PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center or ARDEC held an award ceremony Dec. 15 to honor personnel who have made a significant contribution to the warfighter within the past few months.

John Hedderich, Director of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center or ARDEC, presented several awards:

The ARDEC Institute for Special Warfare Ballistics Workshop -- Certificate of Achievement Award; the Letter to the Warfighter-Certificate of Appreciation Award; and the U.S. Army Pacific Strategic Capabilities Exercise Recognition Award.

U.S. Army Pacific Strategic Capabilities Exercise Recognition Award

The first group awarded were four recipients of the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Strategic Capabilities Exercise Recognition Award for their support in the U.S. Army Pacific Strategic Capabilities Exercise Sept. 21 through Sept. 25.

Their efforts and collaboration with USARPAC to evaluate utility of Armament technology applications for use with multiple allied Pacific nations helped to continue to expand ARDEC's emerging technologies further into the Army's horizon.

ARDEC participated in an USARPAC Action Officer Level Table Top eXercise (TTX) to evaluate innovative technologies in the Pacific.

ARDEC Core Competencies

"In the game we deployed ARDEC technologies currently under development," said Thomas DeVoe, Lead Program Engineer. "The technologies touched on all of ARDEC's core competencies."

The TTX was coordinated by USARPAC Forensic Exploitation Directorate/Strategic Plans Division and facilitated by the Center for Army AnalysisTTX products included a white paper and a briefing delivered to Gen. Brooks, Commanding General - USARPAC.

"We will be getting future funding for ARDEC capabilities and received a special note from Gen. Brooks acknowledging ARDEC's contribution to the exercise." added DeVoe.

ARDEC Institute for Special Warfare Ballistics Workshop -- Certificate of Achievement Award

Forty-one employees received the ARDEC Institute for Special Warfare Ballistics Workshop -- Certificate of Achievement Award for their support to the ARDEC Institute for Special Warfare (AISW) Ballistics Workshop held on Oct. 19 through Oct. 30.

"What each member of the team accomplished is a true testament to what makes ARDEC stand apart. They created a capability that quite often went against the grain and "status quo" at ARDEC, demonstrating that we are a learning organization that is poised to adapt to the future battlefields," said Peter Canales, team lead.

The ARDEC Institute for Special Warfare (AISW) is established as an Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) based development and collaboration institution that addresses emerging requirements unique to the Joint Services and the Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOC).

Participants of AISW events are given mentored access to ARDEC engineers, scientists, and research and development facilities through tailored workshops that address their operational needs and professional goals. The AISW has provided a successful framework for collaboration between the Soldier and the ARDEC research and development staff.

The AISW is bringing Soldiers and scientists together in unprecedented ways to foster not just individual relationships but rather an enduring culture change at ARDEC that fosters lasting collaboration.

Scientists are empowered to represent their competency areas and provide direct impact to the Soldier.

Being responsive to the Soldier and the unique requirements of the TSOC means that both scientist and facility need to be proactive and prepared.

AISW helps to shape the ARDEC culture to be ahead of the curve.

What happens after the Soldier leaves the workshop is just as imperative as his time spent at ARDEC.

"When I went to one of the classes, one guy said to us that "this is the only class and the only time that I will have an opportunity like this. This could give me the edge and if I apply what I learn here I can go back home alive" and that really hits the core of what we do," said Hedderich.

The reach back support and the traditional materiel development support that will follow is the real value to the AISW.

Letter to the Warfighter-Certificate of Appreciation Award

A certificate of appreciation was officially presented to 21 employees for services rendered between Oct. 19-30.

This award acknowledges the successful Letters to the Warfighter footprint project, executed by the members of the August 2015 Leadership Level II class.

Upon completion of their training, the team selected this project in order to apply the leadership skills they just learned, and to make a lasting contribution to the ARDEC and Army communities.

The Letter to the Warfighter program collected over 200 letters of appreciation and 32 boxes of goods, weighing 589 pounds and delivered the items to our deployed service members in Jordan, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The effort required coordination with ARDEC leadership and Public Affairs, and communication with outside organizations, as well as team members volunteering significant hours of their own time planning and putting it all together.

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The U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.