U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command scientists and engineers are stationed around the globe to explore international collaboration opportunities in scientific research and technology development, opportunities that will potentially close capability gaps for the U.S. Army.
Three regional RDECOM Forward Element Commands, known as RFECs, represent this international endeavor:
- RFEC Atlantic
- RFEC Americas
- RFEC Pacific
From basic science to insights on maturing technology, foreign research contributes to the development of U.S. products and provides solutions that improve American capabilities.
RFEC Pacific facilitates the Army’s S&T collaboration efforts throughout the Asia-Pacific region, which spans 36 countries.
In support of the Administration’s rebalance to the Pacific, RFEC Pacific is uniquely postured to capitalize on the dramatic increase in Asia’s R&D investments, which collectively have exceeded those of Europe, the Americas, and the United States and continue to trend upward, according to Battelle R&D Magazine 2013.
“In past years, RFEC Pacific has established an exceptional working relationship with Japan, Korea, Australia, and Singapore,” said RFEC Pacific Commander Col. Ernest “Lee” Dunlap. “In 2014, RFEC Pacific will seek opportunities to expand engagements in India as well as countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, such as Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.”
Forward presence and persistent engagement are cornerstones of the Army’s strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. RFEC Pacific headquarters is in Tokyo and task organized into the Field Assistance in Science & Technology – Pacific and the International Technology Center – Pacific.
ITC-PAC conducts technology search and facilitates government-to-government engagements with people assigned to Japan, Singapore and Australia.
FAST-PAC provides S&T direct warfighter support for USPACOM, USFK, SOCPAC/ SOCKOR, and USARPAC with science advisors assigned to Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Japan and Korea.
“Building partnerships and leveraging resources for mutual benefit are a top priority for RFEC Pacific,” Dunlap said. “Cultivating relationships is vital to our success and this includes our allied countries, fellow AMC equities, and other U.S. international outreach partners.”
ITC Pacific works collaboratively with the broader DoD S&T community, to include the Office of Naval Research Global, the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development, DARPA and DTRA.
FAST Pacific seeks to maintain a single face to the warfighter by partnering with the Army Field Support Brigades.
“There are clear lines of synergy we can capitalize on with the 403rd and 404th AFSBs to optimize our S&T support to the warfighter, and we’re working with them today toward that goal”, Dunlap said. FAST Pacific also works closely with the MARFORPAC Experimentation Center, Army Contracting Support Brigades and the Army Reserve Sustainment Command’s Detachment-8.
“Our international engagement activities cutting across all mission areas are synchronized with Asia-Pacific Theater Objectives, Technology Needs of the Army, and what we call the S&T Landscape”, Dunlap said. “This undertaking requires close coordination with the PACOM J4/J8 staff and Security Cooperation Offices from each country.”
FAST-PAC science advisors participate in coalition exercises to identify and address critical capability gaps and help build partner capacity with allied nations.
“Exercises such as Ulchi Freedom Guardian (in Korea) provide ideal opportunities for us to operationalize our S&T support to the warfighter and build strong relationships with other AMC equities as well as allied countries,” Dunlap said.
In fiscal 2014, FAST-PAC Science Advisors will directly support 11 exercises.
FAST contributions in the Pacific support a wide range of technology needs, including C4ISR, Counter-IED, Counter-WMD, Dynamic Precision Fires, Operational Power and Energy, Language Translation, and HA/DR.
RFEC Pacific was a key facilitator for the WMD Aerial Collection System (WACS) developed by DTRA and ECBC, bringing together multiple stakeholders from TRADOC and ASA(ALT) that led to a recent operational demonstration in Korea.
In partnership with the MEC, FAST-PAC delivered the first water purification and renewable energy systems for HA/DR support to the Philippines during Balikatan 2013 and provided similar support to U.S. units in Samoa, Guam, and Saipan. In 2014, RFEC Pacific will support Task Force Talon in Guam and provide operational assessment opportunities for program offices, RDECOM laboratories, and the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force.
RFEC Pacific also coordinated funding and development of multiple language translation capabilities for Korea, such as CERDEC’s Korean Advanced Text Translator and DARPA’s MADCAT-K translator. Other C4ISR support included deployment of Cambium point-to-point radio systems to enable 8th Army and the 2nd Infantry Division to conduct battle command on the move during UFG-13.
In 2014, RFEC Pacific will facilitate insertion of the Army Research Lab’s Standoff Covert Eye-safe Explosive Detection System into multiple exercises in Thailand, the Philippines, and Korea. The SCEEDS enables long-range detection of homemade explosives and is of keen interest to U.S. warfighters and partner nations seeking cutting-edge C-IED technologies.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army’s premier provider of materiel readiness — technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment — to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.