Fort Stewart Modern Earplug Study
LTC Marc J. Stevens
In 2001 a $90,000 Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine Initiatives (HIPPI) grant was awarded to investigate the significant threshold shift rate of soldier’s issued the Combat Arms Earplug (CAP) compared to traditional earplugs. This study was conducted on soldiers assigned to Fort Stewart’s 3rd Infantry Division and the 1/75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield. In anticipation of a DOEHRS-HC data repository query (due early Jan 2004) that will provide STS data by UIC by type of earplugs used and issued, this presentation will simply report the STS findings on soldiers fitted with CAPs compared to soldiers not fitted with CAPs. The data should provide information on Rangers and MPs as well as a few 3ID Infantry units that fought in the Iraq war.
91WP2: Changes in Training and Use
COL Clyde Byrne
Soldiers with the P2 ASI perform 30 Tasks identified by a Critical Task Selection Board. The 300-P2 Course at the Academy of Health Sciences trains 91W medics to perform these tasks. This presentation will update the audience of Army audiologists on changes in the training that produces the ancillary personnel supporting the clinical and technical activities of Audiology, ENT and Hearing Conservation Centers. The staff has updated equipment and infrastructure, and has migrated all audiology training to the procedures described in Frederick Martin’s recently published Exercises in Audiometry, A Laboratory Manual. New Army audiologists will gain understanding of the training and background of the 91WP2’s working at their installations.
Tracking Down Your 91WP2
Since the 91U MOS has been converted to a basic combat medic with an additional skill identifier (ASI) of P2 (91WP2), assignments to audiology and ENT clinics have become more complicated. This presentation will inform the audience of Army audiologists on the current process for assigning 91WP2s against TDA authorizations, but more importantly, the audience will learn what actions they need to take to ensure 91WP2s assigned to an installation actually perform duties in audiology and/or ENT.
Army Audiology Best Practice Guidelines
MAJ Kristen Casto
This guideline is the result of MAJ Casto’s capstone project for the Central Michigan University’s Au.D. Program. Data collected from the 72C Best Practice Guideline survey will serve to develop a reference for Army-specific audiology tasks for new Army Audiologists. In addition, this information may also be of value to the more seasoned audiologist who may not have been “in the trenches” for a while and now is in a mentorship position for a less experienced audiologist. The preliminary results of the 72C Best Practice Guideline will be presented to the audience and discussed.
Presentations from the Navy included the following:
DOEHRS-HC and DR Update—CDR (s) Kelly Paul
Presentations from Air Force members include the following:
Electronic Tracking Tool for Hearing Conservation Programs: Mail-Merge Your Way to Success
LtCol Angela Williamson
Most audiology programs include an overview course on hearing conservation. Unfortunately, it won’t provide the necessary training to fulfill your duties as a military hearing conservationist. This presentation will provide you with an electronic toolkit, from one HSI lauded hearing conservation program, to allow you to better fulfill these duties. Topics covered include reviewing records, fitness and risk evaluations, managing the hearing conservation program and resources. The tools described can be adapted to any setting, and require intermediate knowledge of Word, Access and/or Excel.
Active Duty Auditory Neuropathy/Dys-synchrony?
Capt Nicole Cioni, CPT Marie Bloom, 1Lt Jennifer Jones
Later life manifestation of Auditory Neuropathy/Dys-synchrony in adults is a rare occurrence. This joint presentation between the Audiology staffs of Darnall Army Community Hospital and Wilford Hall Medical Center will review a case of a male active duty Army patient diagnosed with AN/DS. A full review of case history review as well as the assessment process will be presented to include: Audiologic work-up, Cochelar Implant Board process, consultations, rationale for implantation, and management. We will discuss his performance both before and after receiving the implant and how his hearing and attitude changed both toward life and the Army.
Mondini Malformation: Case Presentation
Capt Bridget McMullen
Inner ear malformations are fairly rare. They account for approximately 20% of the known causes of congenital deafness. A Mondini Malformation of the inner ear occurs when the cochlea does not develop fully. This aplasia will result in hearing loss of varying degree and may be associated with further inner ear abnormalities.
A discussion of etiology, pathophysiology and embryology of a Mondini Malformation will be presented. We will discuss a typical patient with a Mondini Malformation, including imaging studies of a normal cochlea and a cochlea with a Mondini malformation. We will also discuss management and prognosis of inner ear abnormalities.
This information is important for all clinical audiologists. Although this is a rare disorder, it is common enough for audiologists to encounter during their career. It is important to have good ENT support for diagnosis. It is also helpful to understand inner ear formation and long-term prognosis of inner ear abnormalities when counseling families.
Got My Cochlear Implant and Want to Stay on AD, Uncle Sam May I? Two Years Later
Capt Jennifer Tay
We first presented a controversial case study on the first-ever active duty cochlear implant recipient at MASC 2002. It was the first active duty member to receive a cochlear implant following a sudden hearing loss. This is a two-year update on the landmark case. A review of the initial case will be presented, along with a discussion of the patient’s current status and outlook.
Unleashing the Power of Human Performance Through Technology
Col David Wirth
The purpose of this briefing is to provide an overview of the Human Effectiveness Technical Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory and to introduce a block presentation showcasing technology that is being transitioned directly from the benches of scientists and engineers to the hands of the operational warfighters. A brief depiction of the three central interconnected core technology areas for the Human Effectiveness Directorate will be presented: Train as We Fight, Decision Effectiveness and Immunity from Threat.
The following technologies from the AFRL Battlespace Acoustics Branch will subsequently be introduced.
1. The Terminal Attack Communications (TAC) Earplug – Maj Cynthia Eades
2. Attenuating Custom Communications Earphone System (ACCES) – Mr. John Hall
3. Battlefield Air Operations (BAO) Kit – Capt Louis Duncan
4. Enhanced Acoustic Remote Sentry (EARS) – Maj Stephen Steele
The most complex and most integral part of any weapons system is the human being who must interface somewhere in the chain of events. Keep in mind there are no unmanned systems. The human may not sit in the cockpit but will remain totally engaged at some point, further back in the control chain. Human factors engineering is a critical juncture in the planning and development of any mechanical platform, weapons system or interface, yet it is often the most neglected consideration in system design and development. That oversight results in huge costs for system retrofit and unduly compromises the safety of our airmen, soldiers and sailors.
At the Human Effectiveness Technical Directorate, our goal is to leverage science and technology to enhance operator performance and safe human interface.
Battlefield Air Operations Kit
Maj Stephen Steele, Maj Thia Eades
The Battlefield Air Operations Kit is an Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) effort to revolutionize Air Force Special Tactics (Combat Controllers, Pararescue, and Combat Weather) and Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) equipment. The initiative was started by Secretary of the Air Force after a fratricide incident in Afghanistan. The Human Effectiveness Directorate has focused decreasing the weight of the equipment by reducing the number of pieces of gear needed to perform the mission. Also, the Human Effectiveness has focused on increasing the accuracy of information displayed to the operator and sent to the airborne strike assets.
Terminal Attack Communications (TAC) Earplug System
Maj Thia Eades
This briefing will provide an overview of the generation of a new communication system for Air Force Special Tactics and Tactical Air Control Party personnel. The TAC Earplug System has gone from concept to deployed product in less than two years. The presentation will cover the evolution of the concept, prototype development, laboratory verification, field test evaluation and finalized product design of the Terminal Attack Communications (TAC) Earplug System.
Intra-Canal Passive and Active Noise Reduction Earplug Systems
John Hall, M.S., CCC-A
DOD personnel are exposed to hazardous acoustic noise degrading hearing/communication. F/A-22 and legacy AF and Navy fighter aircraft generate up to 150 dB at key ground crew positions (same expected for the Joint Strike Fighter). Current hearing protection (30 years old) is inadequate, offering only 25-30 dB of protection; AF and Navy aviation ground crew members wearing current protection are often overexposed in seconds or minutes. OUSD and the Congressional Defense Committees are concerned over magnitude of the problem and directed initiation of Defense Technology Objective (DTO) HS-33 “Improved Aviation Personnel Hearing Protection”.
The joint effort targets 50 dB of overall protection. To date there has been successful field demonstrations with F/A-22 maintainers wearing improved deep insert custom passive earphones called the Attenuating Custom Communications Earphone System (ACCES) developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). ACCES demonstrated 40 dB overall protection under standard flightline communication muffs. The F/A-22 CTF reports improved attenuation and clear communication in 150 dB jet noise with ACCES. Recent performance on a contract to add ANR to ACCES have demonstrated 47dB attenuation performance in the ear canal under a passive muff.
A flight helmet version of ACCES was developed by AFRL at the request of the Aeronautical Systems Center. This system has been evaluated in-flight by the F/A-22 Raptor at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, CA. To date, ACCES has logged over 300 flight hours in the F/A-22 by numerous pilots with high marks on performance. Test sorties have been up to 4 hours in duration, with maneuvers including 9 G accelerations, aerial refueling, and multiple ship formations. The F/A-22 Program Office has requested AFRL and the 311th Human Systems Wing deliver 2 sets of ACCES to each Raptor pilot at every F/A-22 squadron.
This presentation will compare and contrast emerging intra-canal acoustic technologies with legacy system performance and provide a status update on AFRL’s activity in this technology area.