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News | April 15, 2016

Land and Maritime military members get inside look at research facility

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

The world's largest nonprofit research and development organization hosted a group of military personnel from the Defense Department’s largest logistics agency during a private tour of its campus.  

Two dozen service members from Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime toured Battelle Memorial Institute’s Columbus, Ohio headquarters March 24 as part of the agency’s local strategic industry engagement efforts. The regular trips seek to engage and coordinate with organizations in the community which share comparable values and goals with DLA.

Specialists in scientific fields including advanced materials, defense technologies, health and consumer products, genomics, and cyber innovations were on hand to present their latest innovations. The tour group consisted of service members representing all military branches and was led by Navy Rear Adm. John King, Land and Maritime commander.

"Today was a great opportunity for the military members assigned to Land and Maritime to see firsthand how a world-class organization like Battelle operates and the impact that they have on our military and the community at-large,” King said. “We had all military branches represented on today's tour, and I'm sure everyone learned something that they can take back to their jobs to improve performance."

Throughout the tour, members of the group engaged Battelle staff with questions about quality control, counterfeit mitigation, and product testing. Many of these issues are common to both organizations, and the tour offered the chance for everyone to compare methods for overcoming their respective challenges.   

With research in areas such as consumer and industrial consumables, energy and environmental conservation, and national security and defense equipment, Battelle maintains a diverse product portfolio. Managing the supply chains of those myriad products requires inventive and efficient techniques, much like the logistical requirements needed by DLA.

"We're always happy to have military members visit Battelle because it's mutually beneficial," Lisa McCauley, vice president and general manager of Battelle's Cyber Innovations business said. "Our engineers like to see the end-users of our research, and military members get an up-close look at what we’re doing to protect them and their colleagues on the battlefield."

The tour included a visit to an advanced materials laboratory. Here, the group saw the latest developments in how cutting-edge materials are being tested for their use in consumer and government equipment.

Process and Product Development Senior Research Scientist Amy Heintz demonstrated how lightweight metals add to the efficiency of aircraft such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). She explained the benefits of temperature resistant materials and how Battelle is working to develop products that can be used in aviation to avoid ice build-up on wings.

King presented Heintz and other scientists at Battelle with a special coin bearing the DLA insignia. The presentation of coins is a long-standing military tradition representing recognition for outstanding work.  

Another stop on the tour brought the group to Battelle’s cyber innovations division. Chief Technologist Matt Wyckhouse demonstrated a device that can detect counterfeit microcircuits that are otherwise indistinguishable to the naked eye.

Wyckhouse says counterfeit technology is always evolving; therefore detection hardware must constantly evolve as well. Avoiding black market electronics requires new and innovative approaches to security, and Battelle is committed to staying at the forefront of the industry.

He presented an integrated circuit verification device known as Battelle Barricade. The detection system uses a nondestructive, cost-effective method of comparing power output waveforms to a known database of verified parts to determine authenticity.

The demonstration proved especially interesting to members of DLA’s Counterfeit Detection and Avoidance Program (CDAP). With a commitment to preventing counterfeit parts from entering into the DLA supply chain, the CDAP is always on the lookout for new techniques to ensure only quality product distribution.

Land and Maritime intensified its fight against counterfeit parts when it unveiled a DNA marking and authentication lab on Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC) in 2014. Battelle played a crucial role in confirming the viability of this marking technique, paving the way for DLA’s current operations.

"I was impressed by the diverse research they are doing at Battelle. Just like at Land and Maritime, they’re using the latest developments in materials and supply chain management to increase efficiency and meet the needs of their customers, regardless of whether the product is a small microchip or a full-sized combat vehicle,” King said. “It was a fantastic exchange with our industry partners and I came away with a greater appreciation of Battelle's entire operation."

Battelle has maintained a headquarters at its present Columbus location since 1929. DLA Land and Maritime is the primary tenant at DSCC, which opened as a government military installation in April, 1918.