Page 1



RDECOM adds value to the S&T community, Page 2 RDECOM VISION

As director, he has responsibility for the unit’s 16,000 mostly civilian researchers, engineers and scientists who make up the organization, Page 3 NEW SENIOR ENLISTED ADVISOR

Command Sgt. Maj. Beharie assumed duties as the leader of RDECOM’s enlisted Soldiers, Page 6 BEHARIE IN AFGHANISTAN

If they don’t know that we’re there or don’t know what value we add, we quickly become low-hanging fruit, Page 7


The INSIDER is a new RDECOM monthly internal information publication. We’ve included articles since the transformation set in place with a new civilian leader in February. The INSIDER is a product of RDECOM G5/PAO. Please send feedback to the editor at mil. There is also a companion website posted to the RDECOM SharePoint. Look for the next issue before Aug. 1.

New era begins for RDECOM By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Feb. 10) — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command changed leaders Feb. 10, welcoming a civilian executive at the helm for the first time. Dale A. Ormond assumed responsibility in a ceremony at the APG Post Theater. About 500 Soldiers, Army civilians and local elected officials attended Ormond’s introduction to the community. Ormond is the first civilian to lead RDECOM since the Army created the command in 2004. He assumed leadership from Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, the RDECOM and APG installation commander since Dec. 4, 2009. Ormond thanked Justice for his 42 years of Army service and commitment to the nation. “[Justice] has built a tremendous organization at RDECOM,” Ormond said. “Now comes our challenge to build upon that foundation.” RDECOM’s employees must continue to support Soldiers with the best technology for current conflicts, as well as to defeat future adversaries, Ormond said. “For the RDECOM employees, I have been so incredibly impressed with each of you. Each one of us has the central motivation to help a Soldier in the middle of nowhere execute their mission and come home safely,” Ormond said. “I don’t know that anyone does this more profoundly than our RDECOM employees do. “To the men and women of RDECOM -- we have a lot of work to do. We must continue to accelerate the work that is already in progress to support our Soldiers. I know you are up to the task.” Ormond comes to RDECOM from the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he served as deputy to the commanding general since 2008. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Elimination of Chemical Weapons) and as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the

Dale A. Ormond (left) assumes responsibility for RDECOM in a ceremony hosted by Army Materiel Command Commanding General Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Feb. 10.

Army for Policy and Procurement. Ormond is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a master of science in environmental systems engineering from Clemson University. He was selected for Senior Executive Service in 2004. Justice echoed Dunwoody’s remarks about RDECOM’s scientific contributions enhancing Soldiers’ capabilities. “You heard General Dunwoody recognize our deployed capabilities. It will be an enduring presence in the future that will be integrated into the Army’s deployable capabilities,” Justice said. “That recognizes your skills, talents, importance and value to the operational Army. We have changed the very essence of war this decade much out of the strength and intellectual capacity of this organization. I salute you, RDECOM, for what you do for me and my brothers in arms.” RELATED LINKS Director’s Biography: Facebook: Twitter: RDECOM: Ceremony video:


JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1

Director’s Corner: Our organization adds value By Dale A. Ormond RDECOM Director FIRST IMPRESSIONS Shortly after my arrival, the RDECOM team gathered for the Association of the United States Army Winter conference in February. Above and beyond seeing the latest and greatest from our Army and industry partners, we accomplished a lot. The Board of Directors had a six-hour meeting that was our first chance for a full session of give and take about RDECOM’s direction. It was incredibly positive and forward looking. We really started to come together as a team. We spent a lot of time collaborating on how the whole RDECOM team is going to execute the Army’s S&T mission. It’s a complex mission, so we’ll be tackling that for some time to come.

RDECOM Director Dale Ormond speaks at a meeting during the AUSA Winter Conference.

Part of doing that will be defining our core technological competencies, which the BoD team talked about. I’ve got a team that has already started working hard on this. As you know, the people who are deciding the budgets realize the importance of preserving our research and development capability. That’s good for us, but we have to do our part by defining what parts we have to play and what parts can be done by others. This is something I feel we have to engage in, because in addition to being the Army’s pool of scientific and engineering expertise, our team knows our technological areas like no one else. Another subject that got a lot of attention

was bringing the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology’s Technology Enabled Capability Demonstrations to the forefront of what we do. I’ll be talking more about this as we go forward. I also got a chance to sit down with our Forward Element Commanders and our G3 folks to talk about the work we do in the international arena. This is one of our missions that is not well known, but our small teams do a lot to not only spur development of promising technologies, but to find technologies that we can use to help our Soldiers today. I’m excited about this part of our mission. On the AUSA show floor I spent a lot of time in the Army Materiel Command booth where we had several displays showing off what the RDECOM team does. I also spent some time looking at what our sister commands and partners in industry are doing. The event was a little smaller this year, but you could also sense that people are bearing down to focus on what’s important as we enter a more challenging fiscal time. One event that warrants a special mention was a presentation by Dr. Marilyn Freeman, the DASA (RT). She gave a presentation on the future of Army science and technology to a group of industry and Army leaders at the AUSA conference. When I was asked to come to RDECOM it was made clear to me the Army sees that RDECOM adds value to the S&T community. No one at AMC or ASA (ALT) is talking about RDECOM going away. Since my arrival our leaders have been communicating with me as decisions are made. The changes underway in the Army and the Department of Defense are generating a lot of discussion, but I am confident we will hear about any decisions that affect RDECOM from our leaders first. Until that happens we should focus on executing our mission and not be distracted by the back and forth taking place. I’ve been very impressed with our performance since I took over the command. Continue to do what you do, and we will continue to give you the solid information as we get it. NEW EXECUTIVE IN LEADERSHIP TEAM I selected Barbara J. Machak to join the command’s leadership team in the role of acting deputy director effective June 11. Barbara previously served as executive director for the Enterprise and Systems Integration Center within the Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. She brings a wealth of management and

leadership experience to the team, and we look forward to her arrival. We also bid farewell to Mr. Joe Wienand who returned to the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) as technical director. Joe has served this organization well acting as my civilian deputy since my arrival.

Barbara J. Machak assumed the role of acting deputy director June 11.

Please give Barbara your support and a big welcome. We wish her success. On that note I’d like to leave you with a promise. I believe collaboration is the key to our future success, and you can’t collaborate if you aren’t communicating. Our communications team already has some social media sites up for me, such as Facebook and Twitter. Check them out, engage, ask questions. The promise is that we’ll be working hard to keep everyone up to date on what we’re doing. I would also like to challenge you to help us tell our story. Our communications team will be engaging on many levels, but no one can tell our story as well, in as many ways to as many people as the whole RDECOM team can. We work in an exciting business in an exciting time. Don’t keep it to yourself. RELATED LINKS AUSA Photoset: Machak Bio: RDECOM:



Leader sets vision for RDECOM transformation Dale Ormond has a vision for the future. With responsibility for RDECOM’s $6 billion-a-year research and development effort, he sees the need to address budget strategies. After talks with Pentagon officials, he said the Congress and Department of Defense understand the impact of science and technology on tomorrow’s Army. “There is clearly this issue of needing to plant our seed corn, not eat it. The S&T is the seed corn for the future,” he said. “There may be significant reductions in acquisition. We’re going to have to make some changes in order to maintain that which is most important in the S&T portfolio.” RDECOM’s centers and labs are focused in the areas of communications and electronics, Soldier personal equipment, aviation and missile, chemical and biological, tank and automotive, armament, and basic and applied laboratory research. The unit also partners with industry, academia, international partners and other government organizations to bring cuttingedge technologies to America’s Soldiers. The command even has researchers and advisers deployed to Afghanistan to directly support commanders in the field. Ormond said one of his first challenges was to communicate a sense of urgency to the workforce. In a town hall meeting Feb. 13 attended by hundreds of employees, Ormond introduced himself, his strategy and then took questions. “Each of our centers has tremendous capabilities,” he said. “We need to start examining their core competencies and concentrating them. If we have two centers competing against each other, we will be less than the sum of our parts. So how do we consolidate that? It doesn’t mean we take all the competency out of one center, but rather concentrate most of it, and it becomes the lead sled dog and other people will feed off it and take what they need to execute their particular mission or projects. We’re going to have to become much more collaborative.” The organization’s centers have senior civilian executives as technical directors. The leaders also serve as members of the RDECOM board of directors. Ormond foresees continuing to use this management construct. “We had a board of directors meeting two hours after the change of responsibility ceremony, and I gave them my assessment about where RDECOM is and where I think we need to go,” he said. “I’m pulling together a vision of where I think we need to go. This

RDECOM Director Dale A. Ormond’s highresolution official portrait is available at http://flickr. com/rdecom_showcase

has to be a collaborative process. Together we’ll find the right path so we can do what’s right for the Army in terms of providing S&T.” The Army is looking toward leaner, more efficient operations with a more constrained budget. The new director envisions partnering

“The biggest change is that we have to be more collaborative and focused as a command.” —Dale Ormond with industry to some degree. “Industy has some organizations with large R&D,” he said. “We need to look at some of those models and see if they make sense for us too.” Although RDECOM is a major subordinate command within the U.S. Army Materiel Command, the Army often directly directs the science and technology efforts. “We have this interesting chain of command process,” Ormond said. “We work for AMC. It is the line management for whom we work. But, at the same time it is the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition,

Logistics and Technology and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Army for Research and Technology who really provide a lot of funding for what we do in the RD&E world.” Ormond said one of the things everybody keeps asking is how RDECOM transitions products, capabilities, or whatever it is it does in the S&T world into the acquisition world so it ends up on the battlefield. During the February change of responsibility ceremony, Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, AMC commanding general, said Ormond is the right person for the job. “Dale has had some of the toughest assignments in the Army and is a proven, steadfast senior leader,” she said. A 1985 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Ormond served on nuclear submarines. As a civilian leader, he went on to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Elimination of Chemical Weapons). He also served as acting director for the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency and as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Policy and Procurement, where he was responsible for Army contracting and acquisition policy. His background includes nuclear safety, industrial facility operations, and nuclear/ chemical waste disposal spanning more than 25 years with the Department of Energy and Department of Defense. The focus for the coming months is clear, Ormond said. “The biggest change is that we have to be more collaborative and focused as a command,” he said. “We really do need to be focused on using our energies, talents and capabilities to support the Army.” Ormond hopes to get everybody in the organization to buy into the same vision and support it. “It’s about getting everybody’s attention, getting them on board, showing them how they fit in part of the process, making them part of the process, and then getting them all rowing in the same direction so that we’re making decisions that are in the best interest of the organization as opposed to, sometimes, the best interest of an individual division,” Ormond said. “That’s where a lot of resistance tcomes from. With the budgets where they are, and clearly the budgets are going down, we’re going to have to make decisions that are in the best interest of the organization.” There will be some difficult decisions in the future, he said. Ormond expects his



senior leaders to lead. His own leadership style is to set objectives, clear barriers and support his people. “I expect them to manage their organizations, and I expect them to do this in the context that we’re going to come to a consensus as the board of directors managing this RDECOM enterprise,” he said. “How they do it is largely up to them. I’ll ask them how they’re doing this, but this is where they know their organization better than I do; they know their people better than I do; and they have to do something that is comfortable within their leadership style to execute. All of these jobs are going to be very difficult,” he said. “We’re going to have to make decisions. My job is to provide them with a framework and a sense of criteria for making those decisions, and then to back them up and to provide them guidance when they need it, and to hold them accountable as we go through this process.” For nearly a year, RDECOM has been under the shadow of pending change. An Army report even recommended dissolving the command. “I met with General Dunwoody to talk about this,” Ormond said. “There was a strong commitment from her that there is no intention on the part of the Army to dissolve RDECOM. They think RDECOM adds a tremendous amount of value to the Army. There are a lot of people saying, ‘Show me how.’ ” The organization’s new leader said he plans to develop a strong corporate

JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1 message to show what RDECOM provides is greater than the sum of its parts. “Part of my job is to funnel things into this headquarters from the outside so we’re providing clear, consistent guidance and direction to our centers and lab,” he said. “RDECOM will very clearly show how it is adding value to the process, and how we’re working to improve efficiencies and be more effective in what we’re doing and interfacing with the right organizations in a way that communicates successes that are happening inside this organization.” In the near term, the command will better communicate its impact, not only on the current fight, but in providing things that will enable the Army to execute its mission in five or 10 years. “We need to do a better job of telling that story,” Ormond said. “I am a fan of strategic communications. You have got to be able to tell your story, and tell your story the right way to the people who need to hear it. Ormond, his wife and six children are happy to be in Maryland. “It’s great to be back in Maryland,” he said. “Aberdeen is a great place. We’re in a great location. It’s somewhat rural. You drive out of the gate and it’s a little bit rural around here, which is nice. We’re really happy to be here.” Ormond hopes to maintain a strong link to the community as responsibilities shift. “It is my intention to go to public events that we should be participating in and to stay engaged with the local community

and the state community and their federal representatives,” Ormond said. “I have been very impressed with Harford County and how incredibly integrated they are ... the county government, the state government and their proactive support of APG. I am impressed.” Beyond his biography, Ormond said there are only a couple of things people should know about him. “Most of us who end up in one of these positions are fairly Type-A personalities,” he said. “My style is to let you know the guidelines and expectations. I’ll measure the progress. I expect you to do your job. You have a lot of latitude to do what is right for the Army and this command. As long as we’re doing that, we’ll be going in the right direction. My job, as much as anything, is to knock down road blocks and open doors.” Ormond said he is willing to help. “If you’ve got a problem or a challenge, come ask me for help when you have at least have one tire on dry pavement,” he said. “It’s hard for me to help if you come in with all four tires in the ditch. My job is about helping you to be successful, and that is usually getting things out of the way and enable you to do what we need done. I find if you give people a little space and you give them the authority for what I’m holding them accountable for, they usually do great things.” RELATED LINKS Facebook: Twitter:

RDECOM Director Dale Ormond hosted a town hall meeting and awards ceremony May 15. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)


RDECOM Newsbriefs AMSAA IS SEPARATE REPORTING ACTIVITY The Army Materiel Command realigned the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity as a separate reporting activity on May 21. AMSAA had been a part of RDECOM. Operations Order 12-151 states that the organization will remain at its current location on Aberdeen Proving Ground; however, they will establish a forward support cell colocated with AMC headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. The commander’s intent is to “improve HQ AMC’s independent analytic capability across the entire materiel lifecycle from research and development to disposal.” FAREWELL TO CHAPLAIN (LTC) OWENS RDECOM Director Dale Ormond presented Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jerry Owens with the Meritorious Service Medal on the occassion of the chaplain’s completion of a tour of duty. Owens served RDECOM since July 2010. IMPROVED BATTERIES, SWIPES TO LIGHTEN SOLDIERS’ LOAD A Soldier treks through treacherous terrain in a dangerous combat zone with a rucksack filled with meals ready-to-eat, first-aid gear, weapons, ammunition, radios and batteries. U.S. ARMY, TAIWANESE OFFICIALS DISCUSS S&T COLLABORATION U.S. Army and Taiwanese officials met at Aberdeen Proving Ground June 18 to discuss opportunities for partnerships in military research and development. RDECOM Director Dale Ormond and Engineering Command, briefed Lt. Gen. Shou-Fong Chin, Taiwan Armaments Bureau director general, and his team on RDECOM’s initiatives to engage internationally to maintain America’s status in science and technology. http:// ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF TOURS RDECOM FACILITIES AT PICATINNY ARSENAL PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno talks with Gerardo Melendez, director of U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, as Dale Ormond, director of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, listens in. Odierno was viewing the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition displays May 30.

RDECOM RECOGNIZES CAPT. FILAURO FOR SERVICE ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -The Army awarded Capt. Andrew Filauro the Meritorious Service Medal May 24 for his outstanding work at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

Social Media Go to http://twitter. com/rdecom to follow also search @DaleOrmond

Go to http:// USArmyRDECOM — also search for Dale Ormond

Go to rdecomgoogle

ARMY S&T TEAM DEVELOPS POWER, ENERGY SOLUTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN The Army’s science and technology command center in Afghanistan is unburdening Soldiers by improving power and energy capabilities in theater. http:// FAREWELL TO AMANDA SMITH RDECOM Deputy Chief of Staff Todd Morris presents an SES note May 16 to Amanda Smith, program analyst for the command’s Programs and Engineering division. http:// RDECOM HOSTS TOWN HALL WITH SERVICE AWARDS ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -RDECOM Director Dale Ormond hosted a town hall meeting and awards ceremony May 15. SCIENCE TEACHERS TOUR HIGH-TECH ARMY LABS Ten science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers from across the United States toured the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Energetics and

5 Stretchable Electronics Laboratory May 11. FAREWELL TO CAPT. SMITH Capt. Matthew Smith received the Meritorious Service Medal for his time as aide-de-camp to the commanding general. He has since moved to a new assignment at RDECOM’s communication and electronics research center. LEADERS MENTOR DURING BEYA Senior leaders from Aberdeen Proving Ground served as mentors to 225 pre-college students and engineering majors from East Coast colleges during a mentorship session at the 26th Black Engineer of the Year Awards Experience Feb. 17 http://go.usa. gov/UgE DIRECTOR KEYNOTES AUSA MEETING RDECOM Director Dale Ormond addressed a May 9 Association of the United States Army Sustainment Conference in Richmond, Va. The director discussed advances in solar water heaters, energy efficient ice machines and water purification systems. MDrzs4 RDECOM SALUTES 13 GRADUATES OF NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL Thirteen RDECOM employees received graduate degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School June 15, including two who earned honors for academic excellence. Brig. Gen. John McGuiness, RDECOM deputy commanding general, congratulated the graduates at a short reception before the ceremony. IMPROVED BATTERIES, SWIPES LIGHTEN SOLDIERS’ LOAD The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command is lightening the Soldier’s load by developing smaller and lighter batteries. Scientists and engineers are unburdening the Soldier, increasing maneuverability, reducing fatigue, and cutting time needed for battery re-charging. http:// WHITE HOUSE RECOGNIZES LT. COL. SAMUELS AS A CHAMPION OF CHANGE An Army Reserve officer who researched the effectiveness of energy-saving “microgrid” technology in Afghanistan was among nine Americans honored as “Champions of Change” by the White House, April 19. Samuels deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 to stand up a science and technology integration and collaboration center at Bagram Airfield.


JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1

New command sergeant major assumes role By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (March 16) — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command introduced its new senior noncommissioned officer to the community March 16. Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert O. Beharie assumed duties as the leader of RDECOM’s enlisted Soldiers during a Change of Responsibility ceremony at the Post Theater. About 150 Soldiers and Army civilian employees welcomed Beharie to RDECOM and APG. MARIN BIDS FAREWELL Beharie takes over from Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin. The Army promoted Marin to the rank of command sergeant major in 1999, and he has served as RDECOM’s senior NCO since Aug. 5, 2007. A native of Honduras who moved to New York City at age 10, Marin enlisted in September 1981. He described his journey from a child through his three decades as a Soldier stationed across the globe. “My journey began a long time ago when I first got to this great country. I felt a sense of duty immediately,” Marin said. “I wanted to give back to this nation for what was given to me -- an opportunity to get an education, an opportunity to live free in a democratic country, a place where opportunities to excel are endless, an opportunity to serve and sacrifice for the good of all citizens of this nation. I joined the Army as part of this sense of duty. I wanted to ensure those who came before me who may have lost their lives did not do so in vain. “As a young boy living in Honduras, I used to chase helicopters down the street. I was very fascinated by that piece of machinery. I always wondered, ‘How can something like that hang up in the sky and fly?’ So when I entered the United States and began my studies in New York, I had my eyes on becoming an aviator. Through hard work, perseverance and encouragement from family, I managed to meet the qualifications to enter the Army as an aviator. Here I am today.” Marin thanked his fellow NCOs for their efforts to interact with RDECOM’s scientists and engineers to ensure the success of the command’s mission to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers. “Since my arrival here, I quickly got engaged with our noncommissioned officers to ensure we understood our role in providing our engineers and scientists with relevant feedback to assist with the development

U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Director Dale Ormond, right, passes the RDECOM colors to incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie during a Change of Responsibility ceremony at the Post Theater March 16 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

of new technology and delivering it to the hands of Warfighters,” Marin said. “Our noncommissioned officers have a vital role in making sure that RDECOM is technology driven and always Warfighter focused.” BEHARIE AS SENIOR NCO Beharie will lead the command’s 80 enlisted Soldiers at its APG headquarters and seven research centers with offices around the world. The command sergeant major serves as the principal adviser to the director in enlisted matters. He is responsible for the training, professional development, retention, readiness and discipline of Soldiers under his charge. Beharie said he has been impressed by the passion of RDECOM scientists and engineers to support those in uniform. “I have had some great opportunities to serve over my military career. However, serving as RDECOM sergeant major is a dream job,” Beharie said. “This organization and its professional workforce touch the lives of all the men and women in the Armed Forces, as well as our nation. “Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit some of our labs and meet some of our men and women who work tirelessly to give our troops the fighting edge

on the battlefield. I was blown away by the technology that they have developed and are currently working on.” Beharie will report to RDECOM Director Dale Ormond, who replaced Maj. Gen. Nick Justice as the organization’s senior leader Feb. 10. Ormond thanked Marin for his dedication to the Army, RDECOM and Soldiers. “What a terrific story of Command Sergeant Major Marin. [He is] a terrific Soldier and a leader of Soldiers,” Ormond said. “He wanted to give back for the opportunities that America gave him. He has connected our scientists and engineers to the Soldiers, communicating with Soldiers and talking to them about what their real issues, challenges and needs are. [He made] sure that was funneled back into us so that we have that connection to what is going on in theater. “[He made] tremendous personal efforts to stand up the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He helped put in place how we as RDECOM solve materiel [problems] at the point of need.” In one of his first official duties, Beharie will oversee RDECOM’s annual Noncomissioned Officer/Soldier of the Year Competition at


RDECOM’s THE INSIDER APG March 26 to 31. Five enlisted Soldiers will compete in a physical fitness test, weapons range, land navigation, obstacle course, 12mile ruck march, essay and written exam, media interviews, and board appearance. Beharie has served as the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade’s command sergeant major at Fort Campbell, Ky., since April 2009. He enlisted in 1986 and has four combat tours in the Persian Gulf. Beharie and his wife, Sabrina, have three children.

CSM’s Social Media Go to CSMBeharie

Go to http://www.facebook. com/LebertBeharie

CSM discusses command’s support in Afghanistan By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s senior noncommissioned officer, returned May 13 from a nine-day mission to Afghanistan. In an interview with RDECOM public affairs, Beharie discussed how the command is providing the technological edge to Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. What were your objectives during your first visit to Operation Enduring Freedom as RDECOM’s command sergeant major? “It was two-fold. First, we have folks who are doing great work in harm’s way, supporting the Warfighter. I wanted to pay them a visit, let them know who I am, and talk with them; get their concerns and issues they are dealing with; hear about some of the opportunities they had to support our Warfighter; technologies they were able to help field. Second, [I wanted] to meet the senior enlisted Soldiers in the battlespace and hear from them how [RDECOM is] doing providing them the resources and technology to fight on the battlefield. That part is just as important. If they don’t know that we’re there or don’t know what value we add, we quickly become low-hanging fruit. As [the Army] ramps down in theater, we become the first to go home. That would be a tragedy to leave the Soldiers without the technology or the connection to the technology that we are able to give from our labs.” As you talked with the Soldiers and civilians supporting OEF, what support do they need from RDECOM?


Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s senior noncommissioned officer, returned May 13 from a nine-day mission to Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)


JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1


spoke to RC-South, RC-East, RC-Capital. I’ve talked to every command, all the way through [International Security Assistance Force] Command, and they all are singing the praises of what we are doing in theater.”

“When I was a Warfighter, I did not know what RDECOM provided me. Throughout the [Army Force Generation] process and the re-set process, there was a lot of technology that came my way that we, as a unit, had to integrate into our organization. It’s the same thing with the Soldiers currently in theater. Some do not know RDECOM existed. They received technology and support from RDECOM, but we need to do better with our strategic communications and getting the word out. Part of my reasoning for going to theater is to get the word out [what] we, as RDECOM, provide and how we can better assist our Soldiers.”

How will RDECOM leverage the experience gained from establishing RFAST-C in OEF to set up a similar capability for future Army or joint operations?

How can RDECOM’s scientists and engineers in the United States do better to provide timely solutions to address these needs? “I think the lines of communication, the resources that we have, and the reachback capability that we have to our labs, scientists and engineers -- I think that is what we need to do better. Our scientists and engineers are doing a fabulous job supporting our Warfighters. They come to work every day energized. For us to have the reachback from [Soldiers and commanders in] theater, our [Logistics Assistance Representative and Field Service Representatives] help by telling us where the gaps are. [We] fill those gaps in our labs with an emerging technology or [with] equipment we already built to increase capabilities on the battlefield. I think our scientists and engineers are doing a great job.” Where in Afghanistan did you go? “I had the opportunity to tour the entire breadth of Afghanistan where major commands are hose are the hubs. If you get the commands and hubs to understand the type of support hat we provide on a daily basis, that will proliferate across the subordinate commands. We met with [Regional Command]-South and talked with them about our lines of effort and support. [We made] sure we are linked [for] them reaching back to us. They have several ways to get to us. The [Rapid Equipping Force] 10-liner will come back to us. The [Operational Needs Statement] [Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement] process will come back to us. Our [Science and Technology Assistance Teams] in theater will bring stuff back to us to action and provide material solutions to Warfighters.”

How does the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and TechnologyCenter accomplish its mission of providing engineering solutions to Soldiers directly in theater? “What a tremendous capability to our Soldiers. This is a big win for the Army. This is a battlefield enabler having the RFAST-C that forward in theater. In six months, they have done over 177 projects for theater. That is throughout the [Combined Joint Operation Area], throughout the battlespace. While I was there, they were working on projects for the [Afghanistan Working Group] for the Afghan Army. They are working on engineering projects for the Air Force’s AC-130. You name it, they are working on it. You have a Soldier who walks up to the RFAST-C and says, ‘Hey, I have a problem.’ I met that Soldier, a specialist. He showed me how he came up with the design, his drawings, what he envisioned, and the problem he had. He walked up to one of our engineers and said, ‘Hey, here is a problem that I have. Here is what I think a solution could be. Can you do something about this?’ Our scientist said, ‘Absolutely we can do something about it.’ They put the engineering mental muscle behind it and came up with a great product to fill that Soldier’s problem. This proliferates on the battlefield. It was a game-changer. This as an adjustment that had to be made because of new technology that we sent to theater to protect our Soldiers. We had to adjust how we placed certain items on vehicles. I cannot speak enough about how great of a resource [the RFAST-C] it is for theater. I

“The Army is looking at what it calls ‘RFAST-C in a Box.’ It probably will not have all the capabilities that our current RFAST-C has, but it will have a lot of those capabilities. There are some capabilities that the Army had previously within the [Army Field Support Brigades] that are provided in theater; however, not in the quality and quantity that is provided through the RFAST-C. With our emerging technologies, I can see sometime in the future that we are going to have an ‘RFAST-C in a Box’ traveling around the battlespace. I think this was the birth of a great idea that will help the Warfighter for a long time to come.” How can RDECOM continue to share its initiatives and contributions with the Army? “RDECOM Director Mr. Dale Ormond sat down with the Board of Directors and came up with seven lines of effort. One of the lines of effort is strategic communications. I think I can impact that in a big way through the senior enlisted leaders engagement throughout the Army. Seeing the senior enlisted leaders in theater is great. However, I think that communication needs to start back here at home. One of the initiatives that I have started is to go out and see the divisions and the major unit commands at home before they go to theater. Let them know what we are and what we do. The Army has an educational process for deployers. Give them ways that they can enhance the performance of their Soldiers and equipment on the battlefield. One of those resources is RDECOM. I think that we need to make ourselves part of that educational process. Let RDECOM be one of those stops that those commands will make prior to going to theater. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be an enormous gamechanging opportunity for those commands. I will take the message out and let them know what we are, who we are, and what we can do for them as they fight our nation’s wars.” RELATED LINKS



RDECOM introduces focused ‘lines of effort’ RDECOM Director Dale Ormond initiated seven lines of effort within weeks of assuming his leadership role. While complete action plans are still under development, the command should expect to be fully engaged in tackling these new initiatives very soon.

enhance capabilities for the US Army and our coalition partners. Build partnership capacity through the collection of capabilities, relationships, and processes that enable the Army to conduct full spectrum of military operations.

SAFETY Problem Statement: RDECOM is responsible for a diverse set of Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation competencies which include some of the greatest hazards to Soldiers and civilians outside of combat. RDECOM requires establishment of an AR 385-10 integrated safety program commensurate with the complexity of work and the hazards within the RDECOM portfolio in conjunction with an adequately staffed and trained safety office to execute this vision. Goals and Objectives: With a primary goal to eliminate/mitigate the safety risks contained within its wide-ranging portfolio such as aviation, chem-bio, electrical, laboratory, laser, munitions, and radiation, the RDECOM Safety Office will perform the function of a corporate safety office.

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS Problem Statement: RDECOM’s strategic communications requires greater synchronization with command priorities and full integration with its plans and operations, as well as subordinate element communication efforts. This will result in coordinated and proactive communications that will inform stakeholders and other audiences of RDECOM’S successes and relevance to the force. Goals: To generate awareness and support for RDECOM priorities by strategically communicating synchronized, focused and engaging messages to stakeholders in order to create an information environment that enables us to: • Achieve the command vision of becoming the Army’s go-to organization for executing Affordable Modernization • Become the change agent for the Army in the Materiel Domain. Establish and maintain the information environment necessary to deliver timely, innovative, integrated and cost-effective Warfighter solutions. Gain and maintain the trust and support of the communities surrounding RDECOM installations and the American public establishing as a good partner, good neighbor and community asset.

PROGRAMS AND ENGINEERING Problem Statement: RDECOM lacks a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the technical work at the RDECs and ARL as well as a thorough understanding of RDEC/ARL programmatics to enable the HQ to execute its integration responsibilities to achieve the efficiency required by the Army. Goals and Objectives: Develop and provide a command wide integrated POM that balances and supports needs and priorities from customers and stakeholders, as well as RDECOM core technical competencies. TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED CAPABILITY DEMONSTRATIONS Problem Statement: RDECOM must develop and execute processes to ensure, on an Army-wide basis, RDECOMled Technology-Enabled Capability Demonstrations have broad stakeholder coordination, synchronization, and support to produce an operational capability of value to the Army. Goals and Objectives: Understand and incorporate the critical enabling technologies to achieve the capability. Understand the tradeoffs associated with incorporating a technology in the TECD or leaving it out. Ensure the technical details and capabilities get properly translated into acquisition requirements.

ENTERPRISE EFFICIENCIES Problem Statement: RDECOM is not optimized for ef f iciency in executing its mission of integrating research, development and engineering. We must continue to develop an enterprise approach to our business processes, capitalizing on the inherent strengths of individual RDECs and implementing command wide process where feasible. Goals and Objectives: Concentrate RDECOM’s technical capacity where the core competencies reside in order to maintain and grow critical skills needed by the Army. Institute the principles of the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act so as to apply systems engineering and project management principals Command-wide to S&T programs. EXTERNAL PARTNERSHIPS Problem Statement: RDECOM must engage with external partners in order to fully execute our Science, Technology and Engineering mission. We must form partnerships with other government agencies, COCOMs, ACOMs, ASA(ALT), OSD, industry, academia, foreign industry, foreign governments, and foreign academia. Goals and Objectives: Successfully execute the RDECOM external engagement mission. Maintain awareness of global state of the art in military technologies. Identify and develop technologies that will

HUMAN CAPITAL Problem Statement: One of our main challenges is to recruit, develop and retain a highly technical and effective workforce. RDECOM is a 16,000 person organization performing more than 70 percent of the Army’s Science, Technology and Engineering mission. We provide the critical knowledge, skills and abilities to ensure our Army retains the necessary technical advantage to fight and win against any adversary. Goals and Objectives: Develop and retain a highly technical and effective workforce. Develop a career map process that every employee, regardless of career program, can use to develop their potential. Provide an effective program of developmental opportunities/projects for the RDECOM military Army Acquisition Corps personnel appropriate levels of training and certification (CES and Acquisition Workforce).


JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1

Staff Sgt. Markus Whisman won the 2012 RDECOM Noncommissioned Officer of the Year competition.(U.S. Army photo by Tom Faulkner)

RDECOM recognizes NCO, Soldier of the Year By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — After five days of competition that pushed four Soldiers’ physical abilities and technical expertise, Staff Sgt. Markus Whisman and Pfc. Joshua Inserra earned honors March 30 as the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year, respectively. RDECOM’s enlisted corps serves an important role by acting as Soldier representatives with the Army’s scientists

and engineers, Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie said. RDECOM Director Dale Ormond and Beharie presented the winners Army Commendation Medals; gift certificates from AAFES and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and an RDECOM backpack filled with T-shirts. Ormond recognized all the participants for their important role in RDECOM’s mission of empowering, unburdening and protecting American Soldiers. “Thank you for your service. Thank you for your enthusiasm, motivation, leadership and commitment to excellence,” Ormond said.

Whisman, a research and development adviser assigned to Army Research Laboratory at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., and Inserra, a signal support systems maintainer assigned to Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at APG, now advance to the Army Materiel Command NCO and Soldier of the Year competitions. Also vying for the honors were: -- Staff Sgt. Sharalis Canales, a behavioral health NCO assigned to Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center at Natick, Mass. -- Staff Sgt. Christopher Duff, an


RDECOM’s THE INSIDER explosive ordnance disposal team leader assigned to the EOD Technology Directorate at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. The Soldiers discussed their backgrounds, family lives, personal goals and combat tours with the RDECOM public affairs office during the competition week.

Pfc. Joshua Inserra won the RDECOM Soldier of the Year competition (U.S. Army photo by Tom Faulkner).

GAINING LEADERSHIP, EDUCATION, SKILLS The Soldiers agreed they have benefited tremendously from their decision to enlist. Inserra, the junior Soldier among the competitors with 22 months of service, said he enlisted because of his family’s positive experiences in the military. His brother served in the Army, and a cousin

served in the Marine Corps. “They had that feeling of knowledge, training and confidence. I wanted that,” Inserra said. Inserra is planning to use the Army’s educational benefits to complete his degree in electrical engineering. He praised his NCOs for their leadership and hopes to emulate them as he progresses during his Army career. “I have a great bunch of NCOs in front of me. I want to be like them. I want to have the leadership that they have,” he said. “I’ve gained so much more confidence in myself than I could have ever imagined. I’m enjoying that confidence. I’m more confident in my writing. I’m more confident in the way I speak to people.” Canales has changed her life dramatically since enlisting six years ago. “I was homeless. I was living in a shelter in Times Square for six months. I needed a sense of direction. I went to the recruiting station and I joined,” she said. “The Army has been my family, and it’s been everything to me.” Canales completed her associate’s degree three weeks ago. She is now studying for a bachelor’s degree in psychology and then plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work. After retiring from active duty, she hopes to return as an Army civilian employee. “[I want] to continue serving in the mental-health field to help Soldiers, families and retirees,” she said. “It’s weird how I went from being homeless and before that living in a foster home with counselors. “When I joined the Army, the roles reversed. Now I am a counselor, so I’m able to give back. I think it’s wonderful that I can do that. My experience before I joined helped shape what I’ve learned.” COUNTERING MISCONCEPTIONS The Soldiers said the American public holds misconceptions about the Army that are reinforced by incidents such as when Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians. “One of the misconceptions is that we all go to Iraq, run around, shooting guns at whoever we see, and killing everyone,” Duff said. “That’s not what we’re there for at all. It’s not what it’s all about. “There is a mission over there. We are all over there for a small piece of that mission and to come home safely.” Canales echoed Duff’s comments. She said her military experience differs

Staff Sgt. Whisman won the RDECOM NCO of the Year competition. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

greatly from the images seen on TV news of infantrymen on patrol in Iraq or Afghanistan. “I think a lot of civilians who don’t know much about the Army believe that all we do is go to war, fight, and kill people,” Canales said. “Even my brothers believe I carry a gun at all times. I wish they could come and see what we do in the Army. I’m a counselor, and I’ve been in the hospital setting for the last six years.” COMBAT BRINGS A NEW PERSPECTIVE Whisman and Duff have deployed to the Middle East, and they gained a better understanding of the military’s objectives in the area. “When you deploy, you get to see a little bit of the bigger picture,” Duff said. “You see why we do what we do and what we’re there to do. For a family, it reassured my wife that she can get through a deployment and keep the house under control.” Whisman said he has a new appreciation for life as an American. “I saw some things that definitely put my life here in perspective. They have so little. I’ll never again take for granted what I have at home,” Whisman said. “It could be so much worse. As bad as you think you might have it, it could always be a lot worse.” RELATED LINKS Flickr Photoset:


JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1

Army scientists energize battery research ARMY DISCOVERY LEADS TO A 30-PERCENT BOOST IN ENERGY DENSITY

Kang Xu, an Army Research Laboratory scientist, is one of the inventors responsible for a 30-percent increase in energy density in lithium batteries. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

By David McNally RDECOM Public Affairs ADELPHI, Md. (June 1, 2012) — Army scientists are squeezing more power from batteries by developing new methods and materials with incredible results. “Our battery group has recently developed some new materials that could potentially increase the energy density of batteries by 30 percent,” said Cynthia Lundgren, electrochemical branch chief at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. This small group of scientists work on energy and power solutions for America’s Soldiers. “This 30 percent is actually quite a big deal. Typically improvements range about one percent a year with a few step changes,” Lundgren said. For years, researchers studied how batteries work. They looked at how each component reacts with another. At high voltages batteries are extremely energetic systems. “There has never been a battery, a single cell, that operated at five volts,” Lundgren explained. “Through our

understanding of that interface, we were able to design an additive that you add into the electrolyte that is somewhat of a sacrificial agent. It preferentially reacts with the electrode and forms a stable interface. Now the battery is able to operate at five volts.” Scientists are calling the additive a major step forward. Since Army researchers Kang Xu and Arthur Cresce designed the substance two years ago, the lab has filed patent applications. “This is what you would call a quantum leap,” Cresce said. “We’ve gone from circling around a certain type of four volt energy for quite a while. All of a sudden a whole new class of batteries and voltages are open to us. The door is open that was closed before.” Army research has the potential to reduce battery weight and allow Soldiers to carry more ammunition or water. “Our goal is to make things easier for the Soldier,” Lundgren said. “This research started because of the Army’s unique needs. There is a huge investment in batteries.” In the future, Lundgren hopes they just

don’t make better materials, but rather design new types of energy devices undreamt of today. “We’re looking at designing systems to allow for ubiquitous energy -- energy anywhere for the Soldier using indigenous sources,” Lundgren said. “Some of our new programs are looking at how we may make fuel out of water. For instance, can we split water and make hydrogen to be used as fuel in a fuel cell or small engine?” Lundgren said future advances will occur with the right resources. “The laboratory gives us really good resources, but our highest value resource is our scientists,” she said. “We have an exceptional group of scientists here. We’ve been able to retain them. They have been sought after by many people. But, they’re ability to do good research here, research that can make a difference has allowed us to attract and retain really top talent.” RELATED LINKS Flickr Photoset: YouTube:



Married scientists bolster biological-threat detection By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs

these biological platforms [to] stand in front of a room of physical scientists and show them how to use these technologies,” she said.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (March 20, 2012) — A married couple, both U.S. Army research biologists, is working together to improve Soldiers’ ability to detect, identify and protect a potentially lethal biological threat agents RESEARCH FOR IMPROVED PROTECTION Jody and Mark Gostomski’s research at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, or ECBC, helps the Soldier defend against hazards in the field. Mark works with dangerous organisms in ECBC’s Biosafety Level 3, or BSL-3, laboratory, which is one of 45 in the country. He dons sophisticated protective equipment in highly controlled lab conditions to prepare the Army for worst-case biowarfare scenarios. “We’re dressed head to foot in a Tyvek suit. We have a powered air-purifying respirator,” he said. “Everything we do is double-gloved. BSL-3 organisms are live, and they are higher risk. “A requirement for Biosafety Level 3 is at least the opportunity to be vaccinated against different organisms -- hepatitis, anthrax, botulism.” Mark is researching the validation of a DNA extraction kit that will replace two kits, which will help streamline the bio detection process. Jody manages a project to supply genomic material for the Critical Reagents Program. Her role in CRP is to provide high-quality and validated reference materials for use in the development and optimization of biologicaldetection technologies. She plans laboratory activities, conducts quality control analysis on the material, and interacts with external agencies. “It shows how collaboration among members of different branches really comes together and makes for a better product for the customer. For this project, we grow and isolate materials in the laboratory, at both the Biosafety Levels 2 and 3,” she said. FOCUSED ON THE SOLDIER Mark and Jody say that while they are focused on their daily research in the laboratory, it is imperative to remember the end-users -- Soldiers. “It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. We do our job, and a lot of times we don’t think about who it impacts,” Mark said. “The work we do is ultimately for the Soldier.” “The project I’m working on will help the

Jody and Mark Gostomski are U.S. Army research biologists at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Their work improves Soldiers’ ability to detect, identify and protect against potentially lethal biological threat agents. (U.S. Army photo by Tom Faulkner)

Soldiers rapidly identify biothreat agents using the Joint Biological Agent Identification and Identification System,” he said. “They can find a sample in the field [and] process it through this kit in a matter of minutes. Within an hour, they have their data.” Jody echoed Mark’s focus on empowering and protecting the Soldiers and Army civilians who will rely on the equipment’s scientific foundation during a mission. She helped train members of the 20th Support Command and CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives) Analytical and Remediation Activity. “It’s easy to forget how your job impacts the warfighter,” Jody said. “When you’re in the lab in your own little space, it’s hard to see how that has a profound impact on the overall mission. “I’ve had the opportunity to train mobilelab users who go into the field. They may or may not be Soldiers, but they’re on a mission to collect samples and ultimately protect against any t ype of biowar fare agent.” Jody said the opportunity to interact with end-users has expanded her understanding of the mission. “I got to step outside of my laboratory setting and take the expertise and knowledge that I learned by working with

BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP The couple met in 2004 when Jody joined ECBC after graduating with a bachelor of science in biology from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. They both work for the BioSensors Branch within the BioSciences Division. Jody said that Mark served as one of her mentors. He started working for ECBC 13 years ago while attending Towson University; he graduated in 2003 with a bachelor of science in biology. “We really got to know each other throughout the course of five years of working together. We built a very strong friendship, both inside and outside of work,” Jody said. They married in May 2011. “What I really like about working with Mark is the reason that he and I became such good friends before we got married,” Jody said. “He is just a great sounding board. He is always the person I would go to when I had issues in the laboratory. “If I had questions or needed help troubleshooting something, he was always my go-to guy. He always resolved my problems.” INVESTIGATING SCIENCE OUTSIDE CLASSROOM Jody and Mark encourage young students to explore science outside the classroom to see whether it would be a strong career fit. They are both studying for master’s degrees in biotechnology at Johns Hopkins University. “As I got to college and had more experience in the laboratory, it was interesting to take what you were learning in the textbook and see that come to life through experiments in the laboratory,” Jody said. “I liked how hands-on it could be. “If you have an interest in a science or engineering field, take every opportunity to become as exposed to those fields as you can with an internship at the college level or a shadowing experience in high school. Do mething to get away from the textbook and actually get into the field where they’re using the technologies that you’re learning about,” she added. RELATED LINKS Flickr Photoset: YouTube:


JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1

Peggy Auerbach, a textile technologist with the Ouellette Thermal Test Facility at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts, tests the flame resistance of uniform and equipment materials.(U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Textile technologist ‘fired up’ about her job at Natick By Bob Reinert USAG-Natick Public Affairs NATICK, Mass. (April 23, 2012) — Most of us have experienced the occasional workday that goes up in flames. For Peggy Auerbach, however, that’s a normal occurrence. As a textile technologist for the Ouellette Thermal Test Facility at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Auerbach knows plenty about fire and its effects. Her job is to test uniform and equipment materials to keep service members from suffering burns in the field. “We do everything from very small quantities -- milligram quantities -- all the way up to fullscale garment testing here,” Auerbach said. “It’s a joint Army-Navy facility, so we share all of the test equipment.” The 8,100-square-foot facility, which opened in 2008, features four labs and a propane test cell, where four-second flash-fire testing can be done with eight burners on a full-scale manikin. “It’s an instrumented manikin,” Auerbach said. “There (are) 123 channels. Each channel has a sensor attached to it.” Test results are run through computer models to predict second- and thirddegree burns.

“What happens if you expose (a material) to a flame?” Auerbach said. “Does it continue to burn? How long does it continue to burn? Does it melt? Does it drip? Does it char?” The propane test cell also has a burn pit to simulate grass fires for shelter testing, and a “traversing manikin” developed for the Navy by Worcester Polytechnic Institute. “The manikin is motorized,” Auerbach said. “It starts at one end and goes through the room. They actually can move those burners into different positions to simulate different (shipboard) scenarios.” In an era when improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, cause great concern for deployed service members, the facility’s CO2 laser is a vital piece of equipment. “The CO2 laser was purchased to simulate the thermal part of the IED,” said Auerbach, “not the blast, just the thermal.” Auerbach has been at Ouellette since the beginning, and she has witnessed its evolution. “I actually was on the design team,” Auerbach said. “There (are) only four facilities in North America that have full-scale manikin testing. As far as I know, we’re the only government facility that has this (ASTM F1930 testing) capability.” As Auerbach pointed out, the facility’s staff

of 10 was drawn from different disciplines. “When we have problems,” said Auerbach, “we have a lot of areas we can go to solve them.” According to Auerbach, work at the facility has already had an impact on service members in the field. “Based on some of the testing we have done, fielded items have been redesigned to reduce predicted burn injury,” Auerbach said. “In one instance, (Naval Air Systems Command) was able to pad a hook to prevent heat transfer that was indicating a third degree burn may be received.” In the future, Auerbach sees articulating manikins that simulate movement, female manikins, sensors on manikins’ heads, hands and feet, and testing that involves vehicle mock-ups brought into the facility. “I think one of the main functions of this facility is to be able to do standard tests, but to move beyond the standard tests, to develop tests that are more applicable,” Auerbach said. “We have very different needs than the commercial market.” RELATED LINKS Stand-To:



RDECOM senior NCO discusses support for soldiers By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs

chance to develop into a great nation. That’s what they want. What we need is the security to do that. Any technology that gives us the edge to be more secure to do our jobs better in and around the battlefield is what [Soldiers] want. Technology gives us that edge. We do it better than any other country in supporting our Warfighters to accomplish their mission.”

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie assumed duties as the leader of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s enlisted Soldiers March 16. He took over for Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin, who served as RDECOM’s senior noncommissioned officer since 2007. In an interview with RDECOM Public Affairs, Beharie discussed the role of the command’s enlisted Soldiers, the needs of Soldiers in theater, and how Army scientists and engineers will continue to provide the technological edge for its Soldiers.

How can RDECOM’s scientists and engineers have the greatest impact on Soldiers?

What is your message to RDECOM’s enlisted Soldiers? “Being the new sergeant major, I want to get to know who they are, what they do for the organization, and talk to them about their concerns. As a junior Soldier, I wanted to know that my leaders were not only going to give me a mission but care about me and care about what I care about. I want to get to know them. We have great Warfighters at RDECOM. They are helping RDECOM become a better organization with better support to our Warfighters.” How is your role different at RDECOM, where the workforce is predominantly civilian, compared with your previous assignments? “You have to take a different approach when working with Department of the Army civilians. They don’t have any less love for the military. I find they are just as proactive and proud of their service to our Warfighters; it’s just a different uniform. The things they want to do for Soldiers, they want to know that it matters. [It’s the] same thing with Soldiers in the field in an operational organization. We have a mission; we have our marching orders, we know what we need to do for the Army. With civilians, it’s exactly the same. Everyone wants to do great and wonderful things and to know that we are doing that with one thing in mind -- to make a nation stronger by making our Warfighters stronger.” How do RDECOM’s enlisted Soldiers help the command empower, unburden,

“Our Warfighters go directly to the engineers and say, ‘I need this, and I want it to look like this.’ “ (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

protect and sustain the Warfighter? “The Soldiers of RDECOM are subject matter experts within their military occupation specialty, and they bring this professionalism with them to this command. They represent every Warfighter within our Army by using their knowledge to advise our scientists and engineers when they develop materiel solutions for the Army. We are basically supporting ourselves. We are Warfighters. We come out of the war for a small bit to come to RDECOM and places like RDECOM that support the Warfighter. We bring that wealth of knowledge from the battlefield. We are the ones using all this technology being developed by RDECOM. Knowing and having a feel for that is invaluable to our scientists and engineers. Bringing that to the command is absolutely important. The second part of that is bridging the connection between civilian scientists and engineers to the Warfighters out in the field. We know them. We were them. To bridge that gap, that is another thing we do well as Soldiers in RDECOM.”

“We have great systems in place within RDECOM. We have the RFAST-C [RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and TechnologyCenter at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan] in theater. Our Warfighters go directly to the engineers and say, ‘I need this, and I want it to look like this.’ Our engineers at the PIF [Prototype Integration Facility] in theater can produce a materiel solution in very little time. We have even bigger support mechanisms in place. We have our Science and Technology Assistance Teams. We know what [the Soldiers’] needs are because we are there with them as they go through the throes of battle. We have reachback capabilities to our scientists who have a wider assortment of tools and materiel solutions to help our Warfighters accomplish their missions.” How can RDECOM better inform Soldiers about science and technology for Soldiers?

What are the greatest technology needs Soldiers have in Afghanistan?

“That’s a continual process. We have a great network of people around the world looking for technology, trying to develop technology with partners in other nations. Just this morning, I had a theater update brief, where all of our folks in different countries dial-in to talk about the challenges that their supported elements are having and what RDECOM can do to help the Warfighters out there. Our public affairs office tells the stories of our organization. We use all the multimedia sources to get the information out. I believe that becomes even more relevant for our Soldiers to know what we do, what we can provide, and how we can provide it. That’s the biggest challenge. We have to get after that every day.”

“We are there to protect the population. We are there to separate the enemy from the population and to give the population a fighting



JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1

Engineers spur development of tactical microgrids By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 5, 2012) — U.S. Army engineers are leading research on tactical microgrids to deliver more efficient power to Soldiers across combat zones. These microgrids are designed and built to provide power independently of traditional grids and to integrate multiple sources of energy for use and storage. DESIGNING POWER SOLUTIONS FOR COMBAT The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command is developing microgrid technologies specifically to meet requirements unique to the battlefield, said Christopher Wildmann, an electrical engineer with RDECOM’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at Fort Belvoir, Va. “CERDEC is one of the first and leading organizations to develop tactical microgrid technologies,” he said. “Technologies on the forefront of the battlefield have to be very small and lightweight, which raises new challenges to the microgrid market. “All other microgrid efforts going on in [the Department of Defense] are for installations. They are larger systems where tactical mobility is not a requirement.” Wildmann directly supports Project Manager Mobile Electric Power, the military’s procurement and support agency for electric power generation on tactical battlefields, in the research and development of technologies for transition to production. “The work in tactical microgrids has been a new challenge to the DOD and industry because of the strict environmental and ruggedness requirements,” he said. “Installation microgrid projects in industry don’t have those requirements. They can use a lot of [commercial off-the-shelf] components since there are no restrictions on size, weight and mobility.” IMPROVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY RDECOM’s primary goals in this field are to improve the efficiency and reliability of tactical power grids through the implementation of intelligence into power distribution systems. RDECOM aims to accomplish this through networking power assets together and being able to select the most efficient source for the load demanded. Microgrid testing has yielded positive

Christopher Wildmann, an electrical engineer with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, stands between a 60-kilowatt Tactical Quiet Generator, left, and a 30-kilowatt unit that were modified to enable a microgrid. (U.S. Army photo)

results, said Wildmann, who has worked with CERDEC’s Army Power Division for six years. “We’ve been able to demonstrate these technologies and prove they are ready for production. Last year, we developed a microgrid [for a] demonstration at Fort Devens, Massachusetts,” he said. “The system was able to network multiple generators together and demonstrate a 37 percent reduction in fuel consumption by intelligently managing those existing sources based on the load. “CERDEC also manages the hybrid intelligent power program, which is a tactical microgrid program to build a standardized system that utilizes all power generating assets on the battlefield to make grids more efficient.” MATCHING SOLUTIONS TO BATTLEFIELD CONDITIONS Because of transient conditions in the field, engineers must account for different scenarios during the research and development process, Wildmann said. “A multitude of solutions is the best way to meet those different conditions,” he said. Fossil-fueled generator sets are the primary source of power for the Army; however, CERDEC is developing solutions that use renewable power sources, he said. For larger mobile tactical grids where generators are the primary source of power, advancements are necessary to make renewable power sources lighter, smaller,

more power dense and easier to transport before they become a viable solution for tactical microgrids. For smaller, more remote applications, CERDEC is developing hybrid trailer systems that use renewable power sources and can drastically reduce fuel consumption. “For very remote operations where we want to reduce fuel as much as possible, renewables and hybrid solutions with batteries might be the best solutions,” he said. “For closer-in grids and units that have access to fuel, we are developing microgrid technologies to make grids as efficient and reliable as possible. Not one technology can be applied to all conditions.” Emerging power and energy technologies also hold promise for further reductions in fuel consumption when Soldiers are not connected to permanent, reliable power grids. He said one possibility is the Stirling engine driven generator, which could be quieter, more efficient and require less maintenance than the typical internal combustion engine. “The products we are working here within CERDEC can be very beneficial in the future to microgrids. For example, [we could use] fuel cells, smaller generators, or Stirling power systems. At some point, [these alternatives] can be implemented into a microgrid to further reduce fuel [requirements],” he said. RELATED LINKS



Army leaders open new lab complex for business TARDEC Public Affairs DETROIT ARSENAL — More than 300 government, industry and academic leaders attended the grand opening of the U.S. Army’s one-of-a-kind Ground Vehicle Power and Energy Laboratory complex April 11. The 30,000-square-foot facility houses eight state-of-the-art laboratories and will provide unprecedented ground vehicle testing and evaluation capabilities for the Army and its partners, officials said. “The work done at the GSPEL will make our Soldiers’ loads lighter, reduce their energy requirements, and reduce the number of Soldiers we put into harm’s way to supply energy,” said Joseph Westphal, undersecretary of the Army. “This facility will not only make us more efficient and save resources, but will save lives in combat as well.” Located at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, the lab will provide the Army’s ground vehicle experts with the ability to test vehicle systems and components under a variety of conditions, leading to more efficient and mobile Army ground vehicles. The GSPEL opens at a time when improving operational energy is one of the Army’s top goals, and energy security is a high priority to the Nation as a whole. With one incident resulting from every 46 resupply convoys in Afghanistan, the need to improve fuel efficiency can have life-saving implications. The grand opening celebrated the culmination of eight years of planning. Initially developed to move several of TARDEC’s Ground Vehicle Power and Mobility laboratories into a single location on the Detroit Arsenal, the concept evolved to include eight state-of-the-art laboratories that will expand the Army’s capabilities in cuttingedge power, energy and mobility technology for all current and emerging vehicle classes. This enhances the testing capabilities of TARDEC, one of U.S. Army RDECOM’s eight research, development and engineering centers. “This GSPEL Laboratory complex is less a new beginning and grand opening, and more a bold statement by our Nation’s Army about its role and duty in accelerating energy security,” stated Dr. Grace M. Bochenek, Chief Technology Officer for the Army Materiel Command, and former TARDEC Director. “It’s a statement of commitment, of progress, and a vivid symbol of the way we do business in this ground vehicle community.” The building’s centerpiece is the Power and Energy Vehicle Environmental Lab, one

The GSPEL’s centerpiece is the Power and Energy Vehicle Environmental Lab with dynamometers that can replicate almost any road condition in environments up to 160. (U.S. Army photo)

of the world’s most unique test chambers. This environmental laboratory will allow for full mission profile testing under various environmental conditions, including temperatures ranging from minus 60 to 160 degrees F, relative humidity of up to 95 percent and wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The PEVEL can also accommodate hybrid-electric and fuel-cell vehicles, and researchers can simulate terrain information for various proving grounds and locations throughout the world, replicating almost any road condition in a controlled environment. “Without leaving metro Detroit, the Army can now perfectly simulate a scorching desert day in Afghanistan or a bone-chilling day in Antarctica,” Bochenek said. Located in the heart of the automotive industry, the GSPEL is more than just an Army asset, speakers stated. The Department of Defense and the Department of Energy are both pursuing advancements in energy efficiency and alternative energy. In July 2011, the Department of Energy and the Department of the Army came together under the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance to explore solutions for decreasing petroleum dependence, increasing fuel efficiency and enhancing the Nation’s energy security infrastructure. The GSPEL will provide opportunities for partners in government, industry and academia to leverage the facility in pursuit of these dualuse benefits.

As advancements in hybrid-electric vehicles, energy storage systems and alternative energy develop, the Army and its partners both stand to benefit. “The ability for the Army to operate on a variety of fuels will enhance our overall performance goals and our national security posture,” remarked the Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment. “[GSPEL] will give our Nation the tools to continue development of these cutting-edge technologies, solutions for our vehicles and solutions for our warfighters.” As power and energy continue to be pressing concerns for the Army and Nation, the GSPEL will lead the way in testing, evaluating and fielding systems that will improve vehicle performance and, ultimately, save lives. “Many years ago power and energy was a capability that was frankly taken for granted,” said TARDEC Interim Director Jennifer Hitchcock. “It wasn’t too long ago that people scratched their heads when we began driving power and energy as a focal point, because energy wasn’t the priority it is today. But thanks to visionary foresight, the right conditions, the right leadership and the countless numbers of dedicated people along the way, we’re here.” RELATED LINKS Online: Stand-To:


JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1

Spc. Timo Swaner engages a close range target with the light machine during a military unit assessment at Fort Benning, Ga. (U.S. Army photo)

Assessment: Soldiers prefer lighter machine gun By Eric Kowell ARDEC Public Affairs QUANTICO, Va. (May 23, 2012) -- A military utility assessment held at Fort Benning, Ga., in September 2011 has concluded that all participating Soldiers immediately noticed the reduced weight of a prototype light machine gun and most would prefer it to the current squad automatic weapon used in battle. The light machine gun, known as the LMG, is part of the Lightweight Small Arms Technologies, or LSAT, program at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal. In September 2011, nearly 20 Soldiers participated in a two-week assessment of the LMG. The purpose of that event was to help engineers and developers understand and validate any adjustments or improvements the weapon and its unique ammunition may need from the perspective of the warfighter. Another purpose was to demonstrate its potential impact on mission effectiveness. The results of the study conducted by the Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning were presented March 13 to a group of military and civilian personnel interested in the program during an LSAT Leadership Familiarization Shoot at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. Last year’s military utility assessment, or MUA, demonstrated the advantages that the LMG provides for the warfighter, and helped in developing a Capability Development Document , or CDD. A CDD is required before the system can transition to a program of record and enter the engineering and

manufacturing development phase of the acquisition life cycle. More than 25,000 rounds were fired from eight prototype LMG’s during the assessment. Participating Soldiers overwhelmingly preferred the LMG to the M249 SAW, which is the machine gun currently used in Afghanistan. Fifteen of the 19 Soldiers who participated stated that, if given a choice, they would rather take the LMG to war over the M249. The study also revealed a significant reduction in the time it took the Soldiers to zero the LMG compared to the M249 SAW. Zeroing the weapon means customizing it for a more accurate shot since each weapon is unique and no two are exactly the same. The Soldiers had to qualify on a known distance range with both the SAW and the LMG. One Soldier repeatedly failed to meet qualification standards while firing the SAW, but passed on the first try with the LMG. Compared to the M249 SAW, the light machine gun is 21.5 pounds (41 percent) lighter for the gunner, and there is a 12 percent reduction in ammunition volume. This decrease in weight was evident when all the Soldiers maneuvered the woodland obstacle course faster while carrying the LMG versus the SAW. FASTER COURSE TIME On average, the course was completed faster by one minute and eleven seconds with the LMG, an increased agility that could be critical on the battlefield. Soldiers attributed the increased mobility when moving and negotiating obstacles to the

shortened weapon length, the adjustable butt stock and lighter ammunition. After the briefing at Quantico, key Army leaders gained experience with the weapon while shooting rounds down range. Lt. Col. Jack Emerson, the military deputy to the Army chief scientist, fired both weapons and immediately identified the recoil reduction in the LSAT LMG. “The recoil is non-existent,” Emerson said. “I can feel the difference and I’m no weapons expert.” Tom Caradeschi , chief engineer in Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition System, or PM-MAS, said “the difference is like night and day (and) just the weight of holding the weapon without even thinking of firing.” PM MAS is part of the Program Executive Office for Ammunition. Because of the findings during the assessment, Maj. Gen. Robert Brown, commanding general for the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, signed a letter committing funding for more evaluations of the LMG in a Forward Operational Assessment in Afghanistan. The LSAT program is managed by the Joint Service Small Arms Program, which is also part of ARDEC. Textron Systems’ AAI Corporation is the prime contractor and systems integrator for a team of six additional companies that contribute to the LSAT program. RELATED LINKS Video:



Brig. Gen. John J. McGuiness, right center, and Jack Obusek, left center, speak with board members before the May 29 meeting of the Natick Soldier Systems Center Science and Technology Board. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Natick meeting strengthens science, technology ties By Bob Reinert USAG-Natick Public Affairs

NATICK, Mass. (June 1, 2012) — Cooperation between government, private industry and academia to benefit the warfighter took center stage May 29, at the ninth meeting of the Natick Soldier Systems Center Science and Technology Board. Representatives from those realms met at NSSC to strengthen ties and continue the flow to American service members of the world’s finest equipment. “It’s really all about collaboration,” said Brig. Gen. John J. McGuiness, NSSC senior commander, “to be able to work together, really to the advancement of everybody. It’s a pleasure and really an honor for everybody to be here.” As Jack Obusek, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center director, noted, the Army will always be about “boots on the ground, Soldiers face to face.” The innovation that produces their equipment must come from a variety of sources, as represented by the board. “Attendance here is a testimony to the importance of the work we’re trying to do with the board,” said Obusek, “which is really

facilitating the transfer of technology in and out of the Army.” McGuiness pointed out that three of the Army’s nine top science and technology projects -- known as Technology Enabled Capability Demonstrations, or TECDs -- are being led by Natick. “This is where the Army is going in terms of science and technology,” McGuiness said. The Natick-led TECDs include Force Protection -- Soldier and Small Unit, Sustainability & Logistics --Basing, and Overburdened -- Physical Burden. Program managers gave briefings on the three TECDs. “Force Protection seeks to make significant improvements in everything that protects an individual dismounted Soldier on the battlefield,” said Mike Codega. “The kit that our Soldiers have today is good. It’s the best on the planet.” In Sustainability & Logistics -- Basing, operational energy has become the focus. “In the calendar year 2011, contingency bases consumed about a quarter of a billion gallons of fuel, which is absolutely enormous,” said Craig Rettie. “And the cost isn’t just a dollar cost. In 2011, there were more than 1,000 convoy-related incidents in Afghanistan. Every one of those incidents

presents an opportunity for war fighters to be injured or lose their (lives). “We’re not just looking at energy and fuel. We’re looking at water and waste, as well.” Andra Kirsteins literally is trying to take weight off of Soldiers’ shoulders in Overburdened -- Physical Burden at Natick. “This TECD is focusing on the dismounted Soldiers (who) today are carrying weight sometimes in excess of 130 pounds,” Kirsteins said. “We’re aiming so that a Soldier carries no more than 50 percent of their body weight. Our longer term goal is that no Soldier carries more than 30 percent of their body weight. So that’s a lot of weight that we need to reduce.” Down the road, Obusek envisions the establishment of a Soldier performance center at Natick. “We really think we’ve got the power in this region to plant that flag and push this forward,” Obusek said. “We’re always going to need to have fully equipped and highperforming people to do the mission of the Army.” RELATED LINKS Natick:


JULY 2012 – ISSUE NO. 1

AMRDEC engineer to help rebuild Afghan army By Heather R. Smith AMRDEC Public Affairs At the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, Michael Richman is director for systems within the Weapons Development and Integration Directorate. He’s responsible for planning, management and execution of advanced technology and system demonstration of missile components and systems. But his responsibilities as a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserves currently have his “boots on the ground” in Kabul, Afghanistan. A native of Anderson, Ind., Richman joined AMRDEC in December 2006. His primary focus is science and technology, research and development for new missile systems to provide advanced capability in the areas of protection, fire support, ground tactical and aviation missile systems. In addition to civilian responsibilities with the Army, Richman has had a 15-year career in the Navy Reserves through the Navy’s direct commission officer program. In late May 2011, he received a phone call from the Navy Reserve Engineering Duty Officer community manager, informing him that he was being involuntarily recalled to active duty to support Operation Enduring Freedom in Kabul for 330 days. In November, he participated in Navy individual augmentee combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C., where for three weeks the Army trained nearly 250 Navy officers and enlisted on basic combat skills, convoy operations, combat first-aid, improvised explosive device detection, land navigation and law of war. DEPLOYMENT Richman arrived in Kuwait around Dec, 20. From there, he and three other Navy engineers traveled to Camp Eggers, Kabul, arriving on Christmas Eve. This is Richman’s first deployment, and he said it has been very different from his formal Navy training and reservist duties. His current reserve assignment is as the director for the Disruptive Technology Wargame effort within

and department head coordinating Navy Reserve support to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center Amphibious Assault Ship waterfront operations.

AMRDEC’s Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Michael Richman is in Afghanistan on a yearlong deployment helping to rebuild the Afghan army. (U.S. Army photo)

the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Development). Previous reserve assignments have included tours of duty as commanding officer with Naval Sea Systems Command Bangor and Miami SURGEMAIN units, Norfolk Naval Shipyard as a project superintendent for guided missile cruiser and 688 attack submarine overhaul and repair, special projects officer with the Naval Sea Systems Command Ship Technology Directorate, theater nuclear warfare program management support unit,

THE MISSION In Afghanistan he is chief of integration for the Engineering Directorate within the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. The command is building $10 billion worth of infrastructure for the 195,000-member Afghan National Army and 157,000-member Afghan National Police force throughout the country. In addition, 3,500 facility engineers and tradesmen are being trained to operate the ANA and ANP bases as the coalition handover occurs. “Serving in a land-locked country supporting infrastructure development and training for the Afghanistan National Security Force is a bit of a departure” from his previous assignments, Richman said. “Specifically, I’m working with the ISAF Joint Command, U.S. Forces Afghanistan and coalition partners to coordinate the ANA/ANP buildup with the strategic drawdown of operational forces as the mission shifts to training the Afghans.” Back in Huntsville are Richman’s wife, Jennifer, who is also an AMRDEC engineer in Weapons Development Integration, and his three sons, 10-year-old Jacob, 8-yearold Luke and 7-year-old James. “I miss my wife and three boys tremendously but am comforted by the fact that we are a part of something much bigger than any individual, providing a future of hope for the people of Afghanistan,” Richman said. “I am proud to serve alongside the best and brightest Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines here at Camp Eggers. Each and every day I stand in the shadow of so many men and women who are sacrificing more than I in service to their country providing not only security for our great nation but peace for the Afghan people.” RELATED LINKS

Contact Us The INSIDER is an internal information product of RDECOM G5/Public Affairs 3071 Aberdeen Blvd., Room 103, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005. (410) 306-4539

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July 2012