Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD –
The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) participated in Aberdeen Proving Ground’s (APG) Demonstration Days (Demo Days), held on May 19-20, 2023. On the 19th, the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command hosted the “Future Force Day,” an event showcasing Army capabilities and career opportunities for 500 Harford County public school students. Eighth and Ninth graders had the opportunity to visit a military installation and participate in interactive demonstrations from the fields of robotics to health sciences, along with many other exciting potential careers involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. For many of these students, this was the first time they had seen technology of this sophistication up close and in real time.
On the 20th the base was open to the public, and the larger community was invited to participate in APG’s “Demonstration Days.” The day’s events were similar, but not as focused on STEM careers for students and more generally shared APG’s operations and capabilities of the base’s tenant organizations with attendees of all ages.
Over the two-day event, JPEO-CBRND staff provided friendly and accessible demonstrations from across our portfolio of products, capabilities and programs. On display was an array of capabilities representing the Joint Project Manager (JPM) for CBRN Protection, JPM CBRN Medical, JPM CBRN Sensors, JPM CBRN Special Operations Forces (SOF), and Joint Project Lead (JPL) for CBRN Integration. There were many popular attractions for students and visitors, but a standout experience was the opportunity to try on (and even run a relay race wearing!) the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST). This protective suit is the same product worn by all four Services to field a common protective chemical agent garment. It’s made from a cutting-edge fabric that blocks harmful substances, prevents heat stress, and allows moisture to escape; it’s also compatible with any needed interfacing equipment and is lighter than the previous battle dress overlayer protection.
Another exciting technology many were drawn to was the Enhanced Warfighter Augmented Training (EWAT). This training simulation technology caught the attention of Maj. Gen. Robert Edmonson and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Conaty, the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) and Aberdeen Proving Ground command team. EWAT uses augmented reality to teach warfighters new procedures, assess their skills, troubleshoot issues, and enhance refresher training by mixing hands-on device training in a virtual environment. The headsets can be used anywhere and allow warfighters to safely practice handling "virtual" hazardous substances.
Additional displays included CBRN Sensor Integration on Robotic Platforms (CSIRP) semi-autonomous drone and robotics technology. Attendees had the chance to drive the same CSIRP robot that will help the Joint Force leverage advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensing and communication capabilities to support timely and accurate CBRN hazard detection, warning and reporting to keep warfighters safe when on the battlefield, and give Commanders access to more vital information to aid them in their decision making.
JPL CBRN Integration further explained how critical information collected via CBRN sensors feeds into a tool like the CBRN Support to Command and Control (CSC2). This integration keeps warfighters out of harm’s way and provides early CBRN warning and decision support in the field.
JPM CBRN Medical showcased several fielded technologies. On display were a suite of autoinjectors (most recognize the EpiPen as a well-known, publicly used example of an autoinjector) and several diagnostic devices – better understood since our collective experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, a JPM CBRN Medical staff member demonstrates the Rapid Opioid Countermeasure System (ROCS) naloxone autoinjector. ROCS is designed to counter high-potency opioids and can save lives of exposed warfighters through administration by an autoinjector, even more potent than the Narcan product available to the public to reverse an opioid overdose.
The highlight for many over both days was the live fire show that demonstrated Army combat vehicles in action. The lively demonstration included the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle equipped with a Mk19 40mm grenade launcher, a Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle with a .50-caliber machine gun and a Bradley Fighting Vehicle with its primary weapon, the M242 Bushmaster Autocannon. The last vehicle featured, the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank, was equipped with a smooth bore 120mm cannon.
The JPEO-CBRND was proud to showcase our capabilities with the local community and engage students in conversations about opportunities and STEM careers with the U.S. military. We look forward to supporting the upcoming Military Appreciation Night at Ripken Stadium on June 30th where we will bring many of these capabilities once again for the community to experience firsthand.