The U.S Army Test and Evaluation Command commanding general, Maj. Gen. Peter Utley, met with Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, and Col. Raymond Compton, commander, U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground, for an overview and tour of the U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground here at Fort Huachuca, Nov. 25.
The Electronic Proving Ground is the U.S. Army testing organization for developmental and operational testing of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, also known as C5ISR.
As the new commander of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, or ATEC, Utley visited USAEPG for the first time as part of a larger tour of the six test centers that provide support to the war fighter.
Prior to assuming command of ATEC, Utley served as the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command deputy chief of staff, G3/5/7, where he was responsible for developing systems, system requirements, and the training requirements for each system.
“We are humbled. We are grateful that we can have a commander that comes in with that background,” Compton said. “He [provides] a new perspective so that we can bring testing back to what it’s supposed to be. We test for the capability, the responsibility, the safety of the Soldier.”
Compton explained that his intent during Utley’s visit was to highlight the benefit of having a proving ground and a Training and Doctrine schoolhouse on the same installation.
“There is no other place in the United States where not only do you have the vast land and the capability to test systems, but you also have a Training and Doctrine learning facility at your back door,” Compton said.
He further explained that having the Soldiers on the installation provides a level of fidelity because they are an actual part of the technical and tactical testing.
As part of his tour, Utley and other Fort Huachuca senior leaders met at the EPG Visualization Lab where Thom Roxberry, USAEPG command support director, delivered an in-depth explanation of USAEPG’s mission and how they gain and use support from the entire Fort Huachuca team, to include the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command, the Information Systems Engineering Command, the Department of Defense’s Joint Interoperability Test Command, as well as many other organizations on the fort.
Following the mission brief, Utley received a presentation regarding the future integrated testing of DoD’s top intelligence system — the Distribution Common Ground System — Army, to be performed at EPG Fort Huachuca.
Many Team Fort Huachuca partners will play a part in this testing, Compton explained. Instead of holding multiple events, EPG and its partners will conduct one testing event, expediting the process and delivering the system to the war fighter well ahead of schedule.
Another stop on Utley’s tour was a visit to the Test Control Center where Compton and Mark Butler, a USAEPG test officer, described the testing operations of specific systems that are integral to the Army.
The Test Control Center visit provided more than a view of the systems being tested — Utley also experienced a glimpse of the vast test environment that Fort Huachuca has to offer.
“When you go to TCC, on a very clear day, you can probably see almost fifty to sixty percent of our land mass, all the way to [Interstate 10] and back,” Compton said. “That is something that people don’t realize. We have the second largest usable testing range there is in a CONUS (Continental United States) operation.”