FORT STEWART, Ga. — Soldiers assigned to the “Maintain Battalion,” 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, began fielding the new state-of-the-art shelters known as the Next Generation Automatic Test Set in August 2021 and completed fielding in September 2021 at Fort Stewart.
The NGATS replaces the legacy Direct Support Electrical Systems Test Sets platform and provides quality maintenance and repair capability to Soldiers in combat and field operations
According to U.S. Army Operational Test Command test officers, “NGATS is designed to provide a general-purpose mobile and modular diagnostic test system to support testing digital and analog electronic hardware and software for a variety of Army weapon systems.”
The fielding is in support of the 2nd ABCT’s modernization effort as the 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID, begins to receive modernized vehicle platforms, such as the 109A7 Paladin howitzer, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and M1A2 Abrams tank, that will make 3rd ID the most modernized division in the U.S. Army by summer 2023.
“It is not just the line units that must modernize; it is the whole force to include those of us that sustain the fight, and NGATS plays a major role in the modernization plan,” said Lt. Col Harley Jennings, commander of the 703rd BSB, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “Building expertise and mastering the new system before the arrival of the new equipment will ensure that the brigade is ahead of the power curve for integrated test equipment maintenance.”
Integrated test equipment operator and maintainer Soldiers, assigned to Bravo Company, 703rd BSB, 2nd ABCT, went through four weeks of classroom instruction in September 2021 on the new NGATS systems led by subject matter experts from the Army Material Command and Picatinny Arsenal. Soldiers were trained to proficiency in operation, capabilities and maintenance of the new system. Soldiers also received cross training on the M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System and Container Handling Units to become entirely self-supporting and functional in both the operation and transportation of shelters.
“NGATS enables us to be streamlined and highly mobile, which improves our effectiveness across a broad range of mission sets,” said Warrant Officer 2 Aaron Jones, senior technician for the Missile Electronic Repair Section in Bravo Company, 703rd BSB, 2nd ABCT. “Besides a smaller footprint and increased mobility, new features such as climate-controlled interiors and built-in hoist systems are just a couple examples of improvements seen in this new generation of maintenance capability. With all the upgrades that have followed the legacy system, sustainment Soldiers are prepared to support the electronic diagnostic repair of modernized military vehicle platforms.”