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NEWS | Aug. 16, 2016

SPAWAR supports community and nation

By Capt. Scott Heller, commander SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic

As commanding officer of SPAWAR Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic, I take great pride in the many amazing things our team is doing around the world to support the warfighter.

At this particular point in history -- when cybersecurity has been elevated to a top national priority -- our work is more important than ever. The products we deliver to warfighters include: cyber encryption, cyber surveillance, cybersecurity, satellite systems, undersea surveillance equipment, remote sensors and tactical and business information technology capabilities. From locations on the East Coast, Gulf Coast, Middle East, Europe and Antarctica, the SSC Atlantic team is executing more than 900 projects in parallel rapidly delivering cyber warfighting capabilities from seabed to space and everywhere in between.

We connect warfighters on aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, command ships, surface combatants and USCG Deepwater and MSC platforms with communications networks, wireless networks and secure voice. We provide logistics management with military fuel automation equipment and critical fuel infrastructure systems. We enable the warfighter with intelligence collection and processing through biometrics, SIGINT tagging, tracking and locating systems. We support our nation's veterans with business information systems to track their benefits.

We support the first autonomous warship Sea Hunter, a demonstration prototype vessel developed through DARPA, performing alternative payload assessments, assessment of the vessel's advanced sensor systems, analysis of the international collision avoidance "rules of the sea" and cybersecurity. The warship represents breakthroughs in autonomous navigation and human-machine collaboration that could change the nature of U.S. maritime operations.

We handle all of the air traffic operations and meteorological forecasting and observation at McMurdo Station, Antarctica from our laboratory on the Joint Base Charleston. McMurdo Station is operated by the U.S. Antarctic Program, a branch of the National Science Foundation.

Through our Navy Enterprise Data Center, the only Commercial Cloud Access Point in the Navy, we are helping to educate the government workforce on cloud services and how to create new cost effective application hosting options.

We support the expeditionary warfighter with Marine Air Ground Task Force intelligence systems, Distributed Command Ground Forces Systems, Ground Combat Tactical Vehicle Integration and mobile C3 Capabilities to Fleet Marine Forces around the globe.

We designed and implemented the White House communications architecture suite for the next-generation White House Communications Agency (WHCA) Mobile Communications Vehicle (MCV), which is part of the presidential motorcade. SSC Atlantic's implementation of the project will set a precedent and make history in moving presidential communications forward.

In short, we engineer some of the most sophisticated technology in the world - all designed to create a strategic advantage for the U.S. military and government agencies. Across the command we have over 4,100 government civilians and 120 military. On the Joint Base Charleston, we leverage 2,649 government employees, 15 military personnel and thousands of industry partners to make a difference for our nation's warfighters around the world.

Great partnerships are what it takes to do what we do for the Navy and the nation, and we couldn't do it without our partnerships with Joint Base Charleston and with industry. Collaboration with industry and between the services is key to our nation's technological growth and to protecting our warfighters while enabling their missions.

What we are doing around the world is important. And what we are doing in our local communities to help others is also a great source of pride. In 2015 alone, our SSC Atlantic employees in Charleston volunteered more than 28,000 hours. By supporting our STEM outreach program or  volunteering in church activities, working at food banks, helping the homeless, providing holiday meals, working with Adopt-a-Highway, Boy Scouts or Special Olympics, building homes with Habitat for Humanity and many other selfless acts of giving, we are helping make our community a better place to live. The SSC Atlantic team successfully balances good citizenship and volunteerism with our vital mission of supporting our nation's warfighters.