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The Warrior

SSC-Natick Press Release

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

Contact: Public Affairs Office

Date: September 10, 2007
No: 07-29

Markey staffers see improvements at Soldier Systems Center

Rep. Edward J. Markey staffers, Will Huntington and Katherine Bazinsky (right), receive briefing and demonstration of Future Force Warrior from Dutch DeGay and Sgt. Joshua Deveraux, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, during their Aug. 23 visit to the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass. (Photo by Sarah Underhill)

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NATICK, Mass. – “Really incredible.” Those were the words from Katharine Bazinsky, legislative aide to Massachusetts Rep. Edward J. Markey, describing the improvements to the Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) during her visit to the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) here Aug. 23. Also attending the visit was Will Huntington, legislative assistant to Markey.

Funded by the 2003 Defense Appropriations Bill, and supported by Markey, along with Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, 12,859 square feet of lab and office space was added or improved in the CFD in order to assist the food scientists and researchers, enabling them to create the best rations for our nation's military.

During a tour of CFD, Bazinsky and Huntington got to see some of the new labs and some improvements, such as using automation for sensory analysis panels. Previously our labs were spread between buildings, said Ken Racicot, senior food technologist, and were about one-third the size. The new labs let us work together in the same space and improve our capabilities.

Bazinsky asked about previous labs and Betty Davis, team leader, Performance Enhancement and Food Safety Team, said they are still lab space which the Material Science Team is now using. "It was a win/win for all of Natick," Davis continued. "Not only is there more lab space; it's more efficient use of lab space."

The visitors also got a chance to sample some new rations during their time at SSC and Bazinsky said everything she tried was "very good." Her favorite was the buffalo chicken.

Huntington, who mentioned that his brother is a sergeant in the military, was interested in the work that is done in the Doriot Climatic Chambers, which Col. Beau Freund, commander, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, spoke about. Freund and Huntington also discussed the trade-off of weight vs. product and how at SSC the Soldier is treated as a system. Huntington discussed the topic of weight again while being briefed on how the Future Force Warrior system is looking to reduce weight while providing improved capabilities for the dismounted Soldier.

Other areas that were briefed included the Thermal Test Facility and the High Performance Fiber Center of Excellence (HPFCOE).

The Thermal Test Facility will be opening shortly and will have state-of-the-art equipment for evaluation of materials. It is also large enough to do full-scale flame testing on protective clothing ensembles and shelters.

The HPFCOE 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.

Other presentations included public/private partnerships, discussing topics such as the HPFCOE, and an overview on the SSC.

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.