FORT HOOD, Texas - Fort Hood's Whitfill Central Technical Support Facility (CTSF) will play a key role in establishing and running a demonstration of a developmental network of Army systems this month at the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) and Fort Bliss.
The CTSF's participation in the test event was specifically directed by Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General Peter Chiarelli.

The CTSF will send a seven-member test and integration delegation to WSMR next week, where the group will remain for approximately a month through the end of the network demonstration.

According to Charles McMaster, CIO/G-6 system-of-systems integration and interoperability engineer, Chiarelli asked for the CTSF's participation in the June 12-16 demonstration because of what he termed the facility's "unique capabilities."

"The CTSF," he said, "offers the unique capabilities of network understanding, and system-of-system integration expertise and experience."

Madeline Wright, CTSF technical lead for test and evaluation, said the WSMR event is being called a brigade combat team integration exercise, and will involve Program Executive Office (PEO) Integration, PEO Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, and PEO Aviation with support from other Army organizations.

The demonstration, being run under the Future Force Integration Directorate Army Evaluation Task Force (FFID/AETF), will center on the establishment of a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) using a network of some established and some as yet untested software systems, McMaster said.

"This will be a demonstration of a network yet to be tested. Some of the systems participating (in the demonstration) are still developmental. There is still more (research and development) to be applied to them," McMaster said.

Wright said CTSF Test Officer Ricky Rowe and Test Operator/Pit Boss Lillian Figueroa will head the WSMR-bound delegation. They will be accompanied by four as yet unnamed test operators. System-of-Systems Engineer Bill Bundschuh has also been assigned to participate in the FFID/AETF event.

"Their job out there will be to help set up the TOC, train operators and help run the TOC," Wright said.

Bundschuh will assist with network design and engineering.

"This is going to be very interesting for us," Rowe commented late this week. "Basically we're taking the Software Block 2 systems we've already tested and that we're familiar with, and we'll be running them with all their fancy new radios and...even some CS (Capability Set) 11/12 systems, and see if they play together."

"We should be able to learn a lot out there," Rowe said. Rowe is expected to leave June 14 to pave the way for the test operators who will work with him. They are expected to leave for west Texas June 20.

"To ensure the success of the demonstration," Wright said, "our team will be there from set-up through completion of the event. We'll be there to do whatever is necessary," McMaster agreed.

"We're going out there to help to bring a holistic solution...to the Warfighter," he said.

The CTSF, located on Fort Hood, has been the focal point of system-of-systems integration and interoperability for the Army since 1996. The facility operates under the command of Col. Steven G. Drake.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16