DETROIT ARSENAL, WARREN, MI Ac"a,! The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center's National Automotive Center formed the nucleus of the TARDEC display, showcasing TARDEC's work in power and energy research and development at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2008 World Congress in Detroit.

As a result of ongoing operations in Southwest Asia, and Soldier Warfighting requirements that continue to stream in from the theater of operations, the Army must produce weapons platforms and communication systems that are versatile, deployable, tailorable and focused on Soldier battlefield requirements, while also meeting current and projected auxiliary power and energy needs. Therefore, the TARDEC mission is focused on TARDEC Director Dr. Grace M. Bochenek's five principle technology focus areas, which include: condition based maintenance, power and mobility, intelligent ground systems (robotics), maneuver support and sustainment, and survivability.

TARDEC/NAC participated in the industry luncheon sponsored by Automation Alley®. Dr. Bochenek addressed the TARDEC mission and vision, emphasizing the Army's 91-year working relationship with SAE. She explained the importance of TARDEC's continuing partnership with industry and academia to ensure that TARDEC continues to address potential capability gaps by using the technological expertise being developed by TARDEC's industry and academic partners. "Presently, SAE is the 'resource' and TARDEC is the 'bridge' for military technology standards and insertion," Bochenek remarked. "SAE and our industry partners continue to help us solve engineering challenges posed by new technology, and they are helping us address critical weapon system and equipment maintenance requirements on the modern battlefield."

U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command Commanding General MG William M. Lenaers delivered the keynote address, also thanking the SAE for their tremendous support to the U.S. Army since World War I, but especially during his tenure as the TACOM LCMC commander. Lenaers changed command on April 22, in a ceremony at the Detroit Arsenal. During his presentation, he introduced BG Scott G. West, the incoming TACOM LCMC commanding general.

Advanced Planning Briefing for Academia

TARDEC introduced a new event at this year's World Congress Ac"a,! the first annual APBA. The APBA was designed to help universities, colleges and academic institutions gain an understanding of TARDEC's R&D requirements and how to develop cooperative relationships with TARDEC that will, in turn, advance and improve the technology that TARDEC provides for U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps ground combat vehicle systems and robotics. More than 150 guests representing 30 universities and colleges attended the "by-invitation-only" event.

Specifically, Bochenek addressed the absolute necessity for TARDEC to form more partnerships with leading technology universities and colleges to better address internal engineering associates' career and professional development needs. She stated that TARDEC is committed to educating current and future workforce members in the skills and academic disciplines the organization's members require to address potential Soldier battlefield equipment shortfalls and resulting capability gaps across the entire spectrum of military operations. "We are committed to establishing programs that provide innovative research and development to meet critical Army needs through a variety of cooperative and collaborative programs, including the Small Business Innovation Research program, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, contracts and technical events such as this one," Bochenek concluded.

The Army has a long-standing relationship with SAE involving a range of activities such as displaying exhibits at industry tradeshows, presenting scientific papers at key events, participating in standards committees and recruiting young engineers and scientists for government service. Through this partnership, SAE and the Army continue to forge strong ties between the automotive engineering community and the military to ensure that our Soldiers are the best-equipped, best trained and most lethal and battlefield-sustainable ground force in the world.