By Jenna Brady, U.S. Army Research LaboratoryNovember 12, 2013
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Nov. 13, 2013) -- Members of the Stryker Double-V Hull Army Test and Evaluation Integrated Product Team, including two U.S. Army Research Laboratory employees, recently won the 2013 Army Acquisition Excellence Award in the category Equipping and Sustaining Our Soldiers' Systems.
The Army Acquisition Excellence Awards recognize an Army acquisition workforce individual or team, from senior management to newly hired interns, whose performance and contributions set them apart from their peers. The awards directly reflect the outstanding achievements in support of the Soldier and the Army's business transformation efforts.
The members of the Stryker DVH IPT demonstrated great initiative, creativity and skill in designing and conducting streamlined test and evaluation efforts in support of rapid fielding of eight improved survivability Stryker combat vehicle variants to our Soldiers in Afghanistan.
Specifically, the research and development efforts of the team have resulted in reduced casualties and increased protection of Soldiers from improvised explosive devices on the battlefield.
Richard zum Brunnen, an operations research analyst in ARL's Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate, served as ARL's representative to the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Center's Stryker ATEC System Team.
He participated in preparing a program test concept brief, detailed test plans, as well as other plans and documents necessary for the evaluation of the Stryker DVH.
These documents addressed specific needs raised by the operational needs statement from the commander of the 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team that requested additional protection from IEDs for Strykers fielded to Operation Enduring Freedom.
Within ARL/SLAD, as the Stryker System leader, he directed and managed SLAD's Stryker Team and, through tight coordination with the evaluators including the Army Evaluation Center and Director, Operational Training and Evaluation, ensured a comprehensive evaluation program, designed to characterize Soldier and platform survivability when subjected to the effects of small arms, blast and fragmenting IED threats, with an emphasis on the underbody threats as encountered in theater.
The Stryker DVH ballistic evaluation program consisted of a live-fire portion, as well as modeling and simulation using MUVES-S2 for threats not used in live-fire. In all, there were 48 live-fire shots.
SLAD chaired the Damage Assessment Team for the live-fire program, led by Raymond Valentine, mechanical engineer, and products included crew casualty, led by Kate Weaver, mathematician, vehicle damage assessment reports for each shot, also led by Valentine, as well as the modeling and simulation results, led by Richard Lai, operations research analyst.
These products were the basis of the survivability portion of the ATEC Capabilities and Limitations Reports, as well as the DOT+E LF report.
"Being that the vision of ARL is to be America's laboratory for the Army: Many Minds, Many Capabilities, Single Focus on the Soldier, as an ARL employee, this award exemplifies ARL's abilities in providing equipment to the field that dramatically increases Soldier and system survivability," said zum Brunnen.
"The fact that ARL contributed to the accomplishments recognized by this award is a source of pride and provides a sense of achievement," added zum Brunnen. zum Brunnen believes that the main importance of the achievements made in this particular project is the impact that the Stryker DVH program has had on Soldier and system survivability in OEF.
David Hendrickson, a manpower and personnel integration analyst from ARL's Human Research and Engineering Directorate, has been working on the Stryker since the first operational test in 2003.
He identifies issues that are present in the manpower, personnel, training, human factors engineering, safety, health and Soldier survivability domains, and he identifies these issues through direct observation and the data collected through questionnaires and interviews administered during the operational tests.
Hendrickson develops these data collection instruments based the expertise that he has gained from years of experience working on a variety of tactical vehicles.
The issues become a part of the operational test report and are followed through Materiel Release until they are mitigated.
"I have always been proud to serve as an ARL, HRED employee. I believe in the organizational goals and have witnessed the positive impact that we have on the design of Soldier equipment," said Hendrickson.
"To have been a part of such a successful IPT is an honor that I owe to the standards set by ARL, HRED employees and leadership," added Hendrickson.
According to Hendrickson, through the guidance provided by the AEC Support Team chair and the project manager, the IPT was able to take an idea for a more protective family of vehicles and produce and test Stryker variants that proved their worth on the battlefield.
"The importance of the achievement is our ability to impact design changes to improve mission effectiveness based upon the positive and negative feedback that we get from Soldiers who operate and maintain the vehicles," noted Hendrickson.
zum Brunnen and Hendrickson's dedication and hard work on this effort exemplify ARL's mission of providing the underpinning science, technology and analysis that enable full-spectrum operations for our Soldiers.
ARL is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.