Capt. Paul Dale is the Commanding Officer aboard Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and he took advantage of the Rotary Club of China Lake meeting Wednesday to give an overview of the installation.
“There is a long, storied history of what was NOTS [Naval Ordnance Test Station], now NAWS and NAWCWD, starting from 1943,” he said.
NAWS China Lake refers to the actual physical facility. NAWCWD is one of 23 tenant commands on China Lake, he said.
NAWS China Lake is one of 10 installations in the Navy Region Southwest, which is one of the larger Navy regions. “NAWCWD is tremendously important. But there is amazing other stuff that is done,” he said.
He also pointed out that “this installation is huge. It is bigger than the state of Delaware. It’s 85 percent of the Department of Defense’s airspace for research development position tests and evaluation.”
Dale said that only around five percent of the land is being used, which is most obvious from the air.
“We don’t call the rest of it ‘excess,’ the term in the Naval facilities world is ‘underutilized.’”
He added that much of the more than 300 mile perimeter of the installation is unfenced.
“We pretty much count on the desert environment to keep people away,” he said with a laugh.
Dale discussed the function of the installation.
“What’s our responsibility from the installation? It’s not glamourous. It really isn’t. But its very important. Our job as the installation is to enable all the commands on the base to be able to do their job.”
The primary aspects of the job are safety and security.
In addition, he said, the current focus is…
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