SPAWAR: Charleston's hidden high-tech gem

Image by NavyImage by 20080913spawar.jpg

Note: Apparently The Post and Courier inadvertently published this story early (as they seem to do with some frequency). They've since removed the story, but it should be back Monday morning and the link to their site working again.

Sometimes when the military starts calling things by high-tech names they can disappoint us civilians, but this one is different.

Tucked away on the Naval Weapons Station in Hanahan is the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Charleston, SPAWAR (pronounced spay-war). The center aims to make sure our military is keeping up in the world of technology, and putting it to effective use.

And The Post and Courier decided to make a trip to look and see:
Robert Regal twirls his finger on it in a circular motion, the slick surface springs to life in a kaleidoscope of colors.

He then taps the screen to pull up a digital map showing the real-time locations of dozens of vessels navigating the Atlantic Ocean. Pressing a thumb and a pinky on two of the icons, he instantly can see the exact coordinates and other details that the Navy might want to know in an instant, such as the best course a warship or submarine would need to take to rendezvous with -- or intercept -- another.

But the agency also is estimated to have some $2.3 billion impact on the local economy and provide thousands of jobs.

The story is a good read, so go read it.

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