About jferrare

Public Affairs specialist with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Retired Army NCO.

Justice keynote opens network science alliance program

Justice delivers keynote

Maj. Gen. Nick Justice is giving the keynote address at the Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance Program launch.

“What I’m learning is we’re just beginning to understand what questions we need to answer to design the network and adapt the network to do what we need to do. That’s what excites me about this program,” Justice said.

An article about the program is here.  More when the keynote is finished.

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Maj. Gen. Justice helps commission 14 lieutenants

Maj. Gen. Nick Justice at Univeristy of Delaware commissioning  ceremony.

RDECOM Commander Maj. Gen. Nick Justice served as commissioning officer at a ceremony at the University of Delaware 28 May, 2010.

Newark, DE — Fourteen University of Delaware students became the newest second lieutenants in the U.S. Army at a commissioning ceremony at the university campus May 28.

Research, Development and Engineering Command and Aberdeen Proving Ground Installation Commander Maj. Gen. Nick Justice acted as commissioning officer and guest speaker during the ceremony.

Read more…

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Army looks to speed technology transfer

RDECOM Commander Maj. Gen. Nick Justice leads a panel discussion about speeding up the transfer of technology to the Soldier at the AUSA Winter conference.

RDECOM Commander Maj. Gen. Nick Justice leads a panel discussion about speeding up the transfer of technology to the Soldier at the AUSA Winter conference.

Some of the Army’s top science and technology leaders said they are changing how they think and act so they can transfer new technology solutions to Warfighters at the speed Soldiers themselves are facing an evolving threat on the battlefield. The conversation took place during at panel discussion at the Winter Association of the U.S. Army conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  More on the RDECOM web site.

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RDECOM team at AUSA Winter

Major Michael Baker briefs RDECOM Deputy Commanding General Brig. Gen. Harold J. Greene on RDECOMs flexible display technology.  Baker is wearing a version on his sleeve in this photo.

Major Michael Baker briefs RDECOM Deputy Commanding General Brig. Gen. Harold J. Greene on RDECOM's flexible display technology. Baker is wearing a version on his sleeve in this photo.

Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin and an RDECOM team are at Association of the United States Army Winter conference at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., displaying many of its high-tech battlefield solutions to attendees, from new food items to flexible displays and sensing through walls technology. The event kicked off this morning. We will post AUSA Winter updates over the next two days.

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RDECOM making offers at job fair

RDECOM Commander Maj. Gen. Nicholas talks to an engineering student about opportunities for civilian service in the Army.

RDECOM Commander Maj. Gen. Nick Justice talks to an engineering student about opportunities for civilian service in the Army.

The RDECOM recruiting team, led by the personal efforts of RDECOM Commander Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, is making offers to students and taking resumes from engineers and others at the Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference in the Baltimore Convention Center.  Justice challenged his team to find ways to put people to work engineering solutions for Soldiers because the command faces a daunting recruiting mission as the Base Realignment and Closure process increases the need for engineers and scientists, not only at the affected bases, but at all of the command’s locations nationwide.

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RDECOM promotes STEM, recruits at conference

RDECOM Executive Deputy Director Gary Martin addresses hundreds of students.

RDECOM Executive Deputy Director Gary Martin addresses hundreds of students.

U.S. Army RDECOM Executive Deputy Commander Gary Martin addressed hundreds of students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to kick off the command’s involvement in the Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference in Baltimore this year.  A robust RDECOM contingent is at the conference with a goal to hire engineers and create relationships with younger students that will help them choose to follow careers in science and technology to meet the nation’s future needs.

Follow the Flickr link for full photo coverage of the presentation and the Army’s education outreach efforts on the conference exhibition floor.

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Army technology heading to Haiti

Army technology heading to Haiti
CERDEC’s Cerberus system, along with a support engineer, is standing by to deploy to Haiti with the 82nd Airborne Division. Cerberus is a system of integrated sensors that provides perimeter surveillance

The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center is deploying the Cerberus system and a support engineer to Haiti with the 82nd Airborne Division. Cerberus is a system of integrated sensors that provides perimeter surveillance. RDECOM has surveyed all of its centers and labs to assemble a list of relevant capabilities that could be of service in relief and recovery efforts. CERDEC’s Cerberus is only the first of those resources tapped to deploy.  At last report the engineer was standing by for a deployment flight.

CERDEC officials say their employees have reported more than 10 deaths of family members in Haiti. Like many others afflicted by this tragedy, they are awaiting word from relatives and friends they’ve lost contact with in Haiti.

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M-ATV review at Car and Driver

Car and Driver came to Aberdeen Proving Ground and did a review of the M-ATV.  It has a 70-photo gallery of the M-ATV in action. Here’s an except

M-ATV photo accompanying the Car and Driver review.

M-ATV photo accompanying the Car and Driver review.

Ten minutes ago the sound of live ordnance echoed in the distance. Now the soundtrack has changed to a mix of humming turbo-diesel, minor rattling, and shouted expletives of amazement. We’re at the Aberdeen Test Center (ATC), located on the 73,000-acre Aberdeen Proving Ground Army base in northeastern Maryland. The sounds are from 25,000 pounds of tactical vehicle hurtling across ATC’s Perryman No. 3 off-road course, a half-mile-long super-whoops section that would make Finland’s World Rally organizers jealous. We launch off an eight-foot-high mogul at about 30 mph, landing hard enough to break anything we’ve ever driven. But the truck just brushes it off and charges toward the next berm.

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BATS on the battlefield

Staff Sgt. Orrin Thompson, a senior intelligence analyst, gives a block of instruction on the Army’s Biometrics Automated Toolset System to Spc. Jonathan Friar.

Staff Sgt. Orrin Thompson, a senior intelligence analyst, gives a block of instruction on the Army’s Biometrics Automated Toolset System to Spc. Jonathan Friar. Photo by 1st Lt. Chad Cooper

The Army.mil site is running an article about the Biometrics Automated Toolset System, a scanning and database system that helps find insurgents and put background information at the tip of Soldiers’ fingers. The system builds a profile by putting names, pictures, finger prints and retina scans together with background information about past records, where the person has worked or whether or not they are wanted for illegal activity.

The system comes from the Defense Biometrics Task Force.

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Danger Room’s 10 Sci-Fi weapons that exist

A soldier fires the XM-25 grenade launcher

A soldier fires the XM-25 grenade launcher

The XM-25 Grenade Launcher leads off a list of 10 sci-fi weapons that actually exist  on Wired’s Danger Room blog. The XM-25 was developed with engineering support from the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., and was featured in a news story on the Army web site  in November.
The post includes a bevy of other high-tech weapons, from drones to robots to lasers.

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Donated computers help Soldiers

A Soldier with 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist Brigade), deployed in Iraq since August 2009, uses an online video-chat program to talk with his wife and children back at Fort Bragg, N.C., during the recent holiday season. Operation Homelink, a nonprofit organization that works with corporate donors to link families and their deployed soldiers with computers, partnered with Dell Computers to donate 75 computers to families of Soldiers prior to this deployment.

A Soldier with 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist Brigade), deployed in Iraq uses an online video-chat program to talk with his wife and children back at Fort Bragg, N.C.

This may be the best use of technology in the Army, even though it’s a story about Soldiers using everyday technology to do everyday things. A nonprofit group works with corporate partners to donate computers to Soldiers and their families so they can keep in touch during deployments.

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Discovery Channel Ripsaw MS2 video

Darrell Waltrip does donuts in the Army technology demonstrator the Ripsaw MS2 at Prelude to the Dream race at Eldora Speedway in Ohio Sept. 9, 2009.

Darrell Waltrip does donuts in the Army technology demonstrator the Ripsaw MS2 at Prelude to the Dream race at Eldora Speedway in Ohio Sept. 9, 2009.

The Discovery Channel has a video
on its web site featuring the Ripsaw MS2, the manned variant of the original Ripsaw unmanned ground vehicle. Howe and Howe Technologies developed the original vehicle, which RDECOM element the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center outfitted with weapons and sensors as a technology demonstrator. Anyone interested in the Ripsaw and the Howe brothers should hit the link before 10 p.m. Tuesday.

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RDECOM commander shares philosophy

Maj. Gen. Nickolas G. Justice
Now that I’ve taken command and been welcomed aboard I want to take a moment to tell the rest of the organization and anyone interested in Army technology how excited I am to join the Research, Development and Engineering Command team.

This is an exciting time for RDECOM and our community.  We are on the front lines of supporting Warfighters in two war zones, helping to transform the Army materiel enterprise and, here at Aberdeen Proving Ground, transforming this into the premier science, technology and engineering installation in the Army. Read more…

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Benning showcases future weapons

The Army.mil Science & Technology page has an article up about a live-fire demonstration that showcased more than 30 weapon systems – including pistols, rifles, sniper weapons, machine guns and grenade launchers.  An Army Research Laboratory researcher was quoted about one of the weapons:

Photo credit Kristin Molinaro   The Small Arms Branch of the Soldier Requirements Division put together the live-fire demonstration to familiarize Maj. Gen. Michael Ferriter, Fort Bennings commanding general, with weapons that represent nearly 60 percent of the Armys small-arms strategy.

Photo credit Kristin Molinaro The Small Arms Branch of the Soldier Requirements Division put together the live-fire demonstration to familiarize Maj. Gen. Michael Ferriter, Fort Benning's commanding general, with weapons that represent nearly 60 percent of the Army's small-arms strategy.

The XM 25 air burst rifle would allow Soldiers to engage targets in defilade with precision fire using high-explosive air-burst munitions. The prototype rifle is still in development, but Sam Wansack of the Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., said he expects the weapon to have broad implications on the battlefield.

“This will be our leap-ahead technology to take out targets we can’t defeat with a bullet from a rifle, said Wansack, an engineer at ARL, which is responsible for developing the weapon.

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Gates orders counter-IED push

The Integrated Robotic Explosive Detection System pictured here is one of the Armys top ten inventions for 2006. It was developed by U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

The Integrated Robotic Explosive Detection System pictured here is one of the Army's top ten inventions for 2006. It was developed by U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

The AP has an article about Secretary of Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ “intensive push” to find new ways to defeat improvised explosive devises. The article says Gates will get a monthly report on progress during the six-month effort to defeat the threat, which has been growing in Afghanistan:

In September 2009, the Pentagon counted 106 effective attacks that killed 37 coalition service members and wounded 285 more. Two years earlier there were 19 successful attacks.

RDECOM and its subordinates have been heavily involved in the back-and-forth between the insurgents’ IEDs and the military’s efforts to defeat them. RDECOM units won Army’s Greatest Inventions nods in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 for systems and equipment to combat various forms of the IED threat, and continues to work on more.

Army medical researchers from Kenya visit Nigeria as part of cooperative effort

U.S. Army medical researchers from Kenya offer mentorship in Nigeria.

U.S. Army medical researchers from Kenya offer mentorship in Nigeria.

U.S. Army Africa reports that Army medical experts from a research center in Kenya  recently brought their expertise in malaria microscopy to Nigeria.  The unit, known as the Walter Reed Project, gave a course that is the first step in establishing a new center in Nigeria as part of the cooperative efforts between the U.S. Defense Department’s HIV program in Nigeria and the Nigerian Ministry of Defense, according to the article.

“Our team was invited to Nigeria to teach a malaria microscopy course and mentor Nigerian instructors who had previously undergone the course at our center in Kisumu,” Wagar said. “This effort in Nigeria is an example of USAMRU-K’s expanding role in Africa to support efforts that increase capabilities within African partner nations.”

The center in Kenya is one of five U.S. military research overseas labs. It was established in 1969 and has 10 Soldiers, two Army civilians and more than 400 Kenyan doctors, nurses, scientists and other contractors.

Link via the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Enriching health care via cell phone

One hundred Soldiers are taking part in a pilot study to see if a cell-phone link to their health care team will help their recovery or quality of life.

The U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center started the pilot program this summer and plans to expand it to 10,000 Soldiers returning from with traumatic brain injuries or other serious injuries, according to an article at GovTech.com. According to the article:

mCare is a downloadable mobile application that facilitates two-way communication between patients, doctors and approved third parties. The application lets users store health-care information on their phone in one place and provides a secure channel for sending and receiving messages, according to the company.

mCare has a Web portal with a dashboard that lets patients provide feedback about their sleeping habits and mood swings to their case managers. Patients can also get tips and appointment reminders, which have proven to be beneficial. According to preliminary survey results, more than 75 percent of users think it’s easy to use and 90 percent said the wellness tips have been helpful.

A shorter version of the story is here.

Chemists brew up education outreach event in local library

ECBC mathematician Erin Shelly walks participating students through a process called paper chromatography at an earlier ECBC Kids & Chemistry Program event.

ECBC mathematician Erin Shelly walks participating students through a process called paper chromatography at an earlier ECBC Kids & Chemistry Program event.

Edgewood Chemical & Biological Center scientists are going to pose as potion masters tonight at the Edgewood branch of the Harford County Public Library for outreach event that will include chemsitry demonstrations and hands-on lab work for the library patrons who are in grades 3 – 8.  The event will be similar to those the lab put on in other local facilities during National Chemistry Week in October, but organizers promise a “potions class straight out of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

The educational outreach event is just one of the Army’s initiatives to promote science, technology, engineering and math from kindergarten through university levels.  More info at the eCYBERMISSION web page and blog, as well as the Army Educational Outreach Program web page.

Training & simulation conference set

RDECOM will be one of the Army participants in the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference 2009 Nov. 30 – Dec. 3 in the Orange Country Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.  The event is expected to attract almost 18,000 registrants, more than 500 exhibiting companies in more than 400 exhibits spread out over a total of more than 187,000 square feet.  Last year’s event drew more than 2,100 registrants from 50 countries outside the U.S.

The conference goal is to promote “cooperation among the Armed Services, industry, academia and various government agencies in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues and development of multiservice programs.” A sampling of the papers that will be discussed includes: “Exploring the Use of a Massive Multiplayer Game to Train Infantry Company Commanders,” “Collective Training – Collective Thinking: Using Innovative Adaptive Simulation in Exercises,” and “Developing a Social Complexity Framework for Immersive Task Training.” More information is available on the agenda page.