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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340

Date: June 9, 2003
No: 03-20

Governor wowed by installation's impact

NATICK, Mass. -- Gov. Mitt Romney expressed enthusiastic support for the Soldier Systems Center during his first visit of the installation May 30.

Joined by community leaders, and industry and academic partners, Romney was invited to learn about the work done here. He listened intently during an hour's worth of informative presentations at the Conference Center before sharing his thoughts at the end.

"This was an extraordinary presentation today. I was just blown away," he said. "I don't think I've seen so much in such a short amount of time and still absorb it."

A stack of CD-ROMs and packets of the printed out slides used in the presentations were available for attendees to follow along or review more thoroughly at a later time.

During an overview of the installation, Susan Butler, deputy to the installation commander, emphasized that the Soldier Systems Center is a Department of Defense installation because of the joint service projects. The state has a distinguished role in our national defense.

"Massachusetts is the birthplace of the soldier, the soldier as a system and the soldier of the future," Butler said. "The soldier is the centerpiece."

Romney had a chance to get his hands on some of the products developed here during the Natick Soldier Center presentation by Philip Brandler, NSRDEC director. Two tables of items were set up in front where he joined Brandler in a show and tell.

"I feel like Johnny Carson up here," quipped Romney after he stepped up front.

Chemical biological agent protective clothing, Special Operations Forces projects and Interceptor Body Armor were among the products shown. When Brandler mentioned that the Marine Corps camouflage uniform has an eagle, globe and anchor symbol in the pattern, Romney jokingly replied, "Do they put little bulls-eyes in there?"

Other briefings reviewed Objective Force Warrior, the Warfighter Physiological Status Monitoring System, the National Protection Center and Product Manager-Force Sustainment Systems.

Butler told the governor that a large installation isn't necessary to have a large impact and invited him to return to see more of the facilities.

The affect of the research and development on military members and first responders was impressed upon Romney.

"What you're doing here has more than entertainment value. It saves human life," he said.

He added that he didn't realize how interconnected the work is between the Soldier Systems Center and local academia, industry and hospitals. In discussing Base Realignment and Closure, a research facility has to be viewed differently from other installations because moving everyone involved isn't simple or likely.

"It's not 100 plus military. It's the thousands and thousands of technical people," he said. "That's something we need to communicate. I look forward to fighting for you not in the military sense but in a political sense."

For more information on the Soldier Systems Center, please visit our website at

This page last updated on 28 February 2003.