Predicting future technology needs is what the directorate is all about. Their task is to develop, acquire or modify required operational testing, experimentation and evaluation in support of the Army’s largest undertaking in years, the transformation of the Army.
“We work with the developer to make sure we can fix items quickly,” said Shull. “This March, we are going to test 11 different systems of the Army Battle Command System during the 4th Infantry Division’s field exercise, Joint Red Flag and Roving Sands.
“They (the 4th Infantry Division) will have soldiers deployed to the simulation center, where they will war game with real life scenarios,” Shull continued. “Operational Test Command wants to see the capabilities and limitations of the system.
“We don’t want to provide soldiers with a scenario that is too easy or is unfairly too difficult, but real,” Shull said. “We have to give soldiers a reason to use a piece of equipment and a realistic scenario provides that.”
Another undertaking the Transformation Technology Directorate is very concerned with is being involved in the community. Students of Shoemaker High School in Killeen participate annually in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology robotics competition and Operational Test Command are the students’ mentors.
“We are involved in the community to find talent that is out there,” Shull said. “The Shoemaker robotics show is a way to work with future technology students and it’s also a great way of reaching out to the community and possibly hiring them one day.”
Also, Transformation Technology Directorate is out in the community with the Student Education Employment Program. What this program does is have college students alternate school semesters with an internship at the command. If they complete their hours at the schoolhouse, students can noncompetitively fill a vacant position at a government agency.
“We find that when a young engineer comes here and can lead a major procurement program, it is quite an incentive for a student to work out here,” Shull said. “We have so many years of operational testing it’s amazing.”