SSC-Natick Press ReleaseU.S. Army Soldier Systems
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Date: August 28, 2007
Kennedy staffers and Air Force senate liaison visit SSC
Joshua Deveraux, U.S. Army Natick Research, Development and
Engineering Center, demonstrates Future Force Warrior to staff
members of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Graham Shalgian, left, and
Jay Maroney, center, during their Aug. 15 visit to the U.S. Army
Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass. (Photo by Sarah
Click for Larger Photo
NATICK, Mass. -- On Aug. 15, Jay Maroney, counsel for defense
policy to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Graham Shalgian, issues
director for Kennedy, and Col. Mike Chandler, U.S. Air Force senate
liaison, visited the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) for an
overview and briefings.
After the presentation about the SSC that included the subject of
public/private partnerships, Maroney, Shalgian and Chandler got a
quick look at some of the projects currently being researched at the
Advances in body armor were discussed, including future materials
and the applicability to law enforcement. Maroney asked how long it
takes to get an item to the field. Janet Ward from the Natick
Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC)
explained that the SSC focuses on applied research and the time
frame for fielding items varies depending on technology, but she
said that researchers work to get items to Soldiers as soon as
A briefing on clothing collaboration including displays of the
updated Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard uniforms followed.
Also mentioned was the Special Operations Forces Protective Combat
Uniform, a layered system where pieces can be added or removed
depending on the mission.
The visitors got to see a demonstration of the Future Force Warrior
(FFW) system. This program looked at the Soldier from the skin out
and came up with a system redesign for individual Soldier equipment
with lighter weight and greater capabilities. FFW is scheduled to
transition to the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier in November
of this year for future development and operational testing, with a
projected fielding between 2012 and 2015. A Physiological Status
Monitor is anticipated to be included in FFW and Maroney, Shalgian
and Chandler got a chance to see how this monitor works as well. The
Law Enforcement Advanced Protection Support to Homeland Defense was
also mentioned. Maroney was curious about technology that is ready
now, and Dutch DeGay, NSRDEC, told him that there are approximately
10-12 items, such as the elbow and knee pads, that are being or have
transitioned to PEO Soldier and are either being fielded now or will
be in the field shortly.
SSC officials also discussed the High Performance Fiber Center of
Excellence. This Center will allow Army researchers to sit and work
directly with people from academia and private sector in this
one-of-a-kind facility at Natick to invent and quickly transfer high
performance fibers to our Warfighters and first responders. We
already have the infrastructure here [at SSC], Jean Hebert of
NSRDEC said, including that New England has a long history in the
area of textiles.
A briefing and tour of the Doriot Climatic Chambers, mentioning the
work that the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
The Joint Precision Aerial Delivery System, the Thermal Test
Facility and Collective Protection were other areas covered during
Closing out the briefings, two recent developments in the area of
combat feeding, the First Strike Ration and the Unitized Group
Ration Express, were highlighted, followed by a ration sampling.
After the sampling, Chandler said it was a, great meal, while
Maroney said it all was very good.
Shalgian said, It is always great to come out to look at the
amazing work you do. He mentioned that the Senator is a strong
supporter of the work and always takes an opportunity to tell others
about the work done at Natick.
Maroney said the visit was, very impressive.