The Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) Branch within the Engineering Directorate supports technical, acquisition, and operational communities by demonstrating new technologies. In simple terms, an ATD can show that the right technologies will be pursued to accomplish the right goals.
In July, the ATD Branch’s Hazard Mitigation, Materiel and Equipment Restoration (HaMMER) Team wrapped up the second of two early user assessments (EUA), aimed at identifying Warfighter-desired hardware and applicator configurations to better support HaMMER technologies that will be demonstrated in the FY12 HaMMER Operational Demonstration.
EAU2 was held from July 18-22 in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, with approximately 33 Warfighters supporting the assessment. Participants included Warfighters from the following organizations: 8th Theater Sustainment Command; 25th Infantry Division Chemical Section; the 71st Chemical Company of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; the U.S. Air Force 15th Wing of Hickman Air Force Base, Hawaii; the U.S. Marines, III Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF); and the Marine Corps Base of Kaneohe Bay.
The HaMMER ATD is one of two large efforts within the ATD Branch. For both of these efforts, the ATD Branch provides the Technical Manager. The HaMMER ATD is also supported by two other managers that work alongside the Technical Manager. The HaMMER Operational Manager from the U.S. Army, Pacific, represents the operational community, while the HaMMER Transition Manager from Joint Project Manager-Protection (JPM-P) represents the acquisition community.
The current Department of Defense (DoD) policy objective is to eliminate hazards associated with chemical and biological (CB) contaminants from all surfaces in all environmental conditions while not creating additional surface damage. However, this universal approach has resulted in decontamination doctrine and equipment that requires substantial Warfighter labor, logistics burden and waste stream management without reducing hazards to levels that enable useful outcomes.
“The overall objective of the HaMMER ATD is to operationally demonstrate new hazard mitigation technologies, allowing the Warfighter, represented by the Operational Manager, to determine if these technologies have military utility,” said HaMMER ATD Technical Manager Shawn Funk. “The HaMMER ATD will be the first time that a family of systems, designed to work together for hazard mitigation, has ever been demonstrated, both in the laboratory and in the field.
This information and all associated data from the technical and operational demonstrations will be provided to the acquisition community, represented by the Transition Manager, to help reduce risk for the follow-on acquisition efforts, and to the operational community to help start the foundation for any doctrine change needed to adopt these new technologies and processes. In support of the overall ATD effort, it is the Technical Manager’s responsibility to obtain the right technology products, perform technical demonstrations to identify the capabilities and limitations of these products, and integrate these technology products into systems that best leverage the available capabilities for operational demonstration.
The EUAs are being used as one means to ensure that the HaMMER technology products are being integrated into configurations that will be accepted by Warfighters. The first EUA was held in October 2010 and helped the HaMMER team identify force structure, process and technology expectations. The first EAU laid a foundation for the integration effort and set the stage for detailed design work. Incorporating Warfighter feedback into each major design phase ensures the HaMMER systems will be as useful as possible for the Warfighter.
“We want to provide our Warfighters with technologies and processes that allow them to work smart instead of hard,” said Funk. “The HaMMER ATD products will allow them to be able to do so. Some of these products will very likely result in doctrinal change because of the new capabilities they offer.
“For EUA2, the team provided full scale, fully functioning prototype applicator systems to Warfighters. The feedback obtained from a hands-on experience is more valid and more insightful than what you could hope to obtain from feedback on PowerPoint slides. We tried to emphasize that this is an opportunity for them to help shape the possible future of decontamination by providing feedback on the HaMMER applicators, technologies and processes.” EUA2 provides a wealth of feedback for the HaMMER Team, enabling the team to refine their designs and Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) and to enter the Technical Demonstration phase, where each technology is evaluated as it would be used in the field.
“TTPs are very important because they define the sequence in which the technologies will be employed,” Funk said.
The HaMMER technical demonstrations will perform laboratory testing using the technologies both individually, and in TTP sequence, to determine the hazard mitigation results of using a family of systems.