Defense

July 27, 2012

Rapid Equipping Force displays new technology at Pentagon

by Katie E. Nelson
Army News

The PROJECT Light Tactical All Terrain Vehicle sits on display in the Pentagon center courtyard, July 26, 2012, as part of a presentation by the Army Rapid Equipping Force. The vehicle is designed to easily transport military personnel in difficult terrain, such as mud or sand, while still providing the same protection as a full-size vehicle.

When soldiers in the field have an immediate need for a new technology or piece of equipment, they don’t have time to wait for it: They need it now.

This is where the Army Rapid Equipping Force, or REF, steps in. Personnel from REF displayed their wares in the Pentagon courtyard, July 26, in an effort to educate the Army on the kinds of services they can provide.

“Our main focus is to make sure that [soldiers] get the equipment they need quickly,” said Jose Olivero, the REF chief of operations.

While regular equipping can take up to several years, REF is able to disperse needed technology in a relatively short time, sometimes in a matter of days or weeks. Olivero attributes this speed to both fewer jurisdictions to cross and fewer amounts of equipment sent out in comparison to the regular Army.

Olivero said REF leadership is empowered to expend funds and equip specific units as needed.

“For us, equipping means limited quantities for a specific unit for a specific purpose, whereas Big Army fields Army-wide, so they can’t afford to take the risk,” Olivero said.

The purpose of the event held at the Pentagon was to illustrate the types of equipment and technology that are being prototyped and shipped out to wherever soldiers require them.

A Minotaur prototype sits on display in the Pentagon center courtyard, July 26, 2012, as part of a presentation by the Army Rapid Equipping Force. The Minotaur is a modified T110 Bobcat designed to detect improvised explosive devices before soldiers come into contact with them.

Among the machines exhibited were the Integrated-Blast Effect Sensor Suite, or I-BESS, which monitors blasts from explosions in an effort to link a specific explosion with a head trauma; the Eye-TRAC Assessment, which shows cognitive impairment; the Project Expeditionary Lab, a mobile lab for soldiers in the field who need to develop technology while in theater; and the SandFlea, a robot with the capability of jumping 30 meters into the air whose primary function is to detect improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

“[The SandFlea] is designed to protect the soldiers,” said REF contractor Ryan Vangel, who was the spokesman for the SandFlea at the event. Vangel said soldiers are asking for the ability to look on top of a roof or over walls, without having to go into a building.

Vangel explained that the SandFlea allows Soldiers to spot danger without putting themselves at risk.

Many of the prototypes on display only have a few copies currently available. For example, according to REF public affairs officer Ali Sanders, only two samples of the Small Tactical Multi-Payload Aerostat System, or STMPAS – a large balloon-like machine used for surveillance – exist in the world at this time. That small-scale manufacturing is what gives the REF its flexibility, Sanders said.

“We do things on a test basis,” she said. “If it’s something that the Army appreciates and they want to use more often, they’ll field it out for all the Army.”

The Small Tactical Multi-Payload Aerostat System, or STMPAS, floats above the Pentagon courtyard during the Rapid Equipping Force’s technology display. The STMPAS hovers about 500 feet above the ground and provides video surveillance that the Army uses to detect improvised explosive devices and other dangers.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 

AF Test Pilot School applications due in June

The 2015 Air Force Test Pilot School selection board will convene July 20-24 to consider candidates for July 2016 and January 2017 classes. Applications are due to the Air Force Personnel Center by June 5. The board will select applicants for fighter, multi-engine aircraft, helicopter and remotely piloted aircraft pilot, combat systems officers – to...
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Stephen G. Eigel

Last MC-130P Combat Shadows in the Pacific retire

Air Force photograph by A1C Stephen G. Eigel An MC-130P Combat Shadow awaits its final checks on Kadena Air Base, Japan, before departing for the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 15, 2015. The 17th S...
 
 
F22-hero1

F-22 test squadron recognizes decorated squadron member, Vietnam hero

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara William Freckleton, 412th Range Squadron lead F-22 range control officer, poses before his F-16D incentive flight April 21. Freckleton is the only decorated Vietnam veteran at the 411th Flight...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

AFRL redesigns mock UAV, ‘Surrogate Predator’

Courtesy photograph An enhanced Surrogate Predator 3 is prepared for takeoff. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors were added to the Cessna 182 so it can mimic a Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. Air Force Rese...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>