FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Nov. 19, 2015) -- Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers took part in assessing the ease of use and effectiveness of the new field expedient non-lethal vehicle arresting barrier concept, Nov. 10.
The concept, developed by Engineer Research and Development Center, or ERDC, out of Vicksburg, Mississippi, was designed for austere environments, where access to vehicle barrier capabilities are limited or non-existent.
"It is used as a field expedient, non-lethal standoff enforcement barrier, suitable for limiting aggressor vehicle ramming and vehicle-borne improvised explosive device proximity to entry-control points on expeditionary and small bases," said David Glynn, lead systems integration analyst, Science Applications International Corporation.
Quick and simple assembly with readily available materials were goals of the design team, according to the engineers.
"It's very basic," said Christopher Price, ERDC research engineer and work unit manager. "It had to be basic. It had to be something either they could receive in the field and put together quickly, or a designed drawing that shows up, and they can go to a shop locally to assemble it with maybe only a drill press and a welder."
During the evaluation process, Soldiers were provided with a prototype and asked to assemble and emplace it according to mission requirements. The assembly process is possible by two to four Soldiers in 15 to 30 minutes.
Spc. Dauylen Wright and Pvt. Jared Wilder, both of the 509th Clearance Company, 5th Engineer Battalion, were two Soldiers who assisted in the assessment and said the process was easier than they had expected.
"All we had to do was look at one that was already assembled, and we knew how to do it," Wilder said. "The very first time, with just looking at an assembled one, it took us 13 minutes, and today, after doing it I'd say three times, me and just another private did it in seven minutes, 14 seconds. It's very quick and hasty, so it could potentially save lives."
Wright added that in addition to the assembly being easy, the design is something that is easy to remember, and he can see it being put to good use.
"If I were deployed, I would feel a lot safer having this with me," Wright said. "I can see this as becoming the standard at all base camps. This is a major asset that would definitely hinder any vehicle-born IED [improvised explosive device] coming at your base."
Price said it's the troops who drive them to not only meet the requirements put before them but to exceed expectations.
"Anytime we can do something that can help them, to save a life, make their job easier; that's what we want to do," Price said. "We want to mitigate risk. We can't prevent it but we can do our best."