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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: January 24, 2007
No: 07-01

Secretary of the Army visits SSC

Secretary of the Army Dr. Francis J. Harvey (in civilian attire) observes Pfc. Eric Burns and Spc. Joshua Walker, Human Research Volunteers, in the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center’s (SSC) Doriot Climatic Chambers. Col. Beau Freund (center), commander of SSC’s U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), told Harvey that Soldier integration and feedback is an integral part of the research and development process. Gen. Benjamin Griffin (left), commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, looks on.(Photo by Sarah Underhill.)

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NATICK, Mass. -- The Army's top civilian official, Dr. Francis J. Harvey, Secretary of the Army, visited the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) on Jan. 19 at the invitation of Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin, commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command.

Brig. Gen. Mark Brown, SSC commanding general, led officials from all SSC tenant activities to highlight to Harvey the organizations' products, programs, capabilities and facilities. Underlying the series of demonstrations and briefings was the clear message that the collocation of organizations at the Natick facility yields a synergy that results in better products fielded faster to America's Warfighters.

When asked by a reporter, embedded into the visit, about the adequacy of body armor, Harvey said that initial criticism of body armor was really about quantity, not quality.

He praised the Army's ability to respond to the need for additional body armor. Telling the reporters that he came to the Army from private industry, Harvey emphasized, "I don't think anybody in private industry could have responded that quickly."

Subject matter experts from SSC tenant organizations discussed their programs and products with Harvey, including protective clothing and gear, combat rations, airdrop items, shelters and Soldier support items. Harvey also saw demonstrations in the Doriot Climatic Chambers and the Biomechanics Lab.

Wrapping up his visit, Harvey devoted time to meeting with and talking to Soldiers.

"I like to sit down with Soldiers and find out...areas of improvement. Soldiers tell you exactly what the problem is, and we're in the business of meeting those needs," said Harvey.

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This page last updated on 10 May 2006.