Tactical training environment provides robust test capability for operators and technologists
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – On October 23, the National Center for Medical Readiness received delivery of a Conex “hotel,” which includes three 12,000-pound structures, to be incorporated with future training and testing events taking place at the tactical training facility.
The National Center for Medical Readiness, also known as NCMR or Calamityville, is administered and managed by the Wright State Research Institute and supported by funding from the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program. NCMR includes a 52-acre tactical training site used for training both civilian and military personnel, and demonstrating, testing and validating technologies and systems used by first responders and special operators.
“NCMR is a self-sustaining, all hazard, actual conditions training environment perfect for training law enforcement, emergency responders, combat medical specialists and DOD special operators,” said John Matecki, NCMR’s associate director of training and exercise. “In addition to maintaining state-of-the-art classrooms, we’ve installed and implemented unique props to duplicate a range of hazards, both man-made and resulting from natural disasters.
“Paramount to our mission is bridging the gap between training and research,” Matecki added. “As such, NCMR is an actual usage test bed for private industry development of technology and systems, which we leverage during a variety of Tech Warrior Enterprise events.”
Tech Warrior Enterprise, a technology accelerator launched in December 2017 and funded by the Air Force SBIR/STTR Program, is already producing results. To date, dozens of small businesses have leveraged the opportunity, and access to the NCMR facility, to conduct data collection and feedback from customer communities, to integrate their technologies with special operator training exercises, and to refine their technology for real-world use.
“For many scientists and engineers conducting cutting-edge research and development in the pursuit of game-changing technology, having laboratories and laboratory equipment that supports testing of their ideas is absolutely critical,” said Air Force SBIR/STTR Program Director David Shahady. “For technologists at businesses developing systems for use by operators on the battlefield or first responders to an emergency or natural disaster, access to a robust, tactical testing environment becomes crucial.”
According to Shahady, for small businesses conducting research, development, testing and evaluation on technologies for the Department of Defense, NCMR provides the testing environment necessary to validate their ideas, or to “fail forward,” by realizing changes they need to make to their systems.
“Any small businesses with a Department of Defense research and development contract, especially those involved in the Air Force SBIR/STTR Program, can participate in the Tech Warrior Enterprise by working with its government contact or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org,” added Shahady.
Participation in Tech Warrior events is free for companies, which only pay for travel expenses.