Special to the Hood Herald
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. - Gen. David M. Rodriguez, U.S. Army Forces Command commanding general, got an up-close-and-personal look at what the Army's operational testers are doing at the Network Integration Evaluation last week.
NIE 12.2, as part of the Agile Process, is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, the ASA System of Systems Integration Directorate and the Brigade Modernization Command, known as the TRIAD, to integrate and mature the Army's tactical network.
As part of his visit, Rodriguez toured and received briefings at the Evaluation Control Center and the Network Operations Security Center before heading out to test sites where he heard direct feedback from soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armor Division, of Fort Bliss in El Paso. Squadron soldiers are providing the hands-on expertise ATEC's Operational Test Command requires in order to assess the suitability, survivability and effectiveness of the systems under test.
During NIE 12.2, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical and the Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Man-pack, Small Form Fit systems are undergoing Initial Operational Test and Evaluation. OTC, as part of ATEC, is able to conduct integrated and paralleled operational tests from the platoon to the brigade combat team level at NIE, resulting in cost efficiencies for the Army, said to Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson, OTC commanding general.
"Having General Rodriguez visit NIE is a great way not only for him to see the synergy created by the TRIAD team of ATEC, BMC and SOSI," she said, "but it was also great to have him visit the 1-1 Cav soldiers at the test sites and get their perspectives on the emerging technologies of networked and non-networked capabilities that they're working with."
Rodriguez said that NIE is definitely a different way of doing business but he sees it as a better way to make sure equipment works, enabling the Army to procure it faster.
"Testing the equipment here is really important and very effective so we're not testing it downrange, he said. "The soldier here helping with the operational test is the most important person out here."
NIE 12.2 is the third in a series of a culminating process to support senior Army leadership in acquisition decisions to build agile and fully integrated capability sets for warfighters, according to TRIAD briefing documents. This NIE will test and assess the network baseline and validate connectivity, architecture and components of Capability Set 13, which will be fielded to as many as eight brigade combat teams in 2013.