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Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Held in Bayview to Open the Acoustic Test Analysis Center

Wavelengths: An Employee's Digest of Events and Issues (NAVSEA Carderock)

October/November 2002

By William Palmer

BAYVIEW-The Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD) at Bayview, Idaho, was the site of a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicating a new facility. The Acoustic Test and Analysis Center (ATAC) was officially opened on August 13.

Hailed as a state-of-the-art transformation of the ARD site, the ATAC is a multi-purpose building which consolidates several formerly isolated functions, bringing together much-needed office space, fabrication and repair shops, and testing areas. New functions, such as numerous conference rooms, and two video teleconferencing (VTC) centers, complete the addition. The VTC function will further benefit ARD by reducing travel costs usually incurred by engineers and managers attending off-site events in person.

The ATAC is 26,000 square feet in area, of which 9,000 square feet is used as a secure laboratory, holding ARD's classified data collection and analysis capabilities. It is a two-story building and has the only elevator on the entire base. Wade Perrow Construction, Inc., a general contracting firm from Gig Harbor, WA, erected the building at a cost of $7.7 million. About 80% of the 105 ARD government employees will relocate to the new building. The Center is part of the Detachment's Facility Master Plan and adds to the $500 million in current assets held by ARD.

About 100 people gathered to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony. An invocation and prayer was led by pastor Garth Mickelson of nearby Hayden Lake Friends Church. Division Commander Captain Steven Petri, during comments at the ceremony, said, "ATAC is a vote of confidence in the work of ARD and a challenge for the future. It is a great enabler." Petri was the Detachment's Officer in Charge (OIC) from 1991 to 1993.

U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was the keynote speaker. Craig serves on the Military Construction Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. When the vision for remodeling and modernizing ARD was presented to Craig, he saw it as an opportunity to invest in the military presence in Idaho. He observed that ARD has given its work to the Navy in a quiet, unobtrusive way. "This is a small part of what we are doing, and what we will continue to do in what I believe is a responsible and necessary build-up in the appropriations for the Department of Defense," he said. He added that the Bush administration supports increased spending to bolster military efforts. "[President] George W. Bush understands very, very well that our military must be well-funded, that it must have the right equipment, that it must have the opportunity to train with it, and not have to beg, borrow, and steal from other areas within the services to get the money it needs," Craig said.

Commander David Fox, then ARD's Officer in Charge, said in comments after the dedication, "This is the culmination of a dream that has been in place for 20 years."

The Detachment is well known for its research in the area of submarine acoustics and in using quarter-scale models of submarine hulls to simulate real submarines in the submerged environment of Lake Pend Oreille, pronounced "PONDERAY." The capabilities of ARD have been used to test and validate submarine signature improvements and hydrodynamic characteristics. The Detachment is often the last stop in research processes before acquisition decisions are made.

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