U.S. ARMY DETROIT ARSENAL, WARREN, Mich. -- Top leaders from government, industry and academia will gather April 11 at the Detroit Arsenal for the Grand Opening of the Army's new eight-labs-in-one facility: the Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory.

Prior to officially opening the doors of the 30,000-sq.-ft. facility, a lineup of distinguished Army leaders and energy officials will join Michigan's Senate delegation to offer remarks commemorating the grand opening and stressing the importance of energy security.

Those speakers include:

• Dr. John P. Holdren -- Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science
and Technology.

• Dr. Joseph Westphal -- Under Secretary of the Army.

• U.S. Sen. Carl Levin -- Senior U.S. senator from Michigan and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

• U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow -- Junior U.S. senator from Michigan.

• Katherine Hammack -- Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.

"Having nationally recognized leaders in science and technology and defense join Senator Levin and Senator Stabenow for the GSPEL Grand Opening underscores the importance of energy security for our Soldiers, the Army, and the Nation," remarked Jennifer Hitchcock, interim director of the Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) at the Detroit Arsenal.

The GSPEL is a comprehensive addition to TARDEC's series of laboratories. The eight -in-one GSPEL facility offers numerous testing capabilities and an unmatched combination of resources in a single lab.

The centerpiece -- the Power and Energy Vehicle Environmental Lab (PEVEL) -- features one of the world's largest environmental chambers. The lab's dynamometer and environmental chamber combination allows full mission profile testing of every ground vehicle platform in the military inventory in any environmental condition. The PEVEL enables testing at temperatures from minus 60°F to 160°F, in relative humidity levels from 0 to 95 percent and with winds up to 60 mph.

GSPEL offers shared access to industry and academia to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas to develop emerging energy technologies and validate ground vehicle systems -- research that could also help the Nation achieve energy security goals.

While closed to the public, the grand opening ceremony is expected to draw top government, industry and academic leaders -- many of whom are or may soon be GSPEL's collaborative partners.

NOTE TO MEDIA: You must pre-register for this event. To do so, contact John Wray, jwray@brtrc.com, by 5 p.m. Thursday, April 5, 2012.