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The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) is the U.S Army’s main institution and facility for military environmental medicine and exercise physiology research. It is located at Natick, Massachusetts, within the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) installation, but is a subordinate lab of the U. S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), headquartered at Fort Detrick, MD, USA.


USARIEM’s Mission Statement mandates that the Institute:

Provide solutions to enhance Warfighter health and performance through medical research.

There are four divisions, Biophysical and Biomedical Modeling, Military Nutrition, Military Performance and Thermal and Mountain Medicine that focus on the servicemember (acclimation; body size; gender; race; age; health; hydration; nutrition; fitness; and sleep status), the environment (temperature; wind; humidity; and altitude), and the mission (work—intensity, duration, and type; clothing and equipment; and medications).


USARIEM traces its institutional lineage back to 1927 and the Harvard Fatigue Laboratory. That facility fostered two institutions that ultimately merged. The first was the Climatic Research Laboratory in Lawrence, MA (1943–54), which relocated to Natick in 1954 under the new name of the Environmental Protection Research Division (EPRD) of the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster Research and Engineering Command. The second was the Armored Medical Research Laboratory (AMRL) at Fort Knox, KY (1942–61) elements of which joined with the EPRD in 1961 to constitute the present USARIEM facility and organization.

Products and capabilities

USARIEM’s basic and applied research capabilities are focused upon biomedical evaluations, health hazard assessments, countermeasures development and a rapid response to a diverse range of environmental threats and problems. Products include individual soldier equipment and rations; guidelines pertaining to training policy and preventive medicine; and performance monitoring strategies and predictive algorithms.

Research Divisions

Research divisions within USARIEM consist of Biophysics and Biomedical Modeling (which develops biomedical models to simulate effects of heat, cold, high altitude, hydration, nutritional status and clothing systems and equipment), Military Performance (which researches performance enhancements (physical, cognitive, behavioral, psychomotor) in military occupational tasks), Military Nutrition (which researches nutritional issues, including new rations, affecting servicemembers), and Thermal and Mountain Medicine (which researches physical and cognitive work capabilities and medical problems associated with military operations at high altitude or temperature extremes).


USARIEM maintains several unique or highly specialized facilities:

  • Hypobaric Chamber Facility or HCF (altitude chambers)
    • Two Class D chambers (man-rated) rarefied air atmosphere, non-oxygen enriched
      • Large Study Chamber: internal volume of 2000 cu. ft. (floor area 200 sq. ft.)
      • Small Study Chamber: internal volume of 1100 cu. ft. (floor area 108 sq. ft.)
    • Environmentally controlled (altitude, temperature, humidity) & connected by an airlock
      • Simulates altitudes of 800-225 Torr (sea level to 9000 m)
      • Temperatures from -32 °C to 43 °C
      • Relative humidity (Rh) between 20-80% (dew point dependent)
    • 23,656 simulated altitude exposures of human volunteers over 33 years of studies[1]
  • 13 Environmental Chambers
    • Temperatures from -10 °C to 50 °C
  • 5 Biophysical Evaluation Chambers
    • Temperatures from -10 °C to 50 °C
  • Biomechanics Laboratory
  • Water Immersion Laboratory[2]
    • Temperatures from 5 °C to 45 °C
  • Human Exercise Physiology Laboratory
  • Human/Animal Physiology Laboratory
  • Psychology Laboratory
  • Electron Microscopy Laboratory
  • Animal Housing and Care Facility
    • Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) Accredited
  • Doriot Climatic Chamber Complex
    • Temperatures from -57 °C to 74 °C
  • Laser and Flow Cytometry
  • USARIEM/Womack Medical Research Facility

See also


This article contains information that originally came from US Government publications and websites and is in the public domain.

External links

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