Cool new gear


Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, Jr., the 22nd chief of naval research, just wrapped up at the Naval Expeditionary Forces Symposium and Expo in Virginia Beach.

The highlight was his “parade of cool things.” As would be expected. After all, the man has a team of 850 Ph.D.’s working on things from outer space to ocean depths. He has a squadron of test aircraft — he even has a submarine.

And here are a few things he’s working on for the expeditionary warfighter:

1. Electronic Protection System — “Not all armor needs to be impenetrable — it just needs to be smarter than what is trying to get inside,” he said. This “lightweight but tough” technology uses high voltage to disrupt RPG flight. Carr said the technology could have a small-craft application, but it will depend on whether it can be maintained in the wet environment.

2. Swimmer Detection — a multi-mode sonar network will be able to identify and classify any would-be intruder.

3. Future Immersive Training Environment — Think of virtual reality on steroids. This technology, already being tested by Marines, stimulates all senses  in a simulated combat environment. As one Marine said, “the last battle was no worse than the previous simulation.”

4. Medical  care — The first of two key efforts is hemostatic agents. When plasma arrives on the battlefield, it is frozen. This concentrate simply requires that you add water to get the plasma you need. The benefits are staggering. The second effort is pharmacologic resuscitation. It is a drug that will resuscitate a casualty for three hours with minimal use of fluids.


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A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.

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