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NEWS | June 18, 2013

Looking back while looking ahead

By Capt. Mark Glover SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic commanding officer

This July, I will be saying goodbye to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic as I report to my next assignment as Major Program Manager for the Communications and Global Positioning System Navigation Program Office, PMW/A 170, at Program Executive Office: Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence in San Diego, Calif.

It seems like just yesterday that I assumed command of SSC Atlantic and said how truly excited I was about the opportunities ahead. I can hardly believe these past two years passed so quickly! It has been such an honor to serve as the commanding officer of the talented, dedicated professionals of SSC Atlantic who are making a difference every day for the warfighter. I am immensely proud of all we have achieved together to enable information dominance.

As a South Carolina native who began this great Navy journey from my hometown of Walterboro some 30 years ago, it has been especially rewarding for me to return to the Lowcountry and lead our amazing and dedicated SSC Atlantic team of more than 13,000 great Americans who comprise our civil service workforce, military personnel and industry partners.

While the accomplishments of our great team in the last two years are far too numerous to mention, I would be remiss if I did not note a few examples of our efforts and the direct support we provide the warfighter:

· SSC Atlantic gives the fleet information dominance, installing IT systems on hundreds of ships and shore stations worldwide, while Fleet Support personnel completed more than 300 requests for worldwide shipboard technical assistance, supporting more than 50 product lines.

· SSC Atlantic is playing a key role in consolidating Navy data centers to increase effectiveness and efficiency and reduce costs while still meeting the Navy's security and operational requirements. We opened a new data center in Charleston in October 2011 which greatly enhances the Navy's hosting capability. In cooperation and combination with data centers in New Orleans and San Diego, the Navy's Enterprise Data Centers provide cost savings and additional warfighter capability.

· As one of more than 50 Joint Base Charleston tenants, our synergy with these teammates has allowed our Vehicle Integration Solutions team to continue to be actively engaged as the sole C4ISR integrator for Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected and MRAP All-Terrain Vehicles. SSC Atlantic has integrated more than 36,000 vehicles in the MRAP family with life-saving C4ISR systems, with military collaborators including the U.S. Transportation Command; 437th and 315th Airlift Wings; the 841st Transportation Battalion; Army Strategic Logistics Activity Charleston and Coast Guard Sector Charleston.

· SSC Atlantic's Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill Long-Term Solution team delivered an automated IT capability to the Department of Veterans Affairs that has assisted more than 900,000 veterans and warfighters in realizing their educational goals and receiving more than $25 billion in education benefits.

· I'm especially proud of all we are doing to inspire and attract local school children to pursue the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers that will be needed to answer our nation's future challenges. Each year our STEM outreach grows in reach and influence, and it is truly inspiring to see the students so excited about science and engineering. SSC Atlantic also participates in shadow days, lunch buddy programs, and summer employment programs for youth, tours, lab visits and career day visits to schools.

· Our great team is also leading the way in providing cyber security and cyber defense to warfighters. In addition to the work we do to keep networks and infrastructures safe from cyber attacks, we are also reaching out to high schools and colleges through cyber defense competitions, which give competing teams a chance to show their skills in defending systems and networks. SSC Atlantic's involvement also helps us recruit future cyber warriors, which is helping SSC Atlantic develop its engineering expertise for our newest warfare domain.

These are but a few of the examples of the significant projects we have underway in support of the warfighter. But at the end of the day, the true strength of our organization comes from our talented and dedicated workforce. I'm incredibly proud of all we've achieved together. I would also be remiss if I did not express how grateful I am for having had the opportunity to serve as part of the JB Charleston team. For a uniformed service member, the Charleston area is a truly unique and wonderful place. The teaming and partnerships that exist between the JB Charleston units are unparalleled. The support from this community enables us to accomplish our mission of providing our forward deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen with the very best systems and capabilities.

Navy Capt . Amy Burin will assume duties as the ninth commanding officer of SSC Atlantic in a change of command ceremony Aug. 8, 2013. She comes to Charleston from Washington, D.C., where she has been serving at OPNAV N2/N6 as resource sponsor for Navy Space Systems. She has an extensive background in space systems, communications, network and IT systems. I am confident you will make her feel at home as you have so graciously done for me.

As I look over these last two years, I am proud of all we have achieved as part of the JB Charleston team, and I know that as the time goes ahead you will achieve even more. Before I leave my current position I want to take a moment to say "thank you." It has been a great honor and privilege to serve with you. I wish you all fair winds and following seas.