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Guns and Ammo Excellence

 

Guns and Ammo Excellence

The display recently erected in front of building 1 commemorates Picatinny's designation as the Department of Defense's Joint Center of Excellence for Guns Ammunition.

The display features some of Picatinny's joint products, such as a howitzer, Navy and Air Force bombs, and Army and Marine tank, mortar, and artillery cartridges and Bunker Defeat Munitions. A bronze plaque commemorating the installation's designation as DoD's Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition resides in the center.

As part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) requirement that began in 2005, the Department of Defense realigned Navy gun and ammunition research, development, acquisition, and weapons and armaments packaging, handling storage and transportation to Picatinny.

This move enabled technical synergy across the different services, and positioned the Department of Defense to exploit scientific, technical and acquisition expertise within the weapons and armament research, development and acquisition community.

"We're focused on streamlining the joint acquisition process to deliver quality-engineered guns and ammunition solutions when and where they are needed, on time and at the right price," Brig. Gen. John McGuiness, Picatinny Senior Commander. "This display represents the true "jointness" of Picatinny with a small sample of products we provide to our joint warfighters."

For the BRAC realignment, the Navy and Army had a total of 12 new construction or major facility renovations on Picatinny.

The Enhanced Speed Bag

 

The Enhanced Speed Bag

Soldiers who are pinned down in firefights with the enemy often rely on life-saving airdrops to resupply their ammunition, food, water and medical supplies.

A new system sponsored by Product Director Joint Service and developed by Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) and Natick Soldier Research Development Engineering Center (NSRDEC) engineers, called the Enhanced Speed Bag, standardizes the airdrop resupply method with greatly reduced damage to supplies, thus saving money and supplying Soldiers more efficiently.

"The current solution is to fill body bags or duffle bags with resupply items, fly it in low with a helicopter--low as they can--and kick it out the door," explained Bob Forrester, an ARDEC engineer, at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.

"Unfortunately, using this method, many items on the bottom of the bags are destroyed. There is upwards of 40 percent or 50 percent of the resupplies that are not useable. So while the Soldiers get some of the vital stuff they needed -- food, water, ammo -- a lot of the stuff is damaged."

The Enhanced Speed Bag system was designed to standardize the resupply procedure. The system consists of a hands free linear brake, rope and padded bag. When the bag is deployed the brake applies friction to the rope orienting the bag with the padded base down.

"The bag lands padded side down because the rope slows it down just enough to keep it oriented. That way you only have to pad one side of the bag, you don't have to encase it in massive padding," Forrester said.

Testing has shown that when using the Enhanced Speed Bag system, over 90 percent of all items dropped land undamaged, according to Alex Maurer, a Picatinny contractor with Alion Science and Technology.

The Enhanced Speed Bag can be used to resupply service members with ammunition, water, meals ready to eat, medical supplies and other needed items.

Six Enhanced Speed Bags can be dropped from helicopters at one time. Each Enhanced Speed Bag can hold up to 200 pounds of supplies.

The idea for the Enhanced Speed Bag emerged from feedback from ARDEC's Ammunition Warrant Officer upon his return from several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. After learning that troops were receiving damaged good from airdrops, ARDEC teamed with NSRDEC at Natick, Mass., to concept and design the Enhanced Speed Bag.

Engineers have been working with the Army Mountaineering Warfare School, as well as the Georgia National Guard in U.S. Africa Command to develop and test the system.

HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM

"Almost every unit has used their own version of emergency resupply bags," Forrester said. "They're all unique, they're all done ad hoc, it's not a documented procedure."

"There's no certain bag they always order. They'll use medical bags, storage bags, duffle bags, body bags -- the things they have laying around the base."

This makes it difficult to arrive at a base line to determine cost. However, Maurer estimates that it could save $1,500 in ammunition per drop.

LIGHTENING SOLDIER LOAD

As recently evaluated in Spiral I of the Maneuver Center of Excellence's (MCOE) Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment, the Enhanced Speed Bag could be used to lighten Soldiers loads through routine resupply during missions.

"If we have a standardized way to deliver supplies that aren't damaged, then you can send troops on missions with less to carry. So instead of an emergency resupply this would be a purposeful resupply -- daily drops of food, daily drops of water."

Based on the encouraging Munition Center of Excellence evaluation, efforts are underway to soon make the Speed Bag available to units.

AUTONOMOUS RESUPPLY

The Enhanced Speed Bag also opens the door to using an unmanned helicopter-type system to resupply troops in emergency situations.

"You don't have to land, you don't have to get close to the ground, you can be 100 ft up. It can be automatically released and descends on its own," said Maurer. "No one's in harm's way, it can fly higher off the ground, it's a smaller aircraft so it's harder to hit. It's an enabler that can make autonomous resupply possible."

Small Caliber Ammunition management changes hands

 

Small Caliber Ammunition management changes hands

Lt. Col. Philip Clark, outgoing Product Manager Small Caliber Ammunition; Col. Paul Hill, Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems; and Lt. Col. John "Todd" Masternak, incoming Product Manager Small Caliber Ammunition, salute the American flag during the Small Caliber Change of Charter ceremony June 20. During the ceremony, Masternak assumed Product Management responsibilities for small caliber ammunition from Clark.


Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program (SHARP)

 
PEO Ammunition Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program (SHARP) is in effect and here to help.

Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program Information:
Picatinny SHARP 24x7 Hotline: 862-210-0296
DoD SAFE Hotline: 1-877-995-5247
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