The Power of Prototypes

The Power of Prototypes

One year on, the Army Rapid Capabilities Office is breaking the ‘one-size-fits-all’ acquisition approach to combating rising threats. by Lt. Col. Marcos A. Cervantes Last August, senior Army leaders unveiled a new secret weapon. But it wasn’t a missile or a radar or a tank. It was the Army Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO), a new organization designed to cut through the bureaucracy and rapidly deploy technologies to combatant commanders in order to address high-priority strategic threats. The office’s mandate, said Gen. Mark A. Milley, the Army chief of staff, was “to ensure that we’re pursing the right capabilities for our Army today and tomorrow, and to do it very quickly, […]

Champion for technology

Champion for technology

Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, RDECOM commanding general, answers questions about how RDECOM solves problems that Soldiers face today, as well as what the Army will face in the future. by Ms. Argie Sarantinos-Perrin For Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, readiness is a moving target. The necessity for readiness today is simply a given, but then there’s tomorrow and the host of tomorrows to come. “We need to strike the right balance between near-term and far-term technology so that we can stay ahead of our adversaries. Our goal is to figure out how to capture breakthrough technology and harness its potential so that we keep the technology pipeline full,” Wins […]

Commanders plan; autonomy facilitates

Commanders plan; autonomy facilitates

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — “Receipt of Mission” — so begins the Army’s extensive Military Decision Making Process, or MDMP, followed by six more steps, 44 tasks and hundreds of sub-tasks. This proven methodology assists commanders and staff with applying their critical thinking skills to formulate sound decisions, but it can be complex and time consuming. To streamline the process, Army science and technology engineers are inserting autonomous technologies into the MDMP, with the caveat that “autonomy” will never substitute for the human commander’s intent. The Automated Planning Framework, or APF, is an autonomous capability under development at the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center. It […]

A test of medical readiness

A test of medical readiness

U.S. military efforts in biological warfare defense readiness prove themselves with Ebola response. by Dr. George W. Christopher, Lt. Col., USAF, MC (Ret) The 2014-2016 outbreak of Ebola virus disease triggered an unprecedented public health disaster. For the first time since its discovery in 1976, Ebola struck large, crowded and mobile urban populations. It was the largest Ebola outbreak in both numbers of cases and geographic distribution, with more than 28,000 cases, 11,000 deaths, and 10 times the number of all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. The virus spread rapidly through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, striking Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States as well. In […]

I3MP delivers 1st Infantry Division HSMCC tech refresh

I3MP delivers 1st Infantry Division HSMCC tech refresh

By Scott Sundsvold While the 1st Infantry Division (ID) was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP) performed a technology refresh on the 1st ID Command Center at Fort Riley, Kansas, as part of the Home Station Mission Command Center (HSMCC) initiative. As the Army prepares to operate in a contested, multidomain arena that combines land, air, sea, space and cyber, the HSMCC initiative takes an evolutionary approach to providing joint command centers with the capability to host and operate mission command systems while at home station. The HSMCC technology refresh, the initiative’s first phase, standardizes the disparate, off-the-shelf technology at […]

Engineers Don’t Need Trains

Engineers Don’t Need Trains

CERDEC’s STEM Superstar program uses pop culture, superheroes and everyday activities to show elementary school kids that STEM is everywhere. by Ms. Erica Fineman-Bertoli One afternoon when my son was five, we started talking about what he wants to be when he grows up. “What about an engineer like your dad?” I asked. “I know Daddy’s an engineer,” he said. “And he has never shown me his train, not once!” Confused, I said, “Your father doesn’t have a train.” “He doesn’t?” he asked. “Then what’s an engineer?” Seven years later, that simple question from a 5-year-old boy evolved into a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program that has so […]

Army showcases latest technologies at 2017 DOD Lab Day

Army showcases latest technologies at 2017 DOD Lab Day

By Tracie Dean, ARL Public Affairs Dr. Stuart Young of ARL’s Computational & Information Sciences Directorate presents the Autonomous Systems Manned/Unmanned Teaming technology to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, during DOD’s Lab Day at the Pentagon. (Photo Credit: Jhi Scott) VIEW ORIGINAL ARL researchers discuss Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin technology with Lab Day attendees during DOD’s Lab Day at the Pentagon. 2 / 2 Show Caption + ARL researchers discuss Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin technology with Lab Day attendees during DOD’s Lab Day at the Pentagon. (Photo Credit: Jhi Scott) VIEW ORIGINAL WASHINGTON — Scientists and engineers from […]

Supercomputers save lives, money for Army

Supercomputers save lives, money for Army

By David McNally, U.S. Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md.– In the past few weeks, computer scientists and technicians unboxed and installed two powerful new supercomputers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. The upgrades at the ARL DOD Supercomputing Resource Center are part of a modernization program to bring new capabilities to researchers. These massive room-size computers deliver lightning fast processing speeds and the power necessary to run complex simulations and computations. “Our most recent acquisitions are the Hellfire system and the Centennial system, which is aptly named after Aberdeen Proving Ground’s 100th anniversary,” said Lee Ann Brainard, ARL DSRC deputy director “Both of these resources are […]

Labs connect virtually to rapidly test integrated capabilities

Labs connect virtually to rapidly test integrated capabilities

by Nancy Jones-Bonbrest ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Much like a smartphone all but eliminates the need for separate personal devices such as a calculator, alarm clock, map and radio, the Army is bringing separate technologies onto a common foundation to deliver warfighting systems, such as fires and navigation, as software “apps.” Now, to ensure the apps not only work but work collectively, the Army is creating a distributed lab environment for earlier assessment that will increase interoperability, quickly catch flaws and promote risk reduction efforts. Known as the Federated Integration Environment, or FIE, the new concept virtually connects existing labs onto one network for holistic development efforts. FIE enables […]

Harnessing human systems integration to improve critical military systems

Harnessing human systems integration to improve critical military systems

Military technology, in any form, has at least one major requirement: It has to be usable by Soldiers. By John Higgins, PEO IEW&S Within the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S), this critical need is met through human systems integration (HSI). The process and purpose of HSI is to incorporate human usability into system definition, design, development and evaluation, yielding equipment that’s easier to operate, maintain and sustain. HSI also can increase efficiency across the board, from reducing the time it takes to train on a piece of equipment to making it accessible to a broader range of Soldiers. To understand the importance of the […]