ORLANDO, Fla. -- The conference featuring the Army's latest state-of-the-art
technological advances and dialogue from top scientists, researchers and engineers came to a close Dec. 2.

The 27th Army Science Conference brought the Army's science and technology community together to discuss the latest developments that will provide technology-enabled capabilities that empower, unburden and protect the warfighter.

Vice Chief of the Staff of the Army General Peter W. Chiarelli underscored what the conference encompassed and its importance in a live video teleconference from the Pentagon during the opening session on Nov. 29.

"This conference brings together a lot of very smart people, and in doing so, it brings together a great opportunity for a lot of collaboration," Chiarelli said. "I want to encourage you to keep up the great work. You're enhancing Soldiers' capability both on the battle field and off and you're saving lives."

Gary Martin, executive deputy to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, echoed a similar sentiment on the conference's final day. Martin directs the Army's intensified research, development and acquisition process for fielding technologies.

"This has been a great conference," Martin said. "It's given us the opportunity to bring a variety of researchers and scientists into one place to collaborate and share the research they're doing for the Army.

"We don't often have the opportunity, particularly at conferences, to share our research and science and technology activities," Martin continued. "Typically we show what we are doing on the engineering side but this is a unique conference. It's largely focused on science and technology."

The events at the four-day conference included remarks from numerous guest speakers and Army leaders, topical panel discussions, a science and technology showcase, awards for the U.S. Army's 10 Greatest Inventions of 2009, and recognition of the authors of the most outstanding papers and posters from the parallel technical sessions.

Topical panels and guest speakers at the conference discussed significant Army-related issues such as treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury, supporting the Warfighter and the role of neuroscience in training Soldiers, among many others.

The ASC is a biannual event that began in 1957 at West Point, N.Y., gathering the Army's science and technology community. It is estimated that this year's event hosted more than 1,500 individuals from 30 countries.

"It brings a part of the community that we don't always engage with," Martin said. "The kids that came in from E-cybermission got the opportunity to see what the Army is doing in science and research."

The Army's eCYBERMISSION program is a web-based science, technology, engineering and math competition. A group of 120 students from Orlando-area schools participating in the eCYBERMISSION program toured the exhibit hall at the Army Science Conference.

"It was a fantastic opportunity to learn what the Army research is all about, not only with RDECOM, but medical research, the Corps of Engineers and space and missile defense," Martin said. "I think it was a fantastic conference."