• Army Seeks Nominations for Greatest Inventions Awards

    Recognizing the need for new and innovative technologies to empower, unburden, and protect Soldiers around the world, the Army’s Greatest Inventions (AGI) program is now accepting nominations for this year’s awards.

    The Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System, known as SWIPES, supplies a main battery from a central location to power all end-items. SWIPES was one of the top 10 U.S. Army Greatest Inventions in 2010. (U.S. Army Photo)

    Since 2003, the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) has conducted the AGI program annually to encourage and reward those who are fighting the war from research laboratories throughout the Army by developing the best technological solutions for the Soldier.

    Continuing a tradition established last year, AMC is also proud to support the Soldier Greatest Inventions Awards program, recognizing individual Soldiers for their efforts to enhance their fellow Soldiers’ equipment and/or performance.

    Nominations are being accepted for inventions initiated both by U.S. Army Soldiers (SGI) and by the Army science and technology community (AGI).

     

    Nomination Criteria

    The nomination criteria are:

    • Nominated inventions must have been “first fielded” during calendar year 2011; the fielding window is from Jan. 1, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2011.
    • The SGI “fielding” definition can include traditional and other expedited fielding methods of putting a new mission-critical product, device, or process to use by Soldiers at any level. Technology nomination criteria for each award are available through the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM), executing on behalf of AMC.

    The nomination packages must be submitted by email to AGI-Awards@conus.army.mil. They must arrive no later than July 6, 2012.

    The Ironman Pack Ammunition System is a former Soldier’s Greatest Invention award winner. (U.S. Army Photo)

    Winning inventions will be selected by fellow Soldiers based upon their impact on Army capabilities (their breadth of use and magnitude of improvement over existing systems), inventiveness, and potential benefit outside the Army.

    Selection Process

    Winning inventions will be selected by fellow Soldiers based upon their impact on Army capabilities (their breadth of use and magnitude of improvement over existing systems), inventiveness, and potential benefit outside the Army.

    This program’s unique nomination and selection process reflect the Soldier’s voice and insight into the future of Army equipment. The awards are truly “Soldier Choice Awards.”

    Previous AGI/SGI award winners include the Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System, the mCare Project, the Husky Mark III/2G 2-Seat Prototype, the Ironman Pack Ammunition System, and the RG-31 Robot Deployment System.


    For more information, contact AMC POCs:

    Thomas Haduch, 410-306-4826 /DSN 458-4826, thomas.w.haduch.civ@mail.mil.

    Jo Cozby, 410-306-4821/ DSN 458-4821, maria.b.cozby.civ@mail.mil.

    —RDECOM Public Affairs


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  • CMA Completes Chemical Stockpile Elimination Mission

    While empty today, 1,600-pound steel containers stored at Pine Bluff Arsenal once held hazardous materials and required decontamination. Operators decontaminated the last 4,307 ton containers in July 2011.

    Three weeks into the new year, the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) achieved a major milestone: safely eliminating more than 27 tons of nerve and blister agents. On Jan. 21, the final mustard agent-filled 155mm projectile was destroyed at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Utah, marking the completion of CMA’s stockpile destruction mission. While the Chemical Stockpile Elimination (CSE) mission eliminated nearly 90 percent of the chemical agent stockpiled in the United States since the 1960s, the remaining 10 percent will be eliminated by a DoD program, the U.S. Army Element Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA).

    “This is a remarkable feat: the safe elimination of more than 2.2 million chemical nerve and blister agent munitions and bulk containers at seven demilitarization facilities around the Nation. We accomplished this mission with a strong workforce that was dedicated to meeting the milestone,”

    “This is a remarkable feat: the safe elimination of more than 2.2 million chemical nerve and blister agent munitions and bulk containers at seven demilitarization facilities around the Nation. We accomplished this mission with a strong workforce that was dedicated to meeting the milestone,” said Don E. Barclay, Acting CMA Director.

    CMA began destroying chemical munitions in an integrated, full-scale manner in 1990 at the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), southwest of Hawaii. In 2000, this pilot facility completed its mission using high-temperature incineration. Four other CMA sites—at Anniston, AL; Pine Bluff, AR; Tooele; and Umatilla, OR—also used incineration to eliminate their stockpiles, while neutralization was used at Aberdeen, MD, and Newport, IN. Three of CMA’s sites—JACADS, Aberdeen and Newport—are closed. The remaining sites are in closure.

    The Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF) at night. The last remaining 155mm mustard projectile was destroyed at TOCDF on Jan. 21. (Photos courtesy of CMA.)

    Commitment to Safety

    Safety is CMA’s top commitment, as evidenced by the fact that five sites—in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Oregon, and Utah—earned Voluntary Protection Program Star status, the highest safety recognition issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Additionally, all sites track their recordable injury rate (RIR), which is often on par with occupations such as insurance, finance, and real estate. A perfect RIR of zero was achieved in 2010 at Pine Bluff.

    “As teams worked around the country eliminating the chemical weapons stockpile, safety was always in the forefront—safety for the workers, the communities, and the environment,” said Carmen J. Spencer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Elimination of Chemical Weapons.

    “As teams worked around the country eliminating the chemical weapons stockpile, safety was always in the forefront—safety for the workers, the communities, and the environment,” said Carmen J. Spencer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Elimination of Chemical Weapons.

    Projects and Partnerships

    CMA’s two key missions were destruction and storage. While stockpile destruction under CSE is complete, CMA’s storage mission remains active at Pueblo, CO and Blue Grass, KY. CMA will keep those chemical weapons safe and secure until ACWA destroys them per congressional direction.

    Another part of the CMA destruction team is the Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Project (NSCMP), responsible for assessing suspect chemical materiel when it is recovered and safely destroying it, if needed. NSCMP developed and uses the Explosive Destruction System (EDS), which provides safe, on-site neutralization and prevents the release of vapor, blast, or munition fragments. Operators sample the liquid and air to confirm that the chemical agent is completely neutralized before reopening the EDS. After confirmation of successful treatment, waste is put into 55-gallon drums, shipped to an approved disposal facility, and disposed of in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

    Employees at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility form a star to signify that the site earned the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program Star status.

    NSCMP’s commitment to the environment is evident in projects such as one completed safely in July 2011. The team began decontaminating 4,307 ton containers (TCs) that, although empty, once held hazardous materials at Pine Bluff Arsenal. Decontamination eliminated possible residual chemical agent before recycling. While initial efforts to decontaminate the TCs involved several steps, CMA personnel eventually designed a magnetic induction heating process that decontaminated 10 containers simultaneously. The project resulted in more than 6.5 million pounds of recycled steel.

    CMA’s NSCMP team also destroyed the Nation’s stockpile of binary chemical weapons in November 2007. These weapons, designed in the early 1980s, mixed two nonlethal chemicals that formed a chemical agent while in flight to a target. In December 2006, NSCMP completed demolition of former chemical warfare production facilities.

    CMA works closely with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversees treaty implementation. Treaty inspectors were on-site at the chemical weapons disposal sites to verify all stages of destruction. The OPCW inspectors also verify the stockpile inventory at least yearly.

    Lastly, CMA manages the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP), a joint program of the U.S. Army and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. CSEPP provides funding, technical assistance, and equipment to the installations and off-post communities surrounding the chemical weapons stockpiles. As a result, these communities are among the best prepared in the country for any and all hazards.

    “Our Nation is safer because we completed our mission to dispose of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile. We will now focus on our remaining missions, keeping safety as the cornerstone of our program,” said Barclay.


    • From the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency.

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  • New Website Gives Functional Area 51 Officers One-Stop Career Management Tool

    The U.S. Army Career Management Office is poised to launch its new Functional Area (FA) 51 Officer Army Career Tracker (ACT) website (https://actnow.army.mil). The website, a personalized professional development application, integrates training, education, and experiential learning into one interface.

    ACT allows officers to view past accomplishments and potential career development opportunities in a single, easy-to-use interface, allowing them to see key positions in a more interactive format than DA Pamphlet 600-3, Commissioned Officer Professional Development and Career Management.

    Users can search multiple Army education and training resources to monitor their career development and general career progression efficiently and effectively.

    “This is an exciting time of change and progress for the Army,” said LTC Matthew Schramm, FA 51 ACT Career Administrator. “The system consolidates acquisition requirements for training into one system, so officers can conveniently plan their careers and relay that career plan and information to their assignment manager for implementation.”

    “The system consolidates acquisition requirements for training into one system, so officers can conveniently plan their careers and relay that career plan and information to their assignment manager for implementation.”

    The development and deployment plan for ACT has been ongoing for more than a year. “The system was based on a directive from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, which pushed it down to each of the Army branch functional areas,” stated Schramm. “The directive was Armywide and includes DA civilians. The system is broken down by career program and consolidates a number of trending education and learning systems into one portal for officers.”

    Officers who sign in to the Web portal can plan career goals, register for classes, and designate a mentor in the portal who can view what the officer has listed. Both the mentor and the officer’s supervisor can make recommendations based on the officer‘s career benchmarks. The system provides a pathway to success by establishing short- and long-term goals. ACT will also notify users of required training and announce additional training that may be beneficial.

    The system recognizes civilian education levels and uses them as a barometer for career progression, allowing users to view their area of concentration, credentials, and certifications.

    “It‘s the leader tool for the 21st century,” said Schramm.

    ACT will be available to all Army acquisition officers, allowing them to see developmental opportunities and job assignments across the Acquisition Corps. “It‘s the leader tool for the 21st century,” said Schramm.


    • From the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center.

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