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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: October 19, 2006
No: 06-43

Natick Soldier Center and U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine win big at awards ceremony

NATICK, Mass. – For the second year in a row, two tenant partners from the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) here, the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) and the Natick Soldier Center (NSC), won a Department of the Army Research and Development Laboratory of the Year Collaboration Team Award at the 2006 U.S. Army Acquisition Corps Award Ceremony.

Also, for the fifth time in the past six years, the NSC won the Department of the Army Research and Development Laboratory of the Year Award for the Small Development Lab Category.

Claude M. Bolton Jr., assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology and Army acquisition executive, presented the awards at the ceremony on Oct. 8 in Crystal City, Va.

“It is clear that we have the world’s best acquisition and logistics workforce to keep our Army the most capable land force on earth,” said Bolton during the ceremony.

The Collaboration Team Award was won for the joint efforts of NSC and USARIEM in developing the nutritionally-optimized First Strike Ration (FSR). The FSR is a compact, eat-on-the-move assault ration designed to be consumed during the first 72 hours of intense conflict by forward deployed Warfighters. The FSR is substantially reduced in weight and cube and enhances Warfighter consumption, nutritional intake, and mobility.

“These collaborative efforts and early accomplishments from the FSR Program are a perfect example of how a diverse group of talented individuals and a shared vision can make an immediate and lasting impact on a Warfighter’s health and performance in operational environments,” said Col. Beau Freund, commander, USARIEM. “USARIEM is absolutely delighted to be a part of the FSR team and this important ration development.”

In both categories, a group of science and technology experts assembled by the Army from industry and academia judged the competition, ranking the results based on a written report and oral presentation.

Selection for the Research and Development Laboratory of the Year Award is based on extensive evaluation of the organization's vision, strategy and business plans; strategic management of human capital; competitive sourcing; improved financial performance; use of expanded electronic government; budget and performance integration; major management achievements; and major technical achievements.

“Working as a team, NSC has achieved unmatched success which is without question the hallmark of a dedicated, highly skilled and enthusiastic workforce – something the Army clearly values,” said Philip Brandler, director of NSC.

NSC, in their nomination package, presented a portable chemical sterilizer for surgical instruments and biofunctional nanoporous electrospun polymeric membranes as their most significant technical accomplishments.

The sterilizer allows for the sterilization of medical equipment in austere environments without the need for electricity. Not only will this assist the military, but its usage will benefit emergency first-responders and disaster relief workers.

The membrane technology, while still being developed, will be instrumental in protecting the safety of food supplies. The primary benefit is its ability to concentrate food pathogens within the high surface area sensor material and luminescing to indicate their presence, accomplishing concentration and detection in the same disposable, cost-effective, pathogen sensor element.

“I extend my thanks to everyone at the Natick Soldier Center who has contributed so much in making the NSC the outstanding organization it is. Over the years, all of our mission areas have been highlighted in the RDL competition,” Brandler added.

“We serve a Nation at war and a military force that is transforming while fighting and winning the global war on terrorism,” Bolton said. “It is clear that we have charted the right course — increasing capability, flexibility and sustainability — and that we must maintain the tremendous momentum we have built.”

For more information about the SSC, NSC or USARIEM, please visit our website at:

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.