NIWC Atlantic Unveils New Innovation Center
05 August 2021
From Steve Ghiringhelli
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The NIWC Atlantic community attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 27 unveiling the new Expeditionary Systems Integration and Innovation Center (ESIIC) Bay, a state-of-the-art, 36,000-square-foot lab facility at the command's Expeditionary Warfare Department headquarters building.
Designed to integrate teams and better develop capabilities for the warfighter, the Expeditionary Systems Integration and Innovation Center (ESIIC) Bay, or ESIIC Bay, is a state-of-the-art modular lab built with maximum flexibility in mind. Mobile workbenches are on casters, bays are open, modular electrical busways are configurable, and more than 3,500 linear feet of cable tray deliver multiple capabilities, including ubiquitous Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN) access.
Peter C. Reddy, NIWC Atlantic executive director, stressed the critical importance of the renovated infrastructure for Sailors and Marines. "The requirements to communicate, hide and fight in the Pacific are unlike anything we have seen to date and critical to our nation's success."
Focused on naval integration, Reddy said success in the Indo-Pacific theater will depend on naval forces' ability to sense and communicate across systems in a highly contested environment.
"Since NIWC Atlantic is the lead systems integrator for many of these systems, we are in a unique position to resolve technical interoperability challenges and identify opportunities to go faster and be better," he said.
The ExW workforce oversees NIWC Atlantic's integration work for the U.S. Marine Corps — more specifically, Marine Corps Systems Command, the organization responsible for overseeing every technology and system placed into the hands of Marines.
The overarching goal of the two-year, multi-million-dollar Laboratory Revitalization Demonstration Program project was to support faster technology transitions to the warfighter.
Two months ago, ExW production teams began moving equipment into ESIIC Bay, which is located on the north side of the headquarters building in the old Navy Yard.
Each open, interconnected lab space in the 36,000-square-foot facility supports integration work in everything from amphibious assault vehicles, joint light tactical vehicles and advanced reconnaissance vehicles to terrestrial collections, mixed reality, biometric operations and the new Marine Air Defense Integrated System.
In addition to speeding the delivery of capabilities to the fleet, the new spaces are expected to boost employee morale and teamwork.
"This renovation is the first of several steps we are taking to modernize our labs and facilities for the ExW workforce," said Ashlee Landreth, ExW Department head. "The improved space allocations and the immediate availability of key network resources will provide more efficiencies and collaboration across the department. These workforce improvements will fundamentally advance how we pursue naval integration."
The renovations comprised two major elements: the sweeping lab spaces and the private training and conference area. The latter, which can be configured as a video teleconferencing setting or one large training environment, will be completed later this year.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command – Southeast supported the design and construction of the renovations while onsite project management was conducted by Mike Kane, NIWC Atlantic Facilities project manager and liaison to ExW.
Landreth said teams from all four ExW divisions now have around-the-clock access to the fully integrated, MCEN-equipped facility to continue supporting key design, prototyping and development projects for the Marine Corps and Special Operations Command.
Reddy, who toured the new facility with Landreth to be briefed by team leads in various sections, urged the workforce to keep collaboration paramount in their minds.
"Talk to each other, discuss how you can help each other, and work hard to exceed the warfighter's expectations," he said. "Your work in the years to come will ensure we continue to design, develop and deliver key capabilities that will enable a naval expeditionary force in readiness."
About NIWC Atlantic
As a part of Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NIWC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities.
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