Army science advisors explore opportunities for collaboration
By Nikki Ficken, AMRDEC Public AffairsNovember 1, 2016
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center welcomed science and technology experts Oct. 24 and 25 to discuss key aviation and missile systems.
The Field Assistance in Science and Technology Activity embeds both military and civilian S&T advisors in the field at major Army commands, combat training centers, and select combatant commands worldwide. The program connects researchers who develop new technological capabilities, like AMRDEC, to the Soldiers who need them.
Sgt. 1st Class Ralph Zito managed the tour of AMRDEC which featured major project areas including the Solider Protection Lab, the Prototype Integration Facility, and the Software Engineering Directorate.
"The advisors were extremely inquisitive and engaged," Zito said. "As we took them around and showcased our capabilities, they were constantly looking for opportunities and ways to incorporate AMRDEC into their field of expertise. When they left, they knew more about who we are, what we do, and how we can partner together with other agencies in the future."
FAST was initiated by the U.S. Army Materiel Command in 1985 and is executed by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.
"FAST provides commanders and their staffs the crucial reach back capability to the thousands of subject matter experts within the Army's science and technology enterprise," said FAST Director, James Gibson. "This direct collaboration between commanders in the field and AMC's acquisition professionals enables a quick response to emerging and urgent capability gaps and accelerates the development of prototype solutions."
While FAST advisors are already considered experts in their field, RDECOM puts them through an intensive three week Orientation and Reach Back Training program so they are prepared to provide commanders input and advice on a wide variety of technological capabilities offered by RDECOM.
"AMRDEC is a long-standing supporter of FAST activities, providing personnel to serve as FAST advisors as well as hosting ORBT programs for newly assigned FAST advisors," Gibson said.
The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.