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Expeditionary Maneuver Support Directorate

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What is it?

The Expeditionary Maneuver Support Directorate (EMSD) of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center conducts the research and development of mission command platforms and signature management technologies – camouflage, concealment, and decoys – for the U.S. Army.
The directorate’s responsibilities include creating the science and technology for signature management of high-value assets, rapidly-deployable command posts, collective protection against chemical and biological threats, and field hospital technologies and applications.

What is the Army doing/ has done?

The directorate partners with operational units to operationalize the research and development getting user feedback to enable changes in design or utility to provide the right solutions to increase Army readiness.

Unit partnerships include the 82nd Airborne Division and the 10th Mountain Division, focusing on improving the mobility of command and control, increasing readiness.

Current efforts include:

  • Work with the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, to reduce command post-deployment and strike time and increase the ability to move the tactical operations center rapidly and more efficiently in a deployed environment.

  • Ultra-lightweight Camouflage Netting System (ULCANS), an upgraded camouflage netting increasing camouflage and concealment capabilities against existing threat sensor platforms. The directorate is currently providing engineering, design, and testing support to Product Manager-Force Sustainment Systems for the modernization effort.

  • An electromagnetic interference liner that helps to reduce a unit’s electromagnetic signature on the battlefield is also currently under development and undergoing testing.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The directorate will continue to increase Army readiness through several new technologies and concepts including:

  • Mission Command Platforms – More mobile mission command nodes and applications, new vehicle mission command platforms, and reduced mission command assets pack volume. These efforts increase ease of use for the Soldiers and command, control, and communications assets to accelerate operational tempo and support dispersed mission command.

  • Signature Management – New technologies to defeat emerging threat intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors, and to develop decoy technologies for high-value assets. These new capabilities will provide the ability for friendly forces to “Own the Day” while operating in a contested battlespace.

Why is this important to the Army?

The directorate’s work protects Soldiers and increases Soldier lethality, and increases units’ agility, survivability and communications effectiveness in all environments. The Expeditionary Maneuver Support Directorate is dedicated to the development of mission command assets that are rapidly relocatable and signature management capabilities to enable expeditionary maneuver.

The technologies provide various levels of threat protection to combat the effects of:

  • Electromagnetic interference/electromagnetic pulse
  • Chemical/biological threats
  • Ballistic fragmentation


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