The Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) is a key source for innovative solutions to enhance maritime capability. Established in 1998, the Command recently relocated to a new headquarters building at Norfolk Naval Station. The primary customer of NWDC is first and foremost the Fleet, facilitating warfare development. The Command engaged with IDEAS to develop a state of the art illustration experience to help VIPS, and other visitors to the center, get the full understanding of its capabilities.
A significant attribute of the new headquarters is the 10,000 square foot, modeling and simulation center supporting the Navy Continuous Training Environment, Navy Experimentation, and Concepts of Operations development. The only one of its kind in the U.S. Navy, it holds the distinguished title of the Navy Center for Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NCAMS). “This facility will enhance our ability to collaborate with the warfighter and more rapidly respond to meeting the needs of the Fleet,” said Rear Admiral Wendi Carpenter, Commander Navy Warfare Development Command. “It is going to allow us to gain efficiencies, and greater effectiveness in ways we cannot fully imagine now; but with the continued revolution in computers and information it adds an enhanced dimension to the art of capturing what is on the horizon. It is a centerpiece of validation for concepts and doctrine through wargaming and experimentation, particularly due to the ability to connect worldwide to other nodes located in fleet concentration areas or with coalition nations.”
In an effort to fully illustrate NCAMS’ potential to the Fleet, NWDC was excited about the possibilities IDEAS presented to accomplish this goal. The instruction to IDEAS included determining the layout of the center’s floor plan, developing the aesthetic and thematic design elements for the facility’s interior spaces, and producing all the digital media assets to be displayed across some 30+ large monitors and projection screens.
IDEAS started the project with an initial conceptual phase to determine the facility’s story and design an engaging visitor experience within a 24/7 operational environment, an extremely secure location, and integrating a myriad of complex technologies. Upon review and approval by NWDC, IDEAS then began producing the design specifications for fabricating custom furniture and scenic elements, determining the audio-visual and show control system requirements, and pre-production for the digital media assets. This included scripting and producing an automated 20-minute tour showcasing NWDC’s capabilities and the importance of this new facility in supporting Fleet, Joint, and Coalition forces using high-fidelity simulation for synthetic event training exercises and experimentation of new tactics and equipment.
The challenge was how to connect the very real “live fire” experiences of the front line warfighter as they engage in the synthetic training events supported by NWDC over the world’s most reliable, continually operating simulation network, hosted and maintained at this new facility. Using a blend of live, virtual, and constructive simulation, NWDC and its Fleet training partners are able to “light up” the C4I and operational gear aboard Navy, Joint, and Coalition ships, aircraft, and command centers. IDEAS used the power of story to bring the reality of what happens on the far end of the simulation into the high-tech environment of the new facility. The result is an impressive operational “mission control” for the U.S. Navy that not only tells the story of how NWDC is developing the game changing innovations of tomorrow’s Navy today but also the importance of how this training saves lives, money, time, and resources in supporting Fleet operations around the world.
IDEAS provided the Navy with a turnkey operation from concept development all the way through to onsite installation and show programming for NWDC’s new modeling and simulation center. This also included developing naming constructs and creating a visual identity for what would become the Navy Center for Advanced Modeling and Simulation.