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Fire Support Test Directorate
By Operational Test Command Public Affairs Office

FORT HOOD, Texas, Jan. 28, 2005 – The oldest of Operational Test Command's test directorates is the Fire Support Test Directorate located at the home of Field Artillery, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

This directorate is a professional, mission-focused test directorate that contributes to the Field Artillery's future successes on the battlefield of the 21st century by rigorous testing under realistic operational conditions.

In the first part of 2004, the directorate remained busy by conducting tests and provided objective assessments on the lightweight technical fire direction system, pocket sized forward entry device, advanced field artillery tactical data system as well the Stryker mobile gun system.

Over the second half of 2004, the directorate will conduct the initial operational test on both high mobility artillery rocket system and guided multiple launch rocket system.

To compliment our ability to conduct tests and assessments, the directorate has developed an instrumentation suite unique to this directorate and the Command.

The Extensible C4I Instrumentation Suite uses the latest in software engineering technology and provides the directorate with the capability to conduct corps-level testing of fire support C4 systems by simulating 75 -90 percent of the corps' fire support operational facilities. This capability, unequalled in the command, has permitted

robust, multitiered software testing at a fraction of the cost associated with having to field live player corps facilities. This instrumentation suite is not only a simulation-stimulation system, but also a non-intrusive data collection system with full data reduction capabilities.

The directorate is also the ATEC proponent and developer of the Multimedia Data Transfer System, a system designed to fully automate test data collection and permit instantaneous data transmission from multiple test sites.

Via satellite communications, the transfer system moves all types of digital data, including video, text, chat, and databases, from a remote test location to a data collection point anywhere on the command link and return.

The transfer system maintains data integrity and enhances quality control, helps reduce test costs, and reduces time lag between data capture and data entry from weeks to minutes.

These systems will be used in the independent operational test and evaluation of HIMARS, Guided MLRS, Phoenix Battlefield Sensor System and future ATACMS munitions.

Taking advantage of new technology to collect and process test data will significantly enhance the Army's goal of Transformation and Field Artillery modernization to meet 21st Century threats.

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