Since 1954, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, also known as the Natick Labs, has followed a simple mandate: to ensure that American Soldiers are the best fed, the best protected, and the most highly mobile military in the world.
Part of the Army Materiel Command’s Research, Development and Engineering Command, NSRDEC’s world-class scientists, engineers, and equipment designers provide American forces with a wide range of clothing and individual equipment, field feeding and life support systems, precision airdrop systems, shelter systems, and ballistic, chemical, and laser protection systems. NSRDEC’s technical and scientific expertise, combined with its close relationship to Soldiers in the field, has led to the creation of new fabrics that are lighter weight, more durable, and more threat resistant than anything Soldiers have ever worn.
Food research has led to a new under¬standing of how to maximize a Soldier’s performance by developing rations that contain just the right mix of nutrients, are easy to prepare in remote locations, and, most importantly, taste good. Thanks to NSRDEC, Soldiers benefit from state-of-the-art shelters that enhance survivability as well as quality of life. Moreover, research involving airdrop technologies has matured to ensure that personnel and equipment reach their destination in the fastest, most precise, and safest way possible.
Throughout the years, NSRDEC has reached out to a broad community through technology transfer and cooperative agreements with private industry, academia, and other government agencies. Through such efforts, NSRDEC developed food technology utilized by astronauts aboard the space shuttles, outfitted police forces with special ballistic protection, and developed shelf-stable sandwich foods that promise to combine convenience and nutrition for a consumer market.
In addition to supporting the Soldier in the field, NSRDEC’s mission has grown to encompass disaster response, humanitarian aid, peacekeeping efforts, and low intensity conflicts. NSRDEC’s multitalented, highly educated, and experienced workforce stands poised to continue to meet these challenges.
Learn more at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center homepage.