A few dollars and a lot of ingenuity protect Soldiers and CROWS
January 25, 2013
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Spending a few dollars to realize a huge savings is a good deal especially when Soldiers' lives can be saved at the same time.
One such opportunity occurred when Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station, or CROWS, sustainers brought a problem to the attention of the engineers and technicians at the Research, Engineering and Development Command's Field Assistance in Science and Technology Center. The problem was simple: CROWS equipment was being damaged. The RFAST-C team went to work and designed a solution.
"The initial prototype cost approximately $200 in man-hours, machine time and materials," said Daniel R. McGauley, RFAST-C executive officer. "Once the drawings were completed and approved, the cost per unit is about $20."
McGauley said the RFAST-C team designed the first prototype in less than two days. About two weeks later, they were asked for a redesign and test of the redesign. They sent the first redesigns to units to test and evaluate and based on their evaluations, RFAST-C was asked to produce about 60 of the redesign which they delivered in two days.
The CROWS system allows Warfighters to engage targets from the inside of an armored vehicle.
"CROWS is a true life saver," McGauley said.
"The value of a forward-deployed PIF staffed with government engineers and technicians to immediately capture soldier-inspired idea's, rapidly engineer a solution, and fabricate a prototype at the speed of war has been recognized by senior Army leadership," said Michael P. Anthony, RFAST-C director.