By Bob Reinert/USAG Natick Public AffairsJune 20, 2016
DEVENS, Mass. -- In the future, Army expeditionary base camps will sip fuel and water while slashing waste.
That was the message heard by Army leadership, June 15, at the Sustainability Logistics Basing -- Science and Technology Objective Demonstration, or SLB-STO-D, Leadership Day at the Base Camp Integration Laboratory, or BCIL, on Fort Devens.
Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, was among those who were told about the latest developments in achieving greater efficiencies while still providing Soldiers with an unmatched quality of life in the field so that their readiness isn't degraded.
Hammack pointed out that in her discussions with major commands around the globe, it has become apparent that the Army will become more expeditionary in nature.
"We are going to smaller units, where it's more of advise and assist," said Hammack, "where they go in and come out."
Doug Tamilio, director of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, said that means battalions and companies will find themselves alone in remote locations.
"And we've got to be able to support them," Tamilio said. "This is a critical capability to enable those forces."
"We are the platform from which they operate," said Kurt Kinnevan of Engineering, Research and Development Center -- Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "It doesn't matter if it's a 50-man outpost or a 40,000-man major supply point, they all have similar requirements for power, water and waste."
With that in mind, SLB-STO-D is focusing on reducing fuel demand by 25 percent, water demand by 75 percent and waste by 50 percent through a variety of efficient technologies. Such reductions would make base camps more self-sufficient while also saving lives by keeping resupply convoys off dangerous roads.
"Those convoys are typically not well-protected," Tamilio said. "There'll be less convoys on the road, less Soldiers in harm's way and ultimately, less casualties."
SLB-STO-D began in 2012 and will wind down in 2017. It is looking at 60-plus new and emerging technologies for potential solutions. The last of five demonstrations of those technologies over the past two years took place on this day at the BCIL, currently occupied by some 240 Soldiers.
"It takes a team of teams," said Jyuji Hewitt, deputy director of Research, Development and Engineering Command, referring to the SLB-STO-D effort. "It's really all focused on not only our Soldiers, but our joint force."
That team includes four major technology provider organizations: Natick Soldier, Research, Development and Engineering Center; Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center; Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Engineering, Research and Development Center -- Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"I think that the theme of all of today is collaboration," said Magid Athnasios of TARDEC. "This is a capability that only comes together through bringing together multiple stakeholders and technologies."
At the BCIL, Hammack saw many of those technologies, including the Force Provider rigid-wall shelters.
"The advantage of (the) rigid-wall shelter is it sets up so quickly and it takes down so quickly," Hammack said. "It doesn't take a whole lot of education."
Hammack came away from the BCIL with a favorable view of the SLB-STO-D efforts.
"I am just so amazed and impressed," Hammack said. "You're doing the right things for the right reasons. It's an inspired group of people here."