By Michelle Milliner, STTC Public Affairs Specialist

The US Army Research Laboratory-Human Research and Engineering Directorate’s Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC) welcomed incoming commander Col. Gary L. Laase and his family during an assumption of responsibility ceremony on September 3, 2014.

Col. Laase a native of Ft. Sill/Lawton, Oklahoma received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Master’s of Science in Material Acquisition Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Field Artillery Officer Basic/Advanced Courses. In 1983, Col. Laase enlisted into the Oklahoma National Guard and completed Basic Training at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. He commissioned into the US Army Reserves as an Infantry Officer in May 1985. Prior to assuming command of the STTC he served as the Director, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) Forward Operations, Central Command.

Dr. Thomas Russell, director ARL welcomed Laase to the organization. During his remarks he stated, “You are taking responsibility for an organization that is known throughout the entire Department of Defense and the simulation industry for excellence.”

Russell continued, “so my charge to you, Gary, is to take care of this fine institution–lead it from the front and build a cohesive team that continues to discover and innovate. To the outstanding STTC team, I ask that you provide Colonel Laase your support during his transition. I thank all of you for what you do every day. It is exciting to see the progress being made here and how it is contributing to making our Army the most formidable force the world has ever seen.”

Laase reminded audience that, “research is an area that does not always result in success, though it allows us to enjoy those successes and encourages us to strive for more. Quoting Truman Capote, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.””

Col. and Mrs. Laase cut the welcome cake during the reception.

Col. and Mrs. Laase cut the welcome cake during the reception.

He continued, “Every person who has commanded will tell you that time in command is defined by those who work for you and those you work for. I want to remind everyone that it takes a team to accomplish a mission…” “I would not be standing here today without the support of the officers/civilians/contractors throughout my career. I thank them for their steadfast dedication and tireless work ethic in setting the example of what a leader should be.”

Col. Matthew T. Clarke, the outgoing commander retired in a separate ceremony in July. Under his leadership the STTC successfully developed several break-through modeling and simulation technologies that revolutionized how soldiers train.

The Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith Simulation and Training Technology Center is embedded at the core of Team Orlando’s modeling and simulation training corridor. The STTC is a subordinate organization under the Army Research Laboratory that engages with other services, academia and industry to research and mature critical simulation and training technologies to increase Warfighter battlefield readiness and performance.

The center’s research focus is technology for the future–What are the requirements five to ten years down the road? Active investigation and development is taking place in the areas of intelligent tutors, immersive learning environments, human agent teaming, augmented reality dismounted soldier training, virtual world technologies, and medical simulators and simulations.

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