Picatinny honors former director with advanced lab designed to meet challenges of evolving technology, complex future military operations

By Ed Lopez, Picatinny Arsenal Public AffairsMay 10, 2023

New collaboration lab at Picatinny honors former director
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Armaments Center at Picatinny Arsenal dedicated on May 5 its newest facility, the Collaborative Armament Systems Integration Laboratory or CASIL, to Carmine J Spinelli, a former Technical Director of the organization now known as the DEVCOM Armaments Center. The CASIL is positioned to provide an adaptive facility to facilitate research and integration solutions across a range of engineering disciplines, which will help the Armaments Center get armament systems into the hands of warfighters quicker and at lower cost. Pictured from left, Anthony Sebasto, executive director of the Enterprise and Systems Integration Center, Chris J. Grassano, director of the DEVCOM Armaments Center, Dina Spinelli Markey, David Spinelli, and Jeff Dyer, director, Systems Engineering Directorate. (Photo Credit: Todd Mozes) VIEW ORIGINAL

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. – In memory of a former technical director, U.S. Army officials here dedicated a new facility that is intended to accelerate weapon system development through enhanced collaboration and system integration, ultimately leading to faster fielding of new warfighting capabilities.

The Carmine J. Spinelli Collaborative Armament Systems Integration Laboratory, or CASIL, is designed to provide project engineers, users, and decision makers the opportunity to explore risks, integration and value of emerging advanced armaments concepts, coupled with existing systems, in a collaborative laboratory environment.

“Evolving technology and military operational environments will only become more complex, requiring more sophisticated and agile integration and collaboration,” said Chris J. Grassano, director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Armaments Center, at the May 5 dedication.

Spinelli served as technical director from 1995 to 1998 for the organization now known as the Armaments Center. Twice, he was recipient of the Secretary of Defense Award for meritorious service and was inducted into the U.S. Army Ordnance Hall of Fame, the Ammunition Hall of Fame, and the Purdue University Engineering Hall of Fame. Spinelli, whose career spanned a total of 40 years with the Department of Defense, passed away in June 2018 at 82 years of age.

“Those 40 years of dedicated service to the warfighter mattered greatly,” Grassano said. “His contributions to the nation’s defense were numerous and substantial. It is perfectly fitting with his tremendous accomplishments that we dedicate this building in his honor.”

Along with his technical and professional achievements, Spinelli was regarded by those who knew him as recognizing and supporting the crucial importance of developing the next generation of employees. Those members of the workforce would carry forth the mission of providing Soldiers with advanced armament systems that are needed to meet the challenges of future conflicts.

“He mentored a number of people and provided the training, tutelage and opportunity to many others,” Grassano said. “Mr. Spinelli’s efforts helped to ensure that a knowledgeable, well-trained workforce would be in place to propel the vital mission of the Armaments Center in support of our men and women in uniform.”

In describing the capabilities of the CASIL facility, Jeffrey Dyer, director of the Systems Engineering Directorate at the Armaments Center, said the need for such a lab was foreseen by several previous leaders at the center.

“They saw a future where model-based engineering and collaboration would be vital in reducing the time to field complex advanced armaments systems. That’s what our job is all about,” Dyer said. “This facility, is the realization of that vision, constructed to foster collaboration and integrate the numerous laboratories across the Armaments Center and beyond.”

Dyer added that the new collaboration and integration lab will host product development teams, connect multiple engineering and analytical environments, and link external partners like battle labs, experimentation labs, ranges and industrial partners in a much more efficient way. The CASIL would also provide mission-wide computational analysis capabilities for engineers and scientists, among others.

“Most importantly we have become much more integrated with our primary customer, the U.S. Warfighter,” Dyer added.

The phase 1 of the CASIL facility includes a reconfigurable and secure multipurpose “collaboratory,” a high-performance computing center, a conference and external collaboration center, and a systems integration laboratory high-bay. Phase 2 will include three highly reconfigurable collaboratories.

The DEVCOM Armaments Center, through the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, is an element of the Army Futures Command.