The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), in partnership with the National Armaments Consortium (NAC), hosted the 68th annual Ordnance and Ballistics Technology Working Group allowing researchers and developers from government, academia and industry to exchange information on the latest weapons technology, July 29-Aug. 1.
The working group serves as a unique role for partners to discuss ideas at the classified level, and is limited only to personnel from Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Energy.
NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau opened the working group linking the group’s value directly to how NPS students will apply their education in the fleet.
“Our students are here working on cutting-edge solutions, not just in the technical areas of this field, such as physics, mathematics, engineering and material sciences, but they also do it with the notion of lethality and effect,” said Rondeau. “Having conferences like this, that brings industry and government together with our student practitioners, is very important so they can return to the fleet and the field to apply this knowledge with lethal force.”
The event was structured over a three-day period, with the approximately 300 participants engaging with a variety of speakers on topics that covered mechanics, warhead technology, explosives and propellants.
“This particular conference is unique because it allows us to collaborate at the classified level,” said NPS Dept. of Physics Associate Professor Joe Hooper. “This is one of the few places in the ordnance and ballistics community where you have people from all the various disciplines come and give scientific talks on what they're working on.
“You're getting input from both DOD sponsors and the people who are executing the work, as well as input from the people providing oversight, such as government scientists and policy makers,” he continued. “Having all these people under one roof really helps push the overall field forward.”
The event was open to all NPS students and faculty with the appropriate clearance, working in fields related to the topics discussed. Students wishing to participate submitted papers which were ranked prior to the event, with the selected students presenting their most promising papers during the event.
“This is the only classified technical exchange for this community to stay current on trends in development and share ideas,” said Vice-Chairmen of the NAC Executive Committee James Miller. “The information you get is all technical information on things not only in our organization, but across the field. This is a great time to network and make connections across all military branches and government so we can help develop future ideas and support the warfighter.”