SAN DIEGO (NNS) – The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Reserve Program (SRP) recently supported the development and fielding of some of the Navy’s new and emerging underwater assessment technologies during a testing event off the coast of Southern California.
The team provided warfighting expertise to SPAWAR System Center Pacific’s (SSC Pacific’s) Unmanned Maritime Vehicle (UMV) Lab.
To ensure that current underwater technologies meet the needs of the fleet today and into the future, SRP reservists provided essential end-user feedback and explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) assistance during field testing.
“We are working with first in its class technologies to provide the military with the ability to interrogate and examine underwater maritime vessel contents non-invasively,” said Lt. Cmdr. Steven Johnson, an SRP reservist and EOD expert. “With the SRP’s support, SSC Pacific will be able to field the technology with little or no risk to the fleet, essentially keeping warfighters out of the harm’s way.”
The value of the SRP is twofold according to Capt. Jim Mason, SRP senior EOD officer.
"First, a majority of the SRP Reserve EOD cadre have left active duty within the past three years, allowing them to bring relevant fleet experience to the testing of underwater technologies,” said Mason. “And second, many of the reservists have advanced degrees with applicable skills based on their work with industry, and are able to offer a more commercial perspective.”
During the SSC Pacific UMV Lab’s testing event, SRP Reservists provided a fleet perspective and contributed critical feedback on the usefulness of underwater technologies in a warfighting environment, including advice on updating a system’s configuration, decreasing the system’s size and weight footprint and improving system operating processes.
“Having a military member in uniform on site during testing provides a real grasp of what the battlefield of today looks like and often assists to refocus the interdisciplinary, inter-organizational team to the mindset that it is not just science or engineering feats we are after – it’s trying to keep more of our warfighters alive,” said Johnson.
The SRP, comprised of a diverse, high-performing team of more than 400 Reserve Sailors, is geographically dispersed amongst 18 units located in fleet concentration areas, space facilities, high tech centers and SPAWAR centers of excellence. The group draws on Sailors with various areas of expertise from units across the country to cost effectively deliver the right Sailor with the right skills, at the right time, to the right place.
"SRP brings an immense amount of talent and value to the UMV Lab," said Steve Koepenick, SSC Pacific's Senior Technical Staff, UMV Lab. "The reservists supporting testing of relevant technology get involved early on, providing engineers with a realistic assessment of how systems will be used in real world conditions. There have been a number of times during the research and development and testing and evaluation of our systems, where reservists have provided key insights, streamlining rapid technology transition with operational relevance.”
The SRP EOD technicians will continue to support UMV exercises including the annual International RoboSub Competition, July 30 – Aug. 5, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2018 and other international UMV exercises.
SPAWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities supporting naval, joint, coalition and other national missions. SPAWAR consists of more than 10,000 active duty military and civil service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet to keep SPAWAR at the forefront of research, engineering and acquisition to provide and sustain information warfare capabilities to the fleet.