Friday, October 14, 2011

Spray-on Protective Coating Wins "R&D 100" Award

By Katherine H. Crawford, Office of Naval Research Corporate Strategic Communications Office

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- R&D Magazine honored an Office of Naval Research (ONR) scientist with a 2011 "R&D 100" award Oct. 13 for the development of a revolutionary coating material that is blast-and fire-resistant.

The special high-tech surface technology, HybridSil Fire/Blast, acts like a force field that surrounds and protects any type of surface, making it blast-, ballistic- and fire-resistant.

"You can take an existing material and change it completely to make it more useful for the warfighter," said award recipient Dr. Roshdy George S. Barsoum, ONR's manager, Explosion-Resistant Coating, Ships and Engineering Systems Division. "Receiving this award is recognition that we are developing something that the warfighter can really use and exploit."

The coating is sprayed onto surfaces just like paint, with minimal surface preparation. It is applied in variable thicknesses: less for fireproofing and more for blast-resistance. But the tricky part is that the law of diminishing returns is at work; at some point, the more you apply, the less effective it becomes. Determining the appropriate amount for each surface and user need is complex, Barsoum said.

The Navy is particularly interested in the material's fire-resistant properties, since fires, along with floods, present the greatest threats on a ship or submarine. The Army and Air Force have also been investigating its use to protect buildings against vehicle-borne explosive devices.

The coating was developed with industry partner NanoSonic Inc, and the cost per gallon is equivalent to premium house paint. It can be used on new and old materials alike, making it easy to apply to existing ships or vehicles.

The research into this coating began after the bombing of USS Cole (DDG 67) Oct. 12, 2000. The Navy wanted to find new ways of protecting ships, including coatings and polymers that could shield against explosions and fire. The research took off after 9/11, and the new defensive coating was applied to the rebuilt sections of the Pentagon.

According to R&D Magazine's website, the R&D 100 awards identify and celebrate the top high-technology products of the year, spanning industry, academia and government-sponsored research. Winning products include sophisticated testing equipment, innovative new materials, chemistry breakthroughs, biomedical products, consumer items and high-energy physics.

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

Campaign Wants ‘Veteran’ Put Back in Veterans Day

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2011 – A new campaign is working to put the “veteran” back into Veterans Day and to rally public awareness of the sacrifices made by injured veterans and their caregivers.

The Wounded Warrior Project, which focuses primarily on wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and their caregivers, kicked off “Believe in Heroes” on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The campaign will continue through Nov. 11, Veterans Day, said Jonathan Sullivan, executive vice president of the nonprofit organization.

“Veterans Day has become a national holiday that most Americans give a cursory moment of thought to before going on with their day,” said Steve Nardizzi, the Wounded Warrior Project’s executive director.

Veterans will be recognized at NASCAR races, NCAA and NFL games as part of the campaign, Sullivan said. Two recent 8-kilometer events sponsored through the campaign drew 1,245 people in Jacksonville, Fla., and 65 in Seattle, he added, and the next 8k walk or run will take place Oct. 15 in Charlotte, N.C.

Regardless of how people show support, he added, the intent of the campaign is clear. “Believe in Heroes is a call to action,” he said, to recognize the meaning of Veterans Day, and to support the needs of wounded warriors and their caregivers.

From the earliest stages of the Wounded Warrior Project, Sullivan said, there was concern about the sacrifices caregivers would make to care for their wounded warriors. “Once the most traumatic of injured warriors are out of the hospital and back home,” he added, “the caregiver can be in for a long road ahead.”

Engaging families and caregivers is essential to helping warriors make the transition back to life after they’re injured, Sullivan said, noting that combat injuries affect both the warrior and the family.

The idea for the campaign stemmed from what Sullivan said seemed to be dwindling public interest in the significance of Veterans Day. “Very few people pause Nov. 11 and reflect on the sacrifices our vets made on behalf of us,” he said, and he expressed the hope that the two-month campaign to raise support and awareness of the wounded, their caregivers and all U.S. veterans would create a groundswell of interest that will repeat year after year, every Veterans Day.

But Sullivan said he won’t stop there. Like the year-round campaign for breast cancer awareness that intensifies with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Sullivan said, he envisions year-round “Believe in Heroes” awareness that culminates in a campaign from Sept. 11 to Nov. 11 each year.

“The public would be reminded of how much our wounded warriors sacrificed on the battlefield for us,” he said.

Sailors Promote Drug-Free Living at Guam School

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Jeremy M. Starr, USS Frank Cable Public Affairs

MAGNILAO, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors from the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) helped to educate students about the dangers of substance abuse at Henry B. Price Elementary School, Oct. 11.

Sailors assisted the Guam National Guard, Department of Education teachers and local law enforcement in celebrating Red Ribbon Week, a national campaign that educates and encourages youth to live a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle.

"One of the things that Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Airmen have in common is that we are drug-free," said Lt. Alan Fleming, Frank Cable chaplain, to 1st and 2nd grade students. "All services wear different uniforms, but we all believe abstaining from drugs is honorable in serving our country."

Gunner's Mate 1st Class Jerome Claybron, assigned to the Frank Cable, shared his story about living a life free of drugs.

"Many people say I am strong and tall," said Claybron to the students. "The reason I am this way is because I have never taken drugs in my life. Drugs damage the body, making you weak, tired and lazy, so don't use drugs."

The Guam National Guard Counter Drug Program extended the Red Ribbon Week to a full month to teach 50-plus schools about the message of living without drugs. Soldiers have visited nine schools so far and are on a fast pace schedule until Halloween.

"We want Guam to be entirely free from drugs," said Army 1st Sgt. John Pangelinan. "We want Guam to stay beautiful, and the Red Ribbon Month is lined up with activities such as poetry, rap, school gate decorating contests, and information tables located inside several malls on the island to support this mission."

Fleming also emphasized the importance of Sailors being role models to the younger generation.

"This was a good opportunity to give the students a picture of good role models," said Fleming. "The Sailors did that today by sharing their jobs on the submarines and ship, which I believe influenced the young minds in a positive way to help shape their future."

"We ask you here to pledge more than a week to being drug-free; we want you to pledge being drug-free your entire life," added Pangelinan.

Red Ribbon Week takes its name from the red campaign ribbons that honor Enrique Camarena, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was kidnapped and killed in Mexico City while investigating drug traffickers in 1985.

Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.