NATICK, Mass. -- Gen. John M. Murray, Army Futures Command commanding general, visited the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center at the Natick Soldier Systems Center Feb. 5.Murray is responsible for leading a team of Soldiers and civilians to streamline the Army's modernization enterprise under a single command by enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in delivering the technology necessary to maintain the Army's competitive advantage and win wars.As part of Army Futures Command, CCDC Soldier Center provides science and technology solutions to ensure America's warfighters are optimized, protected, and lethal.Working closely with AFC's Soldier Lethality and Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Teams, the Soldier Center is constantly working to strengthen Soldiers' performance to increase readiness to ensure Soldiers are organized, trained, and equipped for prompt and sustainable ground combat."It was an honor to host General Murray," said Douglas Tamilio, director of the CCDC Soldier Center. "The visit today gave us the opportunity to share how the Soldier Center uses science and technology to optimize Soldier performance, enhance Soldier protection, and increase Soldier lethality. By working with our partners in academia and industry, we are dedicated to researching and optimizing the technologies needed by our warfighters to maintain the Army's competitive advantage.""Team Natick is a collaborative joint enterprise that has consolidated life cycle management of items that service members wear, carry, or consume," said Brig. Gen. Vincent Malone, deputy commanding general of CCDC and senior commander of NSSC.Murray's visit was highlighted by sessions about the Soldier Squad Performance Research Institute, or S2PRINT, the Measuring and Advancing Soldier Tactical Readiness and Effectiveness, or MASTR-E program, and CCDC SC's innovative work with Soldier-borne sensors."Though it is one of the smallest organizations in CCDC, the Soldier Center has a deeply compelling and crucial mission," said Cynthia Blackwell, S2PRINT project director. "We at the Soldier Center are proud to be able to show our commitment to the Army and to the AFC organization through a demonstration of the groundbreaking research and broad-ranging, lifesaving technologies we develop for our nation's warfighters."
Soldier Center experts also briefed Murray about a wide range of topics, including exoskeleton technology; power and battery advances; Aerial Delivery design and fabrication; Expeditionary Maneuver's LiFi technology and camouflage, concealment and deception technologies; load carriage; and the design and prototyping of a wide-range of clothing and equipment.Subject matter experts also provided information about Combat Feeding's ration development, lab capabilities and Soldier studies."This was a great opportunity to show General Murray the extensive science behind field feeding, and to demonstrate how we turn that science into readiness and lethality by providing high-octane fuel for our warfighters in the form of combat rations and field feeding equipment," said Stephen Moody, director of CCDC SC's Combat Feeding Directorate.
While at Natick, Murray was also briefed on research being performed by the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. USARIEM is co-located at NSSC and is a frequent Soldier research partner with the CCDC Soldier Center."We were able to highlight USARIEM's unique capabilities as the Army's premier biomedical laboratory for optimizing warfighter health and performance," said Col. Sean O'Neil, commander of USARIEM. "It was a great opportunity to emphasize how we synchronize efforts across the modernization enterprise; showing how together we optimize the interactions between the Soldier, the technology, and the environment."Murray toured the Doriot Climatic Chambers, a testing facility that can replicate world-wide weather conditions. The chambers allow researchers at CCDC SC and USARIEM to study and improve human performance under a wide range of conditions -- including extreme temperatures -- as well as study and improve the performance of equipment.CCDC SC's scientists and engineers are committed to working directly with Soldiers, with Soldier input and interaction being key to advancing the optimization of Soldier performance, improving Soldier protection, and increasing Soldier lethality."The concept of scientists working with Soldiers is very powerful," said Murray.