Executive Correspondence – Letter dtd 07/27/2005 to all BRAC Commissioners from Elton Gallegly Page: 2 of 37
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A Workable Alternative
How to use the existing construct of the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division to
comply with DoD's strategy of establishing centers of technical excellence, while
significantly increasing military value, decreasing the cost of realignment and reducing
the loss of intellectual capital.
The Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division (NAWCWD) stood up as a command
within the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) claimancy on 1 January 1992. Its
planning and legal basis stem from the Navy preparation for BRAC 91 and the
subsequent BRAC implementation established by law. While initially encompassing
several separate and independent NAVAIR field activities and the prior Naval Weapons
Center, China Lake, then a field activity of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems
Command (SPAWAR), it quickly evolved to a two-site technical organization at China
Lake and Pt. Mugu. At the time of its formation, two other centers under NAVAIR were
created, the NAWC Aircraft Division headquartered at Patuxent River, MD, and the
Training Systems Division at Orlando, FL. A headquarters for the three centers was
established as the NAWC in Washington, D.C. under NAVAIR. At the same time as the
NAWC and its divisions were formed, companion centers were created in the Naval Sea
Systems Command (NAVSEA), and in SPAWAR.
When planning started for BRAC 91, the leadership in the Navy was intent on
consolidating the vast systems commands' RDT&E field activities into a much leaner
structure. This was to be accomplished through realignments and closures affecting most
of the field activities within the three systems commands organizations. NAVAIR
leadership had had much earlier visions of a field activity structure with a flag officer in
charge on each coast. The focus on the east coast would be airplanes and on the west
coast, weapons, although the complexity of activity across all the supporting field
structure was far greater than just those two commodities. Where activities were to
continue to exist, the command function would vest in the NAWC division commander (a
flag officer) and the supporting base function would be a subordinate command.
One very important aspect of this consolidation was the elimination of independent
competing technical commands and functions around the country. Because weapons
RDT&E functions were performed both at China Lake (more heavily R&D) and Pt.
Mugu (more heavily T&E), a primary NAWCWD consolidation goal was to eliminate
areas of overlap between the main sites. The new NAWCWD command structure
significantly reduced middle management positions and located technical leadership at
the site where it made the most sense. For example, Range, Targets, Test Wing,
Logistics, Avionics and T&E Engineering leadership was located at Pt. Mugu, while
System Engineering and Weapons leadership was located at China Lake. NAWCWD also
adopted common systems for major supporting functions (e.g., financial, personnel,
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Executive Correspondence – Letter dtd 07/27/2005 to all BRAC Commissioners from Elton Gallegly, letter, July 30, 2005; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc19141/m1/2/: accessed March 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.