U.S. Army testing new technology at Ft. Leonard Wood

Published: May. 7, 2019 at 1:57 PM CDT
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The U.S. Army has been testing 19 different technologies at Fort Leonard Wood for potential future use by the military.

On Tuesday, soldiers demonstrated 12 of those new technologies to reporters.

"The purpose of MSSPIX [Maneuver Support, Sustainment, Protection, Integration Experiment] is to consider the military utility of emerging technologies," said Col. Lawrence Burns, Maneuver Support Battle Lab Director.

Emerging technologies like a protective overhead cover to help protect from direct hits from mortars and rockets - as well as different intrusion detection systems.

"This is more of a situational awareness," Burns said of the intrusion detection system. "It's a sensor and a situational awareness so you can understand what's happened, in real time, in your area."

Soldiers are also getting to test out two different remote controlled vehicles.

One is a Caterpillar Bulldozer.

"US Army Engineers have relied on D-7 Dozers since World War II," said Fred Erst with Caterpillar.

They can even do this without actually being able to see the actual machine.

Cameras on the bulldozer allow the soldier to move the dozer to clear pathways for troops to make their way through minefields.

"Any time you can get the human element out of it and keep us and civilians out of harms way is going to be really useful for the soldiers and also civilian-military interaction," said Pvt. Isaac Ewideh.

And, the soldiers say, both remote controlled vehicles are easy to use.

"It's kind of like playing a video game almost," Ewideh added.

The Army is also testing what's called a "TEC Torch."

The TEC Torch allows soldiers to cut through locks, bolts, cable, and other barricades by burning for just a few seconds at nearly 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

That's 2,000 degrees hotter than lava.

None of this technology is being purchased by the Army at this time, but they are testing it out to see if it's something they could use in the future.