U.S. Navy Sec. Harker, Sen. Reed tour NUWC Division Newport facility

NEWPORT Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed visited the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport recently. Reed is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee overseeing the U.S. Department of Defense.

The visit was part of Harker’s tour of some of the Navy facilities of New England.

According to a statement, Harker and Reed toured the Unmanned Underwater Vehicle High Bay work area for an update on Division Newport’s work in UUVs, torpedoes, submarine-launched systems, marine-mammal monitoring and bio-inspired technologies.

In addition to meeting with Division Newport’s Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings and Technical Director Ron Vien, Harker and Reed also heard from Chris DelMastro, head of the Undersea Warfare Platforms and Payload Integration Department. According to a statement, DelMastro detailed Division Newport’s expertise in UUVs as well partnerships its formed with industry and academia.

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Hector Lopez, head of the USW Weapons, Vehicles, and Defensive Systems Department, described the Command’s history of developing torpedoes for the Navy. Leaders from the Electromagnetic Systems, Combat Systems, Platforms and Payload Integration departments updated Harker and Reed on their work as well.

Christin Murphy of the Sensors and Sonar Systems Department shared a portfolio of bio-inspired research projects: Bats’ echolocation for swarming, fish tails for propellers and seal whiskers for sensing — collaborative work with Brown University.

Jeff Hebert, director of programs for the Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Department, explained how his department’s Marine Mammal Modeling and Monitoring Program and the

Navy Acoustic Effects Model help maintain the Navy’s reputation as stewards of the sea by studying how sonar influences marine mammals’ behavior.

“We’re working with industry and academia and across the Navy research and development enterprise to advance the state of the art in undersea warfare, ensuring the U.S. Navy maintains undersea superiority,” Vien said.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.

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