‘By Patricia Farris News Review Publisher– On Tuesday, October 24, 2023, the 140,000 sq ft Mission Integration Laboratory was dedicated in honor of Dr. Marguerite “Peggy” Rogers. The laboratory is named in her honor. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was part of the afternoon event.
Many members of Dr. Rogers’ family were present, including children, grandchildren, their spouses, and great-grandchildren. Multiple family friends, families, dignitaries from China Lake, and the community attended the prestigious event.
All of the visitors were given guided tours throughout the elaborate one-of-a-kind laboratory.
Dr. Peggy Rogers was a trailblazer. As a physicist, college professor, and China Lake’s first woman department head (Weapons Development) and Laboratory Director, she oversaw the development of some of NOTS’ most important weapons, including Snakeye and Rockeye.
In 1965, the Station was assigned Deputy Assistant Program Manager (DAPM) status for the weapons in the Free-Fall Weapons Program, which gave China Lake responsibility for the direction and funding of related efforts by contractors and by other laboratories that BuWeps had previously funded. (Rockeye II was the first weapon to be developed with NOTS as DAPM, and at one point, the Station had responsibility for managing 13 other field activities involved with Rockeye.)
Cracking the management whip over the Eye series was Peggy Rogers. In July 1966, she was presented the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award, the Navy’s second highest civilian award by Richard A. Beaumont, Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Manpower. The award citation noted Rogers’ “strong leadership and management in the development of the free-fall weapons as represented by Snakeye I (Mk 81 and Mk 82), Snakeye II, Sadeye, Gladeye, Rockeye I and Rockeye II, Weteye, Bigeye, Padeye, Misteye, Fireye, Deneye, Briteye and the Walleye warhead.”
The previous year, Rogers had received the L. T. E. Thompson Award “for outstanding technical leadership and effectiveness in managing and directing the development of a large portion of this country’s conventional warfare arsenal, the Free Fall Weapons System Program.”
Dr. Rogers received several additional awards by the time she retired in 1980, including Federa1 Laboratories’ Woman Manager of the Year after being the first head of a technical department at China Lake and the first woman in the Navy to attain the public-law pay rank. In her role as department head, she set out to develop a new product line for China Lake: aircraft weapons systems integration and software support.
Dr. Rogers died on March 14, 1989.
NAWC Weapons Division is the Navy’s largest single land-holding of 85% of the Navy’s land for Research, Development, Acquisition, Test, and Evaluation. With a combined 1,829 square miles of land, 36,000 square miles of sea, and 20,000 square miles of restricted airspace, NAWCWD maintains centers of excellence in weapons development and electronic warfare for the Department of Navy.
An experienced and diverse workforce of 6,000 civilian and military team members allows NAWCWD to deliver decisive capabilities to the warfighter when and where needed from its multiple range and laboratory facilities in China Lake, Point Mugu, and San Nicolas Island, California.
With more than 75 years of accelerated, game-changing weapons development, testing, and integration, NAWCWD continues to deliver products and innovations that support our National Defense Strategy and provide a tactical advantage to the fleet. The asymmetric advantage of the Weapons Division resides in the people—when united with a one-of-a-kind land, sea, and space combination, NAWCWD provides a much bigger impact than simply “bombs on target.”
NAWCWD enables industry and government teaming by providing expertise and collaboration at all levels with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) for development and production, including organic integration, testing, fielding, and sustainment of systems.
China Lake Facility
China Lake Ranges (1,829 sq. mi. Land /20,000 sq. mi. Airspace), Advanced Weapons Laboratory, China Lake Propulsion Laboratory (Energetics Research), Salt Wells Pilot Plant and Carl Schaniel Laboratories, Skytop –Trident and large rocket motor test facility, T-Range (Air Breathing Test Facility), Integrated Battlespace Arena, Lauritsen, McLean, Michelson, and Weapons and Armaments Technology Laboratories, Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track, Weapons Survivability Laboratory (Live Fire Test & Evaluation), and Airfield
We deliver integrated and interoperable warfighting capabilities through cutting-edge research, development, acquisition, test, evaluation, and sustainment to provide the warfighter the decisive advantage.
To give warfighters the best to win today, tomorrow, and the future.