By TACOM Public AffairsApril 6, 2018
(Editor's note: The following article is part of a series of stories from U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command newsletters in 1968. The acronyms "ATAC" and "TACOM" are interchangeable throughout this series. This story ran in the April 1968 issue of "The Detroit Arsenal News.")
"The best and most informative meeting I've ever attended," is the way one industry representative expressed it and he pretty well reflected the view of all who attended the April 3 and 4 classified Advanced Planning Briefing for Industry (APBI) which ATAC hosted in co-sponsorship with the Detroit Chapter of the Association of the United Stated Army (AUSA).
The day session was attended by about 550 persons representing more than 200 firms across the nation engaged in virtually every field of research and development activity.
Observers who participated were particularly impressed with the effective way in which all administrative details for the meeting were handled. Briefings flowed smoothly, schedules were on time, transportation was available and punctual, housing and dining facilities were good and the entire effort reflected excellent planning.
ATAC Commanding General, Major General Shelton E. Lollis extended the official welcome to the attendees, Dr. E.N. Petrick, ATAC Chief Scientist, delivered the keynote address entitled "A Look to the Future" and Colonel G.L. Barnhill, Director of the Development and Engineering Directorate was Chairman of the two day session.
The object of the annual APBI briefing is to bring industry closer to the military and provide the R&D activities of private enterprise with a first hand look at ATAC concept objectives of the future. In this way industry's long range planning can reflect ATAC needs.
General Lollis' welcoming remarks emphasized the army-industry team relationship. He said, "I, as well as the military user, need the help of the people in industry to assure that the requirements placed on me are met. Basically, the military defines and establishes requirements. We look to industry to produce the equipment which can satisfy our needs."
General Lollis said that in some cases the increasing demands for improved equipment appear to be outdistancing the gains being made in rapidly expanding technology. The ATAC Commanding General suggested that one of the answers to closing the gap could be, "A closer working relationship between the establisher of the requirement and the producer of the equipment."
Defining the purpose of the meeting, General Lollis said that the program "is designed to inform you of our research and development needs. Using the knowledge of what we want to achieve and what we think are technological barriers, the full strength of industry can be brought to bear on the goal of producing more effective equipment."
Commenting on concept and technological problem areas the General said, "We are looking for your help in assisting us in solving our problems and providing insights into new approaches and new solutions," and he concluded, "It is my hope that our plans will become equally important in your planning considerations."
Eleven briefing presentations were made by the following:
• Paul Denn, Acting Chief of the Advanced Vehicle Systems Laboratory, discussed "1958 Vehicle Requirements and Problems."
• Fred Gerow, Acting Deputy of the Mobility Systems Laboratory, delivered a presentation on "The new look in Mobility."
• Wayne Anderson, Chief of the Propulsion Systems Laboratories, looking into the future with a presentation on "Tomorrow's Push in Propulsion Systems."
• Charles Green, Chief of the Materials Division, discussed problems of the future related to "Reduction in Vulnerability."
• Charles Banton, Chief of the Automotive Components Division, discussed years-ahead thinking on the subject of "Conquest of Crew Compartment Environment."
• Ralph Marinelli, Chief of the Electrical Division, considered in detail "Military Vehicle Electrical Systems."
• Adolf Jarema, Acting Project Manager of the Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle for 1970, gave the industry representatives an insight into the planning of the MICV 70 Vehicle.
• Lieutenant Colonel John Misch, Project Manager of the Armed Reconnaissance Scout Vehicle, discussed the many aspects associated with his vehicle.
• Harry Hayter, Chief of the Systems Formulation Branch, covered the full spectrum of "Future Logistical Vehicles.
• Carl Isaacs, Acting Chief of the Diagnostic Equipment Branch, discussed "Automatic Test Equipment" concerned with the relatively new field of advanced component failure detection.
• In the concluding presentation Donald Firer, of the Foreign Intelligence Office, Systems Formulation Branch, gave the industry representatives a look at the "Trends in Foreign Vehicle Development."
One of the highlights of the meeting was a special presentation of an Exceptional Service to Defense Award from AUSA to ATAC's Colonel Barnhill. With Detroit AUSA Chapter President George Psihas looking on, the presentation was made by Major General Paul A. Gavin, (U.S. Army Retired), AUSA national office Director of Regional Activities.