War on Terrorism

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Face-to-Face with Real-Life Explosives Hero: Decorated Warfighter Awes Propulsion Community

By John Ohab

Keynote speakers often are selected for their ability to convey policy or because they hold a position of power and prestige. At the most recent Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force Subcommittee Meeting in Orlando, Fla., we had a keynote speaker who held enough power in her hands to level an entire city block…literally.

Melissa Milani, a decorated Naval Explosive Ordnance Technician from Indian Head, Md., gave a captivating presentation on her past role in Explosive Ordnance Disposal. The Bronze Star recipient also touched on how her organization’s work impacted the Department of Defense (DOD) community.

Just like a Hollywood movie, Melissa’s words and stories were explosive, brought to life by a video of a captured enemy munitions disposal. However, it was her ability to connect with the audience that will be most remembered. This particular audience was filled with propellant chemists and engineers who have the job of developing better and safer munitions for the warfighter. It was clear that her skill and dedication during deployments in Kosovo and Iraq made the battlefield a safer place for US troops and civilians.

The Chemical Propulsion Information Analysis Center (CPIAC) also strives to make the battlefield safer for the warfighter. By leveraging its position as the DOD’s clearinghouse for worldwide information, data, and analysis on chemical, nuclear, and advanced propulsion concepts for missile, space and gun propulsion systems, CPIAC is able to provide DOD scientists and engineers with valuable information that often translates into new battlefield technologies.

The Chemical Propulsion Information Analysis Center (CPIAC) is one of ten Information Analysis Centers (IACs) established by DOD and managed by the Defense Technical Information Center. CPIAC is the DOD Center of Excellence responsible for acquiring, archiving, analyzing, synthesizing, and disseminating scientific and technical information related to system and component level technologies for chemical, electrical, and nuclear propulsion for rockets, missiles, and space and gun propulsion systems.

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