ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – After a yearlong rotation working at the U.S. Army Evaluation Center (AEC), part of the U.S. Army’s Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP), Maj. Thuy-An Vu returns back to her role in serving with the Australian Army.
The ESEP is a government-to-government effort aimed at increasing international cooperation between the U.S. and its allies in military research, development and acquisition. The program allows U.S. military and civilian personnel to be placed in foreign defense establishments, and foreign defense personnel to be placed in U.S. Army laboratories, research centers and program offices.
Every two years the Australian Army competitively selects two candidates to attend the University of Maryland (UMD) to complete a Master of Science program in Reliability Engineering, a degree not offered in Australia. Following the completion of the degree, one candidate returns to Australia and the other reports to AEC, located on Aberdeen Proving Ground.
“I first heard about this opportunity through the Australian Army's Career Advisor and Career Management,” said Vu. “In the lead up to getting myself nominated in the pool of candidates, I completed a Defence Reliability Management Course in 2016, which was taught by staff who had graduated from the M.S. in Reliability Engineering Program at UMD and some who had previously participated in the AEC's ESEP.”
In 2017, Vu was selected for the U.S. posting to commence the program in the fall of 2018, which was followed by a yearlong rotation with AEC in January 2020.
During Vu’s time at AEC, she served as a Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) Suitability Evaluator in the Readiness and Analytics Evaluation Directorate (RAED). She was assigned to three programs to include Common Robotic System – Individual; Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II; and Light Capability Rough Terrain Forklift. In addition, Vu assisted other evaluators and participated in other programs, projects, and improvements.
“This program has provided me the foundation with practical experience on how RAM Suitability analyses and evaluations are conducted within the U.S. Army,” said Vu. “It has given me an insight on processes and the vast amount of work that goes into fielding any piece of materiel to the warfighter.”
Angelo Christino, acting division chief and one of Vu’s supervisors of RAED at AEC, noted the value added from Vu's time at AEC, the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), and the U.S. Army.
“Maj. Vu has provided outstanding support to the programs we have assigned to her and the organization [AEC] has benefited greatly from her ability to quickly grasp the evaluation mission and carry it out on multiple programs,” said Christino. “She has been a tremendous asset to the organization as have the others who came before her.”
Vu noted “the skills, knowledge and experienced I‘ve gained during my time here at AEC and ATEC have set me up for success in my returning role as the SO2 RAM Engineer with Land Engineering Agency, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group located in Melbourne, Australia.”