SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Army Environmental Command’s primary means to support validating and demonstrating new technologies is through program management of the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment.
For the Army’s modernization strategy to succeed, ideas must be turned into actions through continuous efforts to validate and demonstrate new technologies.
The Army Modernization Strategy addresses six key priorities: long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicle, future vertical lift, the network, air and missile defense and Soldier lethality.
The Army recently showed its commitment to the six priorities identified for Army modernization by realigning $33 million over the next five years to ensure adequate funding for the NDCEE program. The NDCEE was established to help DOD installations, ranges, weapon systems, and the warfighter achieve performance advantages, enhance efficiency and cost effectiveness, and comply with regulations.
“All of the projects that NDCEE funds help to support environmental, energy, safety and occupational health challenges currently facing the DOD,” said Jennifer Rawlings, USAEC NDCEE program manager. “These projects not only provide energy cost savings, but they also prevent pollution from entering the environment or create alternatives that improve safety.”
One example of a demonstration/validation project funded by NDCEE is the Honey Badger 50 (HB50) Wearable Fuel Cell. This lightweight, Soldier-borne power system is designed to meet the increased energy demand from Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team initiatives.
The system frees up dismounted squads and platoons from the need to either carry additional batteries or rely on battery resupply to meet their power and energy demands in the field.
Soldiers on extended missions equipped with the HB50 experience a significant reduction in load because they need to carry only additional fuel for their mission energy needs.
“The HB50 system incorporates key innovations that sets it apart from other fuel cell systems’” said Rawlings. “For instance, the HB50 has been demonstrated to operate on liquid fuel already available in unit inventories avoiding the need to add a new fuel into the DOD inventory, simplifying logistics and minimizing the impact on the environment.”
“The Army Modernization Strategy Framework uses a deliberate, synchronized approach that addresses how we fight, what we fight with and who we are,” said Damon Cardenas, USAEC chief of Acquisition and Technology. “The USAEC enables these three approaches to provide Army Modernization with environmental expertise, program management and project management across a broad array of technical specialties necessary to deliver cost-effective, efficient environmental solutions that can be applied to the Total Army's transformation into a multi-domain force.”