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  • I MEF Commanding General Visits Warfighter Performance Lab at NHR

    SAN DIEGO – Staff from Naval Health Research Center’s Warfighter Performance Department welcomed Lt. Gen. David Berger, I Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general, on an official visit to the command, March 16.

    The purpose of the visit was to highlight NHRC’s research capabilities for optimizing the physical health and medical readiness of service members and conducting operational equipment testing and evaluation.
    During the visit, NHRC researchers provided Lt. Gen. Berger with an interactive tour of the Warfighter Performance Lab that included overviews of current research into human performance optimization, the effects of new protective gear and equipment on warfighter performance, injury prevention and rehabilitation, fatigue and sleep performance, and environmental physiology.
    “Our team at NHRC is comprised of experts in biomedical engineering, research psychology, physiology, physical therapy, and kinesiology,” said Capt. Kim Lefebvre, NHRC’s executive officer. “Their skill and dedication to our mission of improving readiness through research that has practical application is a key factor in our ability to successfully meet the needs of the fleet and warfighters in support of their missions.”
    The tour included a demonstration of the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN), a cutting-edge research tool that incorporates motion capture cameras, a large curved projection screen, surround sound, and a motion platform that create an immersive virtual environment. Initially used for the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded warriors, the CAREN has been modified by NHRC scientists and transformed into a more powerful tool that is used to:
    ·         Define the physical and cognitive capabilities and limits of healthy warfighters
    ·         Evaluate new technologies for enhancing performance and reducing injuries
    ·         Support sleep optimization and fatigue mitigation studies
    ·         Assess prototypes of new gear being proposed for troop use and its impact on performance.
    The commanding general was also given an overview of the Sleep Lab, including current research into sleep optimization throughout the continuum of military service, and the Environmental Chamber, which can simulate environments with temperatures ranging from -23°F to 130°F to assess the impact of extreme cold and heat on health, performance, and gear.
    “Several of NHRC’s studies involve Marines and focus on improving their physical and cognitive readiness through research, development, testing, and evaluation,” said Lefebvre. “Lt. Gen. Berger’s visit provided an opportunity for him to meet the experts who are spearheading this research and discuss how science can optimize performance in challenging environments and positively impact the health of Marines now and over the course of their careers.”
    As the DoD’s premier deployment health research center, NHRC’s cutting-edge research and development is used to optimize the operational health and readiness of the nation’s armed forces. In proximity to more than 95,000 active duty service members, world-class universities, and industry partners, NHRC sets the standard in joint ventures, innovation, and translational research.