NATICK, Mass. – The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, or DEVCOM SC, hosted Brig. Gen. Louis M. Lapointe, Deputy Commanding General, Operations, U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK) on September 16 and 19. Although Lapointe is a member of the Canadian Forces, he serves as a deputy commanding general for USARAK as part of the U.S. Army Military Personnel Exchange Program, a Security Cooperation program intended to strengthen relationships and enhance interoperability with U.S. allies and partners in support of the National Defense Strategy and Army Strategy.
The visit focused on DEVCOM SC’s advances in cold-weather and Arctic technologies and products. The visit aimed to foster partnership opportunities between DEVCOM SC and 11th Airborne Division, known as the “Arctic Angels.” The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM, and Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems, or PM FSS, also participated in the visit.
DEVCOM SC’s cold-weather and Arctic efforts are part of the U.S. Army’s larger commitment to defending Arctic interests, regaining Arctic dominance, and increasing the Army’s ability to operate in extreme cold-weather, mountainous, and high-altitude environments. The Army strategy affects how U.S. forces are training and are equipped to carry out extended, multi-domain operations in extreme conditions.
“Brig. Gen. Lapointe’s visit was a great opportunity to show our commitment to serving the warfighter under cold-weather and Arctic conditions and to foster new partnerships,” said Douglas Tamilio, director of DEVCOM SC.
DEVCOM SC experts briefed Lapointe on cold-weather efforts in Soldier protection, clothing, equipment, aerial delivery, and combat feeding —including cold-weather rations. Lapointe was also briefed on load carriage, advances in technology for body armor and helmets, the methanol fuel cell, Soldier nutrition, and Soldier performance.
Lapointe toured the Doriot Climatic Chambers and was briefed on its capabilities. He was also provided briefings by DEVCOM SC’s frequent research partner, USARIEM, and PM FSS.
Erin Gaffney Stomberg, PhD, RD, division chief of Combat Feeding in DEVCOM SC’s Soldier Sustainment Directorate, viewed Lapointe’s visit as an opportunity to receive valuable feedback and build partnerships.
“Brig. Gen. Lapointe’s visit to the Combat Feeding Division was an important opportunity to showcase CFD’s current capabilities for cold-weather feeding, and to have discussions on the direction of new efforts to develop capabilities to support Arctic operations,” said Stomberg. “Brig. Gen. Lapointe’s team provided valuable feedback and insights into the challenges of the Arctic environment, and their operational experience is critical for CFD’s technology developers. We look forward to future partnerships in this important area.”
During his visit, Lapointe also toured the Soldier Center’s state-of-the art Design, Pattern and Prototype Studio, part of DEVCOM SC’s Soldier Protection Directorate. Annette LaFleur — team leader for the Design, Pattern and Prototype Team — updated Lapointe about the team’s cold-weather Science and Technology prototypes, which have transitioned to Program Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment.
During her briefing, LaFleur emphasized the important role that Soldier input and feedback plays in all prototype development, including cold-weather garments.
Lapointe agreed with the importance of listening to young Soldiers and said that the prototypes were “very impressive.”
DEVCOM SC’s Ken Rice, chief of the Aerial Delivery Division in DEVCOM SC’s Soldier Sustainment Directorate, viewed the visit as a valuable opportunity to demonstrate the role of aerial delivery technologies in Arctic conditions.
“Brig. Gen. Lapointe was highly engaged in our briefings and demonstrated broad knowledge of the operational challenges that the U.S. Army and Canadian military face, especially in difficult Arctic conditions,” said Rice. “It was gratifying to be able to showcase our aerial delivery technologies and explain how they can facilitate operations and resupply in these harsh environments.”
About DEVCOM Soldier Center: 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 are 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.