The Academic Angle

The Academic Angle

Leveraging students’ engineering expertise to bridge the gap between Soldier and system By Col. Michael E. Sloane, MAJ Toby Birdsell and Capt.(P) Tom Beyerl   Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers (PM SSL) is in the business of developing the most advanced maneuver and targeting sensors ever fielded. A sometimes unwanted adjunct to advancement, however, is complexity, one of the greatest enemies of usability. Recognizing this critical relationship, the PM SSL team continuously seeks opportunities, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Maneuver and Fires Centers of Excellence, to connect with current and prospective warfighters through “touch points,” warfighter juries that enable the PM SSL team to tailor equipment designs to […]

Evolving Innovation

Evolving Innovation

A new look at fostering cutting-edge thinking in Army science and technology   By Lt. Col. Joel Dillon, Dr. Jason Augustyn, Ms. Julia Kim and Mr. Dominic Ju   Science and technology (S&T) innovation is an uncertain road, with “failure” often a step on the path to a breakthrough. However, in a resource-constrained environment, planners must make the smartest possible investments of taxpayer money in S&T programs, balancing risk with the potential for transformational new capabilities. A good place to start striking this balance is at the “fuzzy front end” of innovation, the initial period of exploration preceding the development of new materiel solutions. For many years, the acquisition community […]

Getting a Fix on the Future

Getting a Fix on the Future

Even as it closes the books on the longest war in U.S. history, the Army must plan, in difficult circumstances, for what is to come   By Ms. Margaret C. Roth   As the Army draws down to what could be its smallest size in nearly three-quarters of a century, the focus is squarely on the future. So, what does the Army need to do today to get where it wants to be 30 years from now? In a word: Plan. But it’s more complicated than it sounds. A year and a half ago, the Army initiated a new strategic modernization planning process that combines a detailed analysis of investments […]

Research Resource

Research Resource

Rapid detection devices for pathogen vectors are case study in leveraging small business innovation funding   By Maj. Vanessa R. Melanson   When military forces arrive in a new operational area, military preventive medicine personnel—preventive medicine specialists, entomologists and environmental science engineers—assess the environment, identify health threats and propose mitigations. Vector-borne diseases are one of the primary readiness threats, and the arthropods (insects and arachnids) that transmit pathogens to people account for about 60 percent of the military’s priority pathogens list. Vector pathogen detection (VPD) provides military preventive medicine personnel the information necessary to implement specific vector-control measures and disease prevention countermeasures. VPD can minimize disease by sampling arthropods for […]

Passing the iPhone test

Passing the iPhone test

Advancing the Common Operating Environment to support current and future Soldiers   By Ms. Portia I. Crowe   Apple’s iPhone took a standard architecture and improved it, then provided a software development kit (SDK) that enabled third-party developers to quickly and inexpensively create applications, or “apps,” that deliver weather, social media, games and more. It worked intuitively, at the touch of a finger and with little or no instruction. By delivering the power of the Internet when and where we wanted it, apps revolutionized information delivery and had us all saying, “There’s an app for that.” That kind of “smart” is the Army’s objective as it moves forward with its […]

A Plan to Make — and Break

A Plan  to Make — and Break

By Mr. Dale A. Ormond, Director, U.S. Army Research, Development And Engineering Command Most planning involves developing a series of concrete steps and conditional decision points that together define a good way ahead, and then—as no plan survives contact—adjusting that. As director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), when I contemplate the Army’s 30-year plan to modernize the force, I see our goal as not only to break that plan, but to break it often and before anyone else does. It is our job to make the Soldier’s kit obsolete. This we must do if we are to help the Army maintain its unparalleled dominance on […]

THE WRITE STUFF: Army AL&T Magazine Announces Annual ALTies Winners

THE WRITE STUFF: Army AL&T Magazine Announces Annual ALTies Winners

  By Steve Stark   FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The award-winning Army AL&T magazine announced the winners of its annual “ALTies” awards, celebrating the best article, commentary, graphic, ad and photograph from 2013. Editor-in-Chief Nelson McCouch III presented the awards here today, following Army AL&T magazine’s second annual writer’s workshop at the U.S. Army Acquisition Service Center (USAASC) headquarters. “Each issue of Army AL&T is a collaborative process, a team effort,” McCouch said. “Without our contributors, who help us continually raise the bar on quality, we would not have a magazine. But we have a great one that gets better with every issue.” Claire Heininger, editor/lead writer for Program Executive […]

‘More’ is Better

‘More’ is Better

At warfighters’ request, Army delivers award-winning ration enhancement to help them in extreme conditions   By Mr. Joseph Zanchi and Ms. Alexandra Foran   Warfighters in extreme, demanding operational environments need additional sustenance to complete their missions successfully—they simply need MORE. In this case, MORE is the Modular Operational Ration Enhancement, developed by the Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) as a direct result of requests from warfighters deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We received feedback from the field that some warfighters were losing weight and they needed extra calories,” said Julie Smith, a CFD senior food technologist. Smith, along […]

New Name, New Efficiencies

New Name, New Efficiencies

Directorates of logistics become logistics readiness centers for more effective access to services and supply   By Col. Dan J. Reilly   When the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) rebranded the installation directorates of logistics (DOLs) as logistics readiness centers (LRCs) on Oct. 1, 2013, the rebranding not only culminated the formal transfer of 73 DOLs worldwide from the U.S. Army Installation Management Command to AMC, but also established a vision to integrate and optimize AMC capabilities on installations. This transformation enables AMC to focus on materiel and services support, allowing installation commanders to focus on managing their installations. It also optimizes the LRCs’ capability and capacity, improves contract management, […]

It Starts Here

It Starts Here

Army educational outreach to build science, technology, engineering and math talent helps grow the workforce of tomorrow   By Mr. Jeffrey D. Singleton and Ms. Andrea Simmons-Worthen   The Army employs more than 800,000 military and civilian personnel, 96,000 of whom occupy science, technology, engineering or mathematic (STEM) positions, according to Defense Manpower Data Center classifications. Of that 96,000, more than 16,000 are world-class scientists and engineers within the Army’s 16 laboratories and research centers. These scientists and engineers develop leading-edge technologies and advanced capabilities that give our Soldiers, the Army’s greatest asset, the decisive advantage in the face of our adversaries and keep them safe from harm. Broadly defined […]