DAHLGREN, Va. – A community forum
hosted at the University of Mary Washington’s Dahlgren Campus on June 11 will
feature a panel discussion focused on the impact of World War II on Dahlgren
and the surrounding community.
Held in the UMW Dahlgren Campus’
University Hall, the community forum will be open to the public and offered at
no charge. The event will begin at 4:30
p.m. with an informal reception and the program will begin at 5 p.m.
Guests are asked to register to attend the forum. Registration can be made on line at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwii-community-forum-boomtown-the-war-years-meld-dahlgren-community-tickets-17023682292.
The Dahlgren Heritage Foundation is
targeting 2015 as a year-long opportunity to observe the 70th anniversary of
the end of World War II through the lens of the innovations and technology
developed and tested by the U.S. Navy at Dahlgren, Va. that helped determine
the outcome of that war and continue to be critical to the tactical and
strategic capabilities to U.S. armed services today and into the future.
The centerpiece of this year-long
commemoration will be a series of quarterly community forums hosted at the UMW
Dahlgren Campus. The June 11 forum opens the series with a guest panel that includes
Elizabeth Lee, president of the King George Historical Society; Ann Swope,
former environmental scientist, safety and environmental director and chief of
staff for Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division; Ira West, a
mathematician who worked in exterior ballistics, geoballistics and
anti-submarine warfare and headed both the Systems Simulation and Operational
Support Branches of Dahlgren Division’s Strategic Systems Department prior to
his retirement in 1990; and Gladys West, a programmer with Dahlgren Division
for large-scale computers and project manager for data processing systems used
in the analysis of satellite data. Prior to her retirement in 1998, her work
contributed to the development of the modern Global Positioning System.
The panel will be moderated by Ed
Jones, president of the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation. And special guest remarks
will be provided by Capt. Mary Feinberg, commanding officer for Naval Support
Activity South Potomac.
The World War II commemorative programming
of 2015 will also provide a platform for the Foundation to prepare for the
centennial of the Navy base at Dahlgren in 2018. The Foundation anticipates that the Dahlgren
Heritage Museum will factor into the base’s centennial observance and will
serve as helpful catalyst not only to tell the history of Dahlgren, but also to
promote its future.
The Dahlgren Heritage Museum will
host special openings and programs to coincide with the quarterly community
forums. Plans are underway to showcase
special exhibits at the museum and coordinate with military commands on Naval
Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren for public tours of the base.
Additionally, the museum plans to
host a student STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity and
student tour of the base.
of the Foundation is to generate a public understanding of the impact the U.S.
Navy base at Dahlgren and the surrounding community has had in using science
and technology to strengthen national defense, particularly through support for
function as the Navy's principal proving ground at the outset of World War II
provided a critical capability for proofing and testing every major naval gun
and all ammunition supplied to the Fleet to directly influence and support
force readiness throughout the global conflict.
ballistic ranges, coupled with the scientific and technical expertise resident
at the base at the outset of World War II, played an important role in the
nation’s development of its first atomic weapon delivery system.
ballistic ranges continue to provide a unique capability for proofing and
testing every major naval gun and Fleet ammunition, as well as supporting
RDT&E and proof testing for leading-edge weapons systems for Navy and other
U.S. armed services.
of the Naval Ordnance Relay Calculator (NORC) computer and further evolutions
of computer systems employed at Dahlgren have been key to development of
leading-edge ballistics research, space geodesy and space surveillance, and
computer/ weapon systems integration, and have provided essential operational
support to Navy and other U.S. armed forces on both strategic and tactical
Dahlgren has grown to serve as home to multiple DoD commands that execute a
broad spectrum of scientific and response-force missions serving all branches
of the U.S. armed services.
NSF Dahlgren makes a
significant economic contribution to the local community and the installation’s
military commands, as a whole, serve as the largest employer in King George
County, and one of the largest employers in the greater Fredericksburg area.