FORT DEVENS, Mass. (November 7, 2013) – A contingent of congressional staffers and senior military officers arrived at Fort Devens, Mass. Nov. 5, 2013 to take a tour of an experimental technology fair.
Notable guests included the Army’s logistical (G-4) representative, Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, Maj. Gen. Margaret Boor, commander of the 99th Regional Support Command and senior mission commander at Fort Devens and Air Force Maj. Gen. Leon Scott Rice, the adjutant general of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Also in attendance was Ms. Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations and Energy, said Lt. Col. Steven Egan, garrison commander of Fort Devens.
The tour began with Egan providing an overview of the base’s capabilities and functions as a training site for New England’s Soldiers, Marines and Airmen, said Egan.
Following the tour of the base, the main party arrived at the Base Camp Integration Lab testing site. There, they received a briefing on the projects being worked on at the BCIL site, and how they impact operations in a deployment environment, he said.
Following the briefing, the group took a tour of the technology being tested at the BCIL site, which includes: an incinerator-style cargo container to replace burn pits overseas; new modular housing to provide Soldiers with more space and easy storage of belongings and weapons; new generators that reduce fuel consumption and are easy to operate; new tent linings to conserve heat and new Meals Ready to Eat, he said.
“Everything they’re doing out there, all these studies, all these experiments and all these tests; it provides better equipment so soldiers have the best assets in future conflicts,” said Egan.
Fort Devens is also entirely a U.S. Army Reserve operated installation, demonstrating that a base does not need to be an active duty installation to be the tip of the spear in research and development, he said.
“Lt. Gen. Mason gave an excellent speech on the direction the Army is moving, energy-wise. To focus more on unit combat missions instead of convoy security for fuel and waste deliveries,” said Egan. “It’s great that Fort Devens can be a part of that.”
Fort Devens also played host to the 542nd Quartermaster Company, a U.S. Army Reserve unit based in Pennsylvania, is the only Force Provider unit left in the Army’s toolbox. They conducted training on new generators and practiced working with the new tents.
Fort Devens has partnered with the Natick Soldier Systems Center based in Natick, Mass. and the 542nd QM Company (Force Provider) to produce and develop some of these new technologies, Egan said.