Is It Working? Forward Operational Assessment Teams Evaluate System Effectiveness Downrange

By Cast, Mike | Soldiers Magazine, November 2010 | Go to article overview

Is It Working? Forward Operational Assessment Teams Evaluate System Effectiveness Downrange


Cast, Mike, Soldiers Magazine


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

To support the military operations that toppled the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, the U.S. and its allies have had to rely on a wide range of weapons systems that had never been fielded. The rigors of counterinsurgency have revealed that many of these systems needed modifications before troops could use them safely and effectively.

The Army Test and Evaluation Command--the major command responsible for helping Army acquisition organizations field effective, reliable and safe systems--is meeting this urgent need by deploying forward operational assessment teams to combat theaters.

The first ATEC FOA team deployed to Kuwait in the early stages of the war in Iraq, to assess the performance of Army vehicles that Soldiers were driving at high speeds to keep from becoming easy targets.

Since then, 14 ATEC FOA teams have deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq. They have been assessing the performance of everything from counter-IED technologies to unmanned aerial and ground systems that can gather intelligence on enemy activities or serve as weapons platforms.

Deployed teams usually stay in theater for several months, although some have stayed up to a year.

Major Samuel Ancira of the Operational Test Command, who deployed as a member of ATEC FOA Team 13, said the workweek he and his colleague experienced in Kuwait was often hectic; typically "12 to 14 hours, six days a week."

According to several team members, no one minds the rigors of the mission, because they know how crucial it is to the Soldiers facing the threat of serious injury or even death, day in and day out.

A large number of the forward-deployed team members have been ATEC Soldiers, but many civilian ATEC employees have volunteered to participate. The volunteers come from ATEC's three primary test-and-evaluation organizations: the Army Evaluation Center, the Developmental Test Command and the Operational Test Command.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ATEC's Col. Brian Dosa, who commanded the 13th FOA rotation from his headquarters at Camp Victory, said those conducting the FOA mission have seen themselves as the "mouthpiece of the Soldier." In that role, they have obtained critical feedback from Soldiers that can lead to weapons systems improvements; changes to tactics, techniques and procedures; and adjusted test-and-evaluation procedures back in the United States at ATEC's various test facilities and ranges.

One result of the team's deployment is a stateside test-and-evaluation program that as closely as possible reflects the realities of operations in theater.

T.R. Masino, who serves as a FOA team coordinator at DTC, said input from FOA teams often results in systems improvements.

"They recently assessed a small arms weapon that had a poorly manufactured part that was breaking," Masino explained. "They discovered that a misprint in the technical manual caused the troops to maintain it incorrectly. The program manager was informed and is making improvements to the way the part is manufactured and to the tech manual.

"Sometimes the FOA team discovers problems with the training the unit has received, or did not receive, on the item, or many times the problem might be lack of spare parts," Masino said.

Soldiers on the receiving end of ATEC's forward said they appreciate what the command is doing for them.

"I was impressed on a daily basis with the level of commitment that these guys showed, not just for their specific project but to supporting the guys on the ground," Capt. Brian Hartigan of the 37th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, said of FOA Team Speicher. "Not only were they willing to go outside the wire and put themselves in harm's way, they were hungry for the real-time data that our Soldiers were providing them.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Is It Working? Forward Operational Assessment Teams Evaluate System Effectiveness Downrange
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.