Last updateFri, 09 Dec 2016 7pm



Druggan Assumes command of Naval Surface Warfare Center

With a giant relic of Dahlgren Navy base research looming behind the stage, Rear Adm. Tom Druggan relieved Rear Adm. Lorin Selby as commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center during a change of command ceremony Aug. 25.

The 18-inch gun, a gigantic cannon 73 feet long and weighing 177 tons, was an ordnance dead end — but it served as a fitting symbol of naval might and the storied history of research at the Dahlgren base for the ceremony.

In a moment of levity amid the pomp and ages-old formality of the ceremony — with sideboys in starched Navy whites whistled by an bosun with a traditional bosun’s pipe into a corridor through which the three admirals participating in the ceremony (Druggan, Selby and Naval Sea System Command commander Thomas Moore) walked to the stage — Moore referred to the 1980s popular action comedy “Crocodile Dundee”, when the title character draws a foot-long bowie knife to confront a switchblade-wielding mugger, with the comment “That’s not a knife. This is a knife.”
“That’s a gun!” Moore said, with an admiring glance at the gray-painted behemoth.

Druggan, a surface warfare officer and a native of Lexington, Ky., attended the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989. He also holds a Master of Science in national resource management from the National Defense University's Eisenhower School (formerly Industrial College of the Armed Forces) and a Master of Science degree in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School.

"It is an honor and a personal privilege to serve as the 12th commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center," said Druggan. "The important work at NSWC is more critical and more important now than ever to meet the advanced threats and challenges emerging today."

At sea, Druggan served as aboard a variety of surface ships and commanded the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense destroyer, USS O'Kane (DDG 77). Ashore, he served as major program manager for AEGIS Combat Systems in the Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS).  He also served as major program manager for In-Service AEGIS Fleet Readiness and previously as principal assistant program manager for In-Service Aircraft Carrier Combat System Integration, directly supporting Program Executive Office for Aircraft Carriers. Druggan's Pentagon tours include special assistant to the chief of naval operations, special assistant to the vice chief of naval operations, the 2001 Navy Quadrennial Defense Review staff, and as a founding member of the Navy operations group, Deep Blue.

Moore, the 44th commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), was the guest speaker and spoke about Selby's contributions.

"Lorin, you have encouraged and inspired all hands - both military and civilian to excel and to dedicate themselves to do incredible things," said Moore. "We've got the most advanced ships, platforms and weapons systems in the world. NSWC cohesively and seamlessly operates a full spectrum of research, development, testing, evaluation, engineering and fleet support so that our great Navy can fulfill its mission."

Selby has served as commander of NSWC since October 2014. He assumed additional duties as the chief engineer and deputy commander for Ship Design, Integration and Naval Engineering in June 2016.

"The men and women of the Warfare Centers have already written more than a century of history in Naval warfare with names like Commodore Crane, Ensign Dashiell, Rear Admiral Dahlgren, Rear Admiral Taylor and Rear Admiral Melville," said Selby. "Looking toward the future, our men and women continue to make Naval history in so many facets that are absolutely critical to American military strength - weapons, propulsion, ship design, energetics. Innovation and high velocity learning has been in our DNA for decades!"

The NAVSEA Warfare Centers are comprised of NSWC and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) and represent approximately 30 percent of the Navy's engineering and scientific expertise. NSWC is comprised of eight echelon-four Divisions: Carderock, Corona, Crane, Dahlgren, Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology, Panama City, Philadelphia, and Port Hueneme, as well as one echelon-five command, Combat Direction Systems Activity (part of Dahlgren). NUWC is comprised of two echelon-four Divisions, Newport and Keyport, as well as one echelon-five command, Naval Sea Logistics Center (part of Keyport). With more than 100 years of history, the NAVSEA Warfare Centers provide "full spectrum" technical advice and solutions to our partners in support of Naval platforms and systems.

For more information about the NAVSEA Warfare Centers, visit:

By John Joyce

NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications

King George man convicted for three counts of child pornography

A King George man entered pleas of guilty to three counts of distributing pornography in King George Circuit Court last week.

Scottie M. Gaines, 31, will be sentenced on Dec. 10. He has been scheduled for a two-day jury trial before entering the guilty pleas.

"Distribution and possession of child pornography is a crime that is so heinous that no one wants to even comprehend that it exists," said King George Commonwealth Attorney Keri Gusmann.

"The men and women that investigate these cases do a tremendous job reviewing disgusting and horrific images," Gusmann said. "I would like to thank the King George Sheriff's Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce for all their hard work to bring this case to justice."

After Gaines entered the guilty pleas, Gusmann agreed to drop 10 other charges of possessing child pornography againt Gaines. The joint task force, which included officers from the King George Sheriff's Office, developed the charges against Gaines after a search of his King George residence.

During the search, law enforcement investigators found and seized hundreds of images of child pornography, including videos of adults having sex with children. After his arrest, Gaines allegedly made a full confession to law enforcement officers.

Gaines, who is a former civilian employee of the Navy base at Dahlgren, will be held in the Rappahanmock Regional Jail until he is sentenced.  

He is facing more than 10 years in prison.

By Richard Leggitt

Anita Davis praised for providing summer food program

Anita Davis was praised by King George County School Superintendent Rob Benson and the King George School Board at its Aug. 22 meeting for spearheading and running a new summer food program this past summer.

Davis is the King George Public Schools division coordinator for school nutrition.

“I can’t express the effort it took for her to procure the funding to make this available. Anita does a great job,” Benson said.

Davis and her staff provided free breakfasts and lunches five days a week for children 18 and under at King George High School and King George Middle School.

Funding for the Summer Food Service Program was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by Virginia Department of Health, which reimburses the division for meals served, including those by Lunch Bunch, along with some administrative costs and training and technical assistance.

“I couldn’t have done it without my amazing staff,” Davis said. They provided more than 11,000 meals for children during the summer break.

“We want to recognize Anita and thank all those who worked hard to make that a success,” Benson said. But that’s not all. Chairman T.C. Collins  said“I hear dinner’s on its way.”

Davis agreed, indeed it is, and talked about a new after-school meal program just begun, “Dine on Us.”

Students 18 and younger are invited to an after-school meal served Monday through Friday 2:30 to 5 p.m. at the middle and high schools.

“After-school clubs, sports teams and walk-ins are encouraged to give our dinners a try,” Davis said. The cost for children is free, with adult meals priced at $3.

Catching up with her a couple of days later, Davis said it began last Monday with about 30 meals served at each of the two schools.

“On Tuesday, we served 45 served at the high school and on Wednesday we served 149 there,” Davis said.

After her end-of summer program review, the new school year had already started up, so she’s been busy processing free and reduced lunch applications in addition to administering school food service programs at all county schools.

“I couldn’t even think about starting a new program,” Davis said. “I went to a workshop in Richmond and they said I was already approved, because we did the summer program. They also said the application was really simple. That was the magic word,” Davis said. She couldn’t refuse.

“We have so many kids staying after school for sports and lots for tutoring. And none of them have anything to eat until after they get home, if then. This will give them the nourishment they need to make a success of it. I hope, if nothing else, it makes people see how easy it is to do good. I feel like service to others is our rent here on earth,” Davis said. “A lot of people are living paycheck to paycheck. People can’t afford to eat healthy, that’s the whole key. Now all these kids can get another healthy meal.”

Dashan Turner, director of administrative services, agrees.

“I think this program is an excellent service to the school community. It provides students and our student-athletes with the opportunity to receive a well-balanced meal immediately after school. For the student athlete, it removes the concern for parents who struggle with ensuring that their child has money to purchase a meal or snack before practice or school event,” Turner said.

“Through state and federal grants, ‘Dine on Us’ is just another example of King George County Schools meeting the needs of our school community.” 

By Phyllis Cook

King George readying revisions to water & sewer regulations for Service Authority

King George Service Authority staff has begun a new review of its water and sewer regulations, with formal revision expected later this year, after an advertised public hearing will be scheduled at a future meeting.

In the meantime, board members held a work session meeting on Aug. 22 and talked about what Chris Thomas called “big picture” items in the regulations. Thomas is an engineer who is the Authority’s general manager.

There was a discussion on an existing requirement added last year for all new customers to provide a deposit of $250.

“That’s around the amount of a regular bill for customers with water and sewer service,” Thomas said. “It is stipulated in state code the deposit needs to represent 90 days of utility use.”

Authority board member Chris Werle suggested it be split for water-only or sewer-only customers, providing deposits of $125 each, and $250 for water and sewer customers.

Other board members agreed.

Thomas told them maybe they could lower it for some, saying Fredericksburg waives deposits for new customers depending on the result of a credit check. Credit checks can only be performed if new customers volunteer their Social Security numbers. Board members agreed for staff to examine the issue.

The next topic was pricing for the 67 customers who are unmetered and currently are charged bills for the minimum amount of usage.

Those without water meters are long-time customers whose service was originally supplied by a water service from a third party, bought up by the Service Authority after it was formed in the early 1990s.

Board members agreed for staff to suggest strategies to address the issue, including increasing the set amount those customers pay because they can use an unlimited amount of water for which they are not fully charged.

“Some water line connections are under pavement,” Thomas said.

Werle suggested the Service Authority try to follow the water line from where it branches from the main line, and install a water meter as close to the property line as possible.

Thomas said some customers have agreements recorded with the previous water service filed on the deed addressing the matter. Chairwoman Ruby Brabo suggested ideas for requiring a new meter at the property line in those instances.  

“Let’s find out if we can legally require a meter when the property changes hands,” Brabo said. “I think we’ve been more than fair.”

There was also discussion of increasing the existing fee of $100 per occurrence for tampering with a water meter.

Brabo agreed they should look into how high they can go. She also asked if legal charges could also be considered, with Thomas saying tampering could be charged as a misdemeanor if the board agreed.

Thomas talked about new ultrasonic meters the county recently began installing for new customers and to replace some old meters.

The ultrasonic meters are expected to eliminate meter tampering by customers who get them, because they will be caught and fined.

Thomas said the new meters register and send a message anytime the meter is touched.

Brabo got agreement on her suggestion about any customers suspected of tampering should be a priority to get new meters.

Werle brought up a complaint he’d received that new rates for usage should not be charged for ‘the next billing,’ but instead be charged for use after the rate increase is enacted. Other board members agreed the practice be amended.

The conversation turned to potential new connections to come from residents and businesses having access to the new water line slated to be constructed on Mount Rose Drive.

Customers with their own water wells are not expected to be required to connect.

County Administrator Travis Quesenberry noted the authority could offer reduced connection fees for those who do decide to connect during construction, which was met with consensus.

Brabo suggested a date be selected for a second work session at its next meeting on Sept. 6.

She also suggested setting a date for a Service Authority town hall prior to holding a future public hearing later this fall on revisions to the regulations.  

“Let’s talk about a date for that and use it as an opportunity for education for customers for anything we feel would be beneficial for people to know,” Brabo said.

By Phyllis Cook

Economic Development Authority developing purpose/mission statement

The King George Economic Development Authority is expected to continue its struggle to come up with a written purpose or mission statement at its monthly meeting next week.

The meeting is 5 p.m. Sept. 8 in the ground-floor board room of the Revercomb Administration building, behind the King George Courthouse on Route 3 (Kings Highway).

Chairman Jim Hull is leading the effort to define a purpose statement for the seven-member board appointed by the Board of Supervisors.

The authority got an infusion of new members at the beginning of the calendar year, and a majority of the group agreed it wanted to have more impact than it has had in previous years.

It had planned on starting work with the Board of Supervisors to assist in a stated goal of developing a strategic plan for economic development.

Supervisor Chairwoman Ruby Brabo, along with the two newest supervisors, John Jenkins and Richard Granger, had all campaigned on the need for an economic development strategic plan.

Brabo had addressed the EDA at its March 10 meeting and talked about the group’s role.

“One of the main priorities is creating an economic development strategic plan so we can ensure we do develop our county properly,” Brabo said. “You need to be a partner with us in creating that.”

She said in March she expected joint meetings to be scheduled for the two groups after the 2016-17 budgeting process ended in mid-year. She asked authority members to think about the issues and the process.

But now development of a strategic economic plan has been put on hold and may not get started until early next year.

Economic Development Director Linwood Thomas mentioned the postponement of strategic planning at the EDA’s August meeting.

“We’ve been talking about developing an economic development strategic plan, and now I hear that will wait until after a new county administrator is hired,” Thomas said.

The word has gotten around, with confirmation coming from Travis Quesenberry, along with cancellation of a team-building session supervisors had scheduled for the end of August.

Team-building and development of an economic development strategy is now expected to start up after Quesenberry’s replacement is hired. The long-time county administrator is scheduled to retire on Dec. 2, as announced last December.

Earlier this year, the supervisors engaged a firm to recruit candidates for the position. That effort has been ongoing behind the scenes with supervisors expected to schedule interviews sometime in the next several weeks.

In the meantime, the economic development group had agreed with Hull it would continue to work up a purpose statement, while it waits for the Board of Supervisors to include it on working up a strategic economic development plan.

Hull first spoke about developing a purpose statement two months ago, but it has been slow going to get written input from all members.  

At the Aug. 11 meeting, he shared his research and again initiated discussion.

The bylaws and the pertinent section from state law consist of four pages of lofty potential activities allowable.

But they are currently beyond the funding available to the authority, including for such things as assisting in the acquisition, construction, equipping, expansion, enlargement, improvement, financing, and refinancing of facilities to provide operations, recreational, activity centers and other facilities.

Hull told his colleagues he had begun work on a purpose statement between meetings and sent it to them.

He again urged all members to commit their thoughts in writing and send it to him, like Vice Chairman Dreda Newman had.

“I asked for input and got some from Dreda, and would like to hear from others,” Hull said.

Newman’s contributions stressed promoting investment and business growth by conducting outreach programs to encourage businesses to expand or relocate to the county.

She also said it can assist firms by locating office space, obtaining market information and providing liaison services between businesses and King George County regulatory agencies.

Authority member Bob Fuscaldo commented, “We need a mechanism to work with some private partners. We have to figure out a way to work with private partners, because the money is just not there with government.”

Hull agreed. “I think the authority can tailor this to what this EDA wants,” Hull said.

“I’m thinking a paragraph – two sentences – from each of you. Don’t have it so lofty and detailed that it can’t be captured by the average citizen. Dreda’s paragraph was short, sweet and to the point.”

Hull suggested members provide input so they brainstorm at the September meeting on the effort.

The other members of the Economic Development Authority are Rick Ballenger, Jeanne Fraysse and Ted Haenlein, with a vacancy for a representative from the James Madison District.  

By Phyllis Cook


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