Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2011 Contents It is with great enthusiasm and vigorous dedication
to our Soldiers in combat that I welcome you to this
edition of the award-winning Army AL&T Magazine,
an issue focused on the vitally important topic of
"Bringing Innovation to the Warfighter Through Army
Science." I commend the magazine to our readers, as
this topic is indeed close to my heart. For more than
a year, I have been emphasizing that the Army needs
to continue investing in and developing new tech-
nologies that help make the dismounted Soldier a
decisive weapon. In order to accomplish this, we must
continue to foster an increasingly agile acquisition system and
increase our focus on helping the individual Soldier.
The Navy and Air Force enjoy significant technological advantages,
compared with potential adversaries. No enemy wants to fly against
the Air Force's F-22, for example. If you're the pilot of an F-22, the
U.S. government wraps about $200 million in stealth, mobility, and
weaponry around you. In the Navy, the nuclear attack submarine
has become one of the major deterrents to the development by
potential adversaries of surface ships and submarines.
The dismounted Soldier and small tactical units on the move should
have a commensurate technological "boost" or overmatch capabil-
ity. Investing wisely in science and technology---harnessing the
best available emerging technologies with the proven capability to
help Soldiers in combat---is central to this effort. Once outside of
a Ground Combat Vehicle, once outside of the Abrams tank, and
once outside of a Black Hawk helicopter, what makes our Soldier
different from the enemy hiding behind a rock?
Unfortunately, we are not fighting a buttoned-up or "linear" war;
the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan call upon small,
dismounted tactical units to find and destroy an enemy who is
dispersed, hiding, aware of the tactical situation, and often deliber-
ately blended in with the local population. The fighting often takes
place on a nonlinear, 360-degree battlefield where Soldiers need to
get out of their vehicles and engage in intense combat for the last
100 yards or so to accomplish their objective. This critical distance
is where we must focus much of our efforts.
We have to respond continually to the shortfalls and capability gaps
that our Soldiers experience in low-intensity conflict. We maintain a
decisive edge in all other areas of warfare. We have the best combat
attack helicopters in the world, the finest rotary-wing aircraft, and
world-class armored vehicles. Still, there is more work to do to
make our Soldiers decisive weapons.
The idea is to wrap new technologies around the Soldier: state-of-the-
art sensors, weapons, and protective gear. We are making progress.
For instance, our forces in Afghanistan are receiving several thousand
gunshot detection systems for the individual dismounted Soldier.
The Individual Gunshot Detector, or IGD, consists of several
miniature acoustic sensors worn by the individual Soldier and a
small display screen attached to body armor that shows the distance
and direction of incoming fire. A small processor, about the size of
a deck of cards, detects the supersonic sound waves generated by
enemy gunfire and instantaneously alerts Soldiers to the location of
the hostile target.
The Army plans to strategically disperse the systems
throughout small, dismounted units to get maximum
protective coverage for platoons, squads, and other
units on the move.
In the future, the Army plans to integrate this
technology with its Land Warrior and Nett Warrior
systems, which provide networked situational
awareness for dismounted units. The systems employ
a helmet-mounted display screen that uses GPS
We are also making great strides in assisting the dismounted Soldier
with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities from
unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); small units on the move in
rigorous terrain can now launch small, hand-held UAS such as the
Raven, able to beam back images and video of the surrounding
battlefield in real time to small, portable computer screens.
Another game-changing development in Soldier technologies is the
new airburst XM25 grenade launcher, which can detonate rounds
above or near an enemy in defilade. The XM25, prototypes of which
have been fielded in Afghanistan, helps our Soldiers succeed against
enemy fighters who are firing on our forces from behind a rock,
tree, or ditch.
There are many other signs of progress in Soldier technologies. We
are deploying the XM2010 sniper rifle with an increased range, field-
ing a wide array of uniforms with fire-resistant materials, deploying
lighter-weight body armor, preparing to field a new Enhanced Com-
bat Helmet, and launching a competition to build a new Improved
Carbine while simultaneously upgrading the existing M4.
We are also working vigorously to "network" the dismounted Sol-
dier for instantaneous, real-time access to combat-relevant voice,
video, data, and images across the battlefield. We have a series of
network evaluations and exercises planned at Fort Bliss, TX, and
White Sands Missile Range, NM, which will place cutting-edge
technologies in the hands of Soldiers to determine which IT and net-
working capabilities are best suited for our forces.
None of these efforts would be possible without the contributions
of the top-notch Army acquisition, logistics, and technology
community---the Materiel Enterprise---and my extremely talented
and dedicated team members, to include GEN Ann Dunwoody,
Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command, and her staff;
my Principal Deputy, Ms. Heidi Shyu, former chair of the Air Force
Scientific Advisory Board; and my Principal Military Deputy, LTG
Bill Phillips, former Commanding General, Joint Contracting Com-
mand, Iraq-Afghanistan. Our science and technology efforts, in
particular, have been immeasurably enhanced by the arrival of Dr.
Marilyn Freeman as our Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for
Research and Technology and Dr. Scott Fish, the Army's first Chief
Scientist in more than two decades.
I thank you for your interest in these pressing issues as we advance
together into the future with moral courage, dedication to our
warfighters, and an abiding commitment to leveraging the best
of what S&T has to offer our Army and our Soldiers.
From the Army Acquisition Executive
Bringing Innovation to the Warfighter Through Army Science
Dr. Malcolm Ross O'Neill
Army Acquisition Executive
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