FORT RUCKER, Ala. (February 14, 2013) -- Spouses of active and retired Army Aviation senior leaders received a tour of the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Fort Rucker Jan. 29.

USAARL, a tenant unit of Fort Rucker and a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, Md., conducts medical research to develop and provide the biomedical basis for countermeasures that prevent and mitigate warrior injury.

USAARL welcomed nine spouses, among them Angel Mangum, wife of Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general; and Leslie Edens, wife of Brig. Gen. Timothy Edens, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center commanding general, to learn and explore how the lab's research protects Aviators and ground warriors.

The senior leaders' spouses visited many areas throughout the lab, including USAARL's tactile situation awareness system, which uses the sense of touch to provide situation awareness information to pilots.

"I think the [senior leaders] would find [USAARL's research] fascinating," said Francine Forster, wife of retired Lt. Gen. William "Bud" Forster.

The spouses also toured USAARL's one-of-a-kind NUH-60 Black Hawk flight simulator, the engagement skills trainer weapons simulator, and the helmet, vestibular, hypoxia, and vision labs.

"It is an honor to have the senior leaders' spouses tour the laboratory," said Col. Dana Renta, USAARL commander. "It's great that they are interested in learning what USAARL is doing on behalf of our Soldiers and Aviators to medically ensure our warfighters can complete their missions."