Navy to transfer Crane CBR defense projects to Dahlgren

The Navy is streamlining processes at two of its surface warfare centers in order to reduce total ownership costs, according to Naval Surface Warfare Dahlgren Division.

The centers are responsible for chemical, biological and radiological warfare agent detection. All CBR detection services from Indiana's Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane will be transferred to Dahlgren, which provides technical, engineering, test, evaluation, maintenance and logistics support to the fleet after installing the CBR detection systems.

"Our partnership with NSWC Crane to transfer the acquisition and in-service engineering work associated with chemical and biological detectors is significantly reducing the Navy's total ownership costs," NSWC Dahlgren CBR Defense Division Head Mike Purello said. "This is not only providing opportunities for us to better support the warfighter at Dahlgren and on the waterfront but it's also enabling our scientists and engineers to look for the most efficient ways to support potential next generation detection systems."

Previously, the Navy created a new laboratory to streamline CBR defense work and accrue savings to fund other necessary chemical and biological defense projects. The CBR Fleet Support and Integration Laboratory was completed in August 2011. It allows engineers to perform diagnostics, overhaul testing, and subsequent calibration required to provide systems and equipment to the fleet.

NSWC Dahlgren was also able to apply for the Naval Radioactive Materials Permit through the new laboratory. The permit would allow Dahlgren to maintain, store, stage and track all of the Navy's chemical detectors that contain radioactive sources.

The permit will allow Dahlgren to receive and ship the Improved Point Detection System and other detection equipment containing radioactive sources, which will yield maintenance and cost savings.

NSWC Dahlgren engineers received approval by RASO of their request for exemption of the Improved Point Detection System - Lifecycle Replacement permit requirements over the lifecycle of the new detection equipment.

IPDS-LR, which will replace the IPDS currently installed on Navy ships, will quickly alert war-fighters of the presence of chemical warfare agents. Thirty-five ships are expected to have IPDS-LR installed on them this year.

"We are tracking the IPDS-LR systems informally and performing all exemption requirements with no additional manpower," Nancy Haymes said. "Dahlgren is committed to ensuring that our support infrastructure is in place to continuously improve business processes. This enables us to develop product improvements that reduce operational and support costs while enhancing the Navy's operational capability."

NSWCDD engineers are boosting fleet support and reducing total ownership costs through the exemption for IPDS-LR and the new laboratory.

"Only a determined steady effort with continuous cooperation across offices brought us to this point," Jon Cofield, the Navy Chemical and Biological Defense technical warrant holder, said. "The initiative that Dahlgren is spearheading saves the Navy funds at a time of significant belt tightening."