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.


 
 

 

Headlines March 6, 2015

News: IG: VHA misappropriated $92.5M for claims system - The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) misappropriated more than $90 million intended for medical support and compliance programs in order to build an automated claims processing system, according to an Inspector General report released this week.   Business: Gulf arms race fuels UAE push for defense industry - Soaring...
 
 

News Briefs March 6, 2015

Man charged with theft of military documents seeks release An engineer who worked for a defense contractor who’s been charged with attempting to travel to China with stolen documents on the development of advanced titanium for U.S. military aircraft is asking a judge to free him while he awaits trial. A hearing on Yu Long’s...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

AFRL offering prize for turbine engine development

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend Discover meetings to be held in Ohio on March 24-25. The Air Force Research Laboratory is leading the first Air Force technology prize, issuing a challenge to develop a small, efficient t...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion wing line restarted

Lockheed Martin photograph From left: Peter Hillier, Karen Eilbmeier, and Michael Spurr from the Canada Department of National Defence were on hand to commemorate the reopening of the P-3 wing line at Marietta, Ga.   Lockh...
 
 
Army photograph

Army Research Laboratory lays out science and technology priorities through 2019

Army photograph Dr. Rick Beyer, propulsion science expert, aligns a sample in a Bruker Wide-angle X-ray scattering camera at the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md. The laboratory recently released its technical implementa...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Dillian Bamman

‘Iron Horse’ sets off for final flight

Air Force photograph by A1C Dillian Bamman Aircraft 62-1863 ‘Iron Horse’, a HC-130P Combat King, rests before takeoff Mar. 3, 2015, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Throughout its career, Iron Horse has flown for over 27,000 ho...
 




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>