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Severn River Naval Complex

The Joint Spectrum Center (JSC) is located at the Severn River Naval Complex in Annapolis, Maryland, directly across from the US Naval Academy in historic Annapolis, Maryland. A DISA Field Activity and DoD center of excellence for electromagnetic spectrum management matters supporting the Joint Staff (J-6), the Joint Spectrum Center (JSC) assists in managing Joint Restricted frequency List and resolving interference and jamming incidents. The Illinois Institute of Technology's Research Institute (IIRCI) operates the Defense Department's Joint Spectrum Center at the base, which manages inter-service broadband communications systems. The Joint Spectrum Center (JSC) serves as the DoD center of excellence for electromagnetic spectrum management matters in support of the Director for Command, Control, Communication and Computer Systems, Joint Staff (J6), The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (OASD/C3I), the Unified Commands, Military Departments and defense agencies. The JSC supports the Information Protect missions of Information Warfare (IW) as they relate to spectrum supremacy.

The Navy established the Annapolis activity in 1903 on land sandwiched between the Severn River and the Annapolis Naval Station. The site rapidly expanded after 1908; construction activities included increasing the land area by fill-ing some of the shorefront with sediments from the Severn River. The name of the facility changed several times during its operation: Naval Engineering Experiment Station, Marine Engineering Laboratory, Naval Ship Research and Development Center, David Taylor Research Center and finally the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division - Annapolis Detachment.

The Annapolis site began its existence as the U.S. Naval Engineering Experiment Station and Testing Laboratory (EES) in Annapolis, Maryland. At the turn of the 20th century, Rear Admiral George Wallace Melville, then Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Steam Engineering, realized the necessity to develop Fleet standards for machinery operation and maintenance, and to determine procurement standards for shipboard machinery and materials. In 1900, he asked Congress for funds to establish a steam engineering experiment station and testing laboratory to provide basic information to fulfill these needs. In 1903 Congress approved the construction of the U.S. Naval Engineering Experiment Station and Testing Laboratory.

By 1908, the Laboratory construction was completed and the first test programs were initiated. Throughout World War I, EES assisted the Navy in such projects as the procurement and acceptance of naval machinery, optimum use of fuel, control of metal corrosion and fatigue, and the initial use of sonar.

During World War II, five greatly expanded laboratories contributed highly competent efforts to a number of vital projects such as high-capacity water stills for submarines; closed cycle diesel and gas turbines, improved fuels, lubricants, metals, and chemicals; shock research; and Marine Corps landing vehicles. Toward the end of World War II, the Laboratory investigated enemy equipment and conducted research in gas turbines, machinery bearings and noise reduction.

The post World War II years brought dramatic changes to EES as original testing concepts evolved into research and development. In 1963 the EES was renamed the Marine Engineering Laboratory, reflecting the trend to R&D in marine systems. Shortly thereafter, in 1967, the David Taylor Model Basin and the Marine Engineering Laboratory merged to form the Naval Ship Research and Development Center (NSRDC). In 1969 and 1970, several R&D functions of the Naval Applied Science Laboratory of the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard were transferred to NSRDC's Annapolis site.

The 24-acre Bay Head Road Annex was used by the Army as the Launch Area for Nike Battery W-26 from 1954 to 1969. Maintenance activities by the Army during that 16-year period required the storage and management of missile components and propellants as well as solvents, lubricants and other necessary materials. After Nike battery deactivation, the site was used by the Navy to conduct burn tests to determine heat resistant properties of material for use on Navy ships. Materials were burned in an enclosed test burn facility and analyzed for off-gas production and fire hazard potential. Several structures remain on site, including three former missile launching pads, fueling, generator, as-sembly, storage area, and wastewater disposal areas. In addition, recreational areas are already on site, including two ball fields, a picnic pavilion, and a rest-room/ locker room located on the southern portion of the site.

NSWC Annapolis was designated for closure by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) legislation in 1995. The closed facility is comprised of two portions: the Annapolis portion, located across the Severn River from the Naval Academy, and the Bay Head Road Annex, located just north of Route 50 near Sandy Point State Park. The Navy terminated its operations at both sites in 1998. The David Taylor Research Center, a 46.5-acre waterfront site located on the north shore of the Severn River was privatized as part of the federal government's Base Realignment and Closure plan (BRAC).

In 1998, Anne Arundel County signed a lease with the Navy to use some of the existing office space located on the Annapolis portion. It was at this time that the County expressed an interest in obtaining the entire property from the Navy. After some discussion, the Navy agreed to transfer the property to Anne Arundel County after all environmental work was completed.

The Navy agreed to transfer a picturesque stretch of Severn River property as well as a 24-acre parcel near Sandy Point State Park that together comprised the former Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division - Annapolis Detachment (NSWC Annapolis) to Anne Arundel County. This transfer will not only allow Anne Arundel County to preserve a section of Severn River shoreline, but it will also bring approximately 2000 much needed jobs and several million dollars of tax revenue to the County.

With the closure of DTRC, Anne Arundel County lost 1,400 high-paying R&D jobs since its peak employment in the 1980's, over $79 million in personal income and almost $30 million in Navy outsourcing and contract purchases, plus associated sales tax and property tax revenues. The County's plan for commercial reuse and development of DTRC is aimed at restoring employment by attracting environmentally friendly high technology companies and maintaining the campus-like setting of the site. The winning site plan features 730,000 SF of office and high tech flex space, along with amenities such as a corporate-serving inn, restaurants, day care facility, scenic waterfront promenade and jogging trail.

Some nearby community groups worry the plan will snarl traffic and negatively affect surrounding residential neighborhoods. By October 2001 negotiations among Anne Arundel County officials, private developers and the Navy on redevelopment of the David Taylor Research Center in Annapolis had come to a halt, fueling speculation that plans to recast the former Navy facility as a high-tech business park may be in jeopardy.

Through an agreement with the US Navy and Anne Arundel County leaders, in October 1999 Anteon Corporation's VECTOR Research unit began operating a world class research facility at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's (NSWC) former laboratory in Annapolis. The successful privatization of the Deep Ocean Simulation Facility saved both high tech jobs and a totally unique R&D capability, and was a major step forward in the County's conversion of the NSWC site to a private sector research park.

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