From the standpoint of ASA(ALT)’s test and evaluation unit, there’s a better way to support test and evaluation events, one that would directly improve operational readiness.
by Ms. Laura Pegher, Mr. Adam Bussey and Ms. Amber Dufour
In an acquisition environment concerned with all things cost, schedule and performance, logistics and product testing historically have tended to be an afterthought or overlooked altogether. The Army places a high priority on validating performance requirements in various developmental and operational tests, but acquisition test events such as the logistics demonstration (log demo) and verification of the technical manual often take a back seat.
Based on historical data, the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), along with other Army commands, Army service component commands and depot replacement units, have experienced significant challenges with sourcing log demos and technical manual verification events. Sourcing is the term used for applying Soldiers as a test resource. This takes the Soldiers in high-demand military occupational specialties (MOSs), specifically maintainer MOSs, away from their primary duties and deployment training while giving the test community a real-user experience.
Technical manual verification timelines can range from two weeks up to a year, depending on the system complexity, and the average technical manual verification requires five Soldiers as test users. The sourcing challenge is primarily because of the long durations of these events, with negative impacts on unit operational readiness as Soldier maintainers are pulled away to support the event. Given the current state of available resources, test and evaluation (T&E) requirements are exceeding the Army’s capabilities across the force. Thus, the Army must develop solutions to set clear priorities and supply T&E events with adequate resources in order of importance.