JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- Rear Adm. Frederick “Fritz” J. Roegge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC), joined industry partners to cut the ribbon officially opening the COMSUBPAC Innovation Lab (iLab), Nov. 7.
Roegge spoke to nearly 50 submarine personnel and thanked those involved in the iLab’s creation.
“I am excited to be here today, and I thank everyone who made today possible,” said Roegge. “I’m delighted by the work of our great partner organizations and their leaders in bringing this innovation lab to fruition. It’s truly a testament to high velocity learning to do it so quickly. It’s imperative that we create an innovative space for our personnel to identify, research, and use emerging technologies to address the Navy’s most pressing challenges.”
The iLab's mission is to exploit and leverage low-cost commercial sector research and tools from the computer gaming industry and cellular phone markets to demonstrate cutting-edge battlespace visualization capabilities.
“This emerging maker-space is where submariners can prototype low-cost solutions to training and operational problems using cutting edge virtual reality and augmented reality tools,” said Roegge. “To achieve high velocity learning, we must expand the use of learning-centered technologies and put them in the hands of our greatest asset: our Sailors.”
The iLab is outfitted and operated in partnership with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), Battlefield Exploitation of Mixed Reality (BEMR) Lab and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) New Training Technologies Program Office.
“The capabilities of the Navy need to consistently move forward,” said Chief Petty Officer Craig McHenry, Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific facilities manager. “There is so much knowledge out there that we must understand and use to our tactical and operational advantage. The iLab is a tool our Sailors can use to unlock that ability and capitalize on our findings.”
The iLab also has a relationship with the University of Hawaii Laboratory for Advanced Visualization and Applications (LAVA). Industry partners are assisting Sailors in building tailored applications.
“COMSUBPAC is embracing the capabilities of the future and attempting to use these capabilities to its advantage,” said McHenry. “High velocity learning, as exemplified by our iLab, can only make our military and civilian team stronger and smarter. I’m proud to serve on this team, and I’m excited to see where we take this technology in the future.”