By Drew Hamilton, Missile Ranger Staff WriterOctober 25, 2010
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M., Oct. 7, 2010 White Sands Missile RangeAca,!a,,cs former Range Control Building saw action once again as Soldiers of the Army Evaluation Task Force finished tests here last month.
Soldiers testing Increment 1 of the ArmyAca,!a,,cs Brigade Combat Team Modernization effort used WSMRAca,!a,,cs former Range Control Building as part of a series of exercises to test the new equipment and tactics. The operations required the Soldiers to operate in an environment similar to those found at advanced training centers like the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., to provide them with the most realistic environment possible when testing the new systems. Equipment used in the tests included: the small Unmanned Ground Vehicle, Class 1 Block 0 Unmanned Air Vehicle, Tactical and Urban Unattended Ground Sensors, and an overarching communications network that provides enhanced communications options to the Soldier. Each of these systems provides Soldiers with enhanced war fighting capabilities, significantly improving their knowledge of the battlefield and the ability to communicate key situational awareness data. Via their interconnection to Network Integration Kits, these unmanned systems provided the communication backbone for Battalion Command Networks.
By including locations like Building 300 in the testing, the Soldiers can better evaluate the new technology in a realistic, complex urban environment with terrain and features not normally available on military installations. Building 300Aca,!a,,cs location on the WSMR cantonment area incorporates many real-world concerns into the training and testing, such as electrical and radio interference caused by civilian infrastructure and electronics, and the physical hazards that an urban area has.
Aca,!A"Trying to fly (a small UAV) in the dark and avoid obstructions and power lines is a great challenge,Aca,!A? said Col. Daniel Pinnell, battalion commander of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 5th Brigade, 1st Armored Division.
The large building features several stories, roof and basement access, large rooms, small rooms, hallways, stairwells and windows. Limited infrastructure such as lighting, can be installed and can be controlled and shut down, plunging whole sections of the building into total darkness.
Aca,!A"This is a very, very large objective, and very complex, so platoon leaders will have to use every Soldier they have to take it,Aca,!A? Pinnell said.
The Force Development Test and Experimentation and Limited User Test, both which begun this month, will see continued use of Building 300, so WSMR residents can expect to see more operations near the cantonment area in the near future.