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ATD Branch Completed Collaborative Three Year HaMMER Project

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The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) Engineering Directorate’s Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) Branch has now successfully demonstrated a family of systems for hazard mitigation and decontamination, known as the Hazard Mitigation, Materiel and Equipment Restoration (HaMMER) ATD. The Operational Demonstration (Op Demo), which was the capstone event for a three year effort, occurred at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii in August/September 2012. The Op Demo was executed by the HaMMER Operational Management Team from United States Army, Pacific (USARPAC) using Warfighters from the 23rd Chemical Company, the 71st Chemical Company, and the United States Marine Corps.

The Warfighter community requested a decontamination solution where Soldiers and equipment are reconstituted faster after a CBRN attack. HaMMER and its family of systems is the solution,” said LTC Jeffrey Winston, Chief USARPAC CBRNE Division and HaMMER Operational Manager.

The ATD Branch was created in 2005 to support the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Joint Science and Technology Office (JSTO) ATD portfolio. The ATD Branch provides the Technical Manager function for some of these efforts, and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Unmanned Ground Reconnaissance (CUGR) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD), initiated in 2005, was the first Engineering Directorate-led ATD. Since that first project, the ATD Branch has evolved, continuing to support DTRA JSTO as the Technical Manager for four more ATDs including HaMMER.

“DTRA JSTO is the overall Program Manager and sponsor for this effort. They trusted us with more than $18M to successfully manage this ATD, and we are all very proud of the work we have accomplished,” said Shawn Funk, ATD Branch member and HaMMER Technical Manager. ATDs are collaborative by nature. They usually are made up of three managers from across the Department of Defense. There is an Operational Manager (OM), which is typically a military organization responsible for all Warfighter aspects; a representative from one of the Project Manager (PM) shops under the Joint Project Executive Office (JPEO) acts as the Transition Manager and is responsible for follow-on work in an acquisition program, and finally a Research and Development organization serves as the Technical Manager (TM), responsible for technology integration, technical demonstration and operational systems.

The HaMMER ATD is directly aligned with the Decontamination Family of Systems effort led by Joint Project Manager (JPM) Protection as the Transition Manager; The United States Army, Pacific, as the OM; and ECBC as the TM.

“The HaMMER ATD was the first time a family of systems had been demonstrated for hazard mitigation and decontamination,” Funk said. “HaMMER is unique in that it is integrating several different technologies - strippable coatings, multiple decontaminants and agent indicator products.”

These technology categories were established through a Technology Transition Agreement between DTRA JSTO and the Transition Manager. In order to effectively demonstrate these technology categories, much work was done to identify specific technologies, design supporting applicators, and develop tactics, techniques and procedures.

“Ultimately, successful military utility for the HaMMER ATD products will depend on the convergence of technology, applicator and process,” Funk said. “In order to ensure that our work on the project was adequately aligned to Warfighter needs, the HaMMER Technical Manager and Operational Manager teams invested considerable effort to capture the Warfighter perspective to mature these facets.”

These efforts included frequent visits to Schofield Barracks, HI throughout the past three years, two Early User Assessments, Technical Demonstrations and a quick look initiative to obtain extensive Warfighter feedback on these technologies.

“To further ensure HaMMER technologies are meaningfully demonstrated, we designed three different HaMMER systems to accommodate differing force structure and operational scales,” Funk said.

In simple terms, these systems can be categorized as “small, medium, and large” suites of equipment. The smallest end of the scale occurs at the lowest level of employment for the individual operator or vehicle crew level. In an effort to provide them with the most capability in the smallest footprint, a Go-Bag called the “Mobile on the Move” Suite was created, merging decontaminant, indicator and applicator technologies into a very small package that could substantially increase the self sufficiency of vehicle crews when faced with chemical threats.

The middle of the scale, called the “Mobile Support” suite, is represented by Battalion level operations. This system is a deployable asset designed to support up to ten contaminated vehicles in a field environment. The system uses the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle and High Mobility Trailer as its platform. It contains on-board applicators for the indicator sprays, and a “Dial-a-Decon” based applicator system that can be easily switched from rinse water,
supersoap or decontaminant.

Finally, the largest end of the scale, called the “Stationary Support” suite, is represented by dedicated decontamination operations executed by a chemical company. The system supporting this operational level of employment is based on a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle, and incorporates the same technologies as the previous systems, but on yet a larger scale, and supplemented by a second decontaminant.

The HaMMER ATD was executed in four phases: Risk Reduction, Optimization, Integration, and Demonstration over a three year period starting in February 2009 and ending with the August 2012 Op Demo. The new technologies and tactics demonstrated in the HaMMER ATD will pave a path forward to modernize the way U.S. military does decontamination. Personnel with DTRA and USARPAC believe HaMMER is a revolutionary step forward.

“The HaMMER family of systems has revolutionized our decontamination operations by better protecting our Service Members through early preparation, rapid detection, superior equipment, decontamination asset distribution throughout the battle space, and our tactics,” said LTC Winston.

 

November 12, 2012

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