"Retention...Last year we exceeded our retention goal by ten percent which was the highest in six years, and this year we are ahead of last year. I like to quote the 3rd Infantry Division that just came back from Iraq from their second tour, had the highest retention rate in recent history. They exceeded their goal by 36 percent. I think that speaks volumes about the morale of the troops, it speaks volumes about our soldiers."
Dr. Francis J.Harvey Secretary of the Army
Science and Technology
What is it? The goal of the Army Science and Technology (S&T) program is to achieve transformational capabilities that will enable the future force while pursuing opportunities to enhance current force capabilities. The Soldier remains the centerpiece of all Army S&T investments. The S&T community has demonstrated its Soldier focus in responding to demands of current operations in Afghanistan and Iraq by providing selected technologies for immediate limited fielding such as those to counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Future Combat Systems (FCS) technologies, now in the Systems Development and Demonstration phase, remain the single largest S&T investment in the 2006 Budget.
What has the Army done? S&T Contributions to the War on Terrorism (WOT) are enhancing the current force. Army S&T is always seeking opportunities to provide advanced technology to our Soldiers deployed to fight the WOT:
- First, Soldiers benefit today from technologies that emerged from past investments. Since the mid-1980s, the Soldier Systems Center (Natick) has pursued advanced fiber technologies, in partnership with industry, to create lighter weight ballistic protection. This research produced the technologies to develop the outer tactical vest and components for the protective plate inserts that Soldiers deployed worldwide use today.
- Second, we exploit transition opportunities by accelerating mature technologies from on-going S&T efforts. Radio frequency (RF) jamming technology solutions from investments in our electronic warfare technology program have been incorporated into the family of Warlock systems being used to defeat radio controlled IEDs today.
- Third, we leverage the expertise of our scientists and engineers to develop solutions to unforeseen problems encountered during current operations. Engineers at the Army Research Laboratory and the Tank-Automotive Research Development Engineering Center have extensive experience in designing armor for the Army's combat vehicles. This team rapidly responded to a critical need by designing and demonstrating add-on armor survivability kits for high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) for enhanced survivability. These kits have been installed on over 13,000 HMMWVs deployed for WOT.
For more information on this and other topics see Addendum J in the Army Posture Statement.