ADC Completes FSR and Training Support Contract for PM SPE in Afghanistan

May 26, 2017 12:04 PM

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The Generation II Helmet Sensor and Blast Gauge program provided Field Service Representatives (FSRs) to selected Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) deploying with unique Helmet Sensor (HS) and Blast Gauge (BG) sensor devices.  These sensors are state of the art data collection systems for use in operational and training environments to identify potential concussive effects.  The sensors are not medical devices and do not determine injuries, but record, measure, and store overpressure and linear acceleration measurement data from exposure to explosive blasts or severe impacts to the helmet.  The sensors are tools that identify Soldiers who may require medical evaluation resulting from a blast or event that could potentially cause mTBI (mild Traumatic Brain Injury).  The sensor data is quantified and tracked to ensure that Soldiers exposed to potential concussive events receive the authorization to seek medical attention to combat mTBI.

The HS is a lightweight assembly mounted inside the helmet, and the BGs are sets of three personnel-worn devices, providing instant triage data using LEDs.  The sensors incorporate hardware and software that records and transmits helmet acceleration data.  FSRs are equipped with Toughbooks that collect data, and based on internal software and pre-determined measurements, generate a Referral Report for a Soldier to seek medical evaluation.  Any occurrence of an event (i.e., firefight, explosion, vehicle rollover, etc.) is time-sensitive, with the data collected by the FSRs as rapidly as possible.  Data was routinely downloaded by FSRs to Toughbooks, via USB cables, and transmitted to a secure military server for sensor performance and anomaly analysis.

FSR support was initiated with fielding of helmets with sensors to BCTs identified for deployment.  Following mission rehearsals and pre-deployment exercises, the Teams deployed to the combat zone with their assigned units, where they remained until unit redeployment and end of mission.  The FSR Teams were physically embedded with their units and functioned as integral support.  The Teams, residing in various mission areas, coordinated with the units for the necessary life support elements, to include; billeting, feeding, and office/storage spaces.  The FSRs scheduled and performed timely data collections, generated weekly reports, reported sensor anomalies, monitored Referral Reports and special event data files, armed and disarmed sensors, fielded and recovered BG sets, attended training, and reported all associated tasks and actions.

The program’s primary overseas support facility was located at Bagram Air Field (BAF).  The program’s overseas equipment support and supply replenishment was managed at this facility, in conjunction with CMS (Configuration Management System), an ADC server-driven inventory and asset management tool.  The Deputy Project Manager, Subject Matter Experts, and Inventory Manager, resided at this facility.  All travel and supply to and from the combat zone was coordinated and managed at this location.  The BAF site hosted software field testing and FSR refresher training.  All training materials utilized for the program were developed and instructed by ADC’s Product Systems Trainer.  The materials were approved by the government and available to FSRs to download to their Toughbooks for reinforcement training and program updates.

The program presented many challenges, including changing Afghanistan Visa requirements, personnel reductions at installations, U.S. troop withdrawals, soaring costs of Defense Base Act (DBA) insurance, employing an Afghan Registered Agent, and adherence to application processes for acquiring an Afghanistan Business License as the processes themselves were established/modified by the Afghanistan government.  Nevertheless, the program successfully fielded 10 BCTs, with more than 19,000 HS devices to the Afghanistan combat zone.  At the same time, almost 37,000 individual BG sensors were distributed and employed.  Additionally, HS and BGs were fielded by request to separate organizations, such as Joint Task Force Headquarters, Combat Engineers conducting daily road clearing operations, and EOD Companies.  The deployed BCTs operated in more than 46 separate locations throughout the combat zone, including the capital city, airfields, compounds, forward operating bases, camps, advanced operating bases, and numerous outlying areas, as well as participating in tactical operations throughout the Southwest-Asia area of operations.  Of the personnel issued sensors, 1,538 recorded data, triggering the issue of a Referral Report for follow-up medical evaluation.  There were 27 FSRs embedded at various times to service and support the program, with each FSR averaging support to 400 Soldiers per deployment

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