Naval Research Laboratory is a common laboratory shared by both the Marine Corps and the Navy. It is responsible for a wide variety of research operations and studies regarding the technological progresses used in these two military fields. The institution is led by Captain Paul C. Stewart, while the research operations are most commonly conducted under the strict monitoring of Doctor John A. Montgomery. The research laboratory is the first modern installation of its kind in the United States of America and hosts only 100 military troops and more than 2,500 civilian experts and professionals.
Naval Research Laboratory has a tight connection with Thomas Edison, one of the world’s most famous inventors among many other skills. Thomas Edison shared his ideas regarding such a research laboratory in 1915, in one of his published articles. The article was published in New York Times Magazine. He thought that a laboratory would be vital for the upcoming conflicts of the United States of America. It came during World War I. One year later, the government allocated over $1.5 million, but the construction began four years later, in 1920. It was delayed due to various conflicts and disagreements, not to mention about the damage caused by World War I. Thomas Edison agreed to lead the group that was responsible for the initial establishment.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held in 1923. The initial mission of the laboratory was to perform studies on the sound and radio systems, including the propagation of sound underwater, as well as the high frequency radio waves. During World War II, the number of employees became ten times larger, from under 400 to more than 4,000. The facilities on site were also tripled. More equipments were brought there for research studies. Around the end of the war, Naval Research Laboratory could brag with five more divisions, including electricity, chemistry and communications. Optics, mechanics and metallurgy were also added in the upcoming years.
The amazing success of Naval Research Laboratory has convinced the authorities to keep it alive. Dozens of military bases were inactivated or disestablished after the V Day, but not this one. Instead, the authorities injected even more funds in it. These days, the laboratory is responsible for research operations regarding any military domain you can think of. It was restructured a few times throughout its history, only to become a strictly organized institution, with clear objectives, missions and instructions for each division.
Some of the most important operations conducted at Naval Research Laboratory include rockets, lunar studies, solar operations, ocean and environmental studies, materials and astronomy. With more than 85 years of hard work and innovation, the center grew to become one of the most modern and advanced facilities in the country. Its services and results are definitive for the upcoming projects of the five military forces in the United States of America. With a significant budget of around $1.2 billion on a yearly basis, the institution is one of the most “expensive” ones, with the largest amounts of cash injected on a regular basis.