Defense Transformation Banner
Search
 TRANSFORMATION
 SPECIAL REPORTS
See Caption.
The Close Combat Test Directorate led the Operational Test Command in conducting the largest initial operational test to date of the Stryker Brigade, a system of eight Stryker vehicle variants. The test was conducted at Fort Knox, Ky., for a period of over six months in 2003. The Stryker units continue to play a major role in winning the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Tad Browning
Testing Armor and Infantry Systems at Fort Hood
By Staff Sgt. Brent A. Hunt / U.S. Army Garrison

FORT HOOD, Texas, Jan. 28, 2005 – The Close Combat Test Directorate is responsible for operational testing of Armor and Infantry systems and is the lead Operational Test Command directorate responsible for operational testing of weapons and systems for the Army’s transformation.

“We are the Army’s only independent testing agency for weapons, scopes, lasers, Strkyers and future combat rifles,” said Lt. Col. David Scalsky, maneuver-systems test division chief. “Once the Army determines a need for something, they form a test and we get involved with the piece of equipment early.”

While continuing to conduct operational tests and upgrades to the current force, directorate testers began their work with the Transformation Force during the Initial Brigade Platform Performance Demonstration at Fort Knox, Ky., as well as supporting the train-up for the initial brigade in 2001.

The first operational test on the Interim Armored Vehicle, now named Stryker, was in 2002 at Fort Lewis, Wash., and the Infantry Carrier Vehicle initial test was in 2003.

“We tested the Stryker Battalion at Fort Knox,” said Bill Elliott, tester and Operational Test Command civilian of the year. “It was the largest and most complex test the Army has ever done.

“We had to make a comparison against an opposition force, with scenarios, to see who was successful and who wasn’t and try to determine why,” Elliott added. “Then when we had all the data, we tell them everything about what we detected, we formed a report and then sent it up.”

The directorate has also conducted joint testing in Canada with the Canadian Forces, using the latest in instrumentation technology for collecting scientific data from the light armor vehicle in a tactical environment.

“We are the testing experts,” said Scalsky. “It depends what kind of outcome you want the test result to be. We create events to meet the intended use of the equipment.”

For this year, testers are planning to conduct operational tests on the line of sight anti-Tank weapon system, XM8 objective individual combat weapon, semi-automatic sniper system, lightweight hand-held mortar ballistic computer and the land warrior.

“We want to make sure soldiers get the best equipment,” said Jack Ashcraft, operations officer. “Knowing that when you see a piece of equipment working well in war is very satisfying.”

DoD Homepage War on Terror News Products Press Resources Images Contact Us
 Site Map   Privacy & Security Notice   About DoD   External Link Disclaimer   Web Policy   About DefenseLINK   FirstGov.gov