ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army Evaluation Center, or AEC, held its inaugural leadership symposium at the Recreation Center on Aberdeen Proving Ground North (Aberdeen) May 17 through May 18.

The leadership conference provided the AEC leadership team (command group, directorate directors, technical directors, Strategic Initiative Group, division chiefs, lead engineers for test and safety, acquisition officers) and the Emerging Leaders Cohort an opportunity to come together as a team, level-set performance across the AEC workforce, provide an open forum to ask questions and discuss concerns and to build esprit de corps. AEC relooked the test and evaluation processes to ensure the AEC workforce is operating under the same standards. The AEC operations process and related products pertained to planning, preparing, executing, and assessing test and evaluation. The end goal is to have all leaders who attended to communicate the information from the conference to their subordinates and to make sure the AEC operations process and related products followed the correct baseline.

AEC Technical Director Deirdre Sumpter shared her aspirations for the symposium kickoff.

"We hope to accomplish a level setting of standards, teaming, and dialogue discussions about where we are headed from now into the future," Sumpter said. "My hope is that this symposium will be a springboard for future AEC leadership conferences."

AEC Director James Cooke set the stage with his opening remarks by posing two questions to all attendees.

"Are my expectations of test and evaluation process standards aligned with your expectations?" Cooke asked attendees. "What are we doing and how do we do this operations process to produce products?"

Cooke said he wanted the symposium to be an open forum for everyone to ask questions and to collectively assess whether or not all are in alignment in expectations of AEC products. Cooke charged division chiefs with ensuring test and evaluation products from their directorates conform to proper standards going up the chain of command for approval.

After Cooke's remarks, several presentations took place throughout the first day addressing test and evaluation processes in greater detail.

The second day of the symposium was dedicated to a teambuilding activity, and later that evening, the symposium closed out with a formal ball held offsite.