USA: Admiral Calls Attention to Ships as Top NAVSEA Mission Priority

The admiral’s five words sound like a movie featuring Navy warships is playing at the Naval Support Facility Dahlgren theater.

“It’s All About the Ships!”

But his words are not the title of a sequel to “Battleship”.

It’s the new Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) commander’s first mission priority.

Navy technological leaders packed the base cinema to hear more about Vice Adm. William Hilarides’ mission priority – “It’s All About the Ships” – at a July 29 Town Hall meeting.

They listened intently as Hilarides presented a big picture NAVSEA perspective with two more mission priorities: “Technical Excellence and Judiciousness,” and “Culture of Affordability.”

“You have been part of creating an awesome Navy – the Navy that is the envy of the world,” Hilarides told Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) leadership, including NSWCDD Commander Capt. Michael Smith, Acting Technical Director Stuart Koch, command staff, heads of departments, divisions and branches in addition to senior scientists and engineers.

While touring the command, the admiral saw first-hand how the business of research, development, test and evaluation is conducted in technical programs, including Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense; Weapons System Integration and Certification; Chemical, Biological and Radiological Defense; and Electromagnetic Railgun.

Dahlgren technical experts briefed the NAVSEA commander on programs and the specifics of what they are doing to create and sustain an awe-inspiring Navy of the present and future.

At one stop, Hilarides watched the electromagnetic railgun fire a projectile. This long-range weapons system is designed to fire projectiles using electricity instead of chemical propellants. Magnetic fields created by high electrical currents accelerate a sliding metal conductor or armature between two rails to launch projects 4,500 to 5,600 miles per hour.

The NAVSEA commander’s three mission priorities are part of his strategic framework for the NAVSEA warfare centers. It features his vision for NAVSEA, core values and the key enablers to accomplish the priorities.

“Congratulations on having created a Navy that is awesome,” said Hilarides. “By that I mean, it is held in awe by countries like North Korea, Iran, Libya, Syria and China and that awe is what makes the nation safe. I think you can see a direct connection to America’s place in the world from your work and thank you for that work. It’s really unbelievable, and everywhere I go, I am impressed as I see the span of capabilities that you and your teammates bring to the table every day.”

Within “It’s All About the Ships,” Hilarides intends to focus on improving ship maintenance, reinvigorating shipboard preventative maintenance and warfighting system commonality.

“Our Navy sustains a pace overseas at a rate greater than anybody has done, probably in history, with deployability and sustainment rates in forward areas from 3,000, 5,000 and 8,000 miles away from their home port,” said Hilarides. “That was not easy. It was done with a lot of hard work over a lot of years.”

Press Release, August 1, 2013