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    Public Affairs Office

    John Marciano - Public Affairs Officer
    Contact (619) 553-0548 | john.b.marciano.civ@health.mil

     



     

     Latest News Release:


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


    Sept 28, 2023

    For Immediate Release
    John B. Marciano (619) 553-0548; john.b.marciano.civ@health.mil


             

    NHRC Operational Readiness Research Teams Made Impactful Presentations at the 6th International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance


    LONDON, UK - 16 scientists from Naval Health Research Center’s (NHRC) Warfighter Performance Department presented research on the effects in extreme environments at the International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance (ICSPP), held in London, UK from September 12-14.

    The scientists presented their research via poster presentations, speaking seminars, and for the first time, a thematic session focused on a collaborative effort involving six different NHRC primary investigators. Each research team provided important findings and discussed their experiences during a 90-minute thematic presentation.

    For the past eight years, NHRC’s thermal physiology team partnered with the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport California, to study the effects of cold-weather environments on warfighter physiology, cognition, and operational readiness. In 2022, the team was asked to develop a project to examine Marines’ health, readiness, and performance during two 4-week mountain warfare training exercises.

    “The goal of the project was to determine the impact of extended military training exercises in mountainous environments on Marine health and performance. We achieved this goal by leveraging the expertise of six of or department’s research teams to better understand the contributing factors to injury, performance degradation, and resilience during mountain warfare training,” said Dr. Doug Jones, NHRC research physiologist and principal investigator for the thermal physiology team.

    The study focuses on the holistic picture of the warfighter exposed to austere environments during prolonged field training, which includes significant physical cognitive efforts performed in extreme temperatures, rugged mountainous terrain, and high-altitude settings. This approach enlisted the expertise and collaboration of six different research labs within NHRC’s Warfighter Performance Department; Thermal Physiology Team; Physical and Cognitive Operational Research Environment (PhyCORE) Lab; Sleep, Tactical Endurance, and Efficiency (STEEL) Lab; Applied Translational, Exercise and Metabolic (A-TEAM) Lab; Food Utilization and Energy Lab (FUEL); and Expeditionary Cognitive Science Group.

    While Marines completed each 4-week mountain warfare exercise, one during the Fall and one during the Winter, NHRC teams evaluated their physiology, hydration, nutrition, stress responses, stress coping strategies, sleep quality and quantity, cognitive performance, body composition, and muscular strength. The teams performed a total of ten field data collections to support this research effort, which included data capture on 133 Marines.

    The results of the research will be provided to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center for integration into their mountain warfare training curricula, ultimately helping Marines better prepare for rigorous demands of mountain warfare. Additionally, the results are being analyzed to identify critical determinants of warfighter resilience in extreme environments.

    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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