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NEWS | Sept. 30, 2015

Glad to be back in the Lowcountry

By Captain Scott D. Heller, USN, commander Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic

On July 31st I assumed command of SPAWAR Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic and couldn't be happier to be back in the Lowcountry among the talented professionals of SSC Atlantic and Joint Base Charleston.

To return for my third assignment at SSC Atlantic is a very humbling experience. Like many members of the Joint Base Charleston military family, over the years Charleston has figured prominently in my life and career.

During my first tour here, from 1999 to 2001 I met and married my wife. As a junior officer assigned to what was then SSC Charleston's IA division, Code 72. I led teams that fielded and tested multi-level secure systems and performed Computer Network Vulnerability Assessments of shore commands and ships prior to deployment.

My second tour was as Executive Officer and Chief Engineer from 2007 to 2009. It was during this time that SSC Atlantic and other Naval Weapons Station tenant commands were aligned with Charleston Air Force Base to form the Joint Base Charleston team. Six years after leaving -- coming from a tour as Program Manager for Battlespace Awareness and Information Operations Program Office at Program Executive Office, Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) in San Diego, California -- my family and I are once again making our home in the Lowcountry.

I am happy to see how our joint base partnership has matured and flourished. The professionalism and dedication existing in this joint community is unmatched. The work we do together daily preserves the peace and ensures we are ready if war arrives. Just like the larger Joint Base Charleston, SSC Atlantic has people working across the country and around the globe to fulfill our mission. However, at the end of the day, each of us also live, work and raise our families in incredibly important communities that make up the Lowcountry. These communities provide an invaluable anchor of stability to our military families and the support we enjoy as part of Joint Base Charleston is second to none.

Under my command, the amazing work of SSC Atlantic -- designing, fielding and sustaining naval capabilities from the ocean floor, across all continents, to space and everywhere in between -- will continue. This is supremely important because the information systems that we deliver and sustain have tremendous impact across the Navy and DoD. Our national leadership trains, plans, fights and takes care of our people based on quality information. SSC Atlantic provides that and much more.

My priorities are clear and mirror those that exist across much of the Joint Base Charleston team. If we field or sustain a capability, we must ensure it is provably working, provably secure and that our warfighters have every opportunity to master it. If we provide a service, we must understand the requirements, have a cost and schedule model built on sound engineering and set expectations based on this process. Every day we must strive to ensure our nation and our military forces are ready for war tomorrow. This is the surest path to avoiding war.

Together, we share a collective vision to make Charleston a joint logistics, transportation and engineering hub with the talent to get it done. I look forward to what we will continue to achieve together over the coming years.