Thursday, January 30, 2014

MCSC Jordan and Jaworski with the 1st LAR

January 23, 2014 --
By Carden Hedelt, MCSC Corporate Communications
Mackie Jordan sat halfway in a box of plastic-sealed Meal, Ready-to-Eat rations. They did surprisingly well to cushion bumps in the road through the Mojave Desert that she, fellow Marine Corps Systems Command employee Dr. Rebecca Jaworski and five Marines from 1st Light Armored battalion traveled on in late November.
The 60-degree temperatures and California skies that greeted the two upon their arrival in the Golden state were gone, replaced with sub-freezing temperatures, blustery winds and foreboding clouds. There she sat, shivering in the back of a Light Armored Vehicle so full with gear that Jordan and her fellow passengers had to sit wherever they could find space.
“The Marines told me all they could see of me was my knees and my helmet,” Jordan said.
Jordan and Jaworski were embedding with the 1st LAR. In doing so, they learned a few dos and don’ts of living like a Marine.
The first: don’t set your tent up on the side of a hill.
“The first night we set up our tent on a little slope,” Jordan said. “In the middle of the night, [Jaworski] and I kept sliding across the floor in our sleep systems and would wind up right next to each other at the bottom of the tent.”
The second lesson came when Jordan and Jaworski set up their tent the next night – this time on flat ground.
The order came out to go tactical, meaning the two could not use any white lights to aid them in setting up their tent. All they had were white lights.
The lesson? Do count on your fellow Marine.
“I borrowed a red headlamp from one of the first sergeants and that helped us get our tent up before it got too late,” Jordan said. “In almost everything we did, if we ever needed help, we asked and someone would
always make sure we got what we needed.”
The third lesson was the hardest of all.
When the temperature dropped and those foreboding clouds started pouring rain and sleet, turning the California desert frigid and muddy, the two thought it couldn’t get any worse.
She was wrong.
Jaworski’s pack, loaded onto the outside of the vehicle because of a lack of space inside, was too close to the LAV’s heating element exhaust pipe.
The lesson, which they learned the hard way: don’t put your pack too close to a heat source.
“It caught fire, and we lost our tent and one sleeping system, along with some of [Jaworski’s] clothes,” Jordan said.
“The Marines of Alpha Company bailed us out,” Jaworski said. “A private first class offered me an extra sleep system he had. Just like everything else, we figured it out with help from the Marines.”

Marine Corps Systems Command

First LAR Checks Out the New Fighting Jacket for Boffins

Courtesy Story
Field survey puts prototype vest to the testCourtesy Photo
Rebecca Jaworski, a Marine Corps Systems Command biomedical engineer, explains fit and function of the fighting jacket variant of the modular scalable vest to the Marines of 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance battalion. Jaworski and fellow MCSC employee Mackie Jordan, an engineer (not pictured), spent several days embedded with the Marines of the 1st LAR during field exercises this November.
FORT IRWIN, Calif. - A good scientist will design hard tests with one isolated variable in a controlled environment. Field testing often introduces several variables at once. So says Dr. Rebecca Jaworski, a biomedical engineer with the Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad at Marine Corps Systems Command.

She and Mackie Jordan, Engineer with Infantry Weapons Systems had the opportunity to move from controlled laboratory experiments to the field environment and see the real-world application of the modular scalable vest prototypes during an extended embedment with Marines from 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance outside of Fort Irwin, Calif., in late November.

Over several days of riding in Light Armored Vehicles, Jordan and Jaworski surveyed Marines on what they liked and didn’t like about two different MSV variants. The individual armor team in MCSC’s Infantry Weapons Systems is developing this technology to give Marines better fitting armor solutions to meet their needs for different missions.

MCSC is the Department of the Navy's systems command for Marine Corps ground weapon and information technology systems. It is also the Marine Corps commandant's agent for acquisition and sustainment of warfighting systems and equipment.

Currently, Marines go to war with a multiple-vest strategy and the MSV hope's to eliminate the need for several different vests through modularity. The point of the embedment was to get the best possible feedback about the MSV, which, according to Jaworski, often comes from spur-of-the-moment comments. So, the two engineers fell in lock-step with the Marines of 1st LAR, sleeping in the field, eating Meals, Ready-to-Eat rations and wearing legacy Plate Carriers.

“I don’t know any other way Mackie and I could have gotten these data,” Jaworski said. “Even though it’s qualitative data, we were getting the feedback from Marines who are going to spend hours in this gear. We took tons of notes and got more surveys than we thought we would.”

“We had a few Marines ask if they could keep their systems because they liked them so much, so we figured that we’re on the right path,” said Jordan.

The two variants of the MSV the Marines wore were the fighting jacket and the plate carrier with load distribution system. The fighting jacket is the sleeker and lighter of the two and is intended for use with smaller loads. The PC with LDS variant, on the other hand, is bulkier than the fighting jacket and better suited for Marines carrying larger loads for a longer time.

The Marines of 1st LAR preferred the lighter fighting jacket over the PC with LDS variant.

“That’s kind of what we expected because the PC with LDS is meant to be used when Marines are carrying their packs for a long time and with the LAR, you’re doing more in-and-out of vehicles and things like that,” Jordan said.

Jordan and Jaworski will apply the data they collected to both variants of the MSV to make sure the Marines who wear them will be protected while aiming for optimal comfort and an acceptable weight.

Jaworski, who is married to a Marine, was surprised by some of the feedback she got.

“The thing I gained from this trip was perspective,” Jaworski said. “I thought I had a good understanding of the field because of my husband, but this embedment gave me a perspective beyond ‘This is how I envision they’re going to use it.’ Seeing how Marines function in the field with our equipment has changed how I’ll think when I’m at work.”

Maj. James Pelland, team lead for individual armor, is eager to get to work on the two MSV variants that Jordan and Jaworski tested with 1st LAR.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “We still have an appropriate amount of time to make those designs better but the positive feedback makes me feel good about the path we’ve chosen as a design team.”

Pelland also said that he hopes to have more members of his team embed with Marine units in the future.

According to Pelland, close observation during embedments is essential in two ways. The gear that will eventually be fielded to Marines gets that much better, and there is no better personal development for MCSC employees.

“We want to get as many eyes on Marines as possible to see how they use their gear,” he said. “It’s just the best way to get customer feedback, and the experience that our civilians get is completely invaluable.”

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Polaris 2014 RZR 4 Reunion Prize Raffle for the 2D LAR Destroyers War Memorial Enhancement Project

HQ page with all the links and info. 

The upcoming August TwoD LAR Reunion  is now raffling off a 2014 Polaris RZR 4 800 side by side utility vehicle.  Raffles for  2nd, 3rd, and 4th prize are for  a Christenson Arms Rifle, a SCCY Arms 9mm handgun, and a Hi-Lux 39x40mm rifle scope.  In addition, 2D LAR will begin drawing 3 prizes a month  at the end of January and each month through August. Winners get recycled into the mix. 

 Each of the monthly winners will be re-entered into the barrel  for future drawings and eventually the Polaris RZR and big ticket items.  All  proceeds to benefit the  2D LAR War Memorial Enhancement Project.  Tickets are $10 and on sale now at the following link:       

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

SSgt. Kenyon and Sgt. Lalone Echo, 4thLAR Fort Drum

Sgt's Kenyon and Lalone (right), Echo 4th LAR, FDC and Mortars Live fire Fort Drum, May 17 IIRC
thanks and tip o'hat 4 photo SJRose

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony J. Bango, 2LAR Battalion Commanding Officer

Lt. Col. Anthony J. Bango, battalion commander, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion  at 2nd LAR's change of command ceremony at Marston Pavilion aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 9, 2014. The ceremony was held to transfer the command from  Lt. Col. Patrick J. Keane to Bango.  photo by Lance Cpl. Samantha A. Barajas,