Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses audience members at a ceremony celebrating the completion of 25,000 electronic systems vehicle integrations at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C., June 3, 2010. (DoD photo/Mass Communication Specialist Chad J. McNeeley)
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signs a pennant signifying the completion of 25,000 electronic systems vehicle integrations at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C., June 3, 2010. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chad J. McNeeley)
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanks workers of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicle workforce at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C., June 3, 2010. Admiral Mullen addressed the workforce and congratulated them on reaching their 25,000 vehicle integration and 5,000 M-ATV integration milestones. (DoD photo/Mass Communication Specialist Chad J. McNeeley)
by Lonnie Cowart
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic
6/9/2010 - NAVAL WEAPONS STATION CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Underscoring two milestones, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen recognized Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic employees during a ceremony at Naval Weapons Station Charleston for their recent achievements June 3.
Significant accomplishments commended by the chairman included the electronic systems vehicle integration of more than 5,000 mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles to date and 25,000 total vehicle integrations since November 2005.
"You are delivering critical capabilities to the fleet, to Marines, and to joint customers. I just wanted to come here to tell you how much I appreciate what you do," said Admiral Mullen. He was commending more than 600 SSC Atlantic employees assembled in the atrium of the main engineering center on the Charleston campus - and the entire center team via video teleconference - for their various contributions to warfighter readiness.
"I believe you are no different - from the standpoint of your dedication, patriotism and support to our nation - from those who wear the uniform," he said.
As a leading edge Navy engineering center, SSC Atlantic is responsible for the prototyping, testing, integration, installation and quality assurance of all advanced command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems equipment for M-ATVs. They answer which answers an urgent requirement to protect warfighters with a highly survivable, off-road capable vehicle.
After integration by SSC Atlantic, M-ATVs are shipped to Afghanistan to aid Soldiers and Marines on their daily patrols. The M-ATV serves small-unit combat operations in highly restricted rural, mountainous and urban environments that include mounted patrols, reconnaissance, security, convoy protection and communications.
"Every time I have made a trip in theater, a Soldier has come to me and said, 'keep the MRAPs and M-ATVs coming. They save our lives. Tell them back home thank you.' You have made an incredible difference to those in the fight, and to their families. We can always depend on people like you to meet the challenge, whatever it is, so I thank you," Admiral Mullen said.
The M-ATV project is executed by the Marine Corps on behalf of the Navy, and since the vehicle is within the MRAP family of vehicles, it is managed by the MRAP Joint Program Office.
During the ceremony, Commander of Marine Corps Systems Command and Joint Program Executive Officer Marine Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan echoed the chairman's praise, stating every time an M-ATV goes outside the wire, it is saving lives.
"The government furnished equipment being integrated at SPAWAR plays a key role in that," the general said.
Like MRAP vehicle integrations, the M-ATV project is a team effort involving the vehicle manufacturers, the Defense Contracting Management Agency, industry partners, Marine Corps Systems Command, Army Joint Program Office, Army 841st Transportation Battalion, Military Sealift Command, 437th and 315th Airlift Wings, for shipping by air, Army Sustainment Logistics Command, Joint Base Charleston, Naval Weapons Station and the Coast Guard.
Navy Capt. Bruce Urbon, SSC Atlantic commanding officer, told the assembled crowd at the SSC Atlantic integration facility, "Because of what you do, our warfighters can execute their mission with confidence ... you should be very proud. I know that I am proud of the whole team."