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THE WARRIOR

Spring 2007


The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Clothing Design and Technical Office looked at a variety of designs while working to improve USCG uniforms.  Some of the newer features pictured include a shirt worn outside the pants and shorts. Updated uniforms
Coast Guard Clothing Design and Technical Office improves morale while improving uniforms.

Size matters
Uniform System for Improved Tariffs (USFIT) allows for real-time clothing inventory.

Combat Feeding strikes again
First Strike Ration reduces need for field-stripping.

Making old new again
Shelters and vans restored to like-new condition at Tobyhanna Army Depot.

Anchors away
Personnel from Combat Feeding get firsthand shipboard experience.

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Warrior Magazine now electronic!

The U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center’s (SSC) publication, The Warrior, is now published electronically.

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We hope you will continue to find The Warrior a good source of information about the SSC.


Changes to Coast Guard uniforms include ‘hot’ new look


The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Clothing Design and Technical Office located at Natick, Mass., is working to improve Coast Guard uniforms.

There are currently two major projects ongoing, said Joseph DeBlase, chief clothing designer. “We are moving out quickly on the programs. We want to get the items out to the field as soon as possible.”

The first program is a design modification to the current Operational Dress Uniform (ODU). The shirt is being changed from a tucked-in shirt to a shirt worn outside the pants, similar to the way it is in the other services.

“The product is also going to be updated,” DeBlase said. “The shirt will be a better fabric, more stain-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, and with an expected wear life of three years.”

Another significant improvement for the ODU is a change to the T-shirt. It will be made of a higher-grade cotton and will be embroidered with the USCG logo. The idea is that the T-shirt could be worn with the uniform when a guardsman is working on a mission where they need to take their coat off.

design options for a new Coast Guard hot weather uniform
David Johnson, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Office of Military Personnel, Policy & Standards, looks at various design options for a new Coast Guard hot weather uniform.

The second project currently being worked on is a hot weather uniform, with a few different designs that could change based on the work the service member is performing.Although still in the planning stages, three main designs are being considered.

The first option is the current ODU coat with a cotton T-shirt and short. This ensemble would be worn with black socks and waterproof, ceramic toe, six-inch black boots, similar to the current eight-inch boots.

The next option is a wickable T-shirt or polo shirt with the short, boot and socks as above.

The third option is a wickable T-shirt or polo shirt with shorts, white socks and deck shoes.

All the T-shirts and polo shirts would have the embroidered USCG logo.

Many of the changes occurring are happening because of the members themselves. “The Coast Guard looked at the suggestions of its members,” DeBlase said, “and is moving out on them.”

He mentioned that a few years ago guardsmen were allowed to cut down their current ODU pants to wear as shorts if they got them tailored to one inch above their knee. There were problems with some tailoring where the items would not fit correctly, and in various locations in the field, it was hard to find services to do the tailoring. Therefore, the Coast Guard decided to develop an option for shorts.

For the change to the ODU shirt, originally it was thought that a tucked-in shirt was safer so it would not get caught in items on the deck or in the engine room. Through day-to-day use, it was discovered that this is usually not a problem. The Guardsmen themselves have asked for the change to the shirt in order to have a look similar to other military service uniforms.

“Having the similarity assists with creating a great esprit de corps among the members,” said DeBlase.

While working on these programs, other design features on clothing items have been modified to ensure comfort, practicality and safety. Some of the changes include:

• Eliminating the velcro on pants pockets and going back to buttons because the velcro would not hold the cargo pocket closed continually
• Elasticizing the cargo pocket so it won’t sag to the back of the pant
• Having a zipper fly
• Offsetting the crotch seam to make the pants more comfortable
• Adding more pant sizes for the female population
• Having double stitching to reinforce portions of the uniforms
• Adding embroidered shields on the flap of the pants and the cuffs of the coat
• Ensuring a more comfortable fitting coat
• Having an inside pencil pocket
• X-stitching on all buttons
• Using nylon thread in all abrasive wear areas
• Changing belt loop to a large, wide loop
• Having a two-piece waistband
• Resizing the shirt so it is shorter in length and more comfortable

DeBlase said everyone is looking forward to the new uniforms. “Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the USCG, and Master Chief Skip Bowen, Master Chief Petty Officer, are both looking forward to having the new products out in the field. They feel it will be a great morale booster.”

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Scanning technology leads to a better fit for Army, reduces shortfalls, overages

Traditionally, a guessing game of small, medium, large, or extra-large by a supply sergeant was the closest to correct fit a Soldier could hope to receive when being issued his or her initial clothing items, such as uniformsand body armor.Also,thenumberofvarioussizesavailable at Central Issue Facilities (CIF) usually was determined by predictions based on demand from previous years and previous Soldiers.

This has led to sizing shortfalls and overages in combat clothing and equipment. For example, a critical shortage of certain items was discovered during issuing of clothing and individual equipment for Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF). There were not enough larger sizes of Interceptor Body Armor or the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST), a uniform for protecting against chemical and biological threats, to meet the demand.

In 1988, a study titled, “Anthropometric Survey of U.S. Army Personnel,” was conducted to get accurate and timely measurement data of military personnel because the previous data was more than 10 years old for women and more than 20 years old for men. Also, previous survey data differed with regard as to how the men and women were measured.

The 1988 survey involved taking extensive measurements, using the same measurement methods, from both male and female active-duty personnel in order to assist designers of military equipment and clothing in achieving a better fit.

“This survey currently serves as the best guess of Soldier size,” said Steven Paquette, anthropology coordinator. “We have used it extensively at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) to help with clothing and equipment design, and other military organizations and contractors have used it to assist with the design and layout of helicopters, tanks, kitchens and more.”

Now, the Uniform System for Improved Tariffs (USFIT) program is looking to improve on the 1988 data to provide better size predictions and turn the guessing game into a thing of the past by allowing CIFs to manage clothing inventory in real time.

“The 1988 survey, although providing the best data to date, is now almost 20 years old. What the Army looks like has changed in regards to ethnicity and gender. In addition, the survey only covered active duty personnel and we have more reserve component personnel than ever participating in OIF/OEF,” said Joseph Cooper, Integrated Logistics Support Center (ILSC)/U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) project officer for this joint TACOM/NSRDEC initiative.

“The average age of an OIF reservist is approximately 33 years old, while the average age of an incoming active duty Soldier is between 18 and 23 years old. Sizing for uniforms will vary greatly between the two,” Cooper continued.

The USFIT program is working to provide 3-D whole-body anthropometric scanners at installations with large troop concentrations. The scanners are able to record the shape of a Soldier’s body and provide a better size prediction for the clothing the Soldier should be issued.

“Previously there was a large opportunity for a sizing error,” said Cooper. “Using the scanner will give us the data to provide for the best fit.”

The Soldier’s clothing size information will be loaded into a USFIT (ILSC/TACOM) database while the 3D scan and associated anthropometric data will be archived in the NSRDEC Integrated Database for Engineering Anthropometry of Soldiers (IDEAS). “This new IDEAS database will provide improved tools for working with traditional and 3D anthropometric data and provide a better overall description of the user population,” Paquette said. As Soldiers change duty stations, they will be scanned again to update the databases and keep both the Soldier’s files and the databases current.

Concept of Operations

From the USFIT database, the Army will be able to order uniforms and equipment from requirements rather than past demand. One of the USFIT program future goals is to put the information onto a Soldiers’ common access card (CAC), and then the Soldier or supply sergeant could just scan the card and order uniforms and equipment from remote sites around the world.

The database information from IDEAS provides Soldier body size information to the materiel developers for current and next generation clothing and equipment system requirements, including the determination of sizing requirements for Future Combat Systems. Paquette said, “It will improve the design and accommodation of clothing and equipment.”

In the past, the Army would overbuy uniforms and equipment for CIFs, units, and special programs such as the Rapid Fielding Initiative. These overbuys would range anywhere from 10 to 18 percent in an effort to accommodate the required sizes for Soldiers. Using this program, those overbuys could be reduced by at least 50 percent.

USFIT Phase I included the development of size prediction algorithms for selected uniforms and equipment at Fort Bliss, Texas, where more than 3,000 deploying Soldiers were scanned and fit-tested. These algorithms were validated at Fort McCoy, Wis., where more than 1,700 deploying reserve component Soldiers were scanned and fit-tested.

Phase II of the USFIT Program is currently unfunded, but the plan is to distribute scanners to 24 Army installations and mobilization centers.

USFIT Phase III will include deploying head and foot scanners for use in sizing protective masks and footwear.

Not only would Soldiers get better fitting clothing and equipment through this program, but time and money would also be saved. Most significantly, a 50 percent reduction in the current overbuy of uniforms and equipment represents considerable savings.

The Army also spends more than $2 million in returns of individual clothing and equipment each year. If the sizing information is correct when the items are issued, this number would also be reduced significantly.

Finally, there would be a reduction in storage costs for inventory because there would not be a need to hold as much stock in reserve.

“The USFIT Program is the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s (AMC) solution to a long standing tariff (size prediction) problem regarding combat uniforms and equipment,” said Cooper.

In summary, USFIT will provide data the Army needs to have the correct combat clothing and equipment in the correct sizes to outfit the force.

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First Strike Ration for the first to fight Warfighter


Eat-on-the-move items, light weight make product a Meal, Ready-to-Go

A new compact, eat-on-the-move assault ration is well on its way to Warfighters’ hands.

“The First Strike Ration (FSR) is intended for the first on the ground, first to fight Warfighter,” said Barbara Daley, food technologist and FSR project officer, Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD), U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC).

Usually when Warfighters are issued two or more Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs) they “field strip” them to lessen the bulk and weight they are carrying.

Personnel at NSRDEC found that not only were Warfighters tossing what they considered extra weight, such as the flameless ration heater and Tabasco sauce, but they were also tossing food items. According to the Product Optimization and Evaluation Team at NSRDEC, if a Warfighter is given 3600 calories, often he or she will strip it down to 2500 calories.

sample menu of a First Strike Ration
A sample menu of a First Strike Ration.

The First Strike Ration attempts to reduce this stripping by providing a lighter and smaller sized package with eat-on-the-go items that are also performance enhancing. These items are calorically dense and provide appropriate nutritional content to the Warfighter for short durations of highly mobile, highly intense combat operations in order to give the Warfighters a needed source of energy to maintain physical performance.

“There is little or no preparation of the food items that needs to be done by the Warfighter,” Daley said.

Pocket sandwiches, First Strike energy bars, Zapplesauce™-a carbohydrate enhanced applesauce, high energy drinks, pouches of tuna and chunk chicken and caffeinated gum are some of the items that are included in the FSR. A sample menu can be seen in the graphic above right.

The FSR is designed to be about half the size of the three MREs it replaces and it provides, on average, 2900 calories per day.

pocket sandwich
A Soldier samples a pocket sandwich, one of the componenets of the First Strike Ration.

“It is not intended to sustain the Warfighter for long periods of time,” Daley emphasized.

Because of its lower caloric content, the FSR is classified by the Office of The Surgeon General as a restricted ration. As such, it can only be used as a sole source of food for ten days or less in accordance with Army Regulation 40-25.

The FSR has a two-year shelf life at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to the three-year shelf life of the MRE. The shorter shelf life is due to the inclusion of some of the unique FSR components such as shelf-stable pocket sandwiches.

The smaller size of the FSR enables a logistics reduction for the Army.

It reduces the weight and cube by 50 percent compared to the MRE, but the FSR cases are designed to have the same footprint as an MRE case. With the FSR, there are nine meals per ship case, three of each menu variety.

CFD conducted user evaluations on the FSR in Nevada and Germany in fiscal year 2004 andAfghanistan and Iraq in fiscal year 2005. When compared with a field-stripped MRE in Iraq in 2005, more than 70 percent of Soldiers said that the FSR was more convenient to carry and consume than the MRE.

The First Strike Ration
The First Strike Ration reduces weight and cube by 50 percent when compared to the Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE).

“The best feedback we have received to date has been from Warfighters participating in OIF/OEF [Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom] in the mountains of Afghanistan and Iraq. They loved it,” said Daley.

Over 6500 FSRs have been used in theater in response to urgent requests by 25th Infantry Division and the Marine Corps and modifications have been incorporated based on Warfighter feedback.

One of the comments CFD received was: “You have created something great here. Do not fail in this ration. Need to make these happen for the Soldiers who go outside the wire. Could not get enough of them into theater,” from Lt. Col. David Exton, 25th Infantry Division.

More recently, in July 2006, CFD conducted an operational test at Fort Bragg, N.C. With more than 100 Soldiers participating from an Airborne Infantry Battalion, one group consumed the FSR for three days while the other group consumed an MRE control for three days. Then the groups switched. From monitoring what the Soldiers ate and what they threw out, CFD saw less waste and greater consumption with the groups eating the FSR.

Based upon these successful tests, and the introduction of this ration in-theater, the demand for the FSR is immense.

Soldier holding First Strike Ration

In November 2006, a Joint Services Decision Board consisting of the Army, Marine Corps, and Defense Logistics Agency approved the FSR for procurement and fielding.

NSRDEC was able to compress the acquisition process by nearly 30 percent while maintaining support for all other ration platforms in order to maintain the schedule of 3rd quarter fiscal year 2007 procurement by Defense Logistics Agency/Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, with delivery in 4th quarter fiscal year 2007.

The FSR has transitioned to CFD’s Assault/Special Purpose Ration Improvement Program so science and technology innovations can be inserted as early as possible. The CFD will periodically conduct field tests to collect user feedback. The Marine Corps is already asking for an expanded menu.

And as with all operational rations, the voice of the customer will drive the menu expansion and continuous product improvement effort.

As the military transforms to become a lighter, more agile and mobile force, the FSR will assist by lightening the load our Warfighters carry.

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PM FSS program hits milestone at Tobyhanna


Lean Six Sigma concept, worker suggestions speed improvements

Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., employees have restored more than 1,000 electronics repair shelters and vans to like-new condition through the Army’s Electronic Shop Van (ESV) Recapitalization Program.

Four years into the program, which is part of Army Transformation, the depot has overhauled 701 AN/ASM 146 and147 shelters and 320 AN/ASM 189 and 190 vans with $115 million Reset and Recap program funds.

Several shops and hundreds of employees joined forces to completely disassemble the shelters and vans. The ESVs are stripped, repaired and painted, and equipment is repaired and replaced. Sheet metal is also replaced or repaired, tested for leaks and painted.

award honoring the restoration of more than 1,000 vans & shelters
Col. Ron Alberto, depot commander, Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., (left) Maj. Richard Hall, lead manager for the Electronics Shop Van Recapitalization Program (center) and Gen. Benjamin Griffin, commander, U.S. Army Material Command (right), stand with the award honoring the restoration of more than 1,000 vans & shelters.

Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems (PM FSS), Tobyhanna Army Depot, Communication-Electronic Life Cycle Management Command, and the Army’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff are key players in the program that also is incorporating several reliability and supportability initiatives as well as safety fixes.

PM FSS, located at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass., has overall responsibility and oversight of the program.

“In our eyes, Tobyhanna sets the standard for Lean Six Sigma and what it represents,” said Maj. Richard Hall, PM FSS, lead manager for the ESV program. He explained that by incorporating Lean concepts into the modified work orders, the depot provides the capabilities the Soldiers in the field need and want.

The AN/ASM 146s and 189s are the primary maintenance facilities for the entire Army electronics maintenance mission in combat service support units. They provide facilities for testing and repair/calibration for avionics, communication, electronic, navigation, photographic, and infrared systems.

The AN/ASM 147s and 190s are mobile shelters and vans, respectively, which provide accessible, forward-based storage of spares requirements for the systems repaired in the 146 and 189 shelters and vans.

“All the employees should be extremely proud of their product, and its impact to the Warfighter’s ability to repair electronic components in the field,” said Frank Kaczmarek, Systems Integration and Support Directorate director.

Workers have also reduced production costs by implementing suggestions that improved processes.

“They work hard at what they do and offered many suggestions that contributed to the lower unit-funded cost (UFC) of the shelters and vans which led to additional workload. I’m extremely proud of their efforts and look forward to the challenges of next year.”

Tobyhanna has been involved in this program since its inception, initially producing the modification work order and new technical manuals. Employees spend an average of 70 days inserting new technology and providing upgrades to the shelters; 100 days for vans. The standard timetable for repairs is 90 and 120 days, respectively.

“The results of all your efforts are providing our Warfighters with the assets to rapidly and effectively fix electronic systems and components in the field,” said Frank Zardecki, deputy depot commander, during an award ceremony Dec. 18. “With our commitment to continuous improvement, the product we finish today is done faster and more efficiently than one produced in 2003. That is because of hard work and good ideas, and we all are most appreciative for what you have achieved,” he said.

It’s important to note how Tobyhanna and the ESV partners have diligently worked to reduce the UFC and to build in greater quality and reliability in this complex effort, said Col Ron Alberto, depot commander. “This is one of our most critical projects and it reflects the total capabilities - from design to manufacturing to technology insertion and system integration - that Tobyhanna can bring to meet the most urgent needs of our Army,” he added.

After the shelter is repaired and painted, it undergoes pressure tests to make sure it’s water tight, and then basic electrical equipment is installed, inspected and tested before the remaining items are installed. For the AN/ASM 146 and 147, that means replacing the air blowers with 9,000 Btu environmental control units and installing items such as new signal entrance panels, backup batteries and emergency lighting. Outdated file cabinets and dehumidifiers were removed and power entry panels and power distribution boxes were updated.

Technicians manufacture racks, straps and braces to support upgrades to shelter and van systems. As part of the power service improvements, three-phase power was added, requiring re-wiring of the entire van or shelter. Other upgrades include improved power entrance box connectors, Single Channel Ground and Air Radio Systems antenna interfaces, and run-time meters. Access to a Local Area Network and remote telephone connections are now available.

Ideas for the modifications and upgrades in the vans and shelters came from listening to the customer and by surveying the Soldiers who will work in the ESVs, according to Alberto, who also said the facilities are safer, more user friendly and more reliable.

“The upgrades and modifications bring the shelters into this century,” said Francis Koenig, Systems Overhaul and Support Branch chief. “Now, Soldiers in the field can repair anything, anytime.”

For instance, the 147s had small heaters and no air conditioning, according to Koenig. Now the shelters are getting environmental control units, which provide both. Other changes include new phone systems, new cables to support computers and increased direct current amperage.

The electronic repair facilities have been fielded since the 1970s, according to Bret Hunt, logistics management specialist, Command, Control, Guidance and Support Scheduling Division.

He explained that during that time there has never been a serious Reset or rework program for the shelters and vans.

“Some of these vans haven’t seen the inside of a depot since the ‘70s,” said Hunt. “They’ve never been brought in and updated with the new technology.”

The recapitalization program began full production in fiscal year 2003 and is scheduled to continue through 2009.

“Thank you for what you’re doing from everyone who wears a uniform,” said Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin, commander, U.S. Army Materiel Command. “Keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll keep the resources coming, you keep production up and all the other agencies will make sure you get the parts you need.”

“I’m optimistic that you can continue to build on Tobyhanna’s great reputation,” he said. “There’s a dynamite team here that will take the depot where it needs to be for the future.”

Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department’s largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna’s missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.

About 4,400 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command (C-E LCMC). Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., C-E LCMC’s mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.

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Combat Feeding dishes out shipboard improvements


Personnel get to live the life of a Sailor during initiative

Members of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (NSRDEC) Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) had the opportunity to live the life of a Sailor during recent shipboard visits to observe food service operations.

On Nov. 28-30, 2006, Rob DiLalla, mechanical engineer, Louis Jamieson, equipment specialist and retired Master Chief Petty Officer, and Robert Bernazzani, team leader of the Systems Equipment and Engineering Team, sailed on board the U.S.S. Bataan out of Norfolk, Va.

Jan. 26-29, 2007, Gerald Darsch, director of CFD, Kathy Evangelos, program integrator, and Jamieson joined with the crew of the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, which also departed from Norfolk, Va.

deck of the U.S.S. Bataan
Louis Jamieson (left), Rob DiLalla (center) and Robert Bernazzani (right), Combat Feeding Directorate, NSRDEC, on the deck of the U.S.S. Bataan.

To get a better understanding of the life of a Sailor and how the ships operate, both groups were also able to participate in a Navy ‘Bluing’ initiative. During the Bluings, each team observed operations and received briefings regarding all areas of the ships.

DiLalla said the experience was a “real eye opener.”

“The Sailors work around the clock,” he said. “They eat, sleep and work. A lot of the jobs they do are labor-intensive.”

The observation of the food service operations mainly focused on work in the galley, scullery and waste disposal areas while the ships were at sea.

As part of the time spent on board the U.S.S. Bataan, DiLalla and Bernazzani worked in the scullery, which is the ship’s dish room.

“As part of cleaning the dishes, various items would need to be separated out,” said Bernazzani. “Items you wouldn’t even think about. Food waste would be separated out, but then if you had an individual serving item that perhaps had a foil liner or cover, that would also need to be sorted into its own category.”

The conditions in the scullery are hot and steamy, DiLalla said, and it gets pretty hectic during peak dining times.

“There’s an overwhelming amount of work to be done,” he said.

During an assessment of galley operations on the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, Darsch, Evangelos and Jamieson viewed food service preparation and equipment usage, serving line lengths and waiting time for Sailors to be fed, as well as meal requirements for flight deck crews. The team also had the opportunity to meet with senior Navy leadership to discuss the challenges they currently face and envision in terms of implementing Navy transformation.

“The voice of the customer is a key driver in planning and conducting projects to support the Navy in its ongoing transformation. The reduction of culinary specialists, reliance on pre-prepared foods, and naval autonomous technology systems will clearly focus CFD programs and the Navy of the future,” said Evangelos.

Rob DiLalla (center) works in the scullery of the U.S.S. Bataan
Rob DiLalla (center) works in the scullery of the U.S.S. Bataan.

This group also observed scullery operations, including throughput, manning, and loading/unloading. This information will assist the CFD with projects supporting scullery procedures, waste accumulation and disposal operations.

Bernazzani, DiLalla, and Jamieson have been working on a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project for Program Executive Office (PEO) Carriers for an automated shipboard dishwashing system. The SBIR will address automating areas such as scrapping, sorting, soaking, washing, drying and stowage.

The visit to the U.S.S. Bataan gave us a better appreciation for the requirements, said DiLalla.

“It confirmed that we are going in the right direction with the SBIR,” said Bernazzani. “It also opened our eyes to other ideas to make the design complete.”

Acting as the end user, we know what to look for in the design, Jamieson said. “We can put a better product forward.”

While participating in this program, the team on the U.S.S. Bataan also had a chance to work as liaisons between ship personnel and food service equipment contractors to get equipment problems corrected before deployment.

Ships usually go out for a six-month deployment, Jamieson said, so the fixes were considered a benefit by the crew.

The CFD personnel on the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman were able to meet with crew members in the supply and food service departments to obtain feedback on current operations as well as insight on what would benefit future operations.

The U.S.S. Harry S. Truman is a Nimitz class aircraft carrier and one of the largest warships in the world. A Navy jet pilot certification exercise was being conducted when Darsch, Evangelos and Jamieson were visiting the ship.

The U.S.S. Bataan is the second largest class of ship (LHD) and with just Navy personnel on board the crew size is 1,600 personnel, but when it has a complete Marine contingent on board the crew size increases to approximately 3,200 personnel.

As part of the Bluing initiative, the groups got to visit different areas of the ships that they may not have seen otherwise.

aboard the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman
Gerald Darsch (left), Louis Jamieson (center) and Kathy Evangelos (right), Combat Feeding Directorate, NSRDEC, aboard the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman.

“This was an outstanding opportunity to see the different departments on the ships,” said Jamieson.

Some of the areas the team on the U.S.S. Bataan got to see included the engine room, the bridge and navigation systems, the flight deck, landing craft operations, and combat systems.

On the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, the CFD personnel saw the flight deck, with day and night landings, combat, navigation, weapon and communication systems. The team visiting the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman also got to experience Carrier Onboard Delivery, where they were ferried on and off the ship via a C-2 plane.

This was the first time members from CFD were able to participate in programs like these.

Evangelos said, “Obtaining customer feedback firsthand cannot be overstated. It adds credibility when you’re willing to go to your customer – where they are on the globe.”

“It gives us a better idea of where the customer is coming from,” said DiLalla.

“We’d like to continue to do it in the future,” Bernazzani said. “Hopefully we could be able to do it on other classes of ships and in other areas. Areas such as the bakery and galley.”

After the experience on the U.S.S. Bataan, that team met with Capt. David C. Hulse, the commanding officer, and he said he appreciated the team coming on board to get the first-hand experience and user feedback.

Based on the visit from CFD personnel on the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, the ship personnel volunteered to use the ship as a test platform for food service equipment prototypes.

“This will provide us an invaluable source of information on equipment performance in an actual at sea environment,” said Evangelos.

Jamieson, who served 23 years in the Navy, said that he hopes programs like this will generate ideas that in the future will make life easier for the Sailor.

This page last updated on 15 February 2007.