United States Army creates new website to find good ideas for military equipment from its troops 251

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Defence & Security News - United States

 
 
Monday, November 25, 2013 11:55 AM
 
United States Army creates new website to find good ideas for military equipment from its troops.
The United States Army is looking for a few good ideas. The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force is looking to turn soldiers’ homespun ideas into hot new equipment for troops with a new collaborative tool called Army Co-Create. The U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force recently launched ArmyCoCreate.com, a website for Soldiers to identify tactical challenges and collaborate for solutions.
     
The United States Army is looking for a few good ideas. The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force is looking to turn soldiers’ homespun ideas into hot new equipment for troops with a new collaborative tool called Army Co-Create. The U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force recently launched ArmyCoCreate.com, a website for Soldiers to identify tactical challenges and collaborate for solutions.
Visit the new website of United States Army ArmyCoCreate.com
     
The website is designed to connect Soldiers with innovators and civilian supporters to identify problems, suggest solutions and build prototypes, according to Rapid Equipping Force, known as REF, officials.

This proof-of-concept effort will test the applicability of "crowd-powered design processes" for the REF mission, command officials said. They explained that the website was created to capture ideas of Soldiers with recent combat experience.

"Right now, the Army is filled with resources -- the Soldiers returning home from Afghanistan rich with operational experience from that conflict," said Col. Steven Sliwa, REF director. "It is important to maintain institutional knowledge of what we have learned.

"Though the problems addressed by the CoCreate community may not be theater-specific, we want to determine if this technique can assist Soldiers in refining requirements and developing solutions," Sliwa continued.

Soldiers from the Maneuver Center of Excellence Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate will bring the community's virtual blueprints to life by manufacturing 3D prototypes during two "Make-a-Thon" events at Fort Benning, Ga., Dec. 9-13 and Jan. 13-16.

WHO CAN JOIN?

Army CoCreate is free and open to the public; however, success for this trial period depends on Soldier participation, officials said. REF needs both current and veteran warfighters to join the site and contribute by identifying tactical challenges and proposing solution ideas, said Sgt. 1st Class Adam Asclipiadis, U.S. Army REF.

"Soldiers are living and breathing the fight, day-in and day-out, so they have the best ideas for new capabilities to solve their most urgent challenges," Asclipiadis said.

Inside the online community, Soldiers will connect with innovators, designers and fabricators to design prototypes that may become the next Army solution, he said.

     
The Squad Mission Equipment Transport- Alternate is one of six designs currently on the CoCreate webpage that users can vote to be fabricated at the "Make-a-thon" event at Fort Benning, Ga., Dec. 9-13, 2013. Rapid Equipping Force officials invite Soldiers to add other designs to the page
The Squad Mission Equipment Transport- Alternate is one of six designs currently on the CoCreate webpage that users can vote to be fabricated at the "Make-a-thon" event at Fort Benning, Ga., Dec. 9-13, 2013. Rapid Equipping Force officials invite Soldiers to add other designs to the page
     
HOW IT WORKS

The REF continually seeks to improve internal processes and maintain a rapid edge, Sliwa said.

"When you have a situation where you need good solutions in a time-critical manner, it is important to be aware of and tap into industry best practices," Sliwa said. "We know co-creation works, but we want to find out if it works for the REF."

Army CoCreate builds off of a previous effort between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the industry partner, Local Motors. The two organizations worked together to design and prototype the XC2V combat support vehicle in less than six months.

Army CoCreate is comprised of four distinct lines of effort. The first is to identify problems.

 

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