By Natalie ShalvoyJune 19, 2019
FORT HUACHUCA, Arizona -- The U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground (EPG) hosted a delegation with the Republic of Korea's Electronic Test Range (ETR) June 12 on Ft. Huachuca.
The team falls under the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and is the only South Korean national agency for research and development in defense technology funded by Defense Acquisition Program Administration, headquartered in Taejon, Korea. The team consisted of Jung Jae-Soo, the manager of the Korean Electronic Test Range; Han Tae-kyun, the principal researcher; and Jang Bo-young; the principal engineer.
The day opened with EPG's Technical Director Mark D'Amato providing an EPG command, facilities and capabilities overview. The Korean team was highly impressed with EPG's capabilities and the vast range of land to conduct testing.
"Our testing range is very small, and we are looking to expand in order to have the ability to test our equipment at greater distances, but right now we have little area to work with," said Jae-Soo.
Following the overview was an instrumentation brief and display of various radios and hardware, presented by John LeCompte, Chief of the Office of Technology Development.
"The biggest take-away is that we realize the importance of this testing and that it is only getting more advanced, so we have to keep up and continue to expand our capabilities" said Jae-Soo.
Jae-Soo prepared a presentation with pictures and a summary of each of their testing sites and associated equipment.
EPG's Antenna Test Facility was of major interest to the team, "so it was a huge plus that we could give them a tour of the actual facility," said Col. Daniel Martin, EPG commander. According to EPG Commander Col. Daniel Martin, the EPG's Antenna Test Facility was of major interest to the Korean team, and it was a huge plus to give them a tour of the actual facility. The team was able to see the five antennas in motion and was provided an overview of each of those capabilities.
Jae-Soo said they recently purchased an Arc antenna testing platform, which is the newest addition to their ETR, and he said it's great to see it at the EPG range. The Korean team had numerous questions regarding EPG's radio frequency range testing capabilities and the ability to take 360 degree radius measurements on various platforms.
The delegation and EPG leadership paused the briefings to have lunch at one of Sierra Vista's award-winning restaurants, Vinny's. EPG leaders informed the delegation about the history of Fort Huachuca, EPG and the surrounding cities. Also, a windshield tour of the old post and the Fort Huachuca landscape was given to the guests.
"Notice how we are strategically located within the surrounding mountain ranges which makes for a pristine radio frequency controlled environment," said Martin, as he pointed into the distant mountains.
Returning back to the briefings, Byron Alexander gave a tour at the Environmental Test Facility (ETF) and provided demonstrations of the facilities capabilities to include the climatic and dynamic testing.
The delegation was able to see the ETF in action such as observing an ice encased radio, sand and water blowing, explosions, a vibrating model airplane and a mock truck bed with loose cargo.
"This test is one of the most popular because every company wants to find out if their equipment will still work after sitting in the sun," said Alexander, in regards to the UV light chamber. The Korean team realized they had similar environmental testing equipment at their test range.
The visit concluded with briefings regarding EPG's Electronic Warfare testing, Global Positioning System testing and an overview of the Electromagnetic Environmental Effects Facility.
Martin presented the team with an engraved Buffalo Soldier statue, representative of Ft. Huachuca's Buffalo Soldiers following the Civil War. Jae-Soo presented Martin with an authentic South Korean buchae, or paper fan, a small box and a small plaque displaying the Hahoetal masks, the most well-known image representing Korean culture.
"Overall it was a very good and productive visit. It is always considered a success to have positive interactions with our allies" said Martin.