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.

Read more:

http://go.usa.gov/T9Gd

 

America’s Army Comics app depicts Soldier lifestyle

The America's Army comic book is available via the website or tablet App at http://comics.americasarmy.com.

The America’s Army comic book is available via the website or tablet App at http://comics.americasarmy.com.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 10, 2013) — Deep in a maze of corridors at the Army Game Studio here, the worlds of graphic art, gaming and military collide.

This is where artists, Soldiers and gaming experts collaborate to use games and comic books to communicate to the public the reality of being a Soldier in the U.S. Army.

Developed out of the Software Engineering Directorate of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, the America’s Army game, at www.americasarmy.com, is more than a decade old. Yet it stays new and relevant with frequent updates and new product lines.

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Engineering director encourages cost-consciousness

James Lackey is the new director of the Engineering Directorate at the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. to Credit: Ryan Keith

James Lackey is the new director of the Engineering Directorate at the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. to Credit: Ryan Keith

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Former Naval Air Systems Command test project engineer James Lackey has joined the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center as director of the Engineering Directorate.

A native of Maryland, Lackey had a near 25-year career at the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, Md. He was a strike aircraft flight test project engineer for more than a decade, and between 1999 and 2008 held a variety of program management assignments.

Lackey said he is looking forward to applying his background from the Navy to the Army and multiple-service customers supported by AMRDEC.

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Army aviation engineer has exciting career

Anna Locke, electrical engineer and project manager at AMRDEC's Prototype Integration Facility, describes modifications to the Common Missile Warning System during a 2009 tour of the facility.

Anna Locke, electrical engineer and project manager at AMRDEC’s Prototype Integration Facility, describes modifications to the Common Missile Warning System during a 2009 tour of the facility.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — From an early age, Anna Locke wanted to be an engineer.

“Since I was just a child, I remember hearing stories of my father’s efforts to help our Soldiers as an engineer for [the Department of Defense]. I thought he had the most interesting job in the world,” Locke said. “I knew from a young age that I wanted to pursue an exciting career that results in helping those that risk their lives to protect this country.”

Today, Locke is fulfilling that dream as an electrical engineer at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s aviation and missile center.

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Alabama honors Army aviation directorate

Engineering Directorate Logo

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — The Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Engineering Directorate has received an Alabama Performance Excellence Award.

The award is administered by the AlaQuest Center for Performance Excellence, which assists organizations to achieve excellence and efficiency through training and education, workforce development and best practice sharing.

Former ED director Patti Martin said the award demonstrates the commitment of the work force to technical excellence and the effectiveness of the directorate’s technical processes and partnerships. Martin was director at the time the award application was submitted.

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Army ManTech Program bridges gap between lab and Soldier

Dr. Shawn Walsh (left), with Army Research Laboratory's Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, explains ARL's investments in lighter, more efficient ballistic materials and defeat mechanisms to Gen. Dennis Via (center), Army Materiel Command commanding general, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Dec. 3, 2012. ARL and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center jointly executed an Army ManTech program to overcome the technology barriers associated with performing and rapid thermoforming of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene materials into complex shapes such as helmets.

Dr. Shawn Walsh (left), with Army Research Laboratory’s Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, explains ARL’s investments in lighter, more efficient ballistic materials and defeat mechanisms to Gen. Dennis Via (center), Army Materiel Command commanding general, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Dec. 3, 2012. ARL and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center jointly executed an Army ManTech program to overcome the technology barriers associated with performing and rapid thermoforming of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene materials into complex shapes such as helmets.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Transitioning a technology prototype from an Army engineer’s laboratory to the Soldier on the ground is filled with potential obstacles.

To overcome challenges associated with manufacturing Soldiers’ equipment, from helicopters to helmets, the U.S. Army enlists the Manufacturing Technology Program, commonly known as ManTech.

Andy Davis, ManTech program manager with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said his team is focused on addressing issues in affordability and producibility.

“[Scientists and engineers] develop technologies in the labs. They can make one or two [prototypes] in the lab, but they can’t make them in quantity,” Davis said. “ManTech bridges that gap. In terms of the Warfighter impact, it helps get items more quickly to the [field].”

Read more:

http://go.usa.gov/4hPm

Greater than the sum of its parts

Collectively, we’re the Lucius Fox for the U.S. Army.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Dale Ormond, director of RDECOM, stopped at Picatinny to deliver an important message. Click the link to find out what he had to say.

Click here to read more.

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

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 

Army engineer finds BEST way to support students in robotics competition

Lucas Hunter, a mechanical engineer with the U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, volunteered for the third year to support the Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology competition for middle and high school students that centers around robotics. Hunter believes the U.S. must get students involved in engineering, science and technology in order to stay competitive in the world market.

Lucas Hunter, a mechanical engineer with the U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, volunteered for the third year to support the Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology competition for middle and high school students that centers around robotics. Hunter believes the U.S. must get students involved in engineering, science and technology in order to stay competitive in the world market. (U.S. Army photo)

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — PVC pipe, screws, an irrigation valve cover, an aluminum paint grid and a bicycle inner tube. What do they have in common? They’re all part of a kit to build a robot according to Lucas Hunter, a mechanical engineer with the U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center.

“This is my third year volunteering to work for the BEST competition,” Hunter said. “BEST means Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology. It’s a competition for middle and high school students that centers around robotics.”

Hunter serves as AMRDEC’s science and technology representative to the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga. He provides guidance, advice and support in the areas of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Read more on Army.mil

We got you covered, missile gunners

This one's for you, TOW gunners.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — The same team of Picatinny Arsenal engineers that brought the Objective Gunner Protection Kit (OGPK) to service members has completed development of a new armor system that is customized for integration with the Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command-link guided (TOW) missile and Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS).

TOW gunners, soon you too can enjoy the benefits of added protection while atop MRAPs that non-TOW gunners have enjoyed for some time now. It just seemed fair.

Click here to read more.

RDECOM senior NCO discusses command’s support in Afghanistan

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s senior noncommissioned officer, returned May 13 from a nine-day mission to Afghanistan.

In an interview with RDECOM public affairs, Beharie discussed how the command is providing the technological edge to Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

What were your objectives during your first visit to Operation Enduring Freedom as RDECOM’s command sergeant major?

“It was two-fold. First, we have folks who are doing great work in harm’s way, supporting the Warfighter. I wanted to pay them a visit, let them know who I am, and talk with them; get their concerns and issues they are dealing with; hear about some of the opportunities they had to support our Warfighter; technologies they were able to help field.

Second, [I wanted] to meet the senior enlisted Soldiers in the battlespace and hear from them how [RDECOM is] doing providing them the resources and technology to fight on the battlefield. That part is just as important. If they don’t know that we’re there or don’t know what value we add, we quickly become low-hanging fruit. As [the Army] ramps down in theater, we become the first to go home. That would be a tragedy to leave the Soldiers without the technology or the connection to the technology that we are able to give from our labs.”

As you talked with the Soldiers and civilians supporting OEF, what support do they need from RDECOM?

“When I was a Warfighter, I did not know what RDECOM provided me. Throughout the [Army Force Generation] process and the re-set process, there was a lot of technology that came my way that we, as a unit, had to integrate into our organization.

It’s the same thing with the Soldiers currently in theater. Some do not know RDECOM existed. They received technology and support from RDECOM, but we need to do better with our strategic communications and getting the word out. Part of my reasoning for going to theater is to get the word out [what] we, as RDECOM, provide and how we can better assist our Soldiers.”

How can RDECOM’s scientists and engineers in the United States do better to provide timely solutions to address these needs?

“I think the lines of communication, the resources that we have, and the reachback capability that we have to our labs, scientists and engineers — I think that is what we need to do better.
Our scientists and engineers are doing a fabulous job supporting our Warfighters. They come to work every day energized. For us to have the reachback from [Soldiers and commanders in] theater, our [Logistics Assistance Representative and Field Service Representatives] help by telling us where the gaps are. [We] fill those gaps in our labs with an emerging technology or [with] equipment we already built to increase capabilities on the battlefield. I think our scientists and engineers are doing a great job.”

Where in Afghanistan did you go?

“I had the opportunity to tour the entire breadth of Afghanistan where major commands are. Those are the hubs. If you get the commands and hubs to understand the type of support that we provide on a daily basis, that will proliferate across the subordinate commands.
We met with [Regional Command]-South and talked with them about our lines of effort and support. [We made] sure we are linked [for] them reaching back to us. They have several ways to get to us. The [Rapid Equipping Force] 10-liner will come back to us. The [Operational Needs Statement] [Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement] process will come back to us. Our [Science and Technology Assistance Teams] in theater will bring stuff back to us to action and provide material solutions to Warfighters.”

How does the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center accomplish its mission of providing engineering solutions to Soldiers directly in theater?

“What a tremendous capability to our Soldiers. This is a big win for the Army. This is a battlefield enabler having the RFAST-C that forward in theater. In six months, they have done over 177 projects for theater. That is throughout the [Combined Joint Operation Area], throughout the battlespace. While I was there, they were working on projects for the [Afghanistan Working Group] for the Afghan Army. They are working on engineering projects for the Air Force’s AC-130.

You name it, they are working on it. You have a Soldier who walks up to the RFAST-C and says, ‘Hey, I have a problem.’ I met that Soldier, a specialist. He showed me how he came up with the design, his drawings, what he envisioned, and the problem he had. He walked up to one of our engineers and said, ‘Hey, here is a problem that I have. Here is what I think a solution could be. Can you do something about this?’ Our scientist said, ‘Absolutely we can do something about it.’ They put the engineering mental muscle behind it and came up with a great product to fill that Soldier’s problem. This proliferates on the battlefield. It was a game-changer. This was an adjustment that had to be made because of new technology that we sent to theater to protect our Soldiers. We had to adjust how we placed certain items on vehicles.

I cannot speak enough about how great of a resource [the RFAST-C] it is for theater. I spoke to RC-South, RC-East, RC-Capital. I’ve talked to every command, all the way through [International Security Assistance Force] Command, and they all are singing the praises of what we are doing in theater.”

How will RDECOM leverage the experience gained from establishing RFAST-C in OEF to set up a similar capability for future Army or joint operations?

“The Army is looking at what it calls ‘RFAST-C in a Box.’ It probably will not have all the capabilities that our current RFAST-C has, but it will have a lot of those capabilities. There are some capabilities that the Army had previously within the [Army Field Support Brigades] that are provided in theater; however, not in the quality and quantity that is provided through the RFAST-C. With our emerging technologies, I can see sometime in the future that we are going to have an ‘RFAST-C in a Box’ traveling around the battlespace. I think this was the birth of a great idea that will help the Warfighter for a long time to come.”

How can RDECOM continue to share its initiatives and contributions with the Army?

“[RDECOM Director] Mr. [Dale] Ormond sat down with the Board of Directors and came up with six lines of effort. One of the lines of effort is strategic communications. I think I can impact that in a big way through the senior enlisted leaders engagement throughout the Army.

Seeing the senior enlisted leaders in theater is great. However, I think that communication needs to start back here at home. One of the initiatives that I have started is to go out and see the divisions and the major unit commands at home before they go to theater. Let them know what we are and what we do. The Army has an educational process for deployers. Give them ways that they can enhance the performance of their Soldiers and equipment on the battlefield. One of those resources is RDECOM.

I think that we need to make ourselves part of that educational process. Let RDECOM be one of those stops that those commands will make prior to going to theater. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be an enormous game-changing opportunity for those commands. I will take the message out and let them know what we are, who we are, and what we can do for them as they fight our nation’s wars.”

New command sergeant major assumes role at RDECOM

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command introduced its new senior noncommissioned officer to the community March 16.
Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert O. Beharie assumed duties as the leader of RDECOM’s enlisted Soldiers during a Change of Responsibility ceremony at the Post Theater. About 150 Soldiers and Army civilian employees welcomed Beharie to RDECOM and APG.

MARIN BIDS FAREWELL

Beharie takes over from Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin. The Army promoted Marin to the rank of command sergeant major in 1999, and he has served as RDECOM’s senior NCO since Aug. 5, 2007.

A native of Honduras who moved to New York City at age 10, Marin enlisted in September 1981. He described his journey from a child through his three decades as a Soldier stationed across the globe.

“My journey began a long time ago when I first got to this great country. I felt a sense of duty immediately,” Marin said. “I wanted to give back to this nation for what was given to me — an opportunity to get an education, an opportunity to live free in a democratic country, a place where opportunities to excel are endless, an opportunity to serve and sacrifice for the good of all citizens of this nation. I joined the Army as part of this sense of duty. I wanted to ensure those who came before me who may have lost their lives did not do so in vain.

“As a young boy living in Honduras, I used to chase helicopters down the street. I was very fascinated by that piece of machinery. I always wondered, ‘How can something like that hang up in the sky and fly?’ So when I entered the United States and began my studies in New York, I had my eyes on becoming an aviator. Through hard work, perseverance and encouragement from family, I managed to meet the qualifications to enter the Army as an aviator. Here I am today.”

Marin thanked his fellow NCOs for their efforts to interact with RDECOM’s scientists and engineers to ensure the success of the command’s mission to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers.

“Since my arrival here, I quickly got engaged with our noncommissioned officers to ensure we understood our role in providing our engineers and scientists with relevant feedback to assist with the development of new technology and delivering it to the hands of Warfighters,” Marin said. “Our noncommissioned officers have a vital role in making sure that RDECOM is technology driven and always Warfighter focused.”

BEHARIE TAKES OVER AS SENIOR NCO

Beharie will lead the command’s 80 enlisted Soldiers at its APG headquarters and seven research centers with offices around the world. The command sergeant major serves as the principal adviser to the director in enlisted matters. He is responsible for the training, professional development, retention, readiness and discipline of Soldiers under his charge.

Beharie said he has been impressed by the passion of RDECOM scientists and engineers to support those in uniform.

“I have had some great opportunities to serve over my military career. However, serving as RDECOM sergeant major is a dream job,” Beharie said. “This organization and its professional workforce touch the lives of all the men and women in the Armed Forces, as well as our nation.

“Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit some of our labs and meet some of our men and women who work tirelessly to give our troops the fighting edge on the battlefield. I was blown away by the technology that they have developed and are currently working on.”

Beharie will report to RDECOM Director Dale Ormond, who replaced Maj. Gen. Nick Justice as the organization’s senior leader Feb. 10. Ormond thanked Marin for his dedication to the Army, RDECOM and Soldiers.

“What a terrific story of Command Sergeant Major Marin. [He is] a terrific Soldier and a leader of Soldiers,” Ormond said. “He wanted to give back for the opportunities that America gave him. He has connected our scientists and engineers to the Soldiers, communicating with Soldiers and talking to them about what their real issues, challenges and needs are. [He made] sure that was funneled back into us so that we have that connection to what is going on in theater.

“[He made] tremendous personal efforts to stand up the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He helped put in place how we as RDECOM solve materiel [problems] at the point of need.”

In one of his first official duties, Beharie will oversee RDECOM’s annual Noncomissioned Officer/Soldier of the Year Competition at APG March 26 to 31. Five enlisted Soldiers will compete in a physical fitness test, weapons range, land navigation, obstacle course, 12-mile ruck march, essay and written exam, media interviews, and board appearance.

Beharie has served as the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade’s command sergeant major at Fort Campbell, Ky., since April 2009. He enlisted in 1986 and has four combat tours in the Persian Gulf.

Beharie and his wife, Sabrina, have three children.

Army announces greatest inventions

Just one of the Army's Greatest Inventions: The M240L 7.62mm Medium Machine Gun (Light) reduces the weight of the existing M240B without compromising reliability.

Just one of the Army's Greatest Inventions: The M240L 7.62mm Medium Machine Gun (Light) reduces the weight of the existing M240B without compromising reliability.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., Sept. 12, 2011 — Army officials announced the winners of its greatest inventions competition Aug. 23. Earlier this summer a panel of combat veteran Soldiers reviewed and voted for the most innovative advances in Army technology.

“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,” said Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command commanding general. “I would like to expressly thank you for submitting your Army Greatest Inventions nomination packages which continue to make the Army Greatest Inventions program a success.”

The winners, in alphabetical order:

40mm Infrared Illuminant Cartridge, M992: Soldiers now have capabilities to engage the enemy far more effectively during nighttime operations. The Army’s new infrared illuminating cartridges/projectiles produce infrared light that is invisible to the naked eye, but is clearly visible through night vision devices that U.S. Soldiers use in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Source: Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center)

5.56mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round: Since June, the Program Executive Office for Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal has fielded about 30 million new 5.56mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Rounds in Afghanistan. The bullet has been redesigned and now features a larger steel penetrator on its tip. A notable feature of the EPR is that its bullet features a copper core. (Source: Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center)

Green Eyes – Escalation of Force Kit Integration with the CROWS System: The system emits a wide band of green light that temporarily disrupts a person’s vision so that driving a vehicle or aiming a weapon becomes difficult if not impossible. One application would be to warn civilians away from checkpoints and other areas where their safety is at risk. At closer distances, the lasers provide an immediate, non-lethal capability to deter aggressive actions. (Source: Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center)

Husky Mark III, 2G 2-Seat Prototype: This landmine detection vehicle is blast survivable, overpass capable and field reparable. Officials said the second generation 2-seat prototype is a natural evolution of the larger MK III Husky. The Husky Mark III/2G 2-Seat Prototype responds to the immediate warfighter need to mitigate the risks of task overload on the Husky operator, increases the Route Clearance Package’s ability to find and neutralize improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and provides direct fire capability for the lead vehicle of the RCP.

The kit allows for the platform to be transported with air assets in a roll-on-roll-off configuration, increasing the readiness level and, at the same time, decreasing the logistical footprint and costs of maintaining the equipment in the theater of operations. (Source: Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center)

Jackal Explosive Hazard Pre-Detonation System: The Jackal is an IED defeat system designed to remove the threat of IEDs against Soldiers, tactical vehicle platforms and overall mission success. In 2010, the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center developed and fielded Jackal to Soldiers throughout Iraq to help counter roadside bombs. In particular, Jackal neutralizes the lethal IED threats putting Soldiers at risk during route clearance and convoy related missions.

Jackal functions to keep Soldiers outside the IEDs area of lethality and increase the survivability of vehicle platforms. Unlike its predecessors, the Jackal is designed to be modular and adaptable to new and emerging IED devices. Therefore, the Jackal provides significant capability to the Soldier and their mission and, more importantly, saves lives. (Source: Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center)

M240L 7.62mm Lightweight Medium Machine Gun: The new machine gun reduces the weight of the existing M240B without compromising reliability. “The titanium M240L represents a leap in weapons technology inspired by Soldier feedback. The lessons learned from this program will undoubtedly benefit future weapons systems that will maintain our continued advantage on the battlefield,” said Col. Douglas Tamilio, Project Manager Soldier Weapons for PEO Soldier. (Source: Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center)

mCare Project: mCare, short for mobile care, is a cell phone based bi-directional messaging system developed by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center. mCare was developed by modifying commercial off-the-shelf technologies to meet the unique needs of the Army Medical Department. Secure, HIPAA-compliant messaging system was needed to operate on wounded warriors’ existing mobile devices, in a manner uniquely distinct from text messaging or email.

This allows members of the care team to connect with Warriors-in-Transition throughout their outpatient recovery process through a device they already own and are familiar using — their personal cell phone. (Source: U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command)

Mortar Fire Control System – Dismounted: The MFCS-D reduces time to fire first round from eight minutes during the day and 12 minutes at night to less than two minutes for both day and night. The kit consists of ruggedized computers, battery power supplies, displays, navigation and pointing hardware, and associated mounting hardware.

The system enhances the responsiveness of the M120A1 120mm Towed Mortar System, enabling digital coordination of multiple systems and fire support network and significantly reducing time required to emplace, fire and displace the weapon. (Source: Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center)

RG-31 Robot Deployment System: The need for a low-cost and lightweight solution in transporting and deploying route clearance robots in combat brought on the development of the TARDEC RG-31. The system enables Soldiers to comfortably transport, deploy and operate road clearance robots from the protected area inside the vehicle.

The RDS kit allows for route clearance units to use the full range of robotics capabilities without having to physically unload and deploy the equipment out the back of the vehicle by hand, exposing them to enemy threats. The system will have a positive impact on how Soldiers transport, deploy, and engage roadside threats in combat for years to come, officials said. (Source: Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center)

Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System: The Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System, or SWIPES, utilizes the MOLLE vest and integrates force protection electronics and communications equipment with an advanced battery power source. The use of BA-8180/U and BA-8140/U Zinc-air batteries for direct power of equipment allows for extended mission times without the burden of power source swaps or power source charging due to their high energy density.

This combination can extend operating times of communication systems and surveillance equipment for search and rescue operations. The SWIPES allows for individual tailoring by the Warfighter and is designed to accept new applications as they become available. (Source: Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center)

2010 Soldier Greatest Inventions Award Winners

Ironman Pack’ Ammunition Pack System for Small Dismounted Teams: Staff Sgt. Vincent Winkowski and fellow members of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment of the Iowa National Guard originally rigged their own prototype design for this high-capacity ammunition carriage system enables a machine gunner to carry and fire up to 500 rounds of linked ammunition from a rucksack-like carrier.

Culvert Denial Process: Cpl. Eric DeHart, 428th Engineer Company, designed and built a culvert-denial system to stop the placement of roadside bombs in culverts. The device looks like a screen across the opening and allows water and debris to pass through but doesn’t leave enough space for improvised explosive devices.

The Army’s Greatest Inventions awards are truly Soldiers’ Choice Awards, Justice wrote in an announcement to the Army’s research, development and engineering workforce.

“All of the nominated inventions demonstrate significant contributions to the warfighter,” he said.

A panel of noncommissioned officers with recent combat experience as well as hands-on, practical experience, in addition to a panel of TRADOC field grade officers judged the nominations.

Awards will be presented by Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, Army Materiel Command commanding general, during the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting Oct. 10-12 in Washington, D.C.

RDECOM organizes to maximize integration

RDECOM Town Hall

Maj. Gen. Nick Justices points to the future as he addresses the assembled RDECOM staff. (Photo by Conrad Johnson)

The commander of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, gathered his military and civilian staff at the Edgewood Area Conference Center Oct. 4 to inaugurate the organization’s future.

The emphasis, Maj. Gen. Nick Justice said, is on integration.

“We don’t want an all-star team,” Justice said. “What we want is the best team in the country. We can create greater capacity and greater strength with the sum of the parts of this organization. You can see the power of that integration.”

Read more…

Research inventors receive design patent

Research inventors receive design patent

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., — Christina Blankenship, aerospace engineer, and John Bush, engineering technician, Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center employees, received a design patent for their invention: the Boat-Shaped Fork Lift Receiver Hitch.

The invention converts the pintle hook system to a ball receiver, allowing the driver to tow a trailer with a forklift in the standard driving position and improving safety while moving other than palletized materials.

Sometimes, inventions happen out of necessity.

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Competition propels students to new heights

Competition propels students to new heights

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — The battle lines were drawn. The teams were ready. Four motors lay silent waiting.

Dr. Jay Lilley, chief of the propulsion technology function at Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, masterminded a competition called Rocket Wars.

In its second year, Rocket Wars teams were comprised of summer hire students from Purdue University, Tuskegee University, Vanderbilt University, Lee University, Auburn University, University of Alabama, University of Alabama-Huntsville, and Guntersville High School.

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Research, development workers cited for innovation

Research, development workers cited for innovation

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Members of the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center were among the recipients of the 2010 achievement awards for Army Small Business Innovation Research.

AMRDEC’s winners included Dr. Robin Buckelew, Director, Weapons Development and Integration Directorate; Dawn Gratz, SBIR program co-coordinator; Otho Thomas Jr., SBIR program co-coordinator; Dr. Bruce Moylan, technical monitor; Andy Eiermann, contracting officer; and Celeste Hogan, contracting specialist.

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