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U.S. military restructures R&D facilities.

U.S. Military Restructures R&D Facilities The U.S. Air Force has restructured its laboratories and research centers into four "superlabs" as part of a Dept. of Defense plan to strengthen labs and reduce costs.

The Army and Navy are also working to restructure their labs.

The Air Force's reorganization aims to streamline management and sharpen the focus of the labs, an Air Force officer says.

The new Rome Laboratory, headquartered at Griffiss Air Force Base, NY, will include Rome Air Development Center branches at Griffiss and Hanscom Air Force Base, MA. It will focus on command, control, communications, and intelligence technology.

Wright Laboratory, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, will be made up of the Armament Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, and the Flight Dynamics, Materials Avionics, Aero Propulsion and Power, and Electronic Technology laboratories at the Wright Research & Development Center. The lab will focus on air vehicle technologies.

Phillips Laboratory, headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM, will focus on spacecraft. It will replace the Space Technology Center's three labs: the Astronautics Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base, CA; the Geophysics Laboratory at Hanscom; and the Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland.

Armstrong Laboratory, headquartered at Brooks Air Force Base, TX, will replace the Harry G. Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson and three labs at Brooks: the Air Force Drug Testing, Air Force Human Resources, and Air Force Occupational and Environmental labs. The new lab will focus on human systems technologies.

There are no plans to move satellite facilities or personnel to superlab headquarters at this time, the Air Force says. However, such moves may eventually take place.

The Army is looking at "base realignment and closure" and other possible ways to make labs more effective and efficient, says Kevin Kirby, director for corporate technology at Army Laboratory Command, Adelphi, MD.

"The Army knows what it wants to do," Kirby says. "The question is how to implement the strategy. That's the difficult part."

Closing military facilities can be "difficult politically," he says.

The Navy will streamline its laboratory structure to strengthen management and eliminate unwarranted duplication, Navy officers say.

A proposed plan includes the creation of an air warfare center; an undersea warfare center; a surface warfare center; and a command, communications, and ocean surveillance center.

Details of the plan will be submitted to the Secretary of the Navy this month.

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Title Annotation:laboratories and research centers
Author:Morkes, John
Publication:R & D
Date:Apr 1, 1991
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