NATICK, Mass. (Nov. 2, 2010) -- On her visit to the Natick Soldier Systems Center, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment Katherine Hammack learned about what is done to protect the Soldier and also what NSSC is working on to keep the installation relevant in the future.

Hammack was on the second stop of a tour of Aberdeen Proving Ground and NSSC to learn more about the reasearch done in non-chemical water purification.

In her morning visit to the installation, the assistant secretary received the overview of NSSC and the Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center.

She took a walking tour to view the shelter's power and energy technologies, the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate and visited the Doriot Climatic Chambers.

"This is a world-class facility," said Hammack. "The work that is done here is important work for the Army. I'm very impressed with what is going on here."

Hammack also placed a challenge at the leadership of NSSC.

"There were a lot of things that I learned today that my staff and I weren't aware of," said Hammack. "Your mission is critical to our Soldiers serving in harm's way and you need to make sure all levels of Army leadership know what good things you are doing."

Before returning to Washington, Hammack received an overview of the NSSC Master Plan for the installation.

"I really like the plan that you have worked out," said Hammack. "I am looking forward to seeing your phasing plan and the cost."

Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Kari Otto believes that NSSC has found an advocate in the Assistant Secretary.

"Hammack came away from her visit to Natick with a better understanding of the scope of the NSSC and that the work done truly impacts the warfighter," said Otto. "She has an appreciation for how much we are accomplishing in spite of the challenges we face with infrastructure. She can see that upgrades to our infrastructure will pay huge dividends in energy conservation, efficiency and support to the warfighter."