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Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF)

What is it?
The Army has established the AETF at Fort Bliss, Texas, to evaluate and validate new technologies developed through the Future Combat System (FCS) Program. Designated as the 5th Brigade, 1st Armored Division (AETF), this unique Army organization supports the evaluation and testing of the FCS Brigade Combat Team designs, operational concepts, war-fighting capabilities, and training. With the AETF providing input, the Army Test and Evaluation Command assesses the performance of FCS Spin-out technologies as well as the FCS core programs.

What is the Army doing?
The net impact of the AETF is to put Soldiers into the design cycle and streamline FCS development for the Army.  Soldiers of the AETF, with their relevant combat expertise (more than 70 percent are combat veterans); unleash the power of the FCS in the secure deserts of Texas and New Mexico, rather than the unforgiving sands of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The AETF was established to provide a dedicated unit to provide feedback for system development and fielding decisions for FCS systems.  The unit is manned and equipped based on tester, materiel developer and the Training and Doctrine Command and Forces Command review to ensure a complete evaluation of FCS systems.  With the recent decision to field FCS Spin-outs to Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) first, the design and organization of the AETF has changed to add IBCT capabilities to best support its ongoing mission.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army plan for the AETF is to build and train an IBCT to evaluate FCS and associated Spin-out technologies in order to provide enhanced capabilities across doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF) to both the Current and Future Forces. When fully operational, FCS will provide the Army and the Joint Force unprecedented capabilities to see ourselves, our environment and any adversary; set conditions on our terms; and control the environment throughout the continuum of Army and Joint Force operations.

Why is this important to the Army?
The AETF enables the Army to provide immediate feedback during evaluation of the future capabilities as well as to develop tactics, techniques, and procedures. The AETF also provides valuable feedback on the strategy to train and develop leaders, which maximizes the program's value to the entire Joint Force that will employ these combat capabilities. It will help the Army "get it right the first time" with FCS by identifying any potential flaws or improvements across DOTMLPF earlier in the process to help ensure the rapid delivery of the best equipment for our Soldiers. The AETF will allow the Army to integrate and field the enablers for achieving technology and training superiority, which are the necessary ingredients to future operational success. The FCS encompasses all of the Army’s most important modernization efforts. Together, the Future Force Integration Directorate and the AETF will conduct extensive training, testing, and evaluation of FCS Spin out and core program technologies in order to rapidly integrate approved technologies into the current modular force and set conditions for the Future Force.

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