Welcome to Rome Col. Lawrence

Published Sep 27, 2018 at 4:00pm

Col. Timothy J. Lawrence is the new director of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate at
Griffiss park, as well as the military commander at the site, having been named to succeed the lab’s acting director Timothy J. Sakulich.

Until now the Rome lab typically has had a civilian in the director position, while the commander position has involved the ranking military officer at the site.

Its employment included 727 civilians and 55 military positions in fiscal 2017, plus 422 on-site contractors, according to the facility’s most recent economic impact analysis report.

In addition to the lab’s workforce, hundreds more people in the region depend on the lab from private sector high-tech contractors who work side-by-side with their lab counterparts to local suppliers and vendors. The vast majority of these personnel live in the area, shop in the area, pay property taxes and support our local civic and cultural organizations.

We welcome the colonel to Rome, where he becomes the leader of one of the most dynamic — and important — community assets.

In its nearly 800 employees, Lawrence will have the responsibility (and the privilege) of leading some of the best and brightest minds in science (let alone their specialty fields).

The AFRL Information Directorate in Rome is the Air Force’s and nation’s premier research organization for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) and Cyber technologies. Its mission is to explore, prototype and demonstrate high-impact technologies that enable the Air Force and the nation to maintain a technical advantage. 

They have, time and again, proven to be inventive and resourceful; expansive and tireless in pursuit of their mission.

They have not just been at the cutting edge of technology but have, time and again, pushed the envelope and helped to develop new technologies and advances that have had significant military and civilian
applications.

They have, and continue to, not just contribute significantly to the quality of our nation’s defense but to the quality of life that we all enjoy.

We are truly fortunate to have such people to call our friends and neighbors, adding enormously to the fabric of our close-knit community.

Likewise, without sounding too brash, we believe they too benefit from living here.

As the colonel will soon find out, if he doesn’t already know, our workforce is amazing in its dedication and capacity; our region boasts some of the most enjoyable and impressive natural resources anywhere in the nation; and our schools, health care systems, museums and cultural opportunities, colleges and social organizations and institutions are routinely lauded for their excellence.

We rely heavily on Rome Lab, not just for its contributions to the national defense, but on the immense economic impact that it has on not just Oneida County but all of Central New York.

The lab’s economic impact for the 2017 fiscal year was estimated at $392 million, up 10.5 percent from the prior year. It is an immense part of the region’s economic engine and an essential component in our ongoing efforts to grow our region and its high-tech future.

We have no doubt that the colonel will receive a warm welcome from the men and women at Rome Lab and from the general community as well.

We are confident that Lawrence, who has an exemplary background, will soon grow to appreciate what the lab, its workforce and the region has to offer.

Lawrence’s PhD research led him to receive the Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal from the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in 1999.

That research, coupled with swimming the English Channel, led him to be named one of the top 10 outstanding young people of the world in 2001 by the World Jaycees, according to his biography.

We look forward to his leadership and becoming a part of our community.