Vice Chief of Staff Visits ARL
April 27, 2009
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory hosted the vice chief of staff of the Army, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli during his visit to Aberdeen Proving Ground Feb. 25, 2009 to learn more about ARL's contributions for protecting Soldiers on the battlefield.
As part of a larger Research, Development and Engineering Command tour, Chiarelli spent his afternoon learning firsthand from scientists how they create armor technologies at the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate.
It's important for me to see where work was done on Soldier survivability systems - from the up-armored Humvee to the MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles and (future systems)," said Chiarelli.
After lauding ARL for armor solutions such as Frag Kit 5 for Humvees and the MRAP, Chiarelli wanted to know how the laboratory is taking on the evolving challenge of protecting Soldiers against changing threats in the "non-linear" wars the Army is fighting.
During an overall ARL briefing, Director John Miller explained the challenges and processes of the research.
"We're chasing technology and constantly trying to predict where it will go,"said Miller. "We then ask: How can we use that technology and how can we influence it?"
That technology could lead to stronger or lighter armor systems, and finding and developing them is the challenge for Dr. Ernie Chin, a branch chief in the materials division at WMRD, who explained his research to the vice chief.
"How do you prototype an advanced system that's never been made before, and how do you transition it to industry?" he asked. "We always have one foot in research and one foot in industry."
Making the armor that Soldiers rely on to stop enemy threats is a large responsibility that Chiarelli said he knows the scientists take seriously.
"It's excellent to see such dedicated people working so hard to get these systems to the Soldiers," said Chiarelli.