Operating a military is just like most endeavors. It’s easy to look at the surface level and think you know what it takes but there are so many things that go into the logistics of operating any entity, much less the world’s elite fighting force. This is why the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC) is so important for mission success. At the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center, you’ll find innovations of all types but the ultimate focus is keeping our Soldiers equipped with the most basic needs a human can have in the most efficient manner. The research and development found at the Natick Army Labs continues to show up not only in the military but also in the private sector as companies can, at times, use their discoveries to deliver improvements on their own offerings for the general public.
The History of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center
The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center is known as the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (CCDC SC) in a list of evolving monikers to describe the R&D military installation found in Natick, Massachusetts.
However, no matter what name you call the NSSC or CCDC SC, you’re going to find a group of dedicated individuals who are hell-bent on providing Soldiers with viable solutions while on the battlefield.
The creation of the facility began when Congress gave the okay for it back in October 1949. A little over three years later, construction on the Quartermaster Research Facility began. There were several renamings over the years and also many reorganizations within the Army.
These changes included establishing the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in July 1961, followed by the U.S. Army Natick Research and Development Center in September 1980.
Fort Devens acquired space for training in 1982, and the ’90s brought further changes, with the name becoming the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center in October 1992. The formal introduction of the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Command was in November 1994.
These days, the Soldier Systems Center Natick is what it is because of its history. Warfare changes and as such, the U.S. continues to need new capabilities and innovations. A fitting task for a facility that has evolved so many times over the decades.
Food, Shelter, and Supply Innovation
When you take a look at the history of products or tech from Natick Labs, you quickly realize that the funding and research available to the Army has fueled many inventions. Some that go well beyond the use of Soldiers, and many that you may have used yourself.
The Natick Army Food Lab has helped create the necessary techniques that brought to life the McRib. You can also thank them for the Natick Army Labs MRE used to feed troops, refugees, and those in emergency situations. Here are some other popular innovations from the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center:
- Collective protection shelters
- Body armor
- Food irradiation
- Bulletproof clothing
- Freeze-dried food
- Modern canned food
The United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center also helps create better ways to deploy such items in battlefield conditions to Soldiers. Without the Natick Army Food Lab, our warfighters would lack critical resources and processes to get the job done.
Related read: If You’ve Ever Enjoyed a McRib, Thank a Soldier
U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center Keeps the Military From Going Hungry
While the NSSC knows how to feed an Army, it’s clear that the initiative isn’t looking for Michelin Stars. However, the science that goes behind such projects continues to prove vital on this planet and beyond.
Not only are the innovations providing realistic methods for distributing and preparing food in less-than-ideal conditions, but they also provide warfighters with proper nutrition. A key ingredient for being ready to overcome the challenges our military faces.
No matter the mission or location, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center is prepared to get the job done. The 78-acre Natick campus and satellite locations have brilliant minds making the impossible, possible.