Naval Research Laboratory Rededicates Pier

10/5/2003 - 71-03r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541

The Naval Research Laboratory rededicated its pier in a ceremony held on October 6. The pier had not been usable and was in need of repair for a number of years.

The pier, a 730-foot long timber structure, was built in 1942 to serve as a mooring for cargo and passenger boats. For a period of time, a ferry transported NRLers to and from Alexandria. However, the ferry service ended in 1961 when the Woodrow Wilson Bridge opened.

In the late 1960's NRL acquired the oceanographic research vessel, USNS J. Willard Gibbs to carry out programs in acoustic and oceanographic research. The NRL pier was the home base for the Gibbs. Originally built in 1943 as a sea plane tender, the 310-foot Gibbs was converted to an oceanographic research vessel in 1958. The ship was equipped to accommodate 24 scientists. In support of NRL research, the Gibbs sailed from Hawaii to the Arctic and from South America to the Mediterranean. NRL's former Director of Research, Dr. Alan Berman, spent a considerable amount of his at-sea search time aboard the Gibbs. In 1977 the Gibbs was sold to the government of Greece and removed from the roster of U.S. vessels. The ship's quarterdeck sign was found during the renovation of Building A-59 and placed at the entrance to the pier.

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About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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