The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) announced on October 20 that the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center, Warren, Michigan, has joined its public-private venture to demonstrate and promote fuel cell vehicles and fuel alternatives. The National Automotive Center is part of the Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center whose higher headquarters is the Research, Development and Engineering Systems Command located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. "The National Automotive Center's participation in our programs, with their perspective of the challenging demands of military applications, adds a very important element to our work in demonstrating the technical viability, high performance capabilities and energy diversification benefits of hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle technology," said Firoz Rasul, 2004 Chairman CaFCP and Chairman Emeritus of Ballard Power Systems. Started in 1992, the National Automotive Center (NAC) is chartered to conduct research and development focused on commercial technologies where potential military requirements can be combined with industry requirements. NAC engineers and program mangers work with their industry partners in promoting the commercialization of various automotive, transportation, fuels and energy management technologies. Unique in the Army's research and development organizations, the NAC is able to leverage industry investments through a variety of programs including cooperative research and development agreements, Small Business Innovative Research, and cost share contracts while accelerating the full commercialization opportunities found in the private sector. The NAC's commitment to the Army is to promote the demonstration of advanced technologies and obtain the lowest commercial price when the products are subsequently bought for military customers. With the initiation of its 21st Century Base Energy Infrastructure program in 2004, the NAC is evaluating the technical, economic, environmental and military issues associated with a transition to hydrogen as a transportation fuel.