DEVCOM Soldier Center employee receives Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award

By Jane Benson, DEVCOM Soldier Center Public AffairsMarch 9, 2021

(Photo Credit: David Kamm_508-233-4022) VIEW ORIGINAL

NATICK, Mass. – Dr. David Colanto has been chosen for the 2020 Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award. Colanto serves as a program manager for the Integrated Multi-threat Headborne System in the Soldier Protection Directorate at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, or DEVCOM, Soldier Center.

Colanto received the award for his contributions supporting the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier team that successfully executed a Manufacturing Technology, or ManTech, program, entitled “Novel Ultra-Strong Low Cost Film Manufacturing Technology for Superior Warfighter Protection.” Colanto’s efforts contributed to the rapid development of advanced materials that will enable the next generation of helmet and body armor protection for the warfighter.

Sponsored by the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel, the Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award recognizes and honors those individuals from government and the private sector most responsible for outstanding technical accomplishments that further the achievement of the vision of the Department of Defense (DoD) ManTech Program. That vision is to "realize a responsive world-class manufacturing capability to affordably meet the warfighters' needs throughout the defense system life cycle."

Colanto’s achievement reflects DEVCOM Soldier Center’s commitment to advancing solutions that ensure the nation’s warfighters are optimized, protected, and lethal.

“It was a privilege to be part of the team selected for such a prestigious award,” said Colanto. “The rapid development of Novel Ultra-Strong Low Cost Film Manufacturing Technology benefited from the successful collaboration between DEVCOM Soldier Center, PEO Soldier and DSM Dyneema. For my role, I developed prototyping and test plans that leveraged DEVCOM Soldier Center Helmet Lab innovations to demonstrate breakthrough performance of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW PE) Films. This ManTech program was crucial to drive advancements in UHMW PE Film technology enabling next level combat helmet and body armor protection with significant weight reduction.”


The DEVCOM Soldier Center is committed to discovering, developing, and advancing science and technology solutions that ensure America’s warfighters are optimized, protected, and lethal. DEVCOM Soldier Center supports all of the Army's Modernization efforts, with the Soldier Lethality and Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Teams being the DEVCOM Soldier Center’s chief areas of focus. The center’s science and engineering expertise are combined with collaborations with industry, DOD, and academia to advance Soldier and squad performance. The center supports the Army as it transforms from being adaptive to driving innovation to support a Multi-Domain Operations Capable Force of 2028 and a MDO Ready Force of 2035. DEVCOM Soldier Center is constantly working to strengthen Soldiers’ performance to increase readiness and support for warfighters who are organized, trained, and equipped for prompt and sustainable ground combat.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) outreach and mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers is also an important part of the mission of DEVCOM Soldier Center. The mentoring of students by Army scientists and engineers benefits the students and their communities. It also increases young people's awareness of potential Army job opportunities and helps provide the Army with potential new talent, helping to fuel innovative ideas that benefit the nation's warfighters and the nation as a whole.

DEVCOM Soldier Center is part of DEVCOM. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.