When ships in the fleet are getting outfitted with the latest technology, SCSC Wallops is the place they can rely upon to put their hands on the exact equipment they'll be operating on the ship. The bonus is that they can throw everything they have at the system, break it, and have the support they need to get the system back online and do it all again in a controlled environment. This helps build the confidence and muscle memory the crew will need when operating these systems in a real-world scenario.
"They come here and this is where they do the majority of the testing," said Fire Controlman 1st Class Derek Bonadio, SCSC Wallops leading petty officer. "As a workforce, we're the ones that are maintaining the equipment to make sure the equipment's working properly when they get here. And also we're the operators that are on the consoles pushing the buttons, going through the check sheets and helping the customers out."
Lt. Cmdr. Kurt Davis and the combat information center team from USS Wasp (LHD 1), a multipurpose amphibious assault ship based out of Norfolk, talked about the level of expertise and personalized training that SCSC Wallops has to offer.
"You have the ability to really sit down and get into the weeds of what it is we're expected to know, and ask these subject matter experts how to do our jobs better," said Davis. "Bring your 'a' game, ask a lot of questions and be ready to learn."
Robinson has high hopes for a long and bright future for Wallops.
"The future of Wallops Island is limitless," said Robinson. "The ability to bring in all the current and future combat systems and new radars is something that's going to be needed for a long time. Our job here is to make sure that we have the right capability, the Sailors and the infrastructure to support those program needs. I'm proud to be a part of Wallops and its future."
Bonadio had a message to any fleet Sailors out there considering taking orders to SCSC Wallops.
"For anybody that really wants to get into the combat systems nitty-gritty world, this is a great place to be," Bonadio added.
Back at Wolff's, the usual crowd fills the four-top tables, making quick work of cheeseburgers and fries. A closer inspection of the customers reveals access badges and lanyards with words like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and NASA. The walls are covered with pictures. Most of them are of locals holding up large fish, but peppered throughout are aerial shots of Wallops Island, the technological and scientific mecca that lies just across the bay.
For more news about Surface Combat Systems Center Wallops Island,
visit their website.