In the News

Leadership Southern Maryland Goes Inside the Gate of Naval Support Facility Indian Head

LSM_Breedlove and Walker at Indian Head

Chris Breedlove, LSM ’18 and Travis Walker, LSM Class of 2024 are well-suited for an energetic behind-the-scenes tour of Naval Support Facility Indian Head.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – Nov. 15, 2023 – The Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Executive Program went behind the gate of Naval Support Facility Indian Head earlier this month as part of its study of U.S. Navy activities in Southern Maryland to support America’s national defense and Southern Maryland’s economy and culture. The Indian Head base is the site of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD), the U.S. Navy’s only Public Arsenal. NSWC IHD provides research, development, testing, evaluation, and manufacturing for munitions and energetics.

The Town of Indian Head Mayor Brandon Paulin greeted the executives at the new U.S. Bomb Technician Association (USBTA) facility on Indian Head Highway, sharing highlights of the Town’s revitalization efforts. USBTA President & CEO Sean Dennis and Charles County Military Alliance Council (MAC) Chair Steve Mitchell also welcomed the group, briefing them on the critical ways their organizations support and advocate for the Indian Head base mission.

Onboard the base, the group received in-briefs from Naval Support Activity South Potomac Commanding Officer CAPT David “Donny” Wilson, Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity (NOSSA) Commander CAPT David Blauser, and Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) Commanding Officer CAPT Steve Duba. The executives were then handed the controls, first of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robotics from NSWC IHD and, later, of a “red button.”

The latter occurred during a tour of the base led by NSWC IHD Director of Infrastructure, John Hungerford, LSM ’18, and command subject matter experts Darrin Krivitsky LSM ’21, Scott McKee, and Scott Wilmoth. Tour stops featured facilities for Cartridge-Actuated Device and Propellant-Actuated Device (CAD/PAD) Manufacturing; Agile Chemicals; Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Defense; and Detonation Science. The Naval Air Station Patuxent River Search and Rescue team met up with the group at the base helicopter pad to brief the group on the SAR mission and operations.

“The CAD/PAD tour was meaningful to me,” said Trisha Post, facility security officer at ABSI Aerospace & Defense. “My father-in-law was the first person to eject from an F-18. He had returned from Vietnam and had two ejections from an F-8. He was the test pilot on the F-18. The engine failed on him, but the ejection seat worked! It was great to see where the parts were made that saved his life multiple times.”

Christina Good, director of pricing and strategy at Island Creek Associates added, “I had no idea that we had such a complex and innovative defense facility right in our back yard. I knew that NSWC Indian Head existed, but truly did not understand the magnitude of capabilities offered.”

The executives learned how they can support Indian Head and be part of the broader Southern Maryland defense community by supporting the MAC, The Patuxent Partnership, and the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance. These critical advocacy groups champion Southern Maryland’s military bases and personnel and support their efforts to forge strategic partnerships.

LSM’s Defense Session was hosted by NSWC IHD Director of Public and Congressional Affairs Rebecca D’Ambrosio, LSM ’17, and Community Outreach/Protocol Specialist Janet Virgin, LSM ’20.

Leadership Southern Maryland’s flagship Executive Program is an interactive and life-enriching nine-month, tuition-based “behind-the-scenes” experience designed to enhance the collaborative abilities of our region’s top senior professionals. LSM welcomes mid- to senior-level executives representing diverse geographic locations, industries, professions, ethnicities, genders, and other backgrounds who are committed to addressing the community needs of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties.