Sen. Jack Reed and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse attended the event, as well as Rep. David Cicilline
. NUWC attendees included the Warfare Center Commander Rear Adm. Thomas Wears and NUWC Technical Director Donald McCormack, and the NUWC Newport Technical Director Dr. Paul Lefebvre.
"This project resulted in a significant addition to the towed array facility and a major upgrade to our capabilities," said Wears. "Thanks to the addition of this facility, NUWC is well-equipped to remain on the cutting edge of undersea technology well into the future."
Under construction since its July 31, 2009 ground breaking, the 40,000-square-foot, single-story laboratory provides secure workspace for the testing, refurbishment, and maintenance of towed arrays.
"This facility allows us to consolidate and integrate all towed array, tow cable, and hose repair into a single location, which was the goal when the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission [BRAC] recommended that all Maritime Subsurface Sensors functions within the U.S. Navy be centralized here at NUWC Newport-- the home of undersea warfare excellence," said Lefevbre.
The new lab has been married to an existing structure to create the U.S. Navy's only facility capable of providing development and full life cycle support of towed arrays for both surface ships and submarines.
"NUWC employees are the best at what they do," said Reed . "That is why facilities were relocated here. We must maintain our dominance in undersea warfare," he said. "Other Americans, the men and women at sea, need every advantage. You give that; thank you."
Cicilline noted the importance of the defense industry to the State of Rhode Island and to the Nation.
"Today we celebrate the opening of this facility at NUWC," said Cicilline, "a testament to the quality of the workforce. This is a very special addition to the defense of our country."
Whitehouse tied the work done in Newport to supporting our frontline fighting forces as he remembered the recent loss of American Special Forces in Afghanistan, "People of NUWC, we salute you, we appreciate you, and we thank you."
The general contractor for the project is the H.V. Collins Company, Inc., of Providence, R.I. The primary architect is Edward Rowse Architects of Providence, R.I.
NUWC Newport is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Newport's mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures. NUWC's other division is located in Keyport, Wash.