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     Latest News Release:


    (U.S. Navy Photo by Amanda Wagner, Naval Health Research Center)

    Sept 5, 2023

    For Immediate Release
    John B. Marciano (619) 553-0548;





    SAN DIEGO - Naval Heath Research Center’s (NHRC) Operational Readiness (OR) team conducted a shipboard wearables demonstration onboard the USS Green Bay (LPD 20) as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 (TS23), from 22 July and 4 Aug. 2023.


    TS23 was a combined arms exercise conducted in Australia and was comprised of more than 30,000 service members from 13 nations. NHRC participated in this exercise as part of a multiservice wearables demonstration sponsored by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence.

    NHRC’s OR team went aboard Green Bay to collect data from the ship’s crew and embarked Marines, who wore the wearable devices to monitor their sleep quantity during the exercise.

    This demonstration is part of NHRC’s larger Command Readiness, Endurance and Watchstanding (CREW) program that was established in partnership with Commander, Naval Surface Forces to optimize human performance and fatigue management in the surface forces.

    CREW team and partners from MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific are currently working to customize data flows and data processing from commercial off-the-shelf wearable devices for the secure and automatic transfer of sleep and other readiness data to a new fatigue management system called Optimized Watchbill Logistics (OWL). The wearable data are collected as personnel pass by data hubs located in common shipboard spaces. 

    OWL is a program that streamlines operational planning workflows, the scheduling of ship activities, and enables real-time monitoring to detect and mitigate operational fatigue risk.

    Data from wearable devices can be used to identify individual Sailors at high risk of fatigue-related performance errors or accidents due to extreme sleep deficiencies and predict fatigue risks across a department, watchstation, for upcoming special evolutions.

    Together, CREW and OWL act as a comprehensive solution to monitor and manage fatigue-related risk. TS23 afforded the first opportunity to successfully test the CREW program wearables system together with OWL in a high operational tempo environment.

    “The goal of this exercise was threefold for us,” said Dr Rachel Markwald, NHRC’s principal investigator for the CREW program. “First, to demonstrate that commercial wearable devices can be used to transfer readiness data automatically without needing to rely on smart phones or tablets in the underway environment. Second, to showcase that these data can then be used to identify Sailors at high fatigue risk and alert leaders, and third, do all of this in a high operational tempo in near real-time.”

    “Our first attempt at this was at the end, a great success, but not without its challenges,” said Lt. Matthew Peterson, a research physiologist who embarked aboard Green Bay. “We encountered the expected software and hardware challenges that come with testing a new technology for the first time, but it was the unexpected challenges, such as communication delays and space complexities that occur when operating at-sea, that challenged us most. We will take what we learned and better adapt for the next evolution of this research effort."

    NHRC’s mission is to optimize the operational readiness and health of our armed forces and families by conducting research, development, testing, and evaluation. NHRC supports military mission readiness with research and development that delivers high-value, high-impact solutions to the health and readiness challenges our military population faces on the battlefield, at-sea, on foreign shores, and at home.
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