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USAF Contracts Battelle for Research on Warfighter Safety and Health; Dr. Nicole Brennan Quoted

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The U.S. Air Force has awarded research and development contractor Battelle a five-year, $17 million contract to perform research for causes related to warfighter health in combat situations.

The contract aims to produce information about occupational and environmental exposures to USAF’s servicepeople through Batelle’s scientific and technological programs, the Columbus, Ohio-based company said Wednesday.

“Battelle brings a rare combination of world-class military force health protection experts, research, development, test and evaluation experts and specialized facilities to tackle this important work,” said Dr. Nicole Brennan, head of the public and military health division at Battelle.

The personnel Brennan mentions will, via the contract, be expected to provide Air Force planners, commanders, team leaders and healthcare officials with the data and findings critical to creating safe and health-conscious working conditions for airfighters.

The contract is a function of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Airman Readiness Medical Research rollout, which enumerated eight research goals. Battelle’s assignments attempt to undertake three: airman exposure health, cognitive and physiological performance and space exploration research.

Research and development efforts will take place in the 711th Human Performance Wing of the Airman Systems Directorate, under the auspices of the Biosciences Division. Batelle has a 15 year history doing health protection work at this location.

Force Health Protection Solutions Architect and S&T Integrator Paul Pirkle says this work has been beneficial to USAF warfighters in the past, in effect “bolstering readiness, enhancing combat lethality, and protecting the health of forces that project air power.”

Battelle is currently working under another contract from the U.S. Air Force focusing on computational and experimental chemistry and computer modeling procedures. That contract was announced in December 2021.