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Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Heidi Shyu serves as the Army acquisition executive, the senior procurement executive, science advisor to the Secretary of the Army, and the Army’s senior research and development official. She also has principal responsibility for all Department of the Army matters related to logistics. She appoints and manages program executive officers and manages the Army Acquisition Corps and Army Acquisition Workforce.
What is your vision for ASA(ALT) collaboration with industry, academia and other organizations?
I think collaboration is really essential. No single person or organization possesses a monopoly on innovative ideas. It is critical for us to collaborate with industry, academia, federally funded R&D centers and other government organizations to solve difficult problems. So my vision is that we will collaborate across the board to spur innovation.
In the S&T arena, we work closely with academia. We also have the Broad Agency Announcement, small business forums, cross–service collaboration on Research, Development, Test and Evaluation. We collaborate with DARPA and university affiliated research centers. We have individual investigator grants and collaborations with partner nations. Defense companies are willing to invest their R&D dollars to help solve the Army’s challenges, so we need to dialogue with them to inform them of our challenges and stay abreast of their ideas, design and development activities. The goal is to get a multitude of ideas to figure out how to solve problems. Collaboration is critical.
How do you see technology providing Soldiers with the decisive edge?
There are many technologies that can provide Soldiers with the decisive edge. One of our key goals is to develop lighter and stronger armor. Why? Because it will enhance survivability and improve mobility. We’re also developing initiatives like continuous soldier health sensing and monitoring, disruptive energetic materials that could provide increased lethality, bio-inspired sensing to eliminate tactical surprise, and energy harvesting to reduce our dependence on fuel.
How do budget concerns affect your vision?
The Army has by and large protected its S&T budget. The rest of the budget has faced double-digit reductions. The American Soldier is the best equipped in the world – thanks to our materiel enterprise. We must continue to invest in S&T in order to equip our Soldier of the future.
We have focused on a 30-year plan, called the long-range investment requirements analysis, or LIRA, which is enabling us to link S&T efforts to programs of record. This will allow us to focus our research activities to address capability shortfalls.
How does ASA(ALT) partner with U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, its centers and laboratories?
The partnership we have with RDECOM is critical. RDECOM plays a very important role across all of the PEOs and the acquisition community by providing critical functions and skill sets such as research, development, systems engineering, design, performance analysis, modeling and simulation, software, reliability analysis, prototyping, integration and test, and more. For example:
- CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate S&T provided our Soldiers the ability to dominate the night
- NSRDEC has provided transportable high energy efficient shower units, kitchen units and shelters
- AMRDEC has provided critical missile expertise to PEO Missile & Space
- TARDEC has provided high-fidelity modeling and simulation capabilities that accurately predict blast effects on our vehicles and enable us to design more survivable vehicles to reduce injuries to our Soldiers
- All of CERDEC has provided technical assessment of the effectiveness of our tactical radios
What are your expectations from Army researchers, scientists and engineers?
It’s important for our Army researchers, scientists and engineers to stay fully abreast of the latest technologies and where the research is going. They really have to be masters of their domain to solve the Army’s difficult problems. We rely on them to give us the next generation of capabilities.
I’d like to see tighter linkages between the S&T community with the PMs, PEOs and the requirements community to ensure relevance, especially in this fiscally challenged environment. Ultimately we must understand the art of the possible and how to structure that for the future. As we look at the S&T capabilities we need to develop, I think it is critical for our researchers to tie into our 30-year road-map.
One of the key things I think the Army needs to do is ensure we provide our people with a research environment where they can innovate. We have world-class scientists and engineers in their field, and they are highly motivated to solve the most difficult problems for our Soldiers. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of our outstanding researchers, scientists and engineers, and I really admire their dedication, passion for their work and innovation. I’m very impressed with our caliber of researchers, and they are the critical enablers for us to develop the next generation of capabilities for our Soldiers.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 10, 2013) — A group of Polish scientists traveled to U.S. Army research centers Oct. 2-3 to learn about America’s expertise in robotics and explore potential partnerships.
The delegation, led by retired Col. Jozef Wrona, of 15 scientists from Polish academia and industry will advise their government on advancing the country’s robotics program.
Dale A. Ormond, director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, discussed his organization’s global footprint and emphasized reaching into the international scientific community for technological solutions.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Actor John Ratzenberger, best known for his iconic role as postal worker Cliff Clavin on the TV show “Cheers,” is promoting manufacturing in the U.S.
His interest led him to visit Picatinny Arsenal Sept. 4, where he saw first-hand a number of the advanced manufacturing techniques the installation uses to equip the nation’s warfighters.
Ratzenberger’s interest in manufacturing previously inspired him to produce and host shows like “Made in America,” a Travel Channel TV production highlighting manufacturing companies that produce interesting products across the nation.
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.
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A Taiwanese military delegation met with U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Director Dale Ormond at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., June 18. The group is on a tour of military sites around the nation.
Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. – While the public may associate the U.S. Army with Soldiers and weapons on the battlefield, there is also an “institutional” Army that has functions similar to those of large corporations in the private sector, a top Army official told a business group here April 2.
Speaking before the Morristown Chamber of Commerce, Undersecretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal said the institutional or “business side” of the Army was responsible for the training, recruiting, staffing, equipping and sustaining of the Army forces.
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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 September 17, 2010
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The Army’s senior logistician toured here Sept. 16 meeting with military officials, speaking with Soldiers and civilian employees and viewing the transformation on the installation.
The Army is investing more than $1.4 billion in Aberdeen Proving Ground infrastructure to modernize the installation and prepare it for its new mission as the center for Army science and technology.
General Ann E. Dunwoody, Army Materiel Command commanding general, saw first-hand the state of the installation with a fly-over and a windshield tour.
Posted by in In the news on September 14, 2010
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A senior German defense official visited U.S. Army facilities Sept. 7-8. German Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement President Harald Stein met with Army Materiel Command Commanding General Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody at her Fort Belvoir, Va., headquarters Sept. 7. Stein is the general’s counterpart in Germany. Stein saw an overview of AMC operations.
The president toured Army Research Laboratory facilities at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Sept. 8. Army Research Laboratory Technical Director John Miller hosted a luncheon, and Research, Development and Engineering Command and APG Commanding General Maj. Gen. Nick Justice presented Stein with a memento.
The visit is part of ongoing project agreements between Germany and the United States. Officials said the German delegation will organize a reciprocal visit to materiel technology facilities in Germany in 2011.
Posted by in In the news on August 25, 2010
DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — Under Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal will meet with local military and government officials and automotive company executives here 12 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26. The meeting is part of a continuing effort to underscore the role the domestic auto industry plays in continuing technology research, development and systems engineering for the Army’s and the Department of Defense’s combat and tactical vehicle fleets.
Hosting Under Secretary Westphal is U.S. Senator Carl Levin (Mich.). Levin serves as the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. During his Michigan visit, Westphal will hear perspectives on Army collaboration initiatives from General Motors and Ford, and he will tour the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s research labs and testing facilities at the historic Detroit Arsenal. The Nation’s systems engineering and integration Ground Vehicle Center of Excellence, TARDEC and its collaborative partners influence the life cycle of every military wheeled, tracked and unmanned ground vehicle system. TARDEC Director Dr. Grace Bochenek will lead the by-invitation-only tour.
Currently, government employment at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal stands at about 6,900 people today. By 2014, those numbers are expected to swell to 8,400 government positions.
Construction taking place at the Arsenal includes TARDEC’s Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory. The Army broke ground on the 30,000-square-foot facility August 2009. The eight-labs-in-one complex will be unlike any other lab in the world. Its research and testing capabilities will advance power and energy for ground vehicles, further research into alternative energy and propulsion systems, and focus efforts to address critical combat vehicle requirements. The new lab is scheduled to open by September 2011.
Media interested in attending the question and answer session must RSVP to TACOM PAO Eric Emerton (586) 282-5663 or Don Jarosz (586) 282-8820.
FORT BELVOIR, Va. — To the untrained eye, U.S. Army radar-generated maps may look like a bird’s-eye view of a city at night; however, these images contain useful intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information that reveal concealed objects by penetrating foliage, buildings and some terrain while overcoming camouflage, concealment and deception techniques.
These maps, which highlight boundaries not visible to traditional electronic sensors, are made possible by the U.S. Army’s Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter Concealment Enabled Radar, or TRACER. Developed by the Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Communications-Electronics R&D center known as CERDEC, TRACER is a mid-range, long wavelength synthetic aperture radar system that provides all-weather persistent surveillance.
Posted by in In the news on April 19, 2010
The Institute for Creative Technologies is the launch pad for nearly all simulation technologies for the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command has the important role of coordinating what is being developed and delivering it to Soldier.
Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin, RDECOM’s senior enlisted advisor, visited ICT today and was enthused by what he saw.
Posted by in In the news on March 15, 2010
FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Army Secretary John McHugh toured research and development facilities here March 15. The Army’s senior civilian leader received briefings and hands-on time with high-tech gear, including night vision devices, next generation batteries, extremely accurate mortar rounds, explosive device detection gear and the latest recipes for Soldier cuisine in the field.
During his brief visit to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensor facility, the secretary put M-16 rifle rounds on target in near complete darkness using a night vision device. The 90-meter indoor range offers complete control over light conditions.