China Lake event draws 100+ alumni

China Lake event draws 100+ alumniCarol Miller, operations lead for the Expendable Aerial Vehicle team, talks to former employees about his work. — U.S. Navy photo by Paul Kakert

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By STACIE LAWRENCE

NAWCWD Public Affairs

As Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division wrapped up celebrating 75 years at China Lake, more than 100 retirees and alumni gathered for Alumni/Retiree Appreciation Day on Nov. 9.

Howard McCauley, deputy technical director for Research and Engineering, served as the host and emcee sharing the microphone with Executive Director Joan Johnson and several others to provide the alumni with the current state of the command and a few things on the rise for its future.

In her introduction, Johnson spoke of the growing workforce and the increasing demand for NAWCWD’s capabilities.

“Our influx of demand in work is on the rise because for 75 years we’ve been recognized as a place where if you have a problem, we’ll get you a solution and we’ll get it into the warfighter’s hands as quickly as possible,” Johnson said.

“What’s also really exciting is that we’re growing to meet that demand. We’re pairing people with a lot of experience and knowhow with people who are coming in with a whole new way of thinking, and that diversity of thought is creating outcomes that we never imagined.”

The day’s presentations kicked off with Andy Corzine, director of China Lake ranges, noting the rapid changes and record-breaking demands within the department, including the relocation and expansion of several capabilities. Darin Martin shared his expertise in cyber warfare following Carol Miller’s insight on NAWCWD’s growing expendable aerial vehicle capabilities.

“We’re changing because the work is changing,” Corzine said, “and we have to modernize our technology to adapt. There’s been an increase in the work being put through the ranges, so you can all rest easy knowing that there is still a huge demand for our services.”

Closing out the presentations, Engineer and Scientist Development Program member Conner Warren talked about efforts to help improve what was formerly known as the Junior Professional Program and Richard Chairez, NAWCWD innovation lead, explained the new ways the command is capturing and encouraging the innovation the Weapons Division is known for.

Systems Engineer Justin Meidinger wrapped up with a presentation on the Digital Precision Strike Suite and its flagship programs, followed by NAWCWD trivia and door prizes to conclude the event.

Alumni/Retiree Appreciation Day is an annual event coordinated by the Retired Activities Office. For information on upcoming events and services offered to alumni and retirees, contact RAO at 760-939-0978.

Story First Published: 2018-12-07