FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (April 12, 2023) — Vanguard 23 brought government, commercial and joint partners to the Fort Huachuca 1LT John R. Fox range April 10-14, for a multi-day, multi-node experiment to create a live, virtual, and constructive (L-V-C) peer threat scenario and operational environment and non-communications environment.
The experiment evaluated technology and capabilities to replicate and emulate threat systems and activities to support testing, training, experimentation, and capabilities development, as well as assess the ability of Blue Force Intelligence Electronic Warfare systems to detect, locate, and identify targets in the air and on the ground.
The experiment provided a unique opportunity for the acquisition community to learn more about emerging technologies and capabilities in the areas of high altitude and terrestrial sensing, dissemination and data processing, and fusing architecture, said Laurence Mixon, Special Assistant to the Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S).
“We are excited to bring several of our current electronic warfare and cyber programs to join other government and industry solutions to inform the development of more effective live, virtual and constructive training in this space,” Mixon said. “The Army acquisition and requirements communities will take the information captured during Vanguard 23’s campaign of learning to inform future intelligence and electronic warfare modernization efforts.”
Last year during Vanguard 22, there were 12 threat systems integrated into Fort Huachuca’s 1LT John R. Fox Range emitting signals into the electromagnetic spectrum. This year, the experiment increased to more than 45 emitters from various partners to determine what is required for testing and training for the Army of 2030.
Additionally, virtual emitters were being introduced into the experiment. Success was measured when Soldiers supporting the exercise could not tell or decipher the difference between a live and virtual emitter they were training against, said Maj. Gen. Tony Hale, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca commanding general.
“Senator Kelly was here last Monday, he’s a great partner for the installation, and what we are trying to do is increase our capability for testing and training on the John R. Fox range,” Hale said. “We also want to do it for the joint force as well, so we are working with Senator Kelly to expand our airspace which is now 946 square miles to about 5,000 square miles. We want to create a Western Range Training complex.”
Vanguard partners included elements of PEO IEW&S, U.S. Army Testing and Evaluation Command, Electronic Proving Ground, and Army Futures Command. Multiple Department of Defense elements, commercial vendors, and academic partners demonstrated their respective system’s fidelity, usability, and interoperability to underpin capabilities development, testing, and training, as well as replicate a future battlefield congested with multiple emissions from both civilian and military sources.
Vanguard 23 is the second experiment in a series of future planned annual experiments to occur each Spring at Fort Huachuca.
Future exercises will incorporate lessons learned from previous events and contribute to the preparations for upcoming test events and inform future modernization experiments. Future Vanguard experiments will expand its participants to include the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Army Service Component Commands, and other Army and joint mission partners.