April 16, 2013
The CTSF was established in 1996 as a center for the rapid development and testing of what were then called the Army Battle Command Systems, and has evolved into the Army's strategic facility responsible for performing Army Interoperability Certification testing, systems of systems integration, and configuration management for all operational- through tactical-level LandWarNet C4ISR systems.
As the hub of the Army's Federated Net-Centric System of test facilities, the CTSF has the ability to link with remote test and tactical locations, and has in place proven procedures for distributed testing. The CTSF has taken distributed testing to new levels in its work on the Afghanistan Mission Network in the international Coalition Interoperability Assessment and Validation effort.
It is that experience and expertise that have proven invaluable in the Joint Air Ground Integration Level Exploration (AGILE) Fire exercises conducted over the past several years.
Linked with nine other test locations, the CTSF has helped gather data during AGILE Fire exercises that has helped to pinpoint gaps in Joint information exchange requirements, and that has been put to the task of developing effective information transfer between and within air and ground domains.
AGILE Fire efforts at the CTSF have, for example, focused on the interoperability between the Air Force's air and Army, Marine Corps, and Navy ground communication layers, and have helped capture the requirements for emerging technologies in interfacing with existing force structures. In the initial AGILE Fire effort at the CTSF, a total of 15 LandWarNet/Battle Command software systems were involved in the exercise, along with two Air Force software systems, and the joint InterTEC tools suite of systems.
AGILE Fire exercises II and III brought the Joint Air-Ground Integration Cell or JAGIC, to the CTSF lab, and AGILE Fire IV saw CTSF test officers and operators joining the effort to examine the Joint UAS Digital Information Exchange, or JUDIE.
Recently, the CTSF represented Army interests in AGILE Fire exercises V and VI, and served as the center of JAGIC operations for both events.
JAGIC's Troy Carraway, who headed up his organization's efforts at the CTSF, said the Fort Hood-based facility was exactly the right spot for the AGILE Fire events.
"From the JAGIC perspective the CTSF allows for actual integration of Army and Air Force systems. It is a venue that provides all of the systems we need for interoperability. It's a good choice."
At times, more than 30 Army, Air Force and civilian personnel have been engaged in the AGILE Fire effort in the CTSF's dedicated AGILE Fire lab on our facility's 40,000 square-foot test floor.
"The CTSF is honored," CTSF Director Col. John Matthews said, "to be able to provide AGILE Fire with the physical and technical support necessary to facilitate the success of its test events. In the broad scope of things, we see AGILE Fire as a step toward further enabling a joint, federated, testing concept."