U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) has awarded a contract through the 55th Contracting Squadron on behalf of U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) to the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska. The award, valued at $1 million, is for the fourth phase of research requiring the University of Nebraska to identify and assess human factors that affect safety and security operations at Entry Control Facilities (ECFs). Overall, the effectiveness of ECF operations for safety, capacity and security for both normal drivers and potential threat drivers will be tested.
Phase I of the project involved the evaluation of curbs and speed tables for traffic calming and security within ECFs. It was completed successfully by University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in October 2014. Phase II is currently underway and involves traffic calming elements and roadway geometry to enhance safety and security at military entry control points. It will be completed in November of this year. Phase III work began in January 2016 and involves developing a new passive barrier design that will be more secure and less expensive than current systems. Phase IV will require the UNL research team to conduct physical human factor testing and provide design recommendations for ECFs.
Darren J. Guttmann, PE, Chief of Traffic Engineering at the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Transportation Engineering Agency, a component of USTRANSCOM and sponsor of the research, states that “it is critical that Department of Defense (DoD) ECFs be secure, safe, efficient, and sustainable for our warfighters. We are pleased to continue partnering with the University of Nebraska because they bring a wide range of subject experts who can conduct the research necessary to improve the design, safety and security aspects of our ECFs while simultaneously reducing construction and operating costs.”
The research involves a team consisting of faculty and staff from the Nebraska Transportation Center (NTC) and NTC’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MwRSF) including Dr. Laurence R. Rilett, (PI, Civil Engineering), Dr. Ron Faller (Co-PI, Civil Engineering), Dr. John Reid (Co-PI, Mechanical and Materials Engineering), Dr. Cody Stolle (Co-PI, Mechanical and Materials Engineering) and Dr. Jennifer Schmidt (Co-PI, Civil Engineering). NTC is the umbrella organization for all transportation research at the University of Nebraska and the MwRSF has an international reputation in roadside safety design. “We are excited to work with USSTRATCOM to optimize the implementation of passive safety devices,” said Stolle, Assistant Research Engineer at UNL.
Rilett added that “since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States military installations at home and abroad have implemented additional security measures to protect military and civilian personnel from ever present terrorist threats. We are honored to be conducting research for TRANSCOM that will make our service personnel safer and more secure.”
USTRANSCOM is one of nine Combatant Commands within the DoD. The mission of USTRANSCOM is to provide air, land and sea transportation for the DoD, both in times of peace and times of war.
NSRI Executive Director Bob Hinson, Lt Gen, USAF (ret) explained that “the NSRI is a result of a partnership between USSTRATCOM and the University of Nebraska. To be delivering research solutions to USSTRATCOM and USTRANSCOM, two of the nine Combatant Commands within the DoD, exemplifies the capabilities we have. The results of this contract will enhance USTRANSCOM’s ability to determine the latest breaking solutions to protect and defend our controlled entry facilities, nationwide.”
The NSRI, a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), located at the University of Nebraska, is one of 13 established UARC’s across the nation, delivering relevant and timely research solutions directly impacting DoD operations and national security.
Founded in 2012, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska is the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) in the country dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and across other federal agencies. NSRI provides research and development for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other governmental agencies in multiple mission-critical competency areas — including development of medical countermeasures to WMD; nuclear detection and forensics; consequence management; chemical and biological weapons detection; and space, cyber, and telecom law. Learn more at nsri.nebraska.edu.