Congressman Markey tours NSSC
May 2, 2011
Massachusetts Congressman Edward J. Markey toured facilities at Natick Soldier Systems Center April 28 and talked about the importance of science and technology to the nation's defense.
Markey, who represents Natick in Congress, discussed the strengths of eastern Massachusetts.
"That's science. It's technology," Markey said. "It's who we are and what the Army needs in order to work smarter, not harder."
After receiving an overview of the work done at NSSC, Markey visited the Doriot Climatic Chambers, the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, and the Ouellette Thermal Test Facility.
"How do we ensure that all of these men and women have the tools they need to be as effective as they can be'" said Markey of U.S. service members. "That's kind of the challenge, to use our technological superiority in order to intimidate the enemy but protect these men and women at the same time."
Markey met with Brig. Gen. Harold J. Greene and Brig. Gen. John J. McGuiness, NSSC's outgoing and incoming senior commanders, respectively.
"We're doing work to support freedom's defenders," Greene told Markey. "It's really a critical national asset. Suffice it to say, we have some unique facilities here."
Dr. Jack Obusek, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center director, pointed out that Markey's support had led to the establishment of the High-Performance Fiber Center of Excellence and the Ouellette Thermal Test Facility at Natick. Obusek also outlined work being done on future Soldier systems.
"You're going to see a lot of Massachusetts technologies that can help us do that," Obusek said. "We want to increase that flow of technology into the Natick Soldier Systems Center."
Greene said that Natick does its research and development and maintains synergies with local businesses and academia. During Markey's tour of the installation, he praised the high-technology equipment and research but noted the aging infrastructure of the installation.
While Obusek noted that much of Natick's workforce is nearing retirement age, Markey said that new talent could already be on the way.
"Massachusetts kids test No. 1 in math, in verbal and in science (for) fourth, eighth and 10th grades for all 50 states," Markey said. "That's an incredible group of kids coming up that serve as a potential workforce here."