Survivability

Hawaii soldier awarded State Medal of Valor for hurricane rescue

A Hawaii National Guardsman received the State Medal of Valor last weekend for his heroic actions that saved the lives of six people during a hurricane.

Staff Sgt. Gregory A.Y. Lum Ho, of Bravo Company, 777th Aviation Support Battalion, was given the prestigious award on Feb. 9 by Hawaii Gov. David Ige at Wheeler Army Airfield.

"You epitomize the citizen-soldier and are a shining example of what valor is,” Ige said at Saturday’s ceremony honoring Lum Ho.

A State Medal of Valor is given to “individuals who distinguish themselves through a performance of an uncommon act of personal heroism involving the voluntary risk of his/her own life,” according to an Army release.

Lum Ho was assigned to Task Force Hawaii, which was created in response to the eruption of the Kilauea volcano. On Aug 23, 2018, Task Force Hawaii’s mission changed to one of flood support with the advent of Hurricane Lane, which would produce the second highest amount of rain of any hurricane in the U.S. since 1950.

While Lum Ho and Pvt. Justin Dejesus were on a security patrol, they came across a family who were cut off from assistance by flood water and whose house was on the verge of collapse. Lum Ho worked with first responders to drive them to the family in his Humvee.

Lum Ho executed “a series of very difficult decisions … that would save the lives of a family of six, and one family pet,” Ige said at the ceremony.

During Lum Ho’s acceptance speech, he credited both the leadership training he received in the National Guard for preparing him for emergencies and his fellow service members for always having his back.

It was a team effort, he said. “[From] my co-driver who helped me navigate through the debris ... to the mechanics that actually got my Humvee ready every night and kept it safe for me, without those guys, none of this would happen.”

Mettle Ops Receives $4.26 Million in Additional Funding for Department of Defense Contract for Solider Safety and Survivability

Mettle Ops and TARDEC continue partnership on U.S. Ground Troop Efforts
 
Sterling Heights, MI – A recent adjustment to a contract between Mettle Ops and U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) features a funding ceiling hike of $4.26 million. This previous contract of $9.1 million, which was created as a Research and Development project, has the aim of putting soldiers’ survival as number one priority. Mettle Ops’ signed contract, known as the DoD (Department of Defense) Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) Contract, now totals more than $13 million.
 
The hike is due to increased budgetary funding allowing TARDEC to aggressively pursue survivability solutions for increased soldier safety. With this additional funding line, Mettle Ops will continue supporting their government customer and be able to make an even larger impact for America’s ground soldiers. 
 
"We are excited to receive this increase, as this shows that the DoD is taking this topic seriously and allowing TARDEC to pursue survivability solutions for increased soldier safety which is our passion," states Katie Bigelow, President of Mettle Ops.
 
Both Mettle Ops and TARDEC have unique specializations, and this collaboration makes for a well-rounded service provider.
 
Mettle Ops is responsible for the program management, design, modeling and simulations, analysis, and documentation aspect of the process for the agreement.
 
The deal will continue to provide both virtual and physical prototypes for tracked and wheeled ground vehicles, specifically Abrams Main Battle Tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, Combat Vehicle Prototype, and Next Generation Combat Vehicle.
 
TARDEC is continuously seeking the latest technologies to affordably and effectively enhance vehicle and crew survivability for existing and future ground vehicle systems. This collaboration with Mettle Ops will assist TARDEC in achieving its goals.
 
“Our chief goal is to serve the warfighter.  Survivability effort deals like this provide soldiers with equipment that protects them better in wartime environments,” Bigelow said.
 
Both organizations are committed to providing consumers with high-quality, efficient products with safety as the number one priority.

What are the Characteristics of a Good Performance Parameter?

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Too often today, legacy performance requirements are invoked on new military ground vehicle programs without giving any thought to whether they will result in a suitable capability or not.  It is assumed that by invoking legacy requirements from the M1 or Bradley, that a new vehicle program will enjoy comparable performance.  That is simply not the case.

So, if available legacy performance requirements are insufficient to ensure suitable operational capability, what characteristics need to be considered for updated performance parameters?  There are a few.  

First and foremost, each invoked performance metric should be operationally relevant.  That means that metrics should assess capabilities required to complete an operational mission; not simply testing for testing sake.  One example of this type of outdated metric is the ability to ascend and descend a paved 60% grade.  Paved 60% surfaces occur nowhere except at test facilities.  Paved roads grades are typically capped at no more than 8%, but may have short stretches up to 15% grades; well below the typical legacy test requirement for military vehicles. It is understood that military vehicles should be able to traverse terrain that may not be passable by commercial vehicles.  So, is there a better way to assess a military vehicle’s capability to ascend and descend grades?  The answer is ‘Yes”.  Instead of evaluating a vehicle’s grade climbing ability on a dry solid surface, it would be more operationally relevant to assess that capability on natural soil.  

Another feature of good performance parameters is a metric that assesses multiple vehicle features with a single test.  An example of a multidimensional metric is speed on grade.  This parameter considers such features as torque available at the drive sprocket or wheel hubs, capability of the cooling system to stay within operating temperature limits when under load for an extended time and transmission gear ratios and shift points.

The last key feature of good metrics is those that are unambiguous.  Good metrics identify test conditions such as weight (curb, gross vehicle, or both), (air conditioning on or off), fuel type, air temperature, etc. as well as a detailed test procedure.

The bottom line is there are performance parameters that are much better suited to providing appropriate operational capabilities than those invoked on many legacy vehicle systems.  Requirement developers and testers need to try and avoid simply plagiarizing metrics from previous programs and ask themselves “Is there a better way?’

Guest Blog Written By:
Bill Ross, Sr. Mobility Systems Engineer
Nevada Automotive Test Center 

Mettle Ops Government Deal Enforces Values and Ensures Safety

Mettle Ops and TARDEC Team Up to Increase Soldier Survivability Efforts

Sterling Heights, MI – A recent deal between Mettle Ops and U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) puts soldiers’ survival as number one priority. Mettle Ops’ first major signed contract, known as the DoD (Department of Defense) Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) Contract, totals $9.1 million. In this agreement, both parties will focus on survivability efforts to provide soldiers with equipment better protecting them in wartime environments.

“Increased survivability for soldiers means more soldiers come home with less long-term health problems,” states Katie Bigelow, President of Mettle Ops. 

Both Mettle Ops and TARDEC have unique specializations, and this collaboration makes for a well-rounded service provider. 

Mettle Ops is responsible for the program management, design, modeling and simulations, analysis, and documentation aspect of the process for the agreement. 

Some of TARDEC’s contributions to the deal include:
• Identification and evaluation of passive, reactive, active, and blast mitigation material solutions in a lab environment for use on DoD ground platforms and high value assets
• Employment of high fidelity finite element analysis tools to derive novel target material solution candidates in composite, integral, or appliqué orientations
• Development of test articles applicable to ground platform applications and high value assets
• Testing of various actual and/or surrogate weapon systems against their developed material solutions

The deal will provide both virtual and physical prototypes for tracked and wheeled ground vehicles, specifically Abrams Main Battle Tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, Combat Vehicle Prototype, and Next Generation Combat Vehicle. 

TARDEC is continuously seeking the latest technologies to affordably and effectively enhance vehicle and crew survivability for existing and future ground vehicle systems. This collaboration with Mettle Ops will assist TARDEC in achieving its goals. 

“Our chief goal is to serve the warfighter.  Survivability effort deals like this provide soldiers with equipment that protects them better in wartime environments,” Bigelow said. 

Both organizations are committed to providing consumers with high-quality, efficient products with safety as the number one priority.