An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | March 6, 2020

R-and-D Experts Test Ideas in Frigid Arctic Eagle 2020 Exercise

Alaska National Guard

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska -- About 70 research and development experts participated in the Alaska National Guard's Arctic Eagle 2020 exercise in Fairbanks to explore innovative ways the military and emergency responders can do their jobs in arctic conditions.

With over 600,000 square miles of diverse terrain and weather, Alaska presents numerous challenges for military members and first responders.

"I think the dynamic weather is a factor that makes Alaska special and challenging," said Robyn Barbato, soil microbiologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. "Add the logistics to bring things places; it's wide open here, the terrain is very different."

Experts from the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force in Maryland; Federal Emergency Management Agency in California and Nevada; Defense Threat Reduction Agency; Department of Health and Social Services; Research Institute of Environmental Medicine; U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Alaska; International Personnel Protection; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers CRREL; Construction Engineering Research Laboratory; Canada TF-1; 39 Canadian Brigade Group; and 8th Homeland Response Force observed the CBRN Response Enterprise, Search and Extraction venue at the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility on Fort Wainwright Feb. 23-26.

Some observers assessed how well equipment and processes worked in cold weather, while others tested new equipment and processes.

U.S. Army Maj. Adrien Humphreys, chief of CBRN operations for the Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, explained the importance of inviting researchers and scientists to the exercise.

"The benefit of having the observers is that they get to see the capabilities of what they've worked on and how Soldiers are using them," Humphreys said.

One of the challenges for researchers is getting hands-on experience with the equipment and the people they are creating it for.

Barbato said her goal was to understand what military members are going through when working in the field.

"We wanted to know what Soldiers do and how [we can] tailor our research to real needs," Barbato said. "Because we can dream up all these ideas, and we're really good at generating ideas. But the opportunity to see a mission exercise, to engage with the military, is invaluable."

Jared Sapp, a science adviser with the CCDC, explained how field exercises like Arctic Eagle 2020 provide unique opportunities to evaluate new technology and refine innovative ideas.

"These are some of the best venues to get equipment in the hands of our Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen," Sapp said. "With exercise participants dedicated to supporting that exercise, you can find time to use the equipment, to see how it functions, to get a first look at how technology might perform in the hands of a Soldier."

New dry decontamination procedures were tested to confirm their effectiveness in cold weather.

"Typically, we use a whole lot of water," said Marine Cpl. Stephanie O'Brien from the CBIRF. "But here in the Arctic, that's not possible without causing unnecessary harm to our casualties and ourselves."

Another challenge faced by CBRN teams is the decontamination of K-9 search-and-rescue dogs.

"For this exercise, we [conducted] dry DECON, which is a combination of vacuuming and wiping," O'Brien said.

Although researchers and participants faced multiple challenges working in Alaska's cold weather, that didn't dampen their spirits.

"The interactions with the different entities and having those one-on-one conversations, in addition to the other research observers, was fantastic," Barbato said. "I really use the word invaluable because I can't put it into words the knowledge I've gained by observing the exercise."
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
331,947
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Defense Leaders Look to Improve U.S-Philippine Interoperability
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III conducts bi-lateral discussions with His Excellency, Jose C. Faustino, Officer-in-Charge, Philippine Department of National Defense at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Hawaii, Sept. 29, 2022. Austin is in Hawaii meeting with key allies in the region and visiting Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.
Oct. 1, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- Pledging to strengthen the partnership between longtime allies, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Jose C. Faustino Jr., officer-in-charge of the Philippine Department of National Defense, met at Camp...

Landpower and Integrated Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific (CMF #3)
Landpower and Integrated Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific
Oct. 1, 2022 - U.S. Army Pacific -- The Association of the United States Army will host a Contemporary Military Forum at 10 a.m., Oct. 11, focused on the critical role Landpower and integrated deterrence play across the Indo-Pacific, as...

Coast Guard District 14 Commander Participates in Pacific Island Leaders Panel
Leaders from 14 countries representing the Pacific Islands met in Honolulu, Hawaii to convene Pu’uhonua: The Pacific Way Forward, the 12th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, Sept 12.
Oct. 1, 2022 - HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Leaders from 14 countries representing the Pacific Islands met in Honolulu, Hawaii to convene Pu’uhonua: The Pacific Way Forward, the 12th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, Sept 12.The Pacific Islands...

USINDOPACOM Statement on DPRK Missile Launch
Sept. 30, 2022 - We are aware of the two ballistic missile launches and are consulting closely with our allies and partners. While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our...

Philippines and U.S. Hold Annual Mutual Defense and Security Engagement Boards
Philippines and U.S. Hold Annual Mutual Defense and Security Engagement Boards
Sept. 30, 2022 - CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii – Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Adm. John Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, led the 2022 Mutual Defense Board and...