WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M., April 21, 2009 - Robert "Bob" Carter was recently selected as the executive director, White Sands Missile Range, effective May 10.
"I'm truly excited about becoming part of Team WSMR on a permanent basis," Carter said. "Based on my brief exposure over the last several months, I'm convinced that WSMR and its surrounding communities are blessed with more than their fair share of great Americans. It's downright inspiring. I can't think of another Army organization that I could be prouder to be part of."
Carter, a career government service employee from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., temporarily took over as WSMR executive director in November 2008 while the Army searched for a permanent replacement for the position vacated by Tom Berard in mid October 2008.
"(I would like to congratulate) Mr. Carter for his selection as the WSMR executive director and his promotion to the Senior Executive Service," said WSMR Commanding General Brig. Gen. David Mann. "Bob's selection attests to his extremely impressive rAfAsumAfA and more importantly, to a very distinguished career in support of the warfighter. We could not be happier to have Bob and Bobbie on the team," Mann said.
"I can also tell you it was a very competitive process...all applicants' possessed extremely impressive credentials and would have excelled in this position. Please join me in congratulating Bob and his family when you get the chance."
Carter's previous job was Director of Plans and Operations for Developmental Test Command. He spent the last 25 years of government service in positions related to test and development.
"I came right out of college at the University of Delaware in 1983 as a mechanical engineer and a friend of mine told me the Army was hiring at Aberdeen Proving Ground," Carter said. "I was hired on as a test director at Aberdeen Test Center and have worked in test and evaluation jobs ever since," he said.
Prior to taking on the job here, Carter had the chance to visit WSMR and he says the facilities he saw and the people he met made a great impression. "I am most impressed by their professionalism and expertise," he said. "The physical plant and the personnel at White Sands are first rate," he said.
Those early meetings gave Carter an up-close view of WSMR's future, which he believes includes its continuing key role in the testing and development of some of the Army's most important combat systems, including the Future Combat System, Patriot, MLRS and ATACMS. "Those are all high priority Army programs that will have continuing testing requirements that incorporate modifications as the systems evolve," Carter said.
In addition, Carter said he recognizes the importance of interacting with regional defense entities, such as other near-by military installations, the other military branches and NASA, because of the vested interest each has in WSMR resources. "There is going to be a lot greater demand put on the normal range resources here as additional deployable units bed down at Fort Bliss and WSMR." Carter said that one of his roles as the executive director will be to ensure the Army's interests are looked after. "But, I think all of us, working together here, are optimistic that everyone's needs are going to be accommodated," he said.
Since arriving here, Carter has been surprised at the support given to WSMR by its surrounding civilian communities. "I've never seen such a strong community support for a military installation...not just the politicians, but the residents, retirees and friends, too," he said.
His assignments include various developmental rotational-type assignments coupled to the Pentagon and he helped set up the Test Resource Management Center in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.
Carter is married and has three children.
A fan of the outdoors, Carter enjoys skiing in the winter and hiking whenever he has the chance. "I've never thought of myself as a fan of the desert, but New Mexico is so varied. It's not what you expect a desert to be," Carter said. "If you want the desert, you have it. But if you want the mountains or a lake, you have that, too. New Mexico is a very interesting place."
Carter said the over-all impression he has gotten from Team WSMR so far is that they are doing a great job at an exciting time in the installation's history. "White Sands is really one of a kind with a very important capability. There is so much happening and I am very excited to be here."