on the LPD-27, the DDG-113 and DDG-114 Arleigh-Burke destroyers and the LHA-7 amphibious assault ship. The Pascagoula yard can be reconfigured to create serial production lanes for any of those vessels, he said.

    Shipyards, like all military contractors, have been directed to cut costs.

    “Everyone is going to be under that pressure,” said Petters. “The people that are able to successfully do that are going to be successful, and I like our chances.”

    Thomas Schievelbein, who serves on the company’s board of directors, said there has been some question about whether the consolidation of the shipyards would compromise the nation’s capacity to construct Navy ships. “It’s not so much whether the yards will be there, but how affordable they will be for the U.S. Navy,” said Schievelbein, a former president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News.

    In order to be more affordable, yards must become more automated and every process needs to be “leaned out,” said Fred P. Moosally, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group, a subsidiary of the eponymous Italian shipbuilding company that oversees four yards in the Great Lakes region. “The biggest cost factor going forward is manpower,” he said. “Our culture must embrace the fact that we must do more with less people.” Low-value, labor-intensive work can be subcontracted to minimize the “standing army” in the shipyard, he said.

    “What we’ve done in the past is not going to get us to the future,” he acknowledged. “Those who embrace change and respond to customer priorities and make smart people and investment decisions will survive and thrive in a highly shrinking industrial base. Those that don’t will disappear,” he added.

    Shipyards have no choice but to modernize and increase automation in their facilities, said Gene Taylor, a former congressman who is now director of corporate development for E.N. Bisso & Son, Inc., a privately held New Orleans-based tugboat operator.

    “There’s a whole generation of people who don’t want to hold a stick welder, but those people will turn a knob on a computer to do that same job,” he said.

    When it comes to modernized yards, the international community is setting the bar high with automation and other production tools. Taylor, who visited several Korean shipyards in the summer of 2006 as a U.S. representative of Mississippi, said one of the yards was building an entire 1,000-foot ship weekly. In 2009, that same yard was constructing two ships per week.

    “That target is constantly moving. That is where you need to be,” he told shipbuilding officials.

    “There’s been some hesitancy to modernize in the yards because there’s a misconception that a large work force of 6,000 people, 10,000 people, get the attention of lawmakers,” who will rally to appropriate more money for shipbuilding budgets to keep the yard chugging along. “I think you need to get past that,” he said.

    Shipyards lack programmatic vision to invest as heavily as they ought to in improving facilities, said Donald “Boysie” Bollinger, president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards Inc., headquartered in Lockport, La. His ship construction facilities are small compared to other U.S. yards. But when he tours the “big boys,” he often finds that his modest-sized yard boasts automation that exceeds their capabilities.

    “Why? Because we invest in tooling for programmatic demands that we have,” he said. For example, in preparation to build the Coast Guard’s fast response cutter fleet of 33 ships, the yard planned accordingly with modernization efforts. “With that knowledge, we can invest in tooling that makes it a very efficient program,” he said.

    U.S. shipyards have the capability to produce quality products at competitive prices, he added.

    “We can be as efficient as any shipbuilder in the world. I know it. I compete every day in the world shipbuilding community,” he said. “If you do the discipline of engineering and if you do the discipline of scheduling and you have discipline on changes, we can be competitive. That’s what the rest of the world does, and does it in spades.”

    But experts often question why U.S. shipyards cannot build vessels as efficiently as Korean yards do. “The Koreans don’t start building a ship until they design it. And they don’t just build one. They follow the Henry Ford model: Any color you want, but nothing else will change,” said Bollinger.

    Shipyards all have strengths and weaknesses, and the Navy needs to leverage those unique strengths, said John F. “Dugan” Shipway, former president of Bath Iron Works in Maine. “Timely decisions over the next couple years of what we’ll build will provide ability to build ships affordably in the next decade,” he advised.

    As budgets flatten and shipyards learn to live within that situation, the Navy may want to look at making greater use of multi-year procurement or block buy contracts, said O’Rourke. Navy officials also have to learn to manage programs better, he added.

    As for industrial base issues, it is important to recognize that the shipbuilding base extends beyond the shipyards and includes combat system makers, components suppliers, research and development teams, designers and engineers, he said.   

    “A shipyard can only control a certain fraction of a ship’s total cost. So as we try to work toward shipbuilding affordability and to constrain shipbuilding costs, we need to focus beyond yards,” said O’Rourke. He suggested that naval shipbuilders institute a method to maintain constant visibility on suppliers’ status.  

    In many segments of the shipbuilding business, the industry is heading toward a monopoly of suppliers.

    “You need to find ways to use competition where you can, and smartly, in this industrial situation,” O’Rourke said. One way is to compete shipbuilding contracts at higher or lower levels than at the yard. At the mission level, for example, the Defense Department could pitch ships against other forms of military platforms for performing certain missions. Or the Navy could compete at the supplier level for components, he suggested.

    “Everybody knows where ships are going to go because there’s only enough [shipbuilding] capacity to absorb that load. So we need to ensure there’s slack in capacity to preserve that uncertainty in their contract award decisions,” said O’Rourke.

    Overcapacity in the shipbuilding industrial base is a hedge against an uncertain future, said Taylor.

    “We have not lost a ship to combat in decades. We haven’t lost a shipyard in probably half a century. Let’s not think it can’t happen,” he cautioned. Earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural or man-made disasters could wipe out that capability. “I think we need that overcapacity because quite frankly we can’t count on a future enemy not taking out several, if not all, our shipyards. … We may be counting on Newport News one day to build our destroyers. We may be counting on the folks in Connecticut to build our aircraft carriers.”                                           


    TPP Member Askey, Askey & Associates Announces New Audit Managers

    Published: 17 Aug 2011

    Joseph P. Saunders joined Askey, Askey & Associates CPA, LLC as an audit supervisor in September 2008.  After graduating from Salisbury University with a dual degree in accounting and finance in December 2004, Joe worked for 3 years at Mullen, Sondberg, Wimbish & Stone, P.A. in Annapolis, Maryland attaining the position of Senior Accountant.  Since joining Askey, Askey & Associates, CPA, LLC, Joe has provided audit, accounting, tax and consulting services to both nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses.  Joe is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Maryland and is a member in good standing with the American Institute of Certified Accountants and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants.


    Christa L. Mudd joined Askey, Askey & Associates CPA, LLC as an audit supervisor in May 2008.  After receiving her MBA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Christa worked for 4 years at Murray, Jonson, White & Associates, Ltd., P.C. in Northern Virginia.  While at the firm, Christa attained the position of audit supervisor and received her Certified Public Accounting license from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  She has performed and supervised nonprofit, commercial and employee benefit plan audits, as well as other attestation engagements.  She works diligently with clients holding controllership positions on-site.  In addition to these engagements, Christa provides QuickBooks consulting, tax preparation services and public speaking engagements for our clients.  Christa is a member in good standing with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants. 


    "We are extremely delighted that Joe and Christa have agreed to join Askey, Askey & Associates, CPA, LLC as Audit Managers," said Robert W. Askey, CPA, CFE, CFFA, Managing Partner of Askey, Askey & Associates, CPA, LLC.  "They bring a wealth of current technical accounting and audit knowledge to the firm, as well as significant finance and tax service experience."


    Officials await debt deal impact at Pax River

    Published: 12 Aug 2011

    From The Enterprise

    Congress has struck a debt deal. The United States will not default on its debts, and government employees and contractors will continue to get paid for the immediate future.

    But uncertainty remains in St. Mary’s County’s business community as local political and business leaders wait to learn what the deal and its attendant cuts to national security spending will hold for the employees and contractors stationed at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

    The Defense and Homeland Security departments face an initial $350 billion to $400 billion in cuts over the next decade under the deal passed last week, and, if a new congressional super-committee on debt reduction cannot create a plan, another $500 billion in cuts could automatically kick in.

    Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned last week that cutting DoD’s budget beyond $350 billion over the next decade would be dangerous to national security. The current request for the Defense Department’s 2012 budget is $703 billion.

    “I couldn’t even guess right now,” said St. Mary’s County Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) when asked what he thinks the cuts will mean for Pax River. Morgan, the former president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, a military contractor and community lobbying group, said the practical effect for the region is still up in the air.

    Glen Ives, former Pax River commander and now vice president of the alliance, agreed. “I don’t think anybody can tell you,” Ives said. “They’re talking in such huge numbers. They really haven’t defined where those cuts are going to impact. … We all know it’s coming, but we don’t know how it will translate.”

    Ives said the uncertainty is creating a challenge for local contractors who are trying to plan out their future strategies. But he noted that the big numbers are already having a definite psychological impact.

    “These are pretty staggering sums,” Ives said. “Just talking about them sets a certain business climate. … With the economy the way it is, there are very few sectors that are healthy … Uncertainty is worse than knowing.”

    Bob Schaller, St. Mary’s County’s economic and community development director, said, “We’re in the same boat as anybody trying to understand” the cuts.

    Schaller noted that the county left the last decade on an economic high note, but it has become more dependent on Pax River as the largest employer. “The future of federal work is cloudy,” Schaller said, arguing that it’s time for businesses to work toward developing their rapid prototyping, unmanned systems and software development expertise toward other markets. “It’s leveraging existing things we already know how to do.”

    While the county is not in a good geographic location for manufacturing the technologies it designs, Schaller said its concentration of 2,000 software developers could apply their modeling and testing abilities to other markets through the Internet. “That’s a tremendous concentration of talent” in St. Mary’s, Schaller said. “It doesn’t have to be aircraft. It can be anything.”

    Ives said many contractors are now turning their attention overseas, hoping to sell their technologies to rising economies like Brazil and India.

    Morgan said the county’s political leadership needs to work toward bringing more capacity and business to the base in order to offset coming cuts. He said, “We have to continue to be aggressive.”


    Technology Handbook for St. Mary's County

    Published: 18 Aug 2011
    Technology Handbook for St. Mary's County

    The Technology Handbook for St. Mary's County is primarily a directory of technology businesses residing in St. Mary's County. With over 200 companies featured, the handbook provides detailed profiles enabling businesses to locate and interact with key service firms to assist them in the future growth and success of their company. The Technology Handbook also provides human resource contacts to assist job seekers as well as listings of local education and training institutes for local workforce development.

    Search Online
    Use our easy search feature below to find the most current business contact and core capability information available.

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    Printed annually, request a FREE print version by calling 301-475-4200 x1400 or emailing decd@stmarysmd.com 

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    If your technology company has an office in St. Mary's County and would like to be included in the County's Technology Handbook, click Add Your Company or contact the Department of Economic & Community Development at 301-475-4200 x1400.


    JSF remains grounded at Pax River after Air Force valve failure

    Published: 19 Aug 2011

    From The Enterprise

    The military’s newest high-tech stealth fighter, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, remained grounded at Patuxent River Naval Air Station this week while engineers tried to fix a malfunctioning valve on the plane’s integrated power package.

    The JSF program grounded its 20 operational planes two weeks ago when the IPP failed during a ground test on an Air Force model at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Program officials stated that the failure did not cause damage or injuries.

    The next day, Aug. 3, the JSF program office announced that it had grounded all of the plane’s variants, including the Navy and Marine planes being tested at Pax River.

    “The government and contractor engineering teams are reviewing the data from the incident to determine the root cause of the failure,” according to a statement from the JSF office. “Implementing a precautionary suspension of operations is the prudent action to take at this time until the F-35 engineering, technical and system safety teams fully understand the cause of the incident.”

    A week later, the program cleared engineers to resume testing the aircraft on the ground and issued a statement describing the cause of the failure.

    “Preliminary root cause indicates that a control valve did not function properly which led to the IPP failure,” that statement read. “The F-35 team is revising ground monitoring procedures to ensure testing involving the IPP takes place safely.”

    The program describes the IPP as a turbo motor used to start the plane, drive its cooling system and provide auxiliary power.

    The statement did not indicate when the F-35s would resume flying, stating only that “periodic updates concerning this situation will be released as warranted.”

    This is the second time this year that the JSF program has grounded its fleet. In March, a leaky generator on an Air Force variant forced an emergency landing at Edwards. In that incident, the program stated that the IPP activated and returned power to the plane.

    The JSF program has been in the crosshairs of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta last month asking what it would take to cancel the program after learning that the first three production runs of the plane ran $771 million over budget.

    Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn replied July 25, saying that canceling the program would be complex, requiring termination payouts to contractors Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney. Lynn wrote that “there is no alternative to the JSF program that delivers an acceptable level of capability at a lower cost.”

    The JSF is the military’s largest weapons program. The Pentagon intends to buy more than 2,400 aircraft at a cost of $382 billion. Testing of the Marine and Navy variants of the JSF is a major program at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, accounting directly for approximately 500 jobs.

    Lockheed notified the state labor department Monday that it is cutting 15 employees from programs at Pax River, though it did not specify which programs.


    JSF Jet Blast Detector Testing Complete

    Published: 24 Aug 2011

    The F-35C is another step closer to initial ship trials on an aircraft carrier at sea. The F-35 integrated test force completed jet blast deflector (JBD) testing at the NAVAIR facility in Lakehurst, N.J. Aug. 13 with a round of two-aircraft testing.

    F-35C test aircraft CF-1 along with an F/A-18E tested a combined JBD cooling panel configuration to assess the integration of F-35s in aircraft carrier launch operations. “We completed all of our JBD test points efficiently,” said Andrew Maack, government chief test engineer. “It was a great collaborative effort by all parties.”


    Read complete story here.


    Road to Pax River nearing completion

    Published: 24 Aug 2011

    From The Enterprise

    The work of more than 22,200 employees continues at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Outside the gate, local and state efforts are ongoing to protect the mission of the base the main economic driver of the St. Mary’s County economy.

    Navy officials and representatives from St. Mary’s County government met Tuesday to give each other updates on mutually beneficial work.

    The streetscaping project on Great Mills Road, leading to Gate 2 of the base, is almost complete, said Robin Finnacom, director of the Community Development Corporation, which works to revitalize the businesses and communities in Lexington Park.

    Water and sewer lines have been modernized underneath the road. Sidewalks have been constructed, and a raised median was built along a portion of the state road.

    The scope of work from Route 235 to the St. Mary’s Square shopping center is 1.4 miles and cost $6 million. The concept plan was drawn up in 2001, but went through many delays because of a lack of funding. In the end, county, state and federal dollars were used. Construction began in the fall of 2009.

    Final paving should begin soon, which will cover the elevated manholes in the road. “It’s bumpy now,” Finnacom said. “They’re at the very last stages of that streetscape project. Right now it’s a mogul, like a ski slope.” She said she is hoping for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in October.

    Along Great Mills Road and on Three Notch Road in Lexington Park are new banners posted along utility poles. They celebrate the anniversary of 100 years of Navy aviation and serve as a decorated path to Pax River, she said.

    About 308 banners were sponsored by businesses and installed along the highways. The sponsoring packages ranged from $3,000 to $1,000. Production costs were $42,000 and any leftover funds will be used by the Lexington Park Business and Community Association, Finnacom said.

    “Some of this is about packaging,” she said, but it does lend an opportunity to bring partners to the table about the future of Lexington Park.

    Regarding perceptions about Lexington Park, that its businesses are leaving and its neighborhoods are crime-ridden, Finnacom’s response was, “Lexington Park is the home of the U.S. Navy how much more proud could you be?”

    In addition to several existing hotels in the area, two new ones are going up. A Home2Suites is coming up off Valley Drive, behind the former J.T. Daugherty Conference Center. Another hotel, a Comfort Inn, is just now being built between the Cedar Point Shopping Center and Days Inn. That hotel will be five stories tall, Finnacom said.

    The St. Mary’s County Department of Land Use and Growth Management has proposed an Air Installation Compatible Use Zone around Webster Field in St. Inigoes and that is undergoing local reviews. Capt. Stephen Schmeiser, commanding officer of of the base, said he is trying to get Patuxent River NAS into a joint land-use study for the region to study noise contours, ranges and other AICUZs. “It’s not just about noise, noise, noise,” he said.

    Pax River is also monitoring wind turbine farm proposals on the Eastern Shore to make sure they won’t interfere with its range or airspace.

    The Navy and county meet about once every six months.


    TPP Benefactor Member DCS Corp Awarded NAVAIR Navigation, Safety Operations and Sensors (NSS) Contract

    Published: 02 Sep 2011

    – DCS Corp announced today that the company has been awarded the Navigation, Safety Operations and Sensors (NSS) contract providing support to the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).  This cost-plus-fixed-fee contract has a five-year period of performance with a total value of $74M. This competitive award is a follow-on to a contract previously awarded to DCS in 2006. 

    “We look forward to continuing to work with NAVAIR to develop innovative technology solutions that equip our warfighters to perform safely and effectively in theatre. DCS appreciates the relationship that we have developed with our NAVAIR customers and our employee-owners stand ready to do what it takes to help our customers succeed in their missions,” said Dave Russell, President and Chief Operating Officer.

    DCS will continue to provide engineering, acquisition, technical, and logistic support to NSS’s efforts to translate warfighter requirements into operational products for various Navy, Department of Defense, and Foreign Military Sales aircraft platforms. Work completed on the contract will be managed by DCS’s Lexington Park, MD office.

    About DCS Corp
    DCS Corporation offers advanced technology and management solutions to Government agencies in the national security sector.  The transformative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit that characterize our more than 800 employee-owners allow DCS Corp to ensure the success of each client’s mission and actively contribute to the well being of the Nation.



    Air Boss panel discusses past, present and future of Naval Aviation

    Published: 08 Sep 2011

    From The Tester

    As part of the yearlong observance of the Centennial of Naval Aviation, the Patuxent Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing communication and cooperation between industry, academia and government, sponsored a short forum to discuss the past, present and future of Naval Aviation. The Air Boss forum, held at the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department social hall on Sept. 1, was hosted by Vice Adm. David Architzel, joined by Lt. Gen. Terry Robling, Vice Adm. Allen Myers and Rear Adm. Steve Eastburg.

    An "air boss" maintains visual control of all aircraft operating on or around an aircraft carrier, and approves aircraft attempting to operate within the carrier's control zone of 5 nautical miles. They know the territory, know the capabilities and limits of their aircraft and crew, and are able to make crucial decisions that can impact mission success. More than 300 influencers of academia, government and industry gathered to hear what the panelists had to say about the future of naval aviation, formed in a fiscally challenging present.

    In his opening remarks Vice Adm. Architzel called attention to former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt's reaction to the then emerging technology of flight. In 1898, five years before the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, the future President recommended that naval officers look into the potential to use "flying machines" in naval warfare.

    At the turn of the last century, Architzel added, when Glenn H. Curtiss was demonstrating his new airplane, "the British and the Germans went out and built dreadnoughts," Architzel said, because the emerging technology did not seem as useful. "The U.S. thought to go into aviation." From the first seaplanes to today's advanced aircraft, the panelists spoke of America's role as the world's leader in naval aviation.

    "The USA is a maritime nation and will always be a maritime nation," Architzel said."We hear talk about budget glooms but at the end of the day we're always going to have a Navy and it's going to be led by aviation."

    Lt. Gen. Robling emphasized that the Navy-Marine Corps team has to work together to ensure that those maritime priorities are wisely funded and successfully enacted.

    "We're always in this battle in the Pentagon, the Navy and Marine Corps fighting it out," but Robling saw those budget squabbles as less important than the push for a more technologically advanced naval enterprise with a strong emphasis on unmanned aerial systems an earlier generation saw only in movies and science fiction.

    "That's what we need, at an affordable price. That's what's going to take us out to 2030 and 2050, not just the next three years," Robling said.

    The way to get the budgetary consideration the Navy-Marine Corps needs to fulfill its mission to project power, maintain the sea lanes and influence foreign countries, Vice Adm. Myers said, is for the Navy and Marine Corps "to tell our story and make the sea services compelling as we go after resources. Naval aviation enhances the area our ships can influence. As we extend into UAS we can influence beyond even that."

    The panel praised the work of Naval Aviation Enterprise in streamlining a stronger, more fiscally tight flying Navy.

    "NAE is all about collecting and exchanging data, making naval aviation more capable and more affordable," Myers said. "It's a very exciting time for naval aviation because we're transitioning. We've got lots of 'new car smell (from the Growler and P-8 programs, BAMS-D, Firescout, U-Clas and other new and developing programs Navywide).'"

    That "new car smell" is fleeting, and requires constant innovation to maintain America's dominant role.

    We're delivering 8-10 aircraft a month which in 20-25 years will be pretty used up, so we're looking to the next generation of vertical lift and tactical lift and UAS," said Rear Adm. Eastburg. "Some of the decisions we're making today are going to influence what the Navy looks like for many years ahead."

    The panel affirmed support for the success of the several variants of the Joint Strike Fighter, and for not rushing the testing process.

    "We're going about our business. Testing takes time. Testing uncovers things. It's not about making someone feel good," Architzel said."We have to do it the right way for both services, for both variants."

    Eastburg praised NAVAIR's current culture as "less of a risk-averse environment" than in the past, with "an openness to consider commercial ideas that I have not seen in my 25 years in the Navy."

    That willingness to consider outside sources, to push an aircraft out to the warfighter when it is not perfect, but "80 percent," can get important resources where they are needed, while ongoing testing can continue to improve the technology.

    "It doesn't do any good to have a percentage of our force in the pipe...we need shadows on the ship and shadows on the sea base," Robling said.

    "That 80 percent solution will help to bring capacity up to where it should be, and probably not lose much capability," Eastburg said. "You're not going to get 100 percent on day one; probably you're going to get it in year three or four. One of the perils of the environment we're in is that we're allowing budget to drive strategy."


    TPP Member ERIMAX welcomes new VP of business development

    Published: 09 Sep 2011

    From The Enterprise

    ERIMAX, Inc., an IT management consulting firm providing acquisition and program management services to federal and state government agencies, recently welcomed Walter F. Munnikhuysen on board as the new vice president of business development. Munnikhuysen has more than 25 years of experience in business development with federal and state government, commercial, and international clients. Munnikhuysen has worked to bridge gaps between business and technology for nearly twenty-five years.

    Munnikhuysen has a proven track record of excellence in the field of business development with skills in market assessment; opportunity identity; capturing; teaming and proposal management; as well as closing sales. Before joining ERIMAX, he was the Director of Capture Management at International Relief and Development. Munnikhuysen supported an opportunity pipeline of over $2 billion, submitted over 175 proposals per year, and managed sales producing $600 million in revenue per year. His success in several markets, including Health, Engineering Service, Education, and DOD, has allowed him to build long strategic relations with other leading partners.

    In addition to his success in the field of business development, Munnikhuysen has also demonstrated the ability to motivate others around him to achieve aggressive goals. Munnikhuysen received a Bachelor of Science at the University of Georgia and a Master of Science from North Carolina State University. Munnikhuysen has resided in Southern Maryland over the last twenty five years.


    New Degrees at SMHEC

    Published: 07 Sep 2011

    From The Lexington Park Leader

    Southern Maryland Higher Education Center will soon be offering two new educational degrees and an engineering degree.

    The new science degree is a Bachelors Degree in Electronics Engineering and was approved by SMHEC’s Board of Governors this summer to begin fall semester 2011.

    The program allows blue-collar employees of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station and employees of the defense contractors located in Southern Maryland to complete their Bachelors of Science Degrees.

    Students completing an A.A. in Electronics Engineering at the College of Southern Maryland can also complete their Bachelors Degree in this field. Contact SMHEC at 301-737-2500 for more information.

    Also, the Department of Education at Washington Adventist University (formerly Columbia Union College) is starting a new joint Cohort of their two Bachelor of Arts completion programs in Liberal Studies, with a choice of Early Childhood majors, at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, starting Spring semester 2012. The first cohort is finishing their Senior year this year and will graduate in June 2012.

    These BA completion degree programs are designed for students who transfer in at least 56 credits towards the Early Childhood/Special Education dual MSDE teacher certification program or the Early Childhood Care and Education non-certification bachelor degree program.

    Courses are accelerated and rely on students working 20 hours a week or full-time in an education or child care and education setting appropriate to their major. Students without 56 credits must complete them for graduation. These BA completion degree programs are designed for students who transfer in credits that are accepted towards these programs. Interested students should contact Rahneeka Hazelton at rhazelto@wau.edu or 301-891-4062.


    Future Workforce Technologies and Strategies Scientist to Brief

    Published: 12 Sep 2011

    The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) is pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Cooper, Research Scientist, Future Workforce Technologies and Strategies, NAWCAD and her avatar, Memoree Lane, will discuss virtual world technologies (VW) and demonstrate its unique opportunities to collaborate, prototype and train, at a briefing on Thursday, September 15, at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC).


    Dr. Cooper currently leads a NAWCAD strategic studies team in future workforce efforts and virtual world (VW) exploration. She serves as NAWCAD’s Horizontal Integrator, and re-presents NAWCAD across the Department of Defense (DoD) as the principal on VW investigation, collaboration, and partnering. Dr. Cooper has taught in Second Life, is a recognized speaker on VW, and participates in VW panels and conferences.


    “Virtual world technology is about the movement from the 2D web to a 3D immersive space.  Information is geospatial arranged in a 3D space, with participation represented via avatars. NAVAIR is taking both a strategic look at the impact of this technology, as well as partnering closely with our joint service partners and academia to create pilots, conduct research, and to further the development of VWs for DoD,” said Dr. Cooper. “Virtual worlds are still a pioneering technology. There is much to be learned about their impact, and standards are by no means settled.  But the message is consistent -- it is perceived to be a significantly disruptive technology to our business over the next 5 to10 years, in much the same way the internet was in the early 90s.”


    Bonnie Green, TPP’s Executive Director, said “Dr. Cooper will provide a fascinating look into a nascent area of exploration. The new opportunities that virtual worlds propose include real-time collaboration and prototyping. This will be an exciting discussion.”


    Doors open promptly at 7:00a.m. for check-in and coffee. The program will begin at 7:30a.m. and conclude at 9:00a.m. This no-cost program will be in the Center Hall, Building 2, SMHEC, 44219 Airport Road, California, MD. Seating is limited. Advance registration is required to guarantee your seat.


    The Patuxent Partnership works with government, industry and academia on initiatives in science and technology, hosts programs of interest to NAVAIR and the broader DoD community, and supports workforce development including education initiatives and professional development.  Visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.


    Sotterley Prevails over Irene

    Published: 13 Sep 2011
    View Open Letter from Historic Sotterley to its Sponsors and supporters, here.

    Lexington Park Library now provides Audio and Video Teleconferencing

    Published: 14 Sep 2011

    Grant provides audio/video upgrades


    The meeting rooms at the Lexington Park Library now have audio and video teleconferencing capabilities.  The library was awarded a federal grant for $89,000 to upgrade the meeting rooms with state of the art audio/video equipment. 


    Besides the advanced equipment for audio/ video teleconferencing, other upgrades include installation of a HD projection system with oversized screens, integrated AV controls for sound and projector, and microphone options with overhead speakers.  AV3, Inc., a local company from Mechanicsville, supplied and installed the equipment.


    The library has several meeting room options:  A large meeting room that can be divided into two smaller rooms and a small conference room.   Each meeting room is equipped with screens, microphones and projection systems that can easily be operated by the customers themselves. The conference room has a screen and projection system with wall controls.


    The meeting rooms can be reserved online at www.stmalib.org and are available to nonprofit organizations free of charge.  Businesses may rent the rooms for $25 per hour per room. 


    The grant was funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds through the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Library Development and Services. 


    For more information or assistance, please contact Lexington Park Library Reference Department at 301-863-8188 x4 or lexi.ref@stmalib.org.



    Air Wing-Ship Integration & Interoperability Next Up at TPP-ANA Program

    Published: 20 Sep 2011

    The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) and the Association of Naval Aviation (ANA), Patuxent River Squadron, announced their next panel event will be "Air Wing-Ship Integration and Interoperability for USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN-78),” on Thursday, September 29th at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. The public is welcome.


     The Gerald R. Ford-class supercarrier will implement revolutionary technologies such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, which replaces steam catapults for launching aircraft,” said Mr. Keith Sanders, NAVAIR’s Assistant Commander for Acquisition (AIR-1.0) and the moderator for this panel. “While complex, the successful integration and interoperability of several new technologies will improve warfighting effectiveness and also reduce costs. I look forward to a robust dialogue about how we are making this new aircraft carrier class an extraordinary component of our American naval forces.”


    Bonnie Green, TPP’s Executive Director, said “Discussions about integrating new technologies for naval aviation and carrier operations will provide a fascinating perspective on air wing-ship coordination.”


     “The Pax River ANA Squadron is pleased to team with TPP again,” said Mark Converse, the commanding officer of the local ANA Squadron. “This will be a superb opportunity for the local public to hear how NAVAIR is collaborating with other organizations on the integration of new aircraft and systems to increase the striking power of our nation’s next aircraft carrier.”


    There is a pre-program reception at 5:00 p.m., for which payment of $10.00 per person is required in advance at www.paxpartnership.org. The panel discussion begins at 5:30 p.m. The Museum is located at 22156 Three Notch Rd, Lexington Park. Recommended attire is business casual/uniform of the day.


           The Patuxent Partnership works with government, industry and academia on initiatives in science and technology, hosts programs of interest to NAVAIR and the broader DoD community, and supports workforce development including education initiatives and professional development.  Visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.


    Over the last 100 years, Naval Aviation has become a primary instrument of our national security.  The Patuxent River Squadron of the Association of Naval Aviation is committed to educating the general public on the importance of Naval Aviation in the defense of the United States and its allies.  Membership in the Association is open to all. To join, visit http://www.anahq.org/ and click on Membership.




    Memoree Lane walks Pax Partnership through Second Life

    Published: 22 Sep 2011

    From The Tester

    Dr. Karen Cooper, Research Scientist, Future Workforce Technologies and Strategies, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, has a life outside her office. A Second Life, and an alter ego: avatar Memoree Lane.

    On Sept. 15, Cooper joined Executive Director, NAWCAD, Deputy Commander for Test and Evaluation Gary Kessler for a virtual briefing on Second Life and other "virtual world" online spaces and their potential as training, education, information sharing and cooperative work tools for the DoD. The early morning briefing was sponsored by the Patuxent Partnership and held at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, but if her research is any indicator time and place will become less and less important to cooperative efforts as virtual worlds like Second Life, OpenSim and web.alive create an alternative space online.

    The project started in 2007, when Cooper chose her avatar, Memoree Lane. After nearly five years, Cooper still considers her efforts in Second Life "an emerging technology," with glitches and demands for both hardware and Internet access not readily available for the average Navy-Marine Corps Internet user.

    "Doing the demo here (at SMHEC) and not on base answers the question about NMCI IT/IA barriers," said Kessler. Still, Kessler noted, with the ability to incorporate slideshows and video, conference call-like discussions that include an avatar's nearly human face, diagrams and 3D virtual modeling, real-time audio and chat features, "We see a lot of potential across the board."

    The goal is to take advantage of the efficiencies of the Internet to get more done, more smoothly, while enhancing work-life balance for all participants.

    "There are always 50,000 people logged in (to Second Life), worldwide," Cooper said. "It's a world built by the world."

    That world includes Army, Navy, Marines, and Joint Forces islands, including NAWCAD areas.

    So far, most DoD participation on Second Life is still isolated from the larger pool of Second Life participants. NAWCAD Orlando, however, has made their military island, also known as a "miland," a public space welcoming outside interaction, though DoD content still requires public affairs office approval to ensure it is appropriate to display in a public sphere.

    "We are leading the way in testing these environments," Cooper said. "Our long-term goal is for all four NAWCAD islands (based at NAS Patuxent River, NAWC Orlando, Fl., Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, N.J., and NAS North Island, San Deigo) to be publicly accessible."


    Co-op Program in Mechanical Engineering

    Published: 30 Sep 2011

    Great Education & Career Opportunity in Mechanical Engineering!

    The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) and the A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland (UMD), are offering an exciting Co-op Program for students interested in pursuing an Undergraduate Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

    For more information, please go to:  engineering coop flyer ver5DB.ppt


    Building the Supercarrier

    Published: 03 Oct 2011

    From The Lexington Park Leader

    When you are building a brand new 100,000-ton aircraft carrier that will serve as the template for American air power projection for the next several decades with several modern technologies, things can get a bit complicated.

    So, last Thursday, the Patuxent Partnership, working with the Association of Naval Aviation Patuxent River Squadron, brought together a panel of miltary, government and industry representatives responsible for ensuring that all the moving parts of the USS Gerald Ford (CVN-78) will work in unison when she takes to sea in 2015.

    “It was a program that, from the beginning, was designed to look into the future,” said Keith Sanders, NAVAIR’s Assistant Commander for Acquisition (AIR-1.0), who moderated the panel at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park, Maryland. “It’s one of the few programs we’re doing right.”

    Sanders said he is not criticizing other procurement programs. He meant that, from the beginning, the USS Ford was designed and planned as a “system of systems,” and integration has been made a high priority to avoid time-consuming redesigns.

    “Nothing we’re going to cover tonight … will cover the blood, sweat and tears that each of you have put into this,” Sanders said to the panel.

    Bill Deligne, executive director of the Aircraft Carriers Program Executive Office, NAVSEA, said that the USS Ford is the first new aircraft carrier design built since the Nimitz, 40 years ago. He said that half of the ship’s hull has been assembled with 24,000 tons of steel already sitting in the dry dock in Newport News, Va.

    “We’re on track for launch in 2013 and delivery in 2015,” Deligne said.

    Rear Adm. Mark Darrah, who was recently named “Tailhooker of the Year,” was brought in to discuss his role as co-lead of cost schedule performance management for the new aircraft component for the USS Ford, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

    “We’re making some headway,” Darrah said of the JSF program, which has seen cost overruns and delays. “We’re finding successes, but we also have some big challenges.”

    Darrah said the JSF is forcing planners to rethink carrier flight deck operations. The plane needs lithium-ion batteries that require shipboard storage and recharging. It needs a cooled jet blast deflector for its massive engine thrust. And it has a 270-volt power requirement for deck operations.

    The job of coordinating the USS Ford’s information flow has fallen to Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, special assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (N2/N6). Klunder noted that most everyone on the world’s military stage now has “big sticks that go fast.”

    “What they don’t have is the information we have before they have it,” Klunder said, explaining that the USS Ford will have the information advantage, even though many of its potential adversaries now have sophisticated weaponry.

    He added that the ship’s integrated data stream from all of its radars, aircraft and unmanned platforms will increase strike coordination and efficiency, reducing deck and flight crew fatigue.

    During the vigorous question and answer session that followed the initial presentations, several panelists fielded technical questions about the USS Ford’s operations efficiency.

    Rear Admiral Lindell Rutherford, retired, now working for Newport News Shipbuilding, said that the USS Ford will have a 25 percent better sortie generation rate than the older Nimitz-class carriers,  noting that changes to the flight deck and refueling operations have created major efficiencies in the computer models run on the new carrier design.

    “We identified where these choke points were,” Deligne said, adding that a completely redesigned weapons loading system also added big efficiencies.

    Deligne said that all these labor savings will require a smaller crew, lowering the lifetime costs of operating the USS Ford. He noted that the Ford will sail with 1,200 fewer crew than the Nimitz class carriers – 800 fewer ship crew and 400 fewer air crew.


    Agencies Align on Education

    Published: 19 Oct 2011

    The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and The Patuxent Partnership formalized an educational partnership agreement that will advance scientific research and foster academic growth in science, mathematics, technology, and engineering. Representatives from those organizations gathered on the college campus Tuesday, Oct. 18, to sign the agreement.


    The signers included Joseph Urgo, St. Mary’s College president; Rear Admiral Randy Mahr, Commander, NAWCAD; and Bonnie Green, executive director, The Patuxent Partnership, a non-profit member organization that works with government, industry, and academia to advance technology-related education and workforce development.


    “This agreement formalizes a partnership with the Navy that has existed for several years in the form of student internships and faculty research collaborations,” said Urgo. “I’m glad for the opportunity to more closely collaborate on our shared goals of advancing research and academic growth in Southern Maryland.”


    “The labs on the base are national assets to be shared with St. Mary’s faculty and student interns alike,” said Mahr.  “We need the bright young minds at St. Mary’s to work with us, in physics and math and the visual arts. We welcome you formally today to come learn and create with us.”


    Bonnie Green, of The Patuxent Partnership, expressed her satisfaction with the agreement. “Our work on behalf of workforce development and technology-related education affirms the value of the partnership between the three entities and its impact on the future workforce.”


    The agreement will also provide educational experiences for St. Mary’s College of Maryland students and faculty using expertise, unique facilities, equipment, and technology. Furthermore, the agreement will facilitate student internships, particularly in fields relating to the real-world technical applications required by the U.S. Navy.



    Rear Admiral Smith to Discuss Navy’s Enterprise Information Systems

    Published: 27 Oct 2011

    (LEXINGTON PARK, Md.) October 27, 2011 - The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) announced that Rear Admiral Charles E. “Grunt” Smith, Program Executive Officer for Enterprise Information Systems (EIS), will provide a briefing on Wednesday, November 16, at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center near NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

    At NAS Patuxent River, Rear Admiral Smith was  a lead test pilot for aircraft, tanker, carrier suitability, and weapons programs and later, director of Aviation/Ship Integration and assistant commander for Acquisition at NAVAIR (AIR-1.0). He will talk about EIS and the role these enterprise-wide information technology programs, designed to enable common business processes and provide standard information technology capabilities, play to maximize value to warfighters.

    "I look forward to coming home to Southern Maryland,” said Rear Admiral Smith, “and the opportunity to highlight who's keeping the foundational network, business and fleet support requirements met for the Navy and Marine Corps."

    Bonnie Green, TPP’s Executive Director, said “We welcome Rear Admiral Smith and look forward to hearing about programs and critical capabilities, including secure connectivity, integrated business management and IT integration.”

     Check-in and coffee start when the doors open at 7:00 a.m., with the program beginning at 7:30 a.m. The program will conclude at 9:00 a.m. There is no cost to attend this program and it is open to all interested attendees. Seating is limited, so advance registration is required at www.paxpartnership.org. Recommended attire is business casual/uniform of the day.

           The Patuxent Partnership works with government, industry and academia on initiatives in science and technology, hosts programs of interest to NAVAIR and the broader DoD community, and supports workforce development including education initiatives and professional development.  For more information, visit www.paxpartnership.org or call 301-866-1739.




    NAVAIR, college formalize partnership

    Published: 28 Oct 2011

    From The Enterprise

    Adam Hammett and Rebecca Prasher are physics majors at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Both are seniors and both have worked at Patuxent River Naval Air Station on research for naval aviation systems that seek out submarines.

    The college has had a partnership since 2003 with the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Pax River to provide opportunities for faculty and students. Since then, the school has received more than $800,000 in grants to support research and student internships.

    Last week St. Mary’s College, NAWCAD and The Patuxent Partnership formally signed an educational partnership agreement intended to propel scientific research and stimulate academic growth in science, mathematics, technology and engineering.

    “At St. Mary’s College, this agreement reflects the fact that students and faculty are fully engaged beyond the classroom,” said the college’s president, Joseph Urgo. “We’re dedicated to expanding our liberal arts offerings to include collaborative research experiences that are student-conducted from unique facilities” at Pax River.

    “I started working on base right after my sophomore year, right after my first physics class,” Hammett said. “I was still in that stage where I didn’t really know what my major was. I was kind of leaning toward physics, but once I worked on base and saw the applications for me personally, I really like working on something where I can see how it benefits something else, so in this case I can see how it benefits the Navy and how eventually this can be applied to detecting submarines from then on, I just was set on physics.”

    “I was able to develop my own work style and ask questions whenever I wanted and have them answered right away” during her work at Pax River this summer, Prasher said. “I also put to use a lot of the physics classes I took at St. Mary’s, and gained an understanding of atomic physics and how at least one lab operates” at Pax River.

    After presentations by both students on Oct. 18, Urgo joked that “It’s a humbling experience to be a college president and be surrounded by not only faculty that are a lot smarter than me, but also students that are a lot smarter than me. But I see my job as primarily to remove impediments for these smart people and fostering that so that they can do their work.”

    “The more we come down here the more we get to know the faculty and staff and students of St. Mary’s College and be better off for it,” Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, commander of NAWCAD, said. “I was pleasantly surprised to find out how many current and former St. Mary’s students we have working up at NAWCAD.

    “The scientists and the labs at Patuxent River, whether they be here on your campus or at ours, should be available to all of us.” he said. “And that’s what we’re here for today to make that available, to give you access to our labs and for you to give us access to some of the obviously talented young folks who are coming through the school and give us new ideas, new brain power, to build the next generation.”

    “The Patuxent Partnership has been very much engaged with this community and with St. Mary’s College for a number of years,” said Bonnie Green, that group’s executive director. “We do a great deal with the Center for the Study of Democracy to support the internship program, and we are also all about workforce development, science, technology, engineering and math.”

    “It’s not about signing a piece of paper, of course,” Urgo said of the agreement, “but enhancing the partnership for the education of our students, the advancement of the mission of St. Mary’s College and of those at the NAVAIR station.”


    Schmeiser to turn over Pax River CO duties next week

    Published: 31 Oct 2011

    From The Enterprise

    Capt. Stephen Schmeiser is on his way out as commanding officer for Patuxent River Naval Air Station, transitioning “hopefully to another job,” he joked Monday.

    Schmeiser plans to move to the private sector after 27 years as a sailor after this retirement Nov. 10, though he said “nothing definitive” has set up yet. A Leonardtown resident since 1996, he has been stationed at Pax River for 18 out of the last 21 years.

    As he makes his exit, Schmeiser said that the highlight of his stint as base CO since March 2010 is the centennial of naval aviation being celebrated this year. “It’s hard to focus on ... one particular event within the centennial,” he said, “but this is where naval aviation begins.”

    He also noted the updates to security and traffic flow on and off the Navy base as among his key accomplishments. He said he hopes to see the physical checking of IDs, front and back, modifications to entry procedures and the extension and addition of rush hour lanes continued beyond his time as CO.

    “From an anti-terrorism force protection standpoint, this presents an invulnerability here at Pax River,” he said. “So we want to make sure that for anybody that has ideas about coming to Pax River to do us harm, it’s going to be a little more difficult to get on base because we’re checking IDs and we’re getting to know everybody as well as we can.”

    He also talked about focusing on the families standing behind those serving in the Navy.

    “Yes, we do focus on the ‘bombs and bullets,’ but as I say quite a bit, we recruit the sailor, but we retain the family,” Schmeiser said. “The strength of the Navy would not be where it is without that support of family that is in the background.”

    Schmeiser encouraged younger sailors who are presented Pax River as a potential duty station to “really look at it seriously ... don’t be afraid of Pax River and what we do here. Come and learn, embrace what we have here, because this is where naval aviation begins.”

    Schmeiser also offered a snippet of advice to the man who will be replacing him, Capt. Ted Mills, currently Pax River’s executive officer.

    “Continue to listen to your people,” Schmeiser said. “Most of the best ideas come from those out there that are doing a job. And don’t think you have all the answers; look to those folks working it day in and day out. Get that input from your folks and don’t dismiss things out of hand just because people are upset; there’s probably a little nugget of value in there ... And never just wait for something, because it will never come; you need to be proactive.”


    Wash Post on Michele Flournoy, Pentagon’s highest-ranking woman

    Published: 08 Nov 2011

    Michele Flournoy, the highest-ranking woman in Pentagon history, went to Beverly Hills High School with 1970s teen idol Shaun Cassidy and did her homework on the set of television’s “The Odd Couple,” where her father worked as a cinematographer.


    View article here:



    Today she sits in her office in the Pentagon’s E Ring of top officials bathed in a green glow from the high-tech security equipment tha