Looking Back to Move Ahead

Looking Back to Move Ahead

Leveraging a decade of hard lessons, CERDEC’s NVESD looks to bolster the Army’s technology investments by embracing change By Dr. Richard Nabors and Mr. Nathan Burkholder Science and technology (S&T) initiatives historically have been seen as a primary support mechanism in helping to address long-term challenges that the U.S. Army will face from conventional military threats. However, as demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan, unconventional (asymmetric) threats, defined as those strategies and tactics employed by an often inferior force to offset their deficiencies and exploit weaknesses, continue to impact Army strategic land power, significantly raising the sustainment and life-cycle costs for military equipment. The dynamic evolution of threats necessitates that conventional S&T […]

CERDEC improves training for Vigilant Pursuit

CERDEC improves training for Vigilant Pursuit

By Kristen Kushiyama, RDECOM CERDEC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (January 26, 2015) – U.S. Army researchers have improved training for Soldiers on a quick-reaction intelligence capability to better support the system in the field and potentially reduce reliance on reach-back and in-field contractor support. NCOs from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Communications-Electronics Center (RDECOM CERDEC) have expanded the training that Soldiers receive on Vigilant Pursuit, a multi-intelligence system designed to reduce the time it takes to properly identify and take down a high-value target. Vigilant Pursuit combines human intelligence and signals intelligence capabilities, or respectively, HUMINT and SIGINT, to provide Soldiers with information to identify […]

Beyond the Borders of ‘Possible’

Beyond the Borders of ‘Possible’

ACCESS AL&T talks to DARPA about standing conventional wisdom on its head As the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) communications staff was exploring the issues surrounding Force 2025 and Beyond, we wanted input from that most futuristic part of DOD, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is renowned for its many breakthroughs and technological disruptions. ACCESS AL&T spoke to Dr. Bradford Tousley, who has been director of the Tactical Technology Office (TTO) at DARPA since January 2013. He holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester. After a distinguished military […]

Picatinny engineers use advanced sensor technologies

Picatinny engineers use advanced sensor technologies

By Eric Kowal, ARDEC Public Affairs PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Jan. 21, 2015) — By integrating many small sensors into light mortar systems, Picatinny engineers are developing a technology for use on all U.S. military mortar systems to give Soldiers faster, more accurate mortar fire. The Weaponized Universal Lightweight Fire-Control, known as WULF, couples many small sensors together to create a robust, lightweight pointing device that will increase mortar fire. How much faster? An average gun crew is expected to have the 81mm system aimed on target from a dismantled state in four minutes 30 seconds. With WULF, the setup time for the 81mm mortar systems is cut to one minute. […]

Technically Speaking: Simple is Hard

Technically Speaking: Simple is Hard

Explaining science plainly can lead to new insight—and a challenge By Dr. Roberto Trotta Technically Speaking is a new column for Army AL&T magazine. Its title is frankly ironic, because its aim is to challenge subject-matter experts to explain a highly technical job, a system or a concept in the plainest language possible. The point is that, as Dr. Jacques Gansler and many other former and present defense dignitaries have noted, DOD ­science and technology (S&T) experts often do not do the best job of explaining what they do and why it’s important. Every work specialty—from short-order cooking to high-rise construction to nuclear research—has its own language, which often is […]

In the ‘Golden Hour’

In the ‘Golden Hour’

Combat Casualty Care Research drives innovation to improve survivability and reimagine future combat care By Col Todd E. Rasmussen, Dr. David G. Baer, RADM Bruce A. Doll and MG Joseph Caravalho Jr. The burden of injury among U.S. service personnel during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq confirmed the benefit of requirements-driven medical research aimed at reducing combat-related mortality and improving survival. While elements of trauma research existed before these wars, they were small, service-focused and not fully coordinated. The wars also exposed the often overlooked fact that, unlike research in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease and behavioral health, the nation has no federal institutes or private foundations dedicated to […]

Elite Training

Elite Training

New game-based simulation expands to teach new leaders ‘soft skills’ By Mr. Timothy G. Wansbury, Dr. Randall W. Hill Jr. and Ms. Orli Belman Effective leaders counsel subordinates for a variety of reasons, from providing feedback for exceptional duty performance to giving guidance to those dealing with personal or work-related problems. Army Field Manual (FM) 6-22 (Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile) aptly states that counseling is one of the most important leadership development responsibilities for Army leaders. Traditional training for counseling has relied on a mixture of classroom lectures and discussion, role-playing exercises and hands-on practice filling out counseling forms. However, as early as this fall, the Army will […]

Adapting Artillery

Adapting Artillery

Design change strengthens battle-worn M119A3 howitzer at less cost than new system By Mr. Joseph Lipinski and MAJ Wade Perdue  Over a decade has passed since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and the Army has asked more from its artillerymen than at any time in history. No matter what the mission, from multiple deployments to conducting nonstandard missions in some of the most remote locations in the world, artillerymen have always been flexible and adaptable. But high-altitude mountain warfare has tested more than the limits of our Soldiers; it has tested the limits of the howitzers they fire, as witness the M119A3. With its extended range, accuracy, reliability […]

Army evaluates DARPA’s futuristic soft exosuit

Army evaluates DARPA’s futuristic soft exosuit

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 28, 2014) — Army researchers are evaluating prototype devices developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, Warrior Web program’s goal is to create a soft, lightweight undersuit to help reduce injuries and fatigue, while improving mission performance. DARPA is responsible for the development of new technologies for the U.S. military. Researchers from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering spent the past two years developing a biologically inspired smart suit that aims to boost efficiency through a new approach. A series of webbing straps contain a microprocessor and a network of strain sensors. “The […]

Modernization of Enterprise Terminals Program: A True National Asset

Modernization of Enterprise Terminals Program: A True National Asset

By Michael Mcgarvey, Deputy Product Manager, Wideband Enterprise Satellite Systems From the foxhole to the Oval Office, effective communications are critical to the execution of countless DOD operations across the globe and around the clock. Comprising orbiting satellites and the earth terminals from and to which they relay data, satellite communications, or SATCOM, systems are perhaps the most strategic communications tools available to DOD, including its commander in chief. At a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark initial operational capability (IOC) of the latest generation of DOD SATCOM terminals, Brig. Gen.(P) John B. Morrison, commander of the Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM), said, “This terminal is designed to be there when […]