SAN DIEGO, Sept. 27, 2011 -- Whether it's a sailor phoning home or a volunteer accessing a centralized donor list, USO San Diego today can better serve the nation's largest concentration of uniformed U.S. armed forces personnel, thanks to Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and an industry team of information technology professionals.
The Northrop Grumman team donated hardware, software and technical expertise to upgrade the computer and phone services at USO San Diego locations downtown and at San Diego International Airport. In addition to Northrop Grumman, the industry team includes Allicom, Chula Vista Electric, Cox Communications, KnowledgeCentrix, KST Data and Microsoft.
USO San Diego leaders joined public officials today in recognizing the Northrop Grumman industry team during a "Connecting USO" ceremony at the USO's Neil Ash Airport Center at Lindbergh Field.
"We're extremely grateful to Northrop Grumman and its team for modernizing our computer and phone services," said John Dooley, president and chief executive officer of USO San Diego. "Thanks to their generous contributions, the USO will soon have a state-of-the-art system allowing us to more efficiently provide a 'home away from home' for U.S. military personnel and their families."
"This project is just one example of Northrop Grumman's support for the USO and its invaluable service to the men and women in our armed services," said Jim Zortman, sector vice president and site manager for Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center in Rancho Bernardo. "Here in San Diego, our employees have pitched in to refurbish the downtown USO center and stuffed thousands of 'care packages' for troops overseas."
The USO serves as one of the principal focal points for the charitable giving activities of Northrop Grumman employees. Northrop Grumman and its employees have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and participate regularly in USO care package stuffing events at company locations.
The USO information technology project started about a year ago when USO San Diego realized its existing infrastructure was hampering, rather than helping, the ability to serve its clients. Neither its phone system nor its computer network was centralized. Outside callers had only one phone number for each location that rang on every phone in the office, and important records resided on separate computers that weren't connected to each other.
Northrop Grumman began by creating a vision and strategy of what the USO's infrastructure should look like, then assembled its team and went to work. In addition to the industry team, USO San Diego received contributions from SAIC and Soldiers Angels. The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation provided financial support.
Initial operating capability for the new services was achieved in July 2011, and the entire system will be operational when the USO moves into new quarters at San Diego International Airport in less than two years.
Already, the USO has seen a difference. With a centralized computer network in place, staff and volunteers can share important files as they organize activities to support U.S. service personnel. There are also more opportunities for internal collaboration because of new teleconferencing tools.
For military personnel visiting USO centers, the new infrastructure has increased computing speed to browse the Internet or call families on a web-based video phone systemâto mention just two of the benefits.
USO San Diego has provided a "home away from home" for U.S. military personnel and their families for 70 years, hosting more than 150,000 visitors annually. With two locations (downtown San Diego and Lindbergh Field), the USO is open 365 days a year and offers programs, services and information for the largest population of active duty military in the nation. USO San Diego is a private, nonprofit organization supported through the generosity of the local community.
With more than 4,000 employees at multiple locations in San Diego County, Northrop Grumman provides unmanned aircraft systems; integrated communications, navigation and identification avionics; tactical data links and interoperability support; and command, control and communication systems.
Since 2010, Northrop Grumman has been the corporate sponsor for the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman for the benefit of the USO. This year's game is expected to feature the U.S. Naval Academy against an Atlantic Coast Conference team and will be held on Dec. 28, 2011, at 4:30 p.m. ET at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The Military Bowl seeks to generate broad support for the USO, positively impact the regional economy, and honor the U.S. military and their families.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
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