Wednesday, January 23, 2013

#83) Latest News from Mark Derksen at Manassas

Following is an interesting report from Mark Derksen, Senior Staff Systems Engineer, on what's been happening recently in Manassas, VA. Mark's last report was published on April 13, 2011 (See Blog Post #23 - Click Here). Note, at the end of his e-mail below, Mark has included a link to a 17 minute Royal Canadian Navy video featuring an HMCS Victoria Class Submarine with Librascope's FCS installed.

Hi Carl,

There are still a few of the “remnant of Librascope” left here in Manassas. They still count our years of service based on our hire date at Librascope. Grant Corcoran retired at the end of last year. Those that are left (that I can think of anyway) are:

Kevin Kofler
Brent Derksen
Scott Maurer
Nick Thomas
Steve Mitchell
Mark Derksen

Based on age, my brother Brent will likely be the “last man standing” from Librascope.

As far as the Librascope legacy CBRN (formerly NBC) business area goes, at the end of last year we delivered 19 “Able Sentry” systems (a derivative of the original BAWS system) to Japan consisting of 190 Remote Sensors and 19 Base Stations. This makes a total of 46 BAWS-type systems delivered to Japan since 2006 under 8 separate contracts. There is now talk of back fitting the earlier systems to be the same as the latest systems.

Regarding the Librascope legacy International Submarine area, we delivered new Combat Systems (Weapons and Sonar) to Brazil for their German 209 submarines and successfully fired U.S. built torpedoes on two separate exercises. We also delivered systems (Weapons and Sonar) to the Spanish Navy for their new S80 class submarines. I was the lead SE for the Weapons portion and they are shooting a German built torpedo. I had a great time traveling to Spain, Germany and UK on this program. We also continue to supply the Canadian Navy with updated systems for their Victoria class submarines and recently had a successful warshot firing in Hawaii.


PS Below is a link to a video produced by the Canadian government regarding the SINKEX exercise as part of RIMPAC12 in Hawaii. The focus is on the Victoria class submarine with our Fire Control System installed. In the video you can see our consoles and displays with the screens fuzzed out. Some may recognize the TMA screens that utilize Harold Klein’s algorithms. Starting at about 13:31 into the video you will be able to see my brother, Brent, standing behind the weapons operators with a clipboard. Feel free to post this video link since it is in the public domain mostly as PR to the Canadian public.

Monday, January 14, 2013

#82) The 2012 Librascope Reunion

As some of you know, I missed the November 3rd Librascope Reunion because I fractured my back just two days before the event took place. Now I'm feeling much better though, and finally able to report here on the 2012 Reunion.

First of all, Georgine Archer says the 2012 Reunion was “very successful”. As expected, a little over 100 Libravets attended, including first-timers Mark Ferry, Norris Guy, and Pete Maimone. She also said the food was good, and it was a beautiful location. About half the attendees were subscribers to this Blog.

A hugely successful “50/50 Raffle” was held to help support the ongoing expenses associated with our three main websites (Librascope Memories, Librascope Search, and this News Blog). Georgine also reported that there was a very generous, but anonymous donor. And, our thanks to Jeff Luther, and Jim Carpenter who sold $420 worth of the above raffle tickets. The happy raffle winners were Barbara Herrick, Al Mohill, and Marty Rudolf who each received $70.

A lot of good pictures were taken at the reunion, which are now posted on the Photos page of the Librascope Memories website (click here). Note, there are two 2012 Reunion Albums. One album is for all the “table photos” that Georgine normally takes at each reunion, and the other album is a collection of candid photos that were taken by Georgine, Charlotte Ashby, and Don Chen. The “Tables” Album includes a list of all the people at each table. This list is also on the Librascope Search website. In addition, Ray Hand took a short video which we hope to publish at a later date.

On a sad note, Georgine also made available a list of the Libravets who had passed away since the 2010 Reunion. A current version of that list of 35 Libravets is published on the Librascope Memories website History page (click here), Section IV. It is also on the Librascope Search website.

Finally, I wanted to mention again that I will soon be publishing over 100 new candid and table photos that were taken at the 2006 and 2008 Reunions, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

#81) In Memoriam - Bill Girouard

The following obituary for Bill Girouard appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Pasadena Star-News yesterday. 

Bill was responsible for the design and construction of Librascope's buildings, including Buildings 8, 17, and the 100,000 sq. ft. Instrumentation Facility in Marina Del Rey. A couple years ago, Disney's architecture firm contacted me for any information we might still have about the construction of Building 17, that they were planning to renovate soon. I put them in contact with Bill who promptly responded, from memory, with a detailed description of how the building was constructed, including the first of its kind roof parking lot. Disney's firm was very appreciative, and said that Bill's input would save them a lot of research.

Bill last attended the 2008 Librascope Reunion.

Dr. William F. Girouard
May 10, 1921 - Jan. 3, 2013

Son of D.W. and Loretta C. Reidy Girouard, loving husband of Rita F. Phipps, proud father of Kathleen and Maureen Girouard. Alumnus of Oberlin College A.B. '47, University of Southern California B.S. 58' M.S. 60' , Madison University Ph.D. 06'. Dedicated lifetime teacher (with interruptions) 1947-2008; Boston Public Schools, Friends Academy, Faculty Member USC and Cal Poly Pomona. Faithful member (semper fi) United States Marine Corps WWII, Korean War Resigned (Major), Director Librascope Division Singer Co. 1960-1986; Cited Who's Who in the West and Who's Who Nationally. Active in Industrial Engineering, Chapter President, Regional Director, National Director Professional Registration. Active in public life; Planning Commission South Pasadena, President Homeowners Association South Pasadena, Parishioner '64 till passing and Lector and Eucharistic Minister, Holy Family Church.

This was Bill, the engineer's, answer to a request for a biographic resume. However, Bill neglected to state he was a man of staunch faith, provided endless acts enlivened with humor, and every act, robed in love.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, January 11, 2013 at Holy Family Church at 10:30 a.m. A reception will immediately follow at St. Joseph Center (located directly across the street from the church). Holy Family Church 1501 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena, CA 91030. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Industrial Engineering Department @ Cal Poly Pomona or University of Southern California Cabot & Sons, Pasadena.