WASHINGTON — Imagine a future when a Soldier’s helmet is an integrated communications center with a heads-up computer display, night vision, thermal sensors and enhanced hearing. That future is nearer than many think.
During the 2010 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting Oct. 25-27 at the Washington Convention Center, civilian researchers from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and
Engineering Center displayed futurist equipment design concepts to senior Army leaders, congressional staffers and Soldiers attending the show.
“What we’re trying to do is tell the story of how we’re setting the force for the future,” said Jean-Louis “Dutch” DeGay, Strategic Outreach, Natick Soldier RDEC.
DeGay said his focus is on the Soldier Domain, or everything that has to do with the individual Warfighter, such as uniforms, helmets and body armor. The NSRDEC works closely with other RDECOM centers to integrate electronics, night vision and computing power.
At the Army Materiel Command booth, DeGay shows concept helmet designs. The concept helmets show integrated headgear capabilities greater than the Advanced Combat Helmet and Combat Vehicle Crewman helmets currently being used in theater. Pre-molded rails on the sides offer a way to easily mount a chemical-biological protective mask. On the front, the helmet is molded to rapidly attach night vision or thermal sensor devices.
The helmet project is known as an Advanced Technology Objective, or ATO. Army researchers develop the product to a point of viability.
“We’re in the concept phase right now,” DeGay said. “What we’ll do as part of a science exploration with the ATO is find out what shows promise, take that and present it to Program Executive Office Soldier and say, ‘We’ve matured this to x-level.’ If they think this has viability then they will continue to mature the product and go out and compete, award and maintain the item out to the Army.”
Army considers changes to Inactive Ready Reserve
By ALEXANDRA HEMMERLY-BROWN / Army News Service
WASHINGTON — The Army Reserve is undergoing a pilot program with some Inactive Ready Reservce troops to ensure both the needs of the Soldiers and the Army are met.
Chief of the Army Reserve Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz explained Oct. 26 that the Army is currently considering the possibility of creating a pool of Soldiers who would be able to stay in the IRR without the fear of being deployed — they could volunteer for missions, but it would be their choice.
For more information, visit www.army.mil