AFRL’s new joint-use Secure Corporate Facility increases collaboration, communication
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, hosted a ribbon-cutting event for AFRL’s new joint-use Secure Corporate Facility July 28, 2023. The facility, conceptualized in 2015 and housed within AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, resulted from collaborative efforts spanning multiple technical directorates and offices across the AFRL enterprise.
The new secure facility, a one-stop shop for communication and collaboration, is the first of its kind for AFRL, owing to its expansive accommodations and premier network security. The location offers ample workspace and a highly protected environment in which individuals or teams representing a variety of AFRL directorates can collaborate alongside research and industry partners to accomplish highly classified cross-organizational tasks. The initial call for a large, collaborative workspace stemmed from the need to house multiple teams at once in a single location, thereby enabling more effective communication across organizations.
“This facility represents a leap forward in providing the workspace and tools for AFRL researchers to lead the discovery, development, integration and delivery of game-changing technologies needed by Airmen and Guardians,” said AFRL Executive Director Timothy Sakulich. “Huge thanks go out to the entire team who took this shared vision and made it reality.”
The Secure Corporate Facility, which also includes dedicated office spaces, is home to a newly-consolidated security, cyber, and Information Technology team comprised of individuals from three separate technical directorates: the Aerospace Systems Directorate, the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate and the Integrated Capabilities Directorate, with additional support from AFRL’s Plans and Programs Office. The building houses three 30-person conference rooms with the full video teleconferencing capabilities required to host all levels of classified meetings, individually configurable and controllable small- and large-team rooms and a sophisticated networking infrastructure. Initial plans for the facility noted the need to support any level of classified activity and a robust communications infrastructure.
A team of 17 individuals from the four distinct AFRL entities collaborated on the creation of the secure facility to support multiple science and technology, or S&T, customer engagement activities. The facility also makes available short-term partnering activities with other DOD and non-DOD S&T partners.
Prior to completion of the facility’s initial design, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force directed the Air Force Materiel Command to set the project in motion, efforts which were then tasked to AFRL. These efforts, ultimately, drove a second facility design concept that would eventually become the reality.
Director of Aerospace Systems Dr. Mike Gregg, Integrated Capabilities Director Chris Ristich and Materials and Manufacturing Director Darrell Phillipson attended the event to herald the successful culmination of the project and to introduce the facility to members of the DOD workforce.
“The secret to success on a project like this is keeping the end [goal] in mind,” Phillipson said. “Responding to DAF needs and supporting the warfighter provides us focus and motivation to succeed. With a clear objective and willingness to team, anything is possible.”
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from basic to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit www.afresearchlab.com.