BAGRAM AIRBASE, Afghanistan--Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, G-3/5, Army Materiel Command, saw the first product from Research, Development and Engineering Command's forward-deployed RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology Center's Prototype Integration Facility to be delivered to customers in the field during a visit to the facility December 5.

A unit, working through their task force, approached RFAST-C in late September to fabricate several Soldier-designed attachments for a commercial telescoping pole they use in their mission. Approximately two weeks later James S. Granitzki, RFAST-C engineer, submitted the initial Soldier designs and a fourth hybrid design incorporating elements of all three Soldier-submitted designs using a material that could be machined at the PIF. RFAST-C received the 'go ahead' from the unit and after procuring the materials, Granitzki personally hand-delivered 10 prototype hybrid hooks to the unit on November 12.

"Designing and fabricating a solution to help mitigate the most sensitive threat currently in theater was rewarding," said Granitzki. "The delivery of these hooks and knowing we were helping the Soldier has been the most rewarding action of my deployment thus far."

"The reason why you're here is to get things back to the Soldiers and into their hands quickly," Wyche said. "Stay connected to the Soldier."

Echoing Wyche's statements, Granitzki said developing products to keep our forces safer was "the entire reason I wanted to deploy."

Wyche was so impressed with the hybrid hook that he took one with him.

Units who need to leverage the RFAST-C PIF capabilities of engineering, design and fabrication; equipment upgrade; failure analysis and reintegration; and equipment modification services are encouraged to email the team at

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the PIF is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 11, 2012.