On Thursday, January 19, 2017, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer joined Ambassador Kåre R. Aas of Norway at a signing ceremony marking the new public-private-partnership between NAMMO and the United States Navy’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Division at Indian Head. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Good morning. I’m honored to be here at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head to participate in this signing ceremony.
“This new partnership comes amid celebrations of the seventy-fifth anniversary of explosive ordinance disposal in the Navy, which we’ve been celebrating since August.
“From those first days in preparation for World War Two, through conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East, to our twenty-first century defenses, energetics and energetic materials have played – and continue to play – a critical role in keeping America safe and enabling our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines to execute their missions with precision and power.
“This new public-private partnership between NAMMO and the Navy here at Indian Head represents the continuation of this ongoing effort.
“As a proud American of Danish ancestry, I have traveled to Scandinavia and had the privilege of meeting with leaders in government, the military, and business from the Nordic nations to further the close cooperation that benefits our countries and serves the cause of freedom and security around the world.
“Today, we manifest this cooperation and this partnership here at Indian Head.
“To those of you here today from Norway, I urge you to look around at the men and women who are serving here and who will be working day-to-day to make this new partnership a success. These are the best and brightest of our Navy and our innovation workforce.
“By coming here to Indian Head and Maryland’s Fifth District, NAMMO is tapping into a community and region that is ready to help advance the national security of our nation.
“I want to make note of the important work of Chamber of Commerce’s Military Alliance Council in bringing this partnership to fruition.
“The alliance has been working closely with the mayor, the commissioners, and other stakeholders to bring the local business community and the Navy closer together in the common effort to make Indian Head and Charles County a hub for this kind of investment and growth.
“Today’s ceremony is a reflection of the alliance’s ongoing efforts.
“It was the great Norwegian pioneer in energetics Alfred Nobel who warned: ‘Good wishes alone will not ensure peace.’
“The work that will be done here – this partnership – will contribute to ensuring peace by enhancing the strength of the NATO alliance of which the United States and Norway were founding members.
“An alliance whose importance has not diminished but grown in the twenty-five years since the Cold War ended. An alliance now active on the front lines of the war on terrorism and efforts to prevent Russian aggression against its neighbors. And an alliance whose mission remains the preservation of peace so that democracy and freedom can thrive in our world.
“The work you do here matters. It is deeply consequential. And I join in congratulating all of the stakeholders in this new partnership and wishing much success as it moves forward.”