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DoD AL&T sees technology saving Soldiers lives in the field

January 17, 2012

By Summer Barkley

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan--Senior Department of Defense officials for acquisition, contingency contracting and program support saw first-hand how recently fielded systems are helping Warfighters defeat and survive improvised explosive devices during a visit here Jan. 8.

Frank Kendall, acting undersecretary of defense for acquisition, logistics and technology, Richard T. Ginman, deputy director for contingency contracting and acquisition, and Gary J. Motsek, deputy assistant secretary of defense for program support, visited the counter improvised explosive device training area managed by Combined Joint Task Force Paladin and Joint Program Office MRAP to see cutting edge technology used by Soldiers on a daily basis to defeat and survive IEDs.

The group saw systems fielded by Joint IED Defeat Office and Project Manager Close Combat Systems, Product Manager IED Defeat/ Protect Force which offer a range of options to detect and defeat IEDs. He had an opportunity to talk with Soldiers and contractors assigned to TF Paladin who train units on how to effectively use the new technology. The devices ranged from handheld biometric scanners to sophisticated detectors that will locate IED command wires in a variety of terrains and circumstances.

Master Sgt. Chad A. Walker, noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Combined Joint Task Force Paladin CJ7, demonstrated several scanners used by units to find buried improvised devices or command wires and explained the unique capabilities of each. Following the demonstration, Kendall had an opportunity to use one system and located a buried command wire that was covered with several inches of snow.

While visiting JPO MRAP, Kendall saw the latest versions of several MRAP variants as well as improved armor and other upgrades being installed to vehicles.

The 401st Army Field Support Brigade provides life support and logistics support to more than 40 program managers who field and sustain critical new equipment to units in Operation Enduring Freedom. Leveraging Army Materiel Command's subordinate units including Army Sustainment Command and partnering with Assistant Secretary of the Army/ Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, the 401st is AMCs single face to the field charged delivering the Materiel Enterprise to the Warfighter by fielding, sustaining and redistributing equipment ranging from uniforms to weapons to electronic devices to vehicles of all sizes and capabilities.

"CJTF Paladin's mission is to train the force, defeat the device, attack the network and enable justice," said Lt. Cmdr. Ronald J. Carpinella, CJTF Paladin public affairs officer, in a written statement. "We manage the U.S. EOD [explosive ordinance disposal] assets and coordinate with multi-national EOD assets throughout Afghanistan."

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