Viasat celebrated the opening of a new office June 1 on the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Aberdeen, MD.
Viasat’s Government Systems team provides a variety of defense-related products and services to the U.S. Army. The new Aberdeen office will allow for greater collaboration with the more than 7,500 civilians and 5,000 military personnel who work at APG. The proving ground is used for testing major weapons systems, but it is also the home to the C5ISR (Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) campus that hosts the Army’s premier communications systems developers and providers for the U.S. Army.
Viasat began in 1986 with its roots in defense as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awardee, delivering one of its first signal-to-noise ratio products for the U.S. Army. Today, the company delivers secure defense communications across the globe to U.S. and allied nations. As a partner for the U.S. Department of Defense and coalition military forces, Viasat has come a long way in how it’s developing and deploying secure, innovative defense communications that warfighters rely on.
Viasat’s President of Government Systems Craig Miller talked about the company’s defense evolution during the grand opening.
“This office itself is a lot bigger than the one Viasat started 35 years ago when we were just doing SBIR projects,” he said. “Now we’re providing Link 16 for Patriot missile batteries, manned and unmanned platforms, and the next generation of SATCOM-as-a-Service and broadband applications, tying it all together with encryption and cybersecurity.
“We’re very excited about being a partner to help with the modernization initiatives in the Army. And looking forward to using this space to work more closely with the Army, to be the best partner we can be. We’ll be able to get together on a minute’s notice so we can help you with your missions and most importantly, bring capabilities to the warfighter as quickly as possible.”
Representatives from Harford County, where the proving ground is located, also welcomed Viasat to its new home.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Viasat to our defense community, joining a network very committed to the success of our soldiers and the mission of the Aberdeen Proving Ground,” said Karen Holt, deputy director of the Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development. “We welcome a global communications innovator, with 35 years as a partner to the Army. Thank you for what you’ve done and what you will do.”
In addition to workspace for Viasat employees, the new APG office includes a lab and warehouse that will support the onsite development, testing, and support of advanced networking and SATCOM capabilities.
Joel Babbitt, Viasat’s vice president of Army business development and strategy, described the proving ground as “the center of gravity for Army communications.”
“The real advantage of having an office here is the close collaboration with the Army’s innovation and development organizations,” he said. “There are probably 200-300 people here that we meet with either on a regular basis or periodically. This office will allow us to both be a more responsive partner and to better understand our partners in the Army.
“It’s as much, if not more, a collaboration space as it is an office space,” he continues. “We’ll have the ability to demonstrate our technology directly and match it to customer needs. It’s really about helping provide solutions for the Army so it can be more effective, more resilient, and communicate better to support what the mission needs.”
Recognized as the U.S. Army’s pre-eminent post for C5ISR, the Aberdeen Proving Ground is also home to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), Army Futures Command Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) and the Network Cross-Functional Team (N-CFT), Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors (PEO IEW&S), and the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, among others.