DE M-SHORAD Update to Mr. Young Bang, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology)

By Venetia GonzalesFebruary 22, 2024

Mr. Young Bang, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army received a status update on Directed Energy.
Mr. Bang is pictured with the Directed Energy Project Manager, COL Gutierrez, and program leaders. The PDEP received a status update of the current program and witnessed the development progress of DE prototypes, the technology that will revolutionize the way Soldiers operate on the battlefield. (Photo Credit: Venetia Gonzales) VIEW ORIGINAL

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) hosted Mr. Young Bang, the Principal Deputy (PDEP) to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology), and provided an update on the Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) prototyping effort. DE M-SHORAD supports the Army’s Modernization Strategy and provides future opportunities for advancements in the Army’s Directed Energy technologies.

The DE M-SHORAD Prototype is an Air Defense capability designed to defend troops on the ground by countering a wide range of air threats and enable Brigade Combat Teams freedom to maneuver. It consists of a three-Soldier crewed Stryker Combat Vehicle integrated with a High Energy Laser (HEL). DE M-SHORAD has delivered an operationally relevant prototype capability to effectively counter emerging Air and Missile Defense (AMD) threats to the Army.

The Project Manager for DE M-SHORAD, Col. Steven D. Gutierrez, hosted Mr. Bang at the Kord Integration Facility in Huntsville, AL. During his visit, Mr. Bang met with key members of the DE M-SHORAD Team and industry partners and received an update on programmatic progress, achievements in the development of software and data architectures, and an overview of future prototyping efforts and technology enhancements. The visit culminated with the PDEP’s successful execution demo of a HEL live fire shot. Mr. Bang provided insights to further advance the development of software and data architectures for future applicability.

“It was a pleasure to host Mr. Bang, and the insights he provided were invaluable to the project and will shape our continuing development, “COL Gutierrez said. “His visit is exceptionally advantageous as we prepare to employ our prototypes in an operational environment and continue to pursue Army modernization in the high-energy laser space.”

The new technology updates that Mr. Bang received are expected to revolutionize the way Soldiers operate on the battlefield. Directed Energy efforts will provide Soldiers with a much-needed additional layer of protection against adversarial AMD threats.

This firsthand experience allowed the PDEP to witness the technology's capabilities and understand its potential impact. The PDEP also provided specific feedback on usability factors, ergonomics, and user experience. Mr. Bangs' participation in the demonstration further reinforced the mutual collaboration between industry partners and the government, demonstrating a shared commitment to achieving excellence through technologically driven solutions.

“Today’s DE-SHORAD demonstration is a huge leap forward, and another example of the cutting-edge technologies the Army is delivering to the warfighter,” Bang said. “The investments the Army is making in our Directed Energy program is paying off. To see this kind of progress on the High Energy Laser (HEL) in such a short time is a real testament to Army innovation and this team.”

Mr. Bang recommended software interfaces that the PM can pursue to improve future prototypes. The PDEP’s recommendations also addressed technical aspects and techniques in overcoming software and data strategy challenges. By leveraging his expertise, Mr. Bang’s visit showcased the Army’s priority in the development of critical technology efforts and is a testament to the Army’s commitment to providing the latest technology and equipment to support the Warfighter.