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U.S. Navy photo by Scott Clarke Dan Carreño, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Executive Director, center, cut the ribbon on the new Academic Training building on Sept. 26 in China Lake, California. The facility is one of 18 military construction projects that were awarded following the July 2019 earthquakes.

OICC China Lake delivers on the second Earthquake Recovery Project

CHINA LAKE – Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Officer in Charge of Construction (OICC) China Lake officially delivered the Academic Training Center, the second of 29 projects, as part of the $2.7 billion Earthquake Recovery Program aboard Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake on September 26, 2023.

In August 2021, the project broke ground and the demolition of the aged and earthquake-damaged NAVAIR Training Center commenced. In its place would be a 16,000 sq ft state-of-the-art training facility capable of hosting various training activities, meetings and collaboration space.

The complex is split into Community Learning and Training Centers linked by a covered walkway with an outdoor seating area. The Community Learning Center houses the applied technology laboratory, conference rooms, administrative spaces, an innovation/independent study laboratory and a break area. The Training Center boasts science fiction inspired, computer labs, conference and training rooms aptly named after Star Wars, Star Trek and Terminator movies.

“The complexity of the battlefield is growing every day; the way we approach it needs to grow even faster. This cutting-edge facility will ensure that Team WD has access to the most modern training and learning opportunities that will allow them to give the warfighter the very best to win today, tomorrow, and into the future.” said Dan Carreño, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) Executive Director.

The Community Learning Center is outfitted with prototyping and soldering stations, 3-D printing and machining rooms. In the midst of the Center is an open space dubbed the Think-Tank that will offer small group meeting space, house the campus library and hosts a plethora of collaborative generating furniture.

“Human Capital is the largest investment we make as an organization. Our people need development opportunities beyond formal training. The new spaces were designed to provide resources and equipment for hands on learning and the facilitation of knowledge transfer (mentoring/coaching/collaboration)”, said Ariana Shermer, NAWCWD Training Director. “Human Capital Development Department vision is to influence a love for learning at NAWCWD.”

Training Center has a large classroom that can host up to 60 students, two smaller classrooms accommodating up to 25, two computer labs, two large conference rooms and an employee onboarding room.

“The integrated OICC China Lake team is elated to deliver a second project to NAWCWD and NAWS China Lake. Although this is among the smallest in size of the earthquake recovery, military construction projects, we understand the importance this facility plays in attracting talented professionals, retaining our amazing, existing workforce and increasing the knowledge and collaborative spirit needed to develop new and adaptive systems for the future”, said Captain Ben Wainwright, OICC China Lake, Commanding Officer. “Over the last two years, the efforts of our contractor, the Barnhart-Reese construction team, cannot be understated. The complexities of removing and installing new underground systems, the miles of infrastructure within these walls and all the brilliant finishing touches are truly a sight to see. BZ to the Barnhart-Reese Team.”

NAWS China Lake is located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California, approximately 150 miles north of Los Angeles. China Lake’s mission is to support the Navy’s research, testing and evaluation missions to provide cutting-edge weapons systems to the warfighter. The installation is the Navy’s largest single landholding. In total, its two ranges and main site cover more than 1.1 million acres, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

OICC China Lake was established in August 2020 to provide engineering, acquisition, and execution oversight for military construction and repair projects caused by the devastating damage from the 6.4 and 7.1 magnitude earthquakes that occurred on July 4 and 5, 2019.