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Posts Tagged natick
By Jeff Sisto, NSRDEC Public Affairs
NATICK, Mass. — The U.S. Army is streamlining efforts to provide squad- and platoon-level ground Soldiers operating in austere environments with an organic aerial resupply capability that will empower and sustain them on the battlefield.
The Enhanced Speed Bag System, or ESBS, fills this capability gap by drastically increasing the survivability rate of critical resupply items such as water, ammunition, rations and medical supplies, which must be air-dropped from helicopters to small units on the ground. The system includes a hands-free linear brake, rope, and a padded cargo bag that can hold up to 200 pounds and be dropped from 100 feet.
ESBS was originally developed by engineers from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Aerial Delivery Directorate and the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Logistics Research and Engineering Directorate to standardize the improvised airdrop methods used in theater to resupply units in remote locations where traditional resupply methods, such as truck convoys, are too impractical or threat laden.
“The goal was to standardize ad-hoc techniques used with body bags and duffle bags by providing a material solution and giving units enough knowledge and training to utilize it,” said Dale Tabor, NSRDEC’s Aerial Delivery Design and Fabrication team leader.
By Jeff Sisto, NSRDEC Public Affairs
Wearable technologies may provide U.S. Soldiers with on-the-move, portable energy and reduce the weight of gear they carry into combat.
Researchers at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center are developing Soldier-borne energy harvesting technologies.
During the Maneuver Fires Integration Experiment, or MFIX, a combined, multi-phase joint training exercise held in September 2014 at Fort Benning, Georgia, researchers tested prototype energy harvesting technology solutions.
“My initial impression is that they fulfill a need for instant power generation on long-range missions when displaced from traditional resupply methods,” said Sgt. 1st Class Arthur H. Jones, an infantryman with the Maneuver Center of Excellence who participated in the demonstration.
NATICK, Mass. (Oct. 2, 2014) — When the going gets tough, Dr. Tad Brunyé wants to help. A member of the Cognitive Science Team at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Brunyé is investigating spatial and non-spatial influences on Soldier navigation choices.
Spatial influences pertain to things in an actual space, such as topography, local and distant landmarks, or the position of the sun. Non-spatial influences are a little harder to define and can include a Soldier’s emotional state, level of stress, mission and task demands, skills, abilities, traits, and his or her past experience in a geographical area, all of which can affect navigational choices.
“We are still trying to identify and characterize the full range of spatial and non-spatial influences and how they interact with emerging representations of experienced environments,” Brunyé said. “We all have our current mental states. So, you may see the same landmarks as I do, you may see the same topography that I do, but I might be in a very different state that leads me to interpret and use that same information in very different ways.
“How confident do I feel in my environment? Is there a history of enemy activity? Are there certain areas I want to avoid? Are there certain safe spots that I want to keep in mind? There is always interplay between what you sense in the environment, what you perceive, what you know, what you predict will occur, and ultimately how you act.”
FORT DEVENS, Mass. (Nov. 6, 2013) — Innovations meant to improve Soldiers’ quality of life during deployments — while saving lives, fuel, water and money — were on display here Nov. 5, at the Army Base Camp Integration Laboratory.
The Army Base Camp Integration Laboratory, or BCIL, hosted its second annual “Base Camp Resource and Energy Efficiency Day.” Situated on 10 acres at Fort Devens, the laboratory features two “Force Provider” 150-person base camps. One contains standard technologies; the other offers a glimpse into the Army’s energy future.
Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, and Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, Army deputy chief of staff, Logistics, were among those attending the event. They were briefed about shelters, power management, energy storage, waste disposal and waste-to-energy systems, alternative energy, micro-grids, energy-efficient structures, rigid-wall camps, and fuel-fired kitchens.
NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 9, 2013) — Among the many testing capabilities housed at the Natick Soldier Systems Center, the Roller Load Test Facility offers the unique ability to simulate the roller and rail systems used in aircraft to deliver cargo airdrops — all while still on the ground.
Recently, engineers at the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center used this facility to collect data samples taken during simulated roller load testing in an effort to develop the airdrop requirements of the Caterpillar 924H Wheel Loader — a multifunctional, front-end bucket loader used in the construction of airfields, roads, defensive berms, and demolition on the battlefield.
The facility allows engineers to see the force exerted on the rollers that move a cargo payload out of an aircraft during delivery. By recording and analyzing this force, engineers can identify the stressors placed on the rollers and determine if they meet the requirements to perform an airdrop of certain equipment payloads from various aircraft models.
NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 17, 2013) –One of life’s greatest necessities, water, is a key ingredient for the new gentle motion retort used by the Combat Feeding Directorate at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center to develop Meal, Ready-to-Eat and Tray Pack products. This simple molecule is heated to 240 degrees Fahrenheit in order to cook and sterilize foods using one of three different thermal processing methods.
After the successful “retort” process items do not require refrigeration because they have achieved commercial sterilization, the removal of certain pathogenic organisms.
The retort vessel installed at the NSRDEC in January 2013 can process 195 eight-ounce MRE pouches or 20 six-pound polymeric Tray Packs at a time using water immersion, saturated steam, water spray or water spray with gentle motion.
NATICK, Mass. (April 2, 2013) — Staff Sgt. Brian Scott is getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan as a squad leader with the 344th Military Police Company, an Army Reserve unit out of Massachusetts, after being wounded in Iraq only five years ago.
On Aug. 28, 2008, Scott’s four-vehicle convoy was on a mission to an Iraqi police station. The vehicles were cutting across two main supply routes to get to the station. Scott was in the second vehicle, and an improvised explosive device, known as an IED, went off between his vehicle and the first vehicle.
“We had to stop and set up security and make calls to (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and get an outer perimeter security out there,” Scott said. Iraqi National Police took care of outer perimeter security, but “they weren’t fully doing the job at the time, so I was in charge of interpreters.”
NATICK, Mass. — An innovation that will leave female Soldiers safer and more comfortable on the battlefield was named one of Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year 2012.”
A collaborative effort between the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and Program Executive Office Soldier resulted in an improved outer tactical vest, or IOTV, designed specifically for women. The 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade will be the first unit to test the new female body armor in Afghanistan.
The new armor was designed to offer better protection and to prevent bruised hip bones that women experienced when wearing IOTVs meant to fit smaller men.
Maj. Joel Dillon, assistant product manager, Product Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, PEO Soldier, called the Time story a motivator for those involved in the body armor’s development.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE MEHTAR Lam, Afghanistan — It all began during an intense 2 1/2-hour firefight with the enemy earlier this year in Afghanistan.
As members of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa National Guard, sat around later at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam and discussed the engagement, they talked about how three-man teams manning crew-served weapons struggled to stay together over difficult terrain in fluid battles.
Someone mentioned actor Jesse Ventura in the movie “Predator.” His character brandished an M-134 Mini-gun fed by an ammo box on his back. After the Soldiers had a good laugh over that thought, Staff Sgt. Vincent Winkowski asked why a gunner couldn’t carry a combat load of ammo. He decided to pursue the idea.
Read more: <a href=”http://go.usa.gov/gm2H” rel=”nofollow”>go.usa.gov/gm2H</a>
NATICK, Mass. – An official from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center was named to the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM, Advisory Council in Massachusetts.
Donna Bulger, acting director, Business and Operations, NSRDEC, was sworn in by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray in a recent ceremony at Natick Town Hall. Later, Murray talked of the longstanding relationship between Natick Soldier Systems Center and STEM.
“Governor Patrick and I value collaborating with our partners in both the public and private sectors,” said Murray, chair of the STEM Advisory Council. “We appreciate Donna’s leadership and participation on the STEM Council, and I look forward to working with her as we increase STEM awareness and promote opportunities for students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.”
NATICK, Mass. — As he described his work and personal life, Tom Yang asked, “So, am I a nerd?”
Yang has been a food technologist at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center for 26 years. He came to the U.S. from Taiwan 36 years ago, where he had earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Fu-Jen Catholic University. Yang went to graduate school at Mississippi State University and earned a master’s degree in food science before going to the University of Illinois for his Ph.D. He then taught at the University of Maine for a few years.
U.S. Army research and development centers are collaborating to design new ammunition packaging that could yield significant cost savings and improve battlefield capability, officials said.
Two organizations within the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command — the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center — are developing a packaging system for 5.56-millimeter ammunition as an alternative to fabric bandoleers.
The new system is being developed for the Project Director Joint Services in support of the Program Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems. It could save considerable cost by using lightweight and inexpensive plastic packaging materials with a design that will allow for automated packing at the ammunition manufacturing plant, said Dan Klein, an engineer with ARDEC’s Packaging Division who serves as the program lead.
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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.
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.”
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Four enlisted Soldiers will test their physical fitness, endurance, technical aptitude and reasoning skills March 26 to 30 for top honors within the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.
On a sunny, cool and breezy morning, three staff sergeants and one private first class kicked off the five-day competition for RDECOM Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year.
Vying for the awards are:
– Staff Sgt. Sharalis Canales, a behavioral health NCO assigned to Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center at Natick, Mass. She is from New York City and has six years of service.
– Staff Sgt. Christopher Duff, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader assigned to the EOD Technology Directorate at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. He is from Riner, Va., and has eight years of service.
– Staff Sgt. Markus Whisman, a research and development adviser assigned to Army Research Laboratory at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. He is from Palm Bay, Fla., and has seven years of service.
– Pfc. Joshua Inserra, a signal support systems maintainer assigned to Communications–Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at APG. He is from Yerington, Nev., and has one year of service.
They began with the Army Physical Fitness Test, followed by weapons qualification at an ARL small-arms target range. RDECOM NCOs Sgt. Maj. William Tager and Sgt. 1st Class Chris Currie supervised the M-4 Rifle marksmanship test, as well as an M-240B Machine Gun function check that included loading, unloading and correcting malfunctions.
The participants will continue with tasks that examine their physical and mental abilities: a land-navigation course at Lauderick Creek Training Site, obstacle course at Gunpowder Military Reservation, Warrior tasks within training scenarios, 12-mile road march with 40-pound rucksack, essay and written exam, media interview and board appearance.
RDECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie will preside over an awards ceremony March 30. The winners will advance to the Army Materiel Command NCO and Soldier of the Year competition.
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.
Posted by in In the news on October 13, 2010
Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center uses the latest in food technology to improve rations. Take a look at U.S. Marines taste testing First Strike Rations during the Modern Day Marine Expo at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
Posted by in In the news on August 31, 2010
RDECOM Deputy Commanding General Brig. Gen. Harry Greene recently talked with the Boston Globe about Natick. “The Army recently opened its Natick installation to the public to unveil a modernization plan that it says will allow the circa-1950s facility to attract top talent to research and design food, shelter, and gear for America’s soldiers,” writes Megan McKee for the Globe.
“Though the installation has no money earmarked for the changes, developing the plan is the most important step to secure funding from the government, officials said. The Natick Soldier Systems Center, or Natick Army Labs, as it’s commonly known, is responsible for developing the bulk of the food, shelter, and clothing used by the military branch.”
Posted by in In the news on August 19, 2010
The Sergeant Major of the Army said the service’s new camouflage uniforms now being issued to troops deploying to Afghanistan will make Soldiers safer and help make them more stealthy than the current Army-wide camo.
Of course, we know this is thanks to the hard work from our professionals at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. Our RDECOM technicians are always working to make things better for today’s Soldier!
The MetroWest Daily News:
NATICK — Before being interrupted by a real-life emergency situation, yesterday’s counter-terrorism exercise at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center was going well, officials said.
The military complex, also known as the Natick Labs, played host to a simulated terrorist plot meant to test the Army’s counter-terrorism response. “Operation Lasting Calm,” as the exercise was called, introduced a scenario in which terrorists detonated bombs at points across the base, took hostages and traded gunfire with police.