Local

May 24, 2012

Passion, people key for mission success as JITC commander retires

By Joint Interoperability Test
Command Public Affairs

Later today, the Fort Huachuca-headquartered Joint Interoperability Test Command and others will bid farewell to the commander of JITC during a relinquishment of command and retirement ceremony.

Those attending U.S. Army Col. Joe Puett’s ceremony and celebrating his 30 years of service will represent dozens of different organizations, from local elected officials, the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, military retirees, various industries and others. Arizona’s Huachuca Mountains will serve as a backdrop to the ceremony, where Director of Defense Information Systems Agency, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, Jr. will preside.

Those attending serve as a reflection of JITC’s diverse organization and its mission, as it tests, operationally evaluates and certifies IT capabilities for joint interoperability, enabling information dominance and increasing warfighter effectiveness for the nation. JITC’s workforce comprised of personnel from the military, government and contract workers has been essential to JITC achieving its mission successfully.

“It’s the men and women of JITC that have really been the focal point,” said Puett. “In the case of JITC, it’s people, people, people! I have been flabbergasted, since day-one when I took command, about the passion and expertise of the workforce here.”

Starting his tenure as JITC’s commander in June, 2010, Puett said he is proud of three of JITC’s accomplishments in particular. The first is JITC’s testing efficiency initiatives, most notably with capability test teams.

Traditional testing of information and communications systems evaluates different aspects of the system or device at different times, which creates redundancy and slows fielding of systems or products. With CTTs, the team tests capabilities of the system or device, from multiple aspects at the same time. Meanwhile, the team can use single test events for multiple purposes, expediting the fielding of systems and products.

“JITC is recognized now throughout DoD as the best test agency in that regard [testing efficiency],” said Puett.

The second accomplishment is mission-based testing, where the evaluation of a system or product is based on the needs of a mission. Once testers identify those needs, the system or product is tested for only those needs. Related to mission-based testing is risk-based testing, which identifies areas and capabilities of a system or product that are not well understood or high risk and spends resources to test only in those areas.

“A great example of this [mission-based testing] is the Afghan mission network,” said Puett. “We accomplished incredible things and improved the capability of the network that is directly supporting our warfighters.”

The final accomplishment Puett said he was most proud is the implementation of Agile testing, where products, systems and services are developed and tested at the same time, allowing for shortened acquisition cycles.

Puett, a U.S. Military Academy graduate and former instructor there, said he is considering several options of what he will do upon retiring. He is considering returning to instructing, continuing service in the U.S. Government and working in private industry. Temporarily assuming command after the ceremony is JITC’s Deputy Commander, George “Stu” Brock, until the DoD appoints a new commander.

“I’m honored to be entrusted with the JITC colors as interim commander,” said Brock. “I’m blessed to serve with an exceptional workforce. I ask all JITC employees to keep doing what you do, be humble about your personal accomplishments, take pride in what we accomplish as a team, and always remember that the warfighters are our ultimate customers.”




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