NATICK, Mass. (Feb. 23, 2015) -- The High Speed Container Delivery System Joint Capability Technology Demonstration, or HSCDS JCTD, Team has been chosen by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, or OSD, for the 2014 JCTD Team of the Year award.The JCTD Program encourages joint service efforts to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of the joint warfighter.
The HSCDS JCTD Team technical manager was Mike Henry, a research aerospace engineer in the Aerial Delivery Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC."Airdrop, by nature, is a joint effort, and HSCDS is no different," Henry said. "U.S. Transportation Command and USAF Air Mobility Command work closely together to support the airdrop mission. While the Air Force executes most of the airdrops, it is common for the Army to be the recipient on the ground and can be viewed as the end user."The new system is more efficient at faster aircraft speeds and lower aircraft altitudes than standard airdrop and enhances the safety of ground forces.
"By flying faster, the aircrew is exposed to the ground threat for less time, the aircraft is more maneuverable, and it has a greater rate of climb to fly out of terrain, enabling access to more drop zones and reducing the need for ground convoys," Henry said. "Also, the automated release sequence greatly reduces the variance seen during a manual release process, resulting in a more consistent and accurate delivery of payloads on the ground. More accurate payloads means the ground forces need to secure a smaller area on the ground and can recover the bundles faster, reducing their exposure to threats."The system benefits the Army and the Air Force."HSCDS provides an airdrop capability that is low and fast to enhance aircrew survivability and effectiveness while also making it more accurate for the users on the ground, meeting the needs of users from both services," Henry said.The HSCDS JCTD Team included people from multiple services."Our operational manager was from USTRANSCOM, who also supported this effort with funding," Henry said. "Our deputy operational manager was from the Air Mobility Command. In addition, Air Force Test and Evaluation was our independent assessor for the effort. NSRDEC was the technical manager for the effort, while Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems was the transition manager for HSCDS. All of the organizations worked to develop the HSCDS capability, in addition to keeping our USSOCOM users in the loop on the development."The resulting product integrates several different technologies that enhance airdrop for aircrews and ground warfighters.
The Aerial Delivery Directorate at NSRDEC has an excellent track record of successful joint aerial delivery project execution across DOD. The directorate has now executed three ACTD/JCTDs for OSD as technical manager and has garnered "Team of the Year" awards for all three efforts, including the Joint Precision Air Drop System, or JPADS, in 2009, the Joint Medical Distance Support and Evaluation, or JMDSE, in 2011, and now HSCDS in 2014.
"I'm extremely proud of the HSCDS Team being recognized with the JCTD Team of the Year award," said Richard Benney, director of the Aerial Delivery Directorate at NSRDEC. "This OSD/USTRANSCOM-funded JCTD required a significantly challenging technical design and schedule, coordination with many partner organizations, and an enormous dedication of time and effort by all team members to meet this warfighters' joint challenge. We look forward to supporting the PM-FSS formal program of record, which has just started to formally field the HSCDS capability to the joint warfighter.""The team had great people who stayed focused on who we were all there to serve: the joint warfighter," Henry said. "Everyone recognized that fact, and it helped inspire a can-do attitude. The team had a great mix of experience and expertise to develop a product that provided new capability but was also usable in the field."For Henry, seeing great ideas become a reality for the warfighter is what it's all about."I like being able to see a project over the course of various phases of development within S&T," Henry said. "I like the fact that I can be in a room with folks drafting up an idea and then I can follow that idea through to fabrication, lab testing and, when that idea fully comes to fruition, I can be in the back of the plane, watching it go rolling out."-----The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center 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.