REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - The Army Materiel Command's commander Gen. Dennis Via toured the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center in November.

He was accompanied by Col. Rodney Fogg, AMC executive officer; Col. John Laskodi, director of the CG's Initiatives Group; Lt. Col. Michael Siegl, CG aide-de-camp; Dennis Finn, executive officer CTO; and Kendal Cunningham, chief of strategic planning.

During the visit, Via stressed the critical role that research and development will play over the next 10 years.

AMRDEC personnel provided Via with briefings highlighting core technical competencies and projects, ranging from rapid equipping efforts impacting Soldiers today to science and technology programs laying the foundation for the next decades.

Dr. Bill Lewis, director of AMRDEC's Aviation Development Directorate, and Dan Bailey provided an update to the Joint Multi-Role-Technology Demonstrator. JMR-TD is a science and technology demonstration intended to mitigate risk for the Future Vertical Lift development program through the testing of advanced technologies and efficient configurations. In October the Army announced the award of four Technology Investment Agreements under JMR Phase I to demonstrate an operationally representative mix of capabilities to investigate realistic design trades and enabling technologies.

"We must continue to push implementation of the FVL Strategic Plan which will positively impact vertical lift aviation operations for the next 50-plus years," Lewis said.

Via also toured two laboratories at AMRDEC's System Simulation and Development Directorate -- the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense or THAAD, Hardware-in-the-Loop Facility and the Advanced Prototyping Engineering and Experimentation II Laboratory.

Via also toured AMRDEC's Prototype Integration Facility, a government-owned, government-operated contractor-supported enterprise established to meet the most compelling and urgent needs of the government and our allies. PIF capabilities include rapid engineering, fabrication, integration, testing and documentation. The PIF rapidly integrates core competencies with other government and industry expertise to provide rapid response solutions.

PIF program manager Danny Featherston led the tour, which included an all terrain vehicle integrated and militarized by the PIF for the Special Operations Command, a communications upgrade to the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, and Presidential Helicopter Program with Naval Air Systems Command.

While touring the PIF Cable Lab, Via spoke with technicians and thanked them for their support. He witnessed fabrication of cable harnesses and chassis assemblies for aircraft modification kits and communication hardware; some harnesses measure in lengths of 80 feet or more. The PIF Cable Lab houses the central cable and harness assembly fabrication point for the variety of PIF programs.

"This was a great opportunity to update Gen. Via on the broad cross-section of work the PIF provides for the war fighters, first responders and our allies," Featherston said.


AMRDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), 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.