Page 1

. .

Leading Edge Edgewood Chemical Biological Center • Engineering Directorate

The First Stop for CB Defense Solutions

September 2012 • Issue 1, Vol. 2

Also in this issue: ADM Uses Additive Manufacturing to Create Customized Orthotics Better, Faster, Stronger: Engineering Test Division Increases Efficiency, Decreases Labor to Work Stream

Global Pa r t n e r s h i p s ECBC’s Detection Engineering Branch partners with Japan Ministry of Defense

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE

We Design, Build, Test, Support Chemical Biological Defense Solutions


A Message from the

Director of Engineering Greetings,

As Fiscal Year (FY) 12 draws to a close, the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), as well as the Department of Defense (DoD), prepares for the changes and new challenges that FY 13 is expected to bring. The coming years will likely see a shift and reduction in DoD funding, creating a culture of uncertainty. We are anticipating and planning for those challenges while we continue to strive and maintain an unwavering commitment to responsive customer service. We will venture to exceed our customer’s expectations, serving as leaders on TEAM APG and in the Team CBRNE community, providing the chemical and biological (CB) defense expertise that our Warfighters and Nation need.

Mission

Integrate lifecycle

science, engineering and operations solutions to counter Chemical Biological threats to U.S. forces and the nation.

Vision

To be the premier resource for chemical, biological,

radiological, nuclear and explosives solutions, uniting and informing the national defense community.

We are committed to excellence and to developing an understanding of our customers’ challenges in order to deliver sound services and products on schedule, within cost and to anticipate the next steps to create meaningful partnerships towards the most favorable Warfighter and community outcomes. ECBC’s capabilities span the full acquisition lifecycle. We transition technology from research to engineering development, testing, production, fielding, and sustainment. Our unique infrastructure allows our employees to design, build, test and support solutions under one roof while collaborating with others in our Research and Technology and Program Integration Directorates for any and all necessary reach-back. We will tirelessly endeavor to be the source of choice and the first stop for comprehensive CB solutions. We are trained and knowledgeable in CB Defense and are ready to engineer the solutions our customers need. A shining example of this is our recent work with the Multi-Mission, Multi-Threat Detection (M3TD) Program (featured on page 17). The M3TD program is a cross-Directorate effort sponsored by the Joint Program Manager for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Contamination Avoidance, which tests the performance of detectors from companies in the commercial sector against a broad range of chemical challenges, utilizing ECBC’s state-ofthe-art testing facilities combined with our subject matter experts. The M3TD program is an extraordinary effort on the leading edge, embracing both current and novel technologies towards addressing emerging threats and challenges. ECBC is one of very few places that routinely and safely perform this type of work. The M3TD program is just one of many examples of how our workforce, facilities and partnerships give us a firm foundation to provide the very best support and solutions to our customers. In this edition of The Leading Edge: ■ ■ Read about how Engineering’s Advanced Design and Manufacturing Division utilized capabilities available within the Directorate to expand one project into a possible training program for the United States Army ■ ■ See how our Engineering Test Division came together to create a collaborative testing process that increases efficiencies and decreases the cost of labor ■ ■ Learn about the partnership between ECBC’s Detection Engineering Branch and the Japan Ministry of Defense to improve an existing handheld chemical detector ■ ■ Find out how ECBC’s Protection Engineering Division leaves no deployable person behind in support of the Joint Program Manager - Protection Hard to Fit Mask Program To learn more about ECBC’s Engineering Directorate or to request additional copies of The Leading Edge, please email usarmy.APG.ecbc.mbx.engineering-directorate@mail.mil. Sincerely,

Alvin D. Thornton Director, Engineering ECBC

2 | Leading Edge


Features

Design, 8

ADM Uses Additive Manufacturing to Create Customized Orthotics

Build, 12

As featured on cover Global Partnerships: ECBC Detection Engineering Branch Partners with Japan Ministry of Defense to Improve Chemical Agent Detector

8 12

Test, 14

Better, Faster, Stronger: ECBC Engineering Test Division Increases Efficiency, Decreases Labor to Work Stream

Test, 16

18

14

ECBC Helps Improve Chemical Detectors Through M3TD Program

Support, 18

Hard to Fit? ECBC Has the Easy Solution

NewsFeed

4

Ahead of the Curve, 4

Word from the Wise: Packaging Branch Preserves Past Lessons Learned for Future

Engineering in the Community, 22

22

23

This Quarter, 23 ECBC Engineering Directorate | 3


Word from

Wi

ECBC’s Packaging Branch Preserves

4 | Leading Edge

P


m the

ves

se

P a s t L ess o n s L e a r n ed f o r F u t u r e

ECBC Engineering Directorate | 5


Ahead of the Curve

T

he Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s Packaging branch retired two influential members of its team at the end of 2011 - Nancy Waltman, previous Chief of the Packaging Branch and Dean Hansen, a senior packaging specialist. With Waltman and Hansen having 60-plus years of combined experience, it would seem that 2012 would leave the seven remaining Packaging Branch team members with painful transitions and possible gaps in the knowledge base. However, thanks to strategic foresight on the parts of Waltman and Hansen, as well as excellent teamwork between the remaining Branch members, those 60 years of knowledge were able to remain, despite Waltman’s and Hansen’s departures. “I think Nancy really understood the importance of retaining knowledge in an aging workforce,” said Ed Bowen, Strategic Planning and Business Operations Branch Chief. “As an original member of the Engineering Balanced Scorecard Core Team, she helped the group establish the Internal Process 11 (IP 11) Retain Knowledge and Expertise Relevant to Core Competencies Strategic Objective as a part of the strategy. She put it into practice with her Branch as well.” In November 2011, in an effort to maintain the momentum of the Branch’s success, Waltman and Hansen hosted Knowledge Retention workshops to pass on their combined 60-plus years of

knowledge to the seven remaining members of their Branch. Their first was a Stand-Down, where the Branch set aside their projects for the afternoon to meet in Waltman’s office and discuss the business operations and strategic management aspects of packaging work.

“We were pretty involved in the kind of work that Waltman and Hansen were doing before they left. We worked alongside them rather than under them. That way, nothing was completely new to us, because they really shared the work and shared the processes with us. We didn’t have to start from scratch.” - Debbie Brooks-Harris, packaging specialist While hosting the Stand-Down was a more formal method for transitioning knowledge, Packaging team members say it was the everyday practices that set them up for success in the absence of Waltman and Hansen’s knowledge base. “We were pretty involved in the kind of work that Waltman and Hansen were doing before they left,” said Debbie Brooks-Harris, packaging specialist. “We worked alongside them rather than under them. That way, nothing was completely new to us, because they really shared the work and shared the processes with us. We didn’t have to start from scratch.” Brooks-Harris said that working together helped build the team’s confidence

6 | Leading Edge


to maintain momentum without Waltman and Hansen, and helped the team familiarize themselves with the work that goes on at the top.

but we end up discovering a new way to do something that is just as effective,” Brooks-Harris said.

“Keeping knowledge retention at the forefront is essential, especially at this time,” Bowen said. “With the Baby Boomer generation due to retire within the next five years, years of experience is due to walk out the door, but with concerted efforts such as in the Packaging Branch, all that does not have to happen. The IP11 Initiative outlines several Directorate-wide solutions to keeping knowledge readable and accessible.”

“Every day is not perfect, there are still struggles. Nancy and Dean had many, many more years of experience that we can’t gain in just a couple of months. It will take time to learn everything to their level, but we know we have the resources at hand to get to that point.”

Another BSC strategic objective that goes hand-in-hand with IP11 is IP10, Establish a Documentation Repository. “We want to ensure that we have historical documents readily accessible,” said Bowen. Toward that end, Mike Brown is leading the initiative of scanning historical documents into a searchable format that is available to the Engineering workforce via a SharePoint site. “The historical documents are very helpful,” Brooks-Harris said. “Sometimes it helps to look through older handwritten documents to learn how something was done in the past.” The resources available have helped the Packaging Branch transition to working without Waltman and Dean, but hard work and teamwork have also helped the group move forward as well. “It has been a challenge, and they are hard shoes to fill, but I think we’ve done well,” said Brooks-Harris. “Nancy and Dean are definitely missed, but luckily we still have a great team here who is able to step in when needed and do what needs to be done.”

– Debbie Brooks-Harris In May, the Packaging Branch was awarded the Packaging Excellence Award from work done in 2011 before Waltman and Hansen retired. The team is confident that there will be more awards in the future. “Every day is not perfect, there are still struggles,” BrooksHarris said. “Nancy and Dean had many, many more years of experience that we cannot gain in just five months. It will take time to learn everything to their level, but we know we have the resources at hand to get to that point.”

“We all have our own styles and talents, so the way we combine our skills together to solve a problem may not be the tried and true method,

ECBC Engineering Directorate | 7


Design

Design  Build  Test  Support

Custo m Orth ADM Uses Additive Manufacturing to Create

8 | Leading Edge


“The whole basis of this project is that we can create customized orthoses from a detailed scan of the leg. Using this kind of 3D data capturing technology creates comfortable, custom-fit rehabilitative devices, is cost-effective and can be produced quickly.� - Rick Moore, Rapid Technologies Branch Chief

o mized hotics ECBC Engineering Directorate | 9


Design  Build  Test  Support

T

he U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) Engineering Directorate is working on more than just designing, building, testing and supporting technology and protective equipment used in battle. It is now looking out for the Warfighter, particularly the wounded Warfighter, after combat. Engineering’s Advanced Design and Manufacturing (ADM) Division partnered with The University of Delaware to expand on the Rapid Manufacture of Personalized Rehabilitation Devices (RaMPeRD) project, which started two and a half years ago, to develop orthoses for the lower limbs.

This project utilizes the additive manufacturing technologies and 3D data capturing capabilities within ADM to quickly create custom-made orthoses for Warfighters and civilians with lower-limb injuries and disabilities. The new process will result in a more affordable, faster manufacturing process

that will provide optimal patient function through a customized rehabilitation orthosis. “The whole basis of this project is that we can create customized orthoses from a detailed scan of the leg,” said Rick Moore, Rapid Technologies Branch Chief. “Using this kind of 3D data capturing technology creates comfortable, custom-fit rehabilitative devices, is cost-effective and can be produced quickly.” A cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) between ECBC and the University of Delaware allows for orthotics research done at the University to develop into a finished product using the tools and expertise available at ECBC facilities. Currently, the group’s orthoses products are for

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Patient Characterization (fit, function)

Virtual Alignment of Orthopedic Landmarks

Customized Computeraided Design Modeling

ADM’s Kevin Wallace and Rick Moore visit the University of Delaware for a project they are collaborating on to use additive manufacturing for orthotics. 10 | Leading Edge

ADM’s Rick Moore and Mark Schlein visit the University of Delaware for a project they are collaborating on to use additive manufacturing for orthotics.


the Nemours Center for Children’s Health, but eventually these items will be manufactured for wounded Warfighters as well. The impact that customizable orthoses has on Wounded Warfighters is what Kevin Wallace, Technology and Systems Integration Branch Chief, said is a fulfilling part of doing a project like this. “It is great to help provide this type of a solution to civilian and military personnel,” Wallace said. “It means a lot to a wounded Warfighter who can use these products to return to full strength after an injury.” Moore said the opportunity to change lives using the engineering expertise is something that ADM has dreamt about doing for years.

“I’ve been working with Laser Scanning for about 15 years now, and we always talked about creative customizable protective gear, so it’s good to start to pave the way for that type of opportunity in the future,” Moore said. “It gives us the opportunity to do challenging research work and expand on the skills we already have,” said Lester Hitch, an engineer within ADM’s Rapid Technologies Branch. “The University of Delaware is focusing on the research side of the project and is leaning on ECBC for the technical expertise and machinery technology,” Hitch said. “Through this project we are able to make our processes more efficient, create variability for parts and cross sections that can really help the ankle foot orthotic technologies overall.”

Stage 4

Stage 5

Fabrication

Patient Assessment (fit, function, comfort)

ADM’s Rick Moore demonstrates some of the orthotics work to a student at the University of Delaware, while Division Chief Mark Schlein speaks with Steven J. Stanhope, Professor of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology. ECBC Engineering Directorate | 11


Build

Design  Build  Test  Support

Global Partnerships:

ECBC Detection Engineering Branch Partners with Japan Ministry of Defense to Improve Chemical Agent Detector

T

he U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) Detection Engineering Branch (DEB) and the Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD), Technical Research and Development Institute, Advanced Defense Technology Center (TRDI-ADTeC) have continued to partner on a Cooperative Research Project to improve an existing chemical agent detector. The two partners agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in March 2008, with objectives to cooperatively research, design, fabricate and test a chemical agent detector prototype. Entitled the Palm-sized Automated Chemical Agent Detector (PACAD), the prototype is

12 | Leading Edge

based on the chemistry of the U.S. M256A1 Chemical Agent Detector and Japanese expertise in microfluidic, electrooptical, and miniaturization technologies. The project was extended in April 2011 by way of an approved Amendment to the PACAD MOU to provide for additional time for both sides to address the unexpected results observed in testing. This allowed ECBC and TRDI-ADTeC to further their efforts to develop and test the PACAD prototype and continue the strong cooperative relationship between the two organizations. At the last meeting of the ECBC and TRDI-ADTeC PACAD Teams in March 2012, both sides agreed to continue efforts for the rest of Amendment One of the PACAD MOU, which ends March 2013.


“All International efforts require extra care and attention because of language barriers and cultural barriers. The Detection Engineering Branch has really gone the extra mile to make sure that this project is a success and they deserve a lot of credit for that.” - Dr. James Baker, Associate Director of ECBC As part of the activities under Amendment One of the PACAD MOU, DEB has hosted various activities at Aberdeen Proving Ground (Edgewood Area), Maryland. Representatives of TRDI-ADTeC and their contractor visited ECBC from September-October 2011 to support cooperative testing of the PACAD prototype. For nearly seven weeks, the team of Japanese scientists and technical officials worked alongside ECBC personnel, providing technical expertise on the PACAD prototype and supporting data collection and analysis aspects of the project. The purpose of this testing was to evaluate the current hardware and software performance for the PACAD prototype. The collection and analysis of the extensive chemical agent test data required cooperation from both sides. “An interesting part of the lengthy testing period was that the ECBC team had ample opportunity to interact with the Japanese visitors on a personal level,” said U.S. Lead PACAD Project Engineer Michael Palko. In preparation for testing and also due to changes in TRDI-ADTeC project personnel, the first week of their visit to ECBC included meetings devoted to ensuring the visitors’ safety and familiarization with procedures for testing at ECBC and solidifying the partner relationships to ensure continued project continuity and successful completion of the PACAD testing. “All the project members worked together so well, and it was particularly satisfying to see the positive interaction between the visitors and ECBC Lab personnel. I think everyone involved really enjoyed collectively working together in this unique capacity to meet the test goals of the project,” Palko said. Following the testing phase of the project, members of the ECBC PACAD Project Team traveled to Japan in December 2011 to meet with the TRDI-ADTeC team to conduct preliminary review of the test results, evaluate the current level of capability, and determine the next steps in the project. The teams also began compiling the recent test results with previous testing results into a required Joint Final Report for final submission to their necessary agencies. In March 2012, ECBC hosted the TRDI-ADTeC team to review and finalize test results before reporting the current status of the PACAD Project to the Joint Steering Committee (JSC), co-chaired by Dr. James Baker, ECBC Associate Director and U.S. Technical Project Officer, and the Director of TRDI-ADTeC. ECBC also proposed Joint Follow-on efforts to continue the U.S.-Japan working relationship.

“Working on a project like this has been a wonderful experience for the Detection Engineering Branch,” said Dr. Baker. “I hope that we find other projects that will allow us to collaborate with the Japanese to capitalize on both of our strengths and continue this relationship.” Additional testing is planned for the upcoming year at the Japan MOD Chemical School, which members of the ECBC PACAD Project Team plan to observe. Both ECBC and TRDIADTeC agreed upon dates and locations for additional meetings to prepare for project close-out, including the Joint Final Report, and to discuss possible Follow-on efforts. “ECBC and TRDI-ADTeC personnel have developed an excellent working relationship during the execution of the PACAD Program,” U.S. PACAD Project Manager and Detection Engineering Branch Chief Bill Argiropoulos said. “The synergy that has developed between the two Centers creates an environment of win-win cooperative knowledge sharing.” Another practical benefit of a cooperative research and development project is that by sharing and exchanging technical information, partners also share the cost. In the case of the PACAD, the U.S. shared the technology behind the M256A1 Chemical Agent Detector, Japan led the development of the PACAD prototype, and the U.S. led the testing of the PACAD Prototype. “Although the project has involved some unique situations and challenges, the strong working relationships established during the project have allowed the team to overcome these matters to continue successful cooperation,” Palko said.

“ECBC and TRDI personnel have developed an excellent working relationship during the execution of the PACAD program. The synergy that has developed between the two Centers creates an environment of win-win cooperative knowledge sharing.” - Bill Argiropoulos, Detection Engineering Branch Chief “All international efforts require extra care and attention because of language barriers and cultural barriers,” said Baker. “I think that the Detection Engineering Branch has really gone the extra mile to make sure that this project is a success and they deserve a lot of credit for that.” In addition to the PACAD project, ECBC and TRDI-ADTeC have maintained a working relationship under higher level International Agreements for explorative discussions of other areas of mutual interest and possible collaboration regarding future Chemical and Biological defense technology.

ECBC Engineering Directorate | 13


Test

Design  Build  Test  Support

B e t t e r , Fa s t e r ,

E C B C E n g i n ee r i n g Tes t D ivisi o n I n c r e a ses

S

everal branches within Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s Engineering Test Division are working together to reduce costs for their customers. The Permeation and Analytical Solutions Branch (PASB), Protective Equipment Test Branch (PET) and Test, Reliability and Evaluation Branch (TREB) teamed up to create a process in which the three branches will work together to share resources for the Joint Equipment Assessment Program (JEAP) customer. Brian MacIver, PASB Branch Chief, presented this information on behalf of the three branches at ECBC’s Innovation Forum on 30 May. “These three test branches are coming together to build one repository of information and become a one-stop shop for our customers,” MacIver said. In 2010, the JEAP customer, which is funded by the Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), came to the Engineering Test Division (ETD). At that time, there was no established preventative maintenance program. There was no method for collecting and co-locating data that could be quickly accessed by the operator to ensure systems were working within specification and data was accurate and precise. Knowing that JEAP was a large test program, requiring multi-functional test needs, ETD embarked on a plan to bring more of this work to ECBC. PASB, PET and TREB joined forces to establish a unified test focal point to make 14 | Leading Edge

it easier for the customer to establish test procedures, deliver test items and obtain test data.

These three test branches are coming together to build one repository for information and become a one-stop shop for our customers.” - Brian MacIver, Permeation Analytical Solutions Branch Chief The idea is to work across branches, and learn from others practices in order to come up with better solutions, rather than each branch working within itself, where efforts could be duplicated. This new work process will introduce efficiency by reducing labor without impacting the quality or delivery time of work. The branches share detailed data about the project’s progress via SharePoint, so members of all branches can refer to it for future testing. The SharePoint site will be used as a tool to share information with the customer, near real-time access to data and other pertinent information that will aid in more efficient communication for meeting customer goals and milestones. Internally, workbooks are being created to


, Stronger:

ses

Efficiency, Decreases Labor to Work Stream evolve data processing, so thousands of data points can be systematically sorted to give the operator quick reference to knowing whether test systems are functioning properly. In order for the process to be successful for JEAP and future customers, the branches worked out a structure incorporating skill sets from the different branches. An overarching branch chief will oversee the entire process as well as a test administrator who will add uniformity to the data being entered.

“Working together will provide a consolidated analysis training program, drive down costs, provide timely and uniform reporting and increase our efficiencies.” - Brian MacIver, Permeation Analytical Solutions Branch Chief

“Working together will provide a consolidated analysis training program, drive down costs, provide timely and uniform reporting and increase our efficiencies,” MacIver said. In addition to working together between the branches, the group will also reach back to colleagues in the Research and Technology Directorate to support method development and unique analytical processes. Collaborating on SharePoint will also ensure customers get timely reports by adding time stamps to data entered. A central quality manager will maintain the site to make sure reports are entered in and sent out to customers correctly. MacIver said, ETD is working on another TACOM funded project, which is to build duplicative test capability at Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA), incorporating the AVLAG permeation test fixture. Discussions have also turned to developing a collaborative relationship with PBA in an attempt to perform verification and validation testing under the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army (DUSA) T&E test initiatives through the T&E Capabilities and Methodologies Integrated Product Team.

ECBC Engineering Directorate | 15


Test

Design  Build  Test  Support

ECBC Helps Improve Chemical Detectors Through

M3TD Program 16 | Leading Edge


I

n 2012, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) participated in a program that will benefit the Warfighter by helping to improve the performance of chemical agent detectors. The Joint Project Manager for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Contamination Avoidance (JPM NBC CA) funded the Multi-Mission Multi-Threat Detection (M3TD) program. M3TD provides multiple chemical agent detector companies an opportunity to utilize ECBC expertise and laboratories to test their detectors against a broad range of chemical challenges. This program will help to improve the industrial knowledge base and assess the technical maturity of systems designed to detect and identify Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) and emerging threat compounds. The M3TD program supports the Analysis of Alternative (AoA) for the Next Generation Chemical Detector (NGCD), and will assist in NGCD’s goal of improving upon the detection and identification of emerging threats.

“The M3TD program provides an opportunity for a large number of companies that develop chemical agent detectors to enhance their technical knowledge base, and update and improve their technologies toward emerging threats.” - Roderick Fry, a chemist within the Engineering Directorate “The M3TD program provides an opportunity for a large number of companies that develop chemical agent detectors to enhance their technical knowledge base, and update and improve their technologies toward emerging threats,” said Roderick Fry, a chemist within the Engineering Directorate. The program was a multi-Directorate effort within ECBC, and required cooperation amongst all three Directorates – Engineering (ENG), Directorate of Program Integration (DPI), and Research and Technology (R&T). The detector expertise and laboratory operations were provided by the ENG and R&T Directorates; technical reachback to R&T was required for the basic Science and Technology data on emerging threat compounds, R&T’s Technology Evaluation Branch was the independent evaluator/assessor for the testing, and DPI was heavily involved in safety, surety, security and environmental support leading up to the testing phases of the program. Nineteen different detectors were purchased by JPM NBC CA from 16 different companies that are participating in the M3TD program. The program has two test phases – data collection, and technology assessment. After ECBC completes the data collection phase, the companies that developed the detectors have the opportunity to add the spectral data to their detector libraries and improve their algorithms in an effort to detect and identify a broad spectrum of threats. The detectors are then assessed by JPM NBC CA for technical and performance maturity in the technology assessment phase of the program.

ECBC Engineering Directorate | 17


Support

Design  Build  Test  Support

Hard to Fit? ECBC Has the Easy Solution 18 | Leading Edge


W

hen it comes to masking and special equipment for the Warfighter, one size does not always fit all. Some servicemen and women need custom tailored clothing and equipment, and not having that equipment can cost opportunities and even jobs. Cindy Learn, an engineer with Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Protection Engineering Division’s Joint Service Respirator Sustainment and Test Technology Branch, recalls comforting a distraught servicewoman over the phone when her deployment was in jeopardy because of an ill-fitting mask. “The standard protective mask did not fit the small frame of her face,” Learn said. “A Warfighter cannot be deployed without a mask that fits properly and securely to the face.” Thanks to the Hard to Fit program, rejuvenated by Learn and others in her branch, that same servicewoman was able to obtain a protective mask specially adjusted to fit her face just in time for deployment. “I remember her being so grateful we were able to help her get the right mask,” Learn said. “Many do not realize there are infinite different shapes and sizes of faces, and having a protective mask that fits well is essential to any deployable mission. Not being able to get your hands on the right fitting mask could be a career ender for some.”

“Many do not realize there are infinite different shapes and sizes of faces, having a protective mask that fits well is essential to any deployable mission. Not being able to get your hands on the right fitting mask could be a career ender for some.” - Cindy Learn, Joint Service Respirator Sustainment and Test Technology Branch

No Warfighter Left Behind With a team motto of “No Warfighter Left Behind,” members of the Hard to Fit Program make it their mission to ensure all deployable personnel have the correct-sized mask. Hard to Fit is a G-8 funded program housed within ECBC’s Protection Engineering Division. The program fits members of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as civilians who have mask requirements for their jobs. Learn said current mask styles are designed to fit up to 95 percent of users, while the most current masks are designed for as many as 98 percent. The Hard to Fit program targets the remainder who need special-fit equipment to make a difference for their country. According to Learn, the group fit 100 people in 2011 and has fit 30 so far in 2012.

ECBC Engineering Directorate | 19


Design  Build  Test  Support “Now, the program partners with TACOM to control the inventory and track usage, while we perform a quality check on all the masks. Improved organization and communication with the Navy, Marines and Army allows the Warfighter access to the mask fit resources available with greater ease and quicker service, so the progress made since 2006 is immense.” – Jim Church, Joint Service Respirator Sustainment and Test Technology Branch Chief “Whether the need for a special fit mask is due to natural size or asymmetry, or an injury sustained that may have changed the contour of the face or head, our goal is to fit the user so he or she can be successful in the mission,” Learn said. “We have issued only one Non-Deployable Memorandum since I started working with this program in 2006. We do our best to attain the mask with the best fit for those who need them.” The Hard to Fit Program does not redesign a new mask for the servicemen and women who need fitting. Instead, each mask has removable nose cups and face blank sizes that each come in five and four sizes respectively. The group alters a mask to fit a particular person’s face by mixing and matching these parts. In some cases, the Hard to Fit Program has received approval from the Pentagon to issue masks from the U.K. to people with much smaller faces. The process of fitting and ordering the needed sizes usually takes two to three weeks, but the group is working to accelerate the process. Once a person obtains their mask from Hard to Fit, it is theirs to keep for life. “Sometimes we get last minute requests from groups who are just about to deploy to come in and fit someone,” said Joint Service Respirator Sustainment and Test Technology Branch Chief Jim Church. “But usually people know before two or three weeks that they will need a different sized mask.”

20 | Leading Edge

Organized Solutions Hard to Fit’s biggest customer base comes from Fort Dix Chemical School in New Jersey because it is a mobilization site and the mask is the last item to be checked before deployment. The program also gets a lot of requests from Fort Leonard Wood Chemical School in Missouri since it is a large training site. Church said the Hard to Fit Program has roots dating back to the late 1970s, when engineers would custom make someone a mask, which took time and money.“Later during Desert Storm in the early 1990s, people who could not be fitted with the M17 mask wore the M40 mask before it actually became the M40,” Church said. “But since Cindy came on board, the program has become more formalized and more visible. I think we are definitely in a place to help more people than we ever were before.” Church said prior to Learn’s involvement with the program, obtaining a mask with different sized parts was a more disorganized process where the person in need would ask around and whoever they talked to would see what they could find. “Now, the program partners with TACOM to control the inventory and track usage, while we perform a quality check on all the masks. Improved organization and communication with the Navy, Marines and Army allows the Warfighter access to the mask fit resources available with greater ease and quicker service, so the progress made since 2006 is immense,” Church said. For more information about Hard to Fit, see Army Technical Bulletin TB 3-4240-341-20-1


ECBC Engineering Directorate | 21


Community

Engineering in the

Community

“Engineering in the Community” highlights the extracurricular efforts that Engineering employees have made in their local communities including volunteer work and conference participation. See how our well-rounded engineers share their knowledge outside of the Monday-Friday work week. Visit our blog at http://edgewoodchembio.blogspot.com to read these full stories.

Awards ■ ■ Corey Piepenburg, Kevin Washok and Randy Kuchta were all recognized with Excellence in Federal Career Awards by the Baltimore Federal Executive Board on 4 May. Piepenburg received a Bronze Medal in Outstanding Professional (non-supervisory) - Technical, Scientific and Program Support. Washok received a Bronze Medal for Outstanding ParaProfessional (non-supervisory) - Technical, Scientific and Program Support and Kuchta received the silver medal for Outstanding Trades and Crafts Employee (non-supervisory).

From left to right, Corey Piepenburg, Randy Kuchta, and Kevin Washok received awards at the Excellence in Federal Career Awards ceremony.

Warfighter Support ■ ■ ECBC’s 2012 Military Appreciation Banner was signed by ECBC employees and received in August by the technicians and engineers participating in the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Field Assistance in Technology Program. The banner from the Rock Island, IL site was given to the Wounded Warrior Base at the Rock Island Arsenal. Watch the CBS 4 Quad Cities story on Rock Island’s Banner presentation here http://www.whbf.com/ story/19184123/thank-you-banner

Conferences ■ ■ ECBC attended Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, Multinational, Industry, and Academia (JIIM-IA) CBRN Conference and Warfighter Seminar held at the U.S. Army CBRN School in Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

22 | Leading Edge


This Quarter

ThisQuarter ■ ■ Members of ECBC Engineering’s Decontamination Engineering Branch traveled to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait in early May to field a new Terrain Decontamination Spray Bar (TDSB), and to provide M12A1 support.

September 2012 ■ ■ ECBC Engineering’s Information & Technology Solutions Team (I&TST) facilitated a first of its kind DoD-wide Joint Acquisition CBRN Knowledge SystemReporting Warehouse (JACKS-RW) Summit, held concurrently at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) and Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) early spring.

■ ■ Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) Engineering’s Advanced Design and Manufacturing Division (ADM) is partnering with the Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD), near Chambersburg, Pa., to help save Warfighters from smoke inhalation and other fire effects of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle damages. ADM and LEAD worked together to design and create a production plan for the Macaw Fire Suppression System (FSS) Mount. The Mount will allow for fire rescue supplies to be stored in an easily accessible place, so that Warfighters can use them when needed.

Interested in How ECBC

Engineering Can Help You?

■ ■ Send us a note at usarmy.APG.ecbc.mbx.engineering-directorate@mail.mil, or to request hard copies of our newsletters.

Want to Learn More About the

Work ECBC Engineering Does? ■ ■ Visit our website at http://ecbc.army.mil, for up to date information about our teams and their projects

Follow us on our social media sites! ■ ■ Facebook: http://facebook.com/edgewoodchembiocenter ■ ■ Twitter: http://twitter.comedgewoodchembio ■ ■ YouTube: http://youtube.com/edgewoodchembio ■ ■ Official ECBC Blog: http://edgewoodchembio.blogspot.com ■ ■ You can find copies of our monthly newsletter at our online public archives at http://issuu.com/ecbcengineering

ECBC Engineering Directorate | 23


To access the electronic version visit: http://issuu.com/ecbcengineering . .

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE

September 2012: The Leading Edge  

The Leading Edge is the quarterly newsletter of ECBC's Engineering Directorate, and is published through the Directorate's Balanced Scorecar...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you