Field Assistance in Science and Technology (FAST) - Atlantic
The Field Assistance in Science and Technology (FAST) Activity was initiated in 1985 to bring Army Materiel Command Laboratories and Research, Development and Engineering Centers (RDECs) into closer contact with their "customers" — the major Army commands throughout the world — and thereby provide the Army in the field with greater support and responsiveness to operational needs.
With Creation of the Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM), the FAST activity became subordinate to the RDECOM. The FAST mission/organization was expanded to include the addition of Uniformed Science Advisors and special S&T teams and Advisors as required to support current operations. The regulation which governs FAST is RDECOM Reg 10-1. This Reg is currently being updated and will be posted when completed. To fulfill its mission, the program provides a network between RDECOM and the Army in the field as well as other Services. The network consists of Civilian and Uniformed Science Advisors (SAs), four-member Science and Technology Assistance Team (STAT), RDECOM STACA to Afghanistan and a RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology Center [Protoyping and Integration Facility (PIF)], Quick Reaction Coordinators (QRCs) and the RDECOM-FAST HQS.
Civilian & Uniformed Science Advisors are assigned to major Army operational commands, training centers and Unified Commands throughout the world. They provide on-site technical advice and quick reaction solutions to technical problems. They have access to the Army's research and development community through QRCs.
The QRCs are located at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and research, development and engineering centers. QRCs have been instructed to respond to requests from Science Advisors within 72 hours (three working days). These requests can range from simple requirements for information to specific equipment development inquiries. The QRC's initial response to the Science Advisor's request may be the complete answer or it may be just the provision of a point of contact. In any case, the SAs can expect to have an answer within three days.
This network composed of S&T Advisors in the field, Quick Reaction Coordinators and RDECOM-FAST HQs has been successful in providing AMC/RDECOM a means of getting technology into the field and knowledge of field needs to the RD&E community. The program has provided field experience to a multitude AMC Engineers and Scientists; it has tackled over 1200 projects, and has seen the introduction into the field of a number of its products. Some of these products have made major contributions in cost avoidance, improved capability, training and safety.
FAST-Atlantic frovides the supported commander with immediate access to the R&D Enterprise to expedite technology solutions to soldiers.
- Assistance – Provide commanders and staff with technology assistance and advice to help develop requirements.
- Reconnaissance – Assess unit capability gaps and technology requirements and maintain coordination with the applicable AFSB.
- Deployment – Coordinate, train and deploy new technology prototypes for evaluation.
- Assessment – Obtain user feedback on performance of deployed materiel solutions.
- Transition – Facilitate rapid acquisition of a desired technology via early collaboration with appropriate technical engineers in programs of records, acquisition enablers and Army/Joint staff elements.