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Indian Head

Indian Head began in 1890 as a Naval gun testing facility and evolved into a critical resource serving the armed forces with specialized ordnance devices and components. Indian Head occupies a 3,500-acre peninsula, bounded by the Potomac River and Mattawoman Creek, and is located in the town of Indian Head, in Charles County, Maryland, 30 miles south of Washington, DC. The Indian Head Division (IHDIV) is home to several tenant commands which are separate organizations reporting through their own chain of command. They lease space and purchase services from the Indian Head Division host.

The base occupies approximately 3,500 acres on two discrete land areas in the Potomac River drainage basin. The Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) is located on approximately 2,500 acres on the Cornwallis Neck peninsula. The base is bordered on the north and east by the Potomac River, and on the south and west by Mattawoman Creek. The base is a 1,600 building complex. It employs 3,600 people, including 815 scientists and engineers, and 36 PhDs.

Mission-critical areas that comprise Indian Head's work include: energetics research, weapons product development, detonation science, underwater warheads, chemical/physical characterization, chemical processing/nitration, nitramine gun and high-energy propellants, extruded products, cartridge-actuated devices/propellant-actuated devices ordnance test and evaluation, weapon simulation, quality evaluation, and packaging, handling, storage, and transportation.

Indian Head's extensive test and evaluation capabilities play a key role in ensuring material quality and ordnance reliability. Experienced personnel provide test engineering and results analysis services. Both nondestructive and destructive testing and analysis are performed with state-of-the-art equipment on an extensive range of ordnance products as well as general use items. Life-cycle testing support is provided for a diverse customer base.

Ordnance activities include production of torpedo warheads and manufacture fuel for virtually all torpedoes in the fleet, a monopropellant named Otto Fuel developed at Indian Head.

As a federal facility the Indian Head Division is committed to the protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources while practicing scientific principles of multiple use. Our Natural and Cultural Resource Management Programs are divided into several functional areas, which include land, forest, fish and wildlife, cultural resource management, outdoor recreation and environmental education. These programs were developed to preserve the natural heritage of the area and responsibly coordinate ecological management with the mission of the IHDIV.

In 2001, IHDIV continued to push the envelope in providing the warfighter with the safest and most advanced energetics products and services for immediate military requirements. Over the year, innovative solutions were realized within the CAD/PAD (cartridge actuated devices, propellant actuated devices), explosives development, and warfighter training systems.

The CAD/PAD Program's Supply Process Reengineering Team won the David Packard Award (Navy category) for Excellence in Acquisition for reengineering the CAD/PAD re-supply process. This team developed a paperless supply support method that reduces their supply lead-time from 120 to 7 days, saving the Navy approximately $3.2 million each year. U.S. military pilots stationed around the globe now have the needed equipment and can perform their jobs more reliably and safely due to the advancements made in this program.

Developing new explosives is one dimension of the energetics business. Transitioning these new explosives into safe and serviceable weapons is another. In FY 01 a 13th new explosive, PBXW-17, was added to the list of Navy-qualified explosives deployed in over 43 Navy, Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force weapons, all within the last decade, an achievement unmatched by anyone in the industry. PBXW-17 is currently being used in the Marine Corps Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS) as the main explosive charge.

By the end of FY 01 an additional IHDIV formulation, PBXIH-135, was gaining much attention as a newly qualified thermobaric explosive. The events of September 11th catapulted the need for a capability to defeat tunnels and deeply buried targets. IHDIV experts were called upon to provide the energetic solution, as PBXIH-135 was selected as the thermobaric bomb fill for the Air Force BLU-109 bombs. This new thermobaric bomb, designated as BLU-118/B, was developed within 67 days and subsequently supported Operation Enduring Freedom.

The IHDIV-developed Integrated Maritime Portable Acoustic Scoring and Simulator (IMPASS) is an integral component of the Virtual At-Sea Training (VAST) system, a new effort of the Office of Naval Research that offers another option for live-fire training exercises. This innovative approach will enable Navy ships to conduct cost-effective, live-fire exercises and supplementary training at sea to prepare for forward area deployment and will provide related proficiency training during routine operations in theater.

In looking to the future, IHDIV is actively involved in identifying needs and opportunities of the military. Indian Head Division is applying Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) technology to meet future Navy requirements to reduce the size of torpedo safe and arm (S&A) components. MEMS technology will meet the Navy's needs to reduce S&A size and weight by a factor of ten and will provide high sensor accuracy, thereby improving torpedo capability. In FY01 a new state-of-the-art MEMS Cleanroom facility opened at IHDIV. The Class 10,000 MEMS Cleanroom will provide an environmentally controlled setting for R&D involving the integration of energetic materials (explosives and propellants), post-fabrication processing, MEMS prototype assembly and packaging, and full-scale testing. The opening of the MEMS Cleanroom further enhances the position of IHDIV as the national hub for energetics research, and a leader in MEMS research and development.

Also carrying out a Defense mission are five major military tenant commands that are resident at Indian Head: the Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity, the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, the U.S. Marine Corps Chemical and Biological Incident Response Force, the Naval Sea Logistics Center Detachment Atlantic and the Joint Interoperability Test Command. Although these tenant commands have different missions, they share a common focus with IHDIV to meet our nation's military requirements.

NSWC-IHDIV currently maintains housing on the base (the Detached single family housing and the Riverview Village apartments). Off-base housing in the nearby towns of La Plata and Waldorf was taken out of service in 1997. Additional Detached housing at the Stump Neck Annex was taken out of service in November of 1996. The housing ranges in age from approximately 30 to 80 years and has been identified by NSWC-IHDIV as a source of residential lead exposure requiring risk reduction and abatement actions.

BRAC 2005

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head, MD, by relocating all Weapons and Armaments Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation, except gun/ammo, underwater weapons, and energetic materials, to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, CA. DoD also recommended to realign Naval Surface Warfare Center, Yorktown, VA, by relocating all Weapons and Armaments Research, Development & Acquisition, and Test & Evaluation to Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head, MD.

These actions would relocate technical facilities with lower overall quantitative Military Value (across Research, Development & Acquisition and Test & Evaluation) into the Integrated RDAT&E center and other receiver sites with greater quantitative Military Value. Consolidating the Navy's air-to-air, air-to-ground, and surface launched missile RD&A, and T&E activities at China Lake, CA, would create an efficient integrated RDAT&E center. China Lake would be able to accommodate with minor modification/addition both mission and lifecycle/ sustainment functions to create synergies between these traditionally independent communities. This recommendation would enable technical synergy, and position the Department of Defense to exploit center-of-mass scientific, technical and acquisition expertise with weapons and armament Research, Development & Acquisition that resided at 10 locations into the one Integrated RDAT&E site, one specialty site, and an energetics site. This construct would create an energetics center at Indian Head, MD.

Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 91 jobs (52 direct jobs and 39 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, Metropolitan Division (less than 0.1 percent). Environmentally, this recommendation would have the potential to impact air quality at Indian Head. This recommendation would have the potential to impact land use constraints or sensitive resource areas at Indian Head.

DoD also recommended to realign Naval Surface Warfare Center Division Indian Head, MD, by relocating gun and ammunition Research and Development & Acquisition to Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. This recommendation would realign and consolidate those gun and ammunition facilities working in Weapons and Armaments (W&A) Research (R), Development & Acquisition (D&A). This realignment would result in a more robust joint center for gun and ammunition Research, Development & Acquisition at Picatinny Arsenal. This location was already the greatest concentration of military value in gun and ammunition W&A RD&A. This recommendation would include Research, Development & Acquisition activities in the Army and Navy. It would promote jointness, enable technical synergy, and position the Department of Defense to exploit center-of-mass scientific, technical, and acquisition expertise within the weapons and armament Research, Development & Acquisition community that resided at this DoD specialty location. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 76 jobs (43 direct jobs and 33 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 periods in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, Metropolitan Division (less than 0.1 percent).



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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:50:50 ZULU