As part of the Naval Sea Systems Command's efforts to become more efficient throughout the organization, the Naval Surface Warfare Center
(NSWC) and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) are being realigned. This will allow the centers to operate across organizational boundaries and respond more quickly and effectively to the needs of the Fleet. The realignment is the result of NAVSEA's focus to support Sea Power 21 and the Chief of Naval Operations' unique challenge to NAVSEA's leadership to find ways to become more efficient and effective. This new concept of operations for the warfare centers will do that, and it will also improve the credibility and standing of the warfare centers within the Navy and meet Navy cost-savings targets.
COMNAVSEA, VADM Phillip M. Balisle, announced the realignment in a message to the NAVSEA Team
. He said that the goal of the realignment is to change NAVSEA's business practices in how it employs the warfare center skills and resources and to create a process where Fleet products and support services benefit more effectively from the expertise resident in all the warfare center divisions. The Navy established the warfare centers in 1992 to perform research, development, test and evaluation for the future Navy and to provide in-service engineering and logistics support for the operating Fleet. NSWC operates six divisions: Indian Head and Carderock, MD; Dahlgren, VA; Crane (CR)
, IN.; and Port Hueneme and Corona, CA. NUWC oversees two divisions: Newport, RI, and Keyport, WA. While all eight warfare center divisions have worked very successfully over the years to improve their operational efficiency and effectiveness, each has operated primarily as a discreet business unit. Central to the warfare center realignment is the shift from site management to product area management. Product area directors (PADs)-senior executives designated to lead each of the warfare center's 12 product areas-will foster stewardship of needed technical capabilities and work assignments independent of geographic location.
The Warfare Center product areas will be Force Level Warfare Systems; Ships and Ship Systems; Surface Ship Combat Systems; Littoral Warfare Systems; Navy Strategic Weapon Systems; Ordnance; Undersea Warfare Command and Control Systems; Undersea Warfare Weapon and Vehicle Systems; Undersea Warfare Ranges, Analysis and Assessment; Undersea Warfare Fleet Material Readiness; Homeland Security and Force Protection; and Surface Warfare Logistics and Maintenance. A three-member executive staff working directly for the Commanders of NSWC and NUWC will optimize operations and decision-making across all eight warfare center divisions. The realignment also calls for establishment of a Board of Visitors to provide independent opinions, views, and recommendations to NAVSEA, the Policy Board, and Board of Directors concerning warfare center operations. Implementation of the alignment is ongoing and will be fully operational in fiscal year 2004. (Source: By David Caskey, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Public Affairs)