ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- David Jimenez, U.S. Army Evaluation Center director, and William Forest Crain, director of the U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity, signed a Memorandum of Agreement during a ceremony at the ATEC headquarters building here Oct. 23. This MOA replaced the one signed in 2007.

In 1996, as part of a consolidation of the Army's tactics development and evaluation activities, AMSAA transferred its TD&E functions to the U.S. Army Operational Test and Evaluation Command, which later became the Army Test and Evaluation Command. After the organizational separations of the T&E and analytic communities a need for collaboration was identified, which resulted in the 2007 MOA between AMSAA and ATEC.

When the 2007 MOA became overly process-focused-- to the point that both organizations felt that it had become more of an administrative burden than a collaborative solution-- it was agreed that it was time to update the MOA. Both directors recognized the Army's analytical community would be stronger as a result.

"We have an opportunity here to do a lot of great things," said Jimenez. "I've always appreciated the partnership between ATEC and AMSAA. We're like two peas in a pod - two right and left brains and one body. It's a powerhouse in the analytical community."

According to Crain, the updated MOA will focus on identifying the real collaboration goals of both AMSAA and ATEC and how each organization might contribute toward achieving them. While the updated MOA will benefit both AMSAA and ATEC, the Aberdeen Proving Ground campus will benefit as well.

"Real collaboration by major APG organizations provides benefits on a number of levels," said Crain. "First and foremost, it provides both of our organizations a level of synergy that really helps us carry out critical missions in these increasingly austere times."

Although Crain has since left AMSAA for his next assignment with the Center for Army Analysis, he felt honored that one of his last official duties was to sign the MOA between the two organizations.

"This MOA will help both of us move confidently into the future and achieve our mission for the Soldier," he said. "Our partnership and our friendship are stronger than ever as we move into these exciting times."

Jimenez is equally excited about the new MOA and feels that it will not only keep ATEC and AMSAA's partnership strong, but it will make their relationship even stronger.

"If you look at APG today, it is very different from even 10 years ago," said Jimenez. "Now we have various program executive offices; we have Army laboratories; and we have a huge community of practice that needs to behave differently than how we behaved from the organization it came from."

Jimenez hopes the new MOA will serve as a model to bigger community engagement across the APG campus, which will also allow them to take advantage of the great opportunities here.

"There are a lot of things that we can do together that we just haven't thought hard enough as to how to get them to combine," he said. "We have to work on that every day, but I hope that this one serves as a model."

ATEC plans, conducts, and integrates developmental testing, independent operational testing, independent evaluations, assessments, and experiments in order to provide essential information to decision makers. ATEC is the only organization within the Department of Defense to provide integrated evaluation supporting full spectrum testing by overseeing both developmental and operational test events. AMSAA conducts analyses across the Materiel Life Cycle to inform critical decisions for current and future Soldier needs. It is recognized as the authoritative source for responsive, independent analyses providing the foundation for current and future decisions throughout the Materiel Life Cycle.