Posts Tagged afghanistan

Engineers quickly return Kiowa to flight in Afghanistan

An OH-58D Kiowa helicopter sits at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in this Army file photo. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, reverse engineered and fabricated a Kiowa helicopter's fuselage bracket to return it to flight status.

An OH-58D Kiowa helicopter sits at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in this Army file photo. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, reverse engineered and fabricated a Kiowa helicopter’s fuselage bracket to return it to flight status.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — When Soldiers needed to replicate a key part of an OH-58D Kiowa helicopter to return it to duty, they turned to the expertise of a deployed U.S. Army civilian engineering team.

After the helicopter’s fuselage bracket supporting the copilot’s seat sustained damage from incoming fire, the 1106th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group Task Force 14 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, sought a quick turn-around solution.

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http://go.usa.gov/bjWC

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Army scientist discusses developing Soldier solutions ‘at the speed of war’

Mike Anthony (center), who recently completed a six-month deployment in which he served as director of the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, talks with RFAST-C engineer Nick Merrill (left) and RFAST-C engineering technician Courtney Johnson, about the design of a modified "batwing" command wire detection hook for use with robots at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, April 25, 2013.

Mike Anthony (center), who recently completed a six-month deployment in which he served as director of the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, talks with RFAST-C engineer Nick Merrill (left) and RFAST-C engineering technician Courtney Johnson, about the design of a modified “batwing” command wire detection hook for use with robots at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, April 25, 2013.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 12, 2013) — U.S. Army civilian engineers and engineering technicians have deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, for the past two years to develop field-expedient solutions for Soldiers.

They comprise the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, a forward-deployed prototype integration facility and Energy Initiative Proving Ground.

Mike Anthony recently completed a six-month deployment in which he served as RFAST-C director. He returns to his job as the chief of the Mission Command Capabilities Division at RDECOM’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center.

In an interview with the RDECOM public affairs office, Anthony discussed how RFAST-C brings expertise of the command’s scientists and engineers directly to theater to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers.

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http://go.usa.gov/b9Zh

 

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Army engineers enhance EOD Soldiers’ safety with batwings

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center's modified "batwing" design provides multiple tools for remote counter-improvised explosive device operations, including a hook for grabbing or cutting command wire, a rake for breaking up soil, and a spade for moving and digging up items.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center’s modified “batwing” design provides multiple tools for remote counter-improvised explosive device operations, including a hook for grabbing or cutting command wire, a rake for breaking up soil, and a spade for moving and digging up items.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md.  — U.S. Army engineers in Afghanistan recently designed and fabricated a tool to help Soldiers investigate possible improvised explosive devices from a safer distance.

Capt. Chad M. Juhlin, commander of the 53rd Ordnance Company (EOD), said his Soldiers needed an attachment for use with the iRobot 310-SUGV when searching for improvised explosive devices, known as IEDs. The iRobot’s explosive ordnance disposal capabilities were limited, requiring Soldiers to operate close to the potential hazards.

The forward deployed engineering cell from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, or RDECOM, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, took on the challenge.

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http://go.usa.gov/TGSd

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Army team spans globe for science, technology solutions

RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, engineers and technicians discuss prototype integration facility capabilities with senior noncommissioned officers from the 18th Engineer Brigade at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in June 2012.

RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, engineers and technicians discuss prototype integration facility capabilities with senior noncommissioned officers from the 18th Engineer Brigade at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in June 2012.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army science advisors are embedded with major units around the world to speed technology solutions to Soldiers’ needs.

The Field Assistance in Science and Technology program’s 30 science advisors, both uniformed officers and Army civilians, provide a link between Soldiers and the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s thousands of subject matter experts.

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http://go.usa.gov/T9Gd

 

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A civilian engineer’s journey to Afghanistan

Robert McFarlane, an engineer with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, deployed to Afghanistan to provide Soldiers with engineering solutions in the field.

Robert McFarlane, an engineer with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, deployed to Afghanistan to provide Soldiers with engineering solutions in the field.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (April 4, 2013) — Much like Soldiers who find ways to make things happen under battlefield conditions, a team of engineers and technicians deployed with Soldiers apply their skills and knowledge to find a rapid solution to problems that Soldiers bring to them.

To Stephen McFarlane, a mechanical engineer from Picatinny Arsenal, a major allure of such a team was meeting the immediate needs of the Soldiers without involving the “higher up guys,” who typically make the decisions that keep the high-quantity, big-ticket hardware moving through the acquisition process.

But instead of having the items pass muster with the Army Test and Evaluation Command, field commanders had the latitude to decide whether small quantities of items born from a need to solve a field problem would become part of the unit’s equipment.

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Civilian engineering team secures Soldiers’ compound in Afghanistan

Members of the 1st Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, known as the 1-9 Cav, (left) stand in formation Feb. 25 during a ceremony at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in which certificates of appreciation were presented to four RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center personnel (right) who engineered, fabricated and installed force-protection enhancements at a combat outpost. RFAST-C members (from left): engineer Steve Roberts, equipment operator Jon-Luke DeStefano, engineering technician Robert Spetla, and executive officer Dan McGauley.

American Soldiers in Afghanistan were recently challenged in securing a facility for coalition forces. They turned to deployed U.S. Army civilian engineers for a solution.

Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, known as the 1-9 Cav, had been unsuccessful in finding the expertise they needed to design, build and install new force-protection measures. After meeting with the forward deployed engineering cell from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, a fix began to take shape.

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http://go.usa.gov/2YTF

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Army engineering team marks a year of solutions in theater

 

Daniel R. McGauley (left), executive officer of the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, describes a Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station thermal imager protective cover that was designed and fabricated by the RFAST-C at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 15. McGauley briefs (from left) Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, deputy for acquisition and systems management at ASA (ALT); Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology; and Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A team of U.S. civilian engineers and technicians deployed to Afghanistan recently marked one year of solving Soldiers’ technological hurdles.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, Forward Deployed Prototype Integration Facility provides a platform for its subject matter experts’ knowledge and talents to be translated into battlefield solutions, said Michael Anthony, the team’s director.

To read more:

 http://go.usa.gov/4krY

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Army announces greatest inventions of 2011

Spc. Nicholas Ketchen and Spc. Colt Corbin, mortarmen from Company C, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, achieved a first in the U.S. Army history by firing a 120mm Mortar Precision Guided Munition for the first time in Afghanistan, and hitting within four meters of the target, on Forward Operation Base Kushamond, Afghanistan, March 26, 2011.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – U.S. Army officials announced the winners of its greatest inventions competition Sept. 19.

A team of combat veteran non-commissioned officers, as well as U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command field-grade officers, reviewed and voted for the Army Greatest Inventions of 2011.

Dale Ormond, director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, commended the scientists and engineers for their efforts to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers.

“The contributions made by these teams promise to improve the well-being of Soldiers and the Army’s capability to contribute to quality of life and our national security,” Ormond said. “All of the nominated inventions demonstrate significant contributions to the warfighter.

 Read more on Army.mil 

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Precision strikes from Strykers

A Soldier prepares to drop the first Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative round fired from a Stryker Double-V Hull Mortar Carrier Vehicle in Afghanistan. What happened? A direct hit. The Death Star is no match for this weapon system.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — It’s a mortar system so accurate it can score a direct hit with the first round (which is harder to do than some may think) and now it comes mounted a Stryker. It’s accurate like Rick Barry from the free throw line and that’s cool.

Click here to read more.

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Army research official visits Afghanistan

Cargo parachutes drop fuel to a combat outpost in Afghanistan, Sept. 16, 2011. Army researchers are testing a quick release system to be fielded later this year.

Cargo parachutes drop fuel to a combat outpost in Afghanistan, Sept. 16, 2011. Army researchers are testing a quick release system to be fielded later this year. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Maj. Matt DeLay)

 

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (June 25, 2012) — A senior research and development leader spoke with Army officials here June 11-13. Army leaders in the field are seeking technology solutions for complex challenges.

“The commanders have a need for low-cost quick release systems for airdrop bundles,” said Dr. Jack Obusek, Sc.D., U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center director. “A quick release system would prevent cargo from being swept out of friendly hands when parachutes get dragged on the ground in high wind conditions.”

Army researchers have been developing prototype quick release devices and has plans to provide a substantial number to U.S. troops in Afghanistan later this year.

“We’re looking to significantly accelerate this effort and checking whether our forward deployed research center or stateside prototype facilities can produce the prototypes,” he said.

Obusek also discussed a possible far forward medical aid capability package. The research center and the PM and the medical community have recently entered full production on a modular medical package that will provide near intensive care unit-like capabilities to Soldiers serving forward.

Obusek said he received positive feedback from Soldiers on the First Strike Ration and the Army Combat Shirt — two initiatives developed at Natick. He met with medical staff to discuss new materials for protective equipment and received many great ideas for future technology development.

Obusek leads an 800-person military and civilian workforce at NSRDEC, located in Natick, Mass. The center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command with the mission to maximize a Soldier’s survivability, sustainability, mobility and combat effectiveness.

This was Obusek’s first visit to Afghanistan since being named as the NSRDEC director in January 2011.

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Picatinny battle captain hones skills in Afghanistan

By Eric Kowal

If you have ever watched a major crisis unfold in the movies, or perhaps even in real life, you can picture in your head the exact layout of a command center, often referred to as an emergency operations center.

The scene may be both chaotic and hectic with the influx of information pouring in, some factual and but most often distorted, and some irrelevant. Yet at the center, wrangling chaos into order for these operations is one person, a battle captain.

Travis Rodenburg currently serves as the Emergency Operations and Planning Officer, the civilian equivalent of a battle captain, for the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) with additional duties as the organization’s anti-terrorism officer.

In that capacity, Rodenburg can often be found in the large emergency operations center (EOC) located in Building 95 here at Picatinny Arsenal during an installation Force Protection Exercise.

Many employees are not affected or do not see the activities during these exercises, and most may not understand the role that he plays in these simulated exercises or in real life.

Rodenburg recently returned from a “vacation” of sorts where he took his battle captain role and applied it to real-world operations.

Rodenburg volunteered to leave behind his wife and four young daughters—including a baby born just one month before his departure—to fill a temporary position as a battle captain and operations officer supporting the 401st Army Field Support Brigade in Afghanistan.

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Howitzer program helps strengthen Afghan self defense

By Audra Calloway

An inspected D30 howitzer is loaded for delivery to Afghanistan.

Picatinny Arsenal is helping the Afghan National Army develop their indirect fire capability to bolster self-defense.

Picatinny, in conjunction with the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, will support the acquisition of 194 D30, 122mm Howitzers for the Afghan National Army.

In addition to supporting the acquisition of the howitzers, the Program Executive Office Ammunition, or PEO Ammo, has also helped establish a training and mentoring program at the Central Work Shop in Kabul, Afghanistan. At the CWS, mentors/instructors are teaching an Afghan work force how to properly overhaul, repair and maintain the weapons.

To accomplish this mission, PEO Ammo has enlisted the support of the Project Manager for Towed Artillery Systems, known as PM TAS, and subject matter experts in the areas of optical fire control, canon, quality assurance and weapon systems from the Armament Research Development & Engineering Center, or ARDEC.

To date, this team has successfully delivered 85 of the required 194 howitzers.

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Army civilian delivers engineering, technology skills in Afghanistan

By David McNally
Research, Development and Engineering Command Public Affairs

Army civilian Marty Eaton serves as executive officer for a science and technology team deployed to Afghanistan.

Army civilian Marty Eaton serves as executive officer for a science and technology team deployed to Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Maj. Matthew De Lay

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — When Soldiers need a fix to a nagging problem in the field they may pull a “MacGyver” to come up with unconventional solutions. But now the Army has a team of specialists to rapidly develop and deliver technology and engineering solutions located front and center with troops in Afghanistan.

In January, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, with its headquarters here, fielded a “technology village” of forward-deployed engineers, technologists and specialists who listen to problems and brainstorm solutions. The Army organized and setup the first ever RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology Center at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Fielding this team meant finding, preparing and deploying civilian specialists to the other side of the world under often austere conditions.

“When we are able to bring the full capacity of the RFAST-C on line, we should be able to make a major contribution to the war effort by shortening the time it takes to develop and then deliver innovations and equipment upgrades,” said Marty Eaton, the center’s executive officer. “Our proximity to the Warfighter, the ultimate customer, will speed the development process.”

Eaton said being stationed in Afghanistan streamlines the process and makes it much quicker to gain clarification of needs and requirements.

“We get user feedback as innovations are being developed and confirmation from Soldiers that any prototypes developed accurately meet their requirement,” he said. “If we can put improved tools in the Warfighter’s hands sooner, we enhance the force and speed their success.”

As the RFAST-C executive officer, Eaton assists and supports the center’s military director, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, tasked with leading the organization.

“I direct the team in his absence, and focus on the daily operations,” Eaton said.

Eaton’s duties require him to coordinate and interact with the other units on the ground in Afghanistan. As executive officer, Eaton gives the director “mobility and visibility over the operation so he can engage where he can make the maximum impact,” he explained.

As a former Army officer, Eaton understands the nuances of many situations.

In his stateside life, Eaton is an Aviation and Missile Systems Engineer at the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

“I work with the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma to coordinate development of several projects between them, our center, and the Program Executive Office for Missile and Space,” he said. “I may no longer be a Soldier, but I can still do my best to see that our Warfighters have the best tools possible to do their job. If I can make even a modest contribution to that effort it will is a good thing.”

Eaton earned a Bachelor’s degree in applied science and engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1980, and a Master of Science degree in management from Florida Institute of Technology in 1990. He said he was looking for a challenge when he volunteered for a similar position last year. But it wasn’t until May 2011 that RDECOM asked him to step into the executive officer position.

“I was willing, my family and chain of command supported that, and I began to prep for deployment,” he said.

Since deploying civilian scientists, engineers and technologists is a new concept for the U.S. Army, the center has met with many challenges.

“RDECOM undertook a massive planning effort to provide a quality path forward for us, but as with any complex operation, flexibility, adaptability and renewed effort is always needed,” he said. “Stepping in suddenly to execute a plan that I didn’t help develop while joining a team that had already formed, has proven to be quite a professional and personal challenge.”

Army officials said the center’s initial focus was clear: To establish an engineering “smart cell” and build collaboration with other deployed elements, and to establish an effective engineering cell and build collaboration with other deployed elements.

“I’ve learned to celebrate small victories and take great pride in being able to help us take one small step after another towards our eventual success,” Eaton said. “Without a doubt, the most common feedback is that this effort is a great idea and we wish you were fully set up and functional already.”

Eaton said his experience as a Soldier and a civilian who supports Soldiers has helped immensely.

“This is something I’ve done virtually all my adult life,” Eaton said. “Several close friends and many of my friends adult children are currently serving here, so the opportunity to directly support the Warfighter while supporting my team at AMRDEC and RDECOM is an opportunity I couldn’t ignore. I’m proud of what we are doing and proud to be part of the effort.”

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Natick develops new cammo pattern for wear in Afghanistan

Soldiers to get new cammo pattern for wear in Afghanistan
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command tested different uniform patterns at its Natick research center. Officials said the new uniform will provide our Soldiers the best possible cover in battle. Starting this summer, Soldiers sent to fight in Afghanistan will wear an Army Combat Uniform with the new “MultiCam” pattern instead of the standard-issue universal camouflage pattern.

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