Firepower Conference addresses IED defeat mission
October 8, 2010
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny was host to a national group of engineers, first responders, and industry and defense leaders during the 35th Annual National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Firepower Conference Sept. 28.
Army Lt. Gen Michael L. Oates, director of the <a href="https://www.jieddo.dod.mil/index.aspx" target="_blank">Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO)</a>, was the keynote speaker at the conference, which focused on Combating Terrorism and Countering Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Oates also toured several labs on the arsenal to view how technologies are developed here to help warfighters combat IEDs in Afghanistan.
"In the time I've been here today, we've probably lost one or two Soldiers to IEDs - that's how serious the situation is," Oates said. "In Iraq and Afghanistan, there is still an IED threat, so coming here today and seeing what the workforce can do for us is very important."
JIEDDO is a defense partner with the <a href="http://www.pica.army.mil/PicatinnyPublic/organizations/ardec/index.asp" target="_blank">U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC)</a>, headquartered at Picatinny. As an internationally acknowledged hub for the advancement of armaments innovation, ARDEC is the largest entity at Picatinny Arsenal, with more than 500 buildings, 64 laboratories, and a specialized staff exceeding 3,300.
Oates received a first-hand look at ARDEC's remotely-operated weaponized vehicle, the Ripsaw, designed in partnership with the U.S Army Tank and Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).
This was Oates's first visit to the Picatinny Arsenal, Before returning to the Pentagon, Oates expressed his desire to visit again and thanked the workforce here for their continued support of the IED defeat mission.
"We have tremendous skills at Picatinny Arsenal. I want to encourage the workforce to stay focused," Oates said. "I know their hearts are with our Soldiers and Marines in the field. When they turn over products like these, it saves lives."