The Applied Physics Laboratory announced earlier this month
a laboratory-wide restructuring designed to align it with future
Department of Defense and Navy priorities. Departments affected
by the restructuring include Fleet Systems, Aeronautics and Naval
Warfare Analysis. The Research Center also has been
Director Gary Smith told the APL staff that these changes will enable the laboratory to take advantage of new opportunities at the U.S. Department of Defense as they occur. He noted that the changes will increase APL's focus on air defense, strengthen its role in support of U.S. capabilities to attack land targets, expand its work in the analysis of future threats and the evaluation of operational needs to meet those threats, and enhance its ability to perform basic research and technology development.
"These changes and the earlier restructuring of the Space, Submarine Technology, and Strategic Systems departments better position the laboratory for the 21st century needs of the defense establishment and will enable us to meet future challenges with greater effectiveness," Smith said. "We are taking these steps to better align ourselves to help our sponsors deal with the changes that they are facing and to deal with the challenges to which they must respond."
Historically, approximately 81 percent of APL's research and development work has been for the Defense Department, a level the administration expects to maintain. The reorganization, Smith said, is a response to Department of Defense changes necessitated by the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of other real and potential threats to global security.
As part of the restructuring, the Aeronautics Department will be eliminated and its staff will be divided between a new Research and Technology Development Center and the Air Defense Systems Department. Staff members who worked in the area of strike warfare in the Naval Warfare Analysis Department--which now functions as the Joint Warfare Analysis Department--have been reassigned to the Power Projection Systems Department.
Fleet Systems--APL's largest department, employing 650 of the laboratory's approximately 2,600 full-time staff members-- will no longer exist. Its work will be pursued within the framework of the Power Projection Systems and Air Defense Systems departments. Fleet Systems department head Gene Hinman explained that the restructuring "is taking us back to our origins of what the Fleet Systems department was when it began: an air defense department. Other missions of the department evolved over time. So one of the things we're doing is refocusing the air defense organization into an Air Defense Systems Department and placing the emphasis on our need to respond to the demands of our sponsors."
Hinman said the decision to create the Air Defense Systems and Power Projection Systems departments will create a focus on critical areas where research and technical gaps exist in the defense community. He noted that the role of precision-guided weapons is increasingly important, and the ability to make precision strike relies on information and information technology, an area the laboratory is moving more aggressively into with-in the Power Projection Systems and Joint Warfare Analysis departments.
Hinman is the fourth--and last--head of Fleet Systems, which has operated as a separate APL department since 1972. He told Fleet staff members, "It has been an absolute privilege to serve as the head of what is the best part of the laboratory. ... In the 10 years and nine months that I served as department head you have accomplished absolutely amazing things for all our sponsors. But the best is yet to come, I'm sure."
Hinman will now devote his full attention to his role as the laboratory's assistant director for programs, a position he has held for the past two years along with his department head responsibilities.
New APL Departments and HeadsPower Projection Systems Department
David V. Kalbaugh
Air Defense Systems Department
Joint Warfare Analysis Department
Research and Technology Development Center
Go back to Previous Page