Forward Operational Assessment Teams

Wednesday July 2, 2008

What is it?

Forward Operational Assessment (FOA) teams are comprised of approximately 24 Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors who deploy to the Middle East to research, collect data and conduct surveys on new systems and equipment under consideration for acquisition. These teams are under the command of the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), Alexandria, Va.

What has ATEC done?

Since 2003, 10 FOA teams have deployed to Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, with FOA Team X currently in theater. FOA Team XI will deploy in September 2008. Since 2005, they have embedded with units in combat to collect data on critical systems being used by the warfighter. This is accomplished by deploying a trained data collection team consisting of personnel from across ATEC with a variety of skills and technical backgrounds to conduct one-on-one interviews with Soldiers, maintainers and leaders in a combat environment. Rotating every six months, these teams have a two-part mission: they collect capability and limitation data in an operational environment that will assist Army leadership in determining acquisition actions; and they help Soldiers understand how to employ and maintain their equipment.

What have the FOA teams tested?

Equipment and systems tested by the FOA teams include the Joint Network Node-Network; Command Post of the Future; Counter-Rockets, Artillery and Mortars; Backstop; Fido Packbot; Mini-Green; Kiddle-Automated Fire Extinguishing System; High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle up-armored modifications, Task Force Odin components, Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar and Mine Resistant Ambush Protective vehicles.

Why is this important to the Army?

The war on terrorism's ever-changing battlefield often requires rapid deployment of equipment and systems before they are completely tested. Combat situations provide the most realistic conditions and environment possible to perform assessments. As long as there are units in combat, Army testers and evaluators will deploy and the FOA mission will continue.

Resources:

For additional information, visit : Army Test and Evaluation Command Web site

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

- Speaker's Toolkit

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

The Army Community Relations Calendar

Bloggers Roundtable

DOD, Department of Education sign agreement

Best care anywhere

Sears Holdings Corporation signs statement of support for military

SFC Jamie Buckley performs at Country USA in Oshkosh, WI.

SOCIAL NETWORKING

NEWS ABOUT THE ARMY

  • Soldier first, citizen at last (BS)
  • Army veteran tired but 'resolute' (HC)
  • Nine receive Purple Heart at Walter Reed (ARNews)
  • Fort Hood wins best antiterrorism program award, runner-up in remaining three categories (ARNews)
  • Fort Ritchie has storied history (HM)
  • Army, EPA clash on how to handle Fort Meade cleanup (EX)
  • National Guard to help fight northern California wildfires (LAT)
  • Slideshow: 401st Army Field Support Brigade, week in photos, June 23 - 29, 2008 (ARNews)

WAR ON TERROR NEWS

  • U.S. spies on Iraqi army, sources say (LAT)
  • Deal lets U.S. drones strike bin Laden (WT)
  • The toll of war in Iraq: U.S. casualties and civilian deaths (NPR)
  • Military death toll rises in Afghanistan (NYT)
  • Iraq closeup: The Army looks inward (NYT)
  • U.S. embassy cites progress in Iraq (WP)
  • Audio: Nuclear preparedness? Yawn... (NPR)

OF INTEREST

  • Pentagon to alter recruit waiver process (SDT)
  • Chemical weapons' transport plan draws fire (USA)
  • U.S. agrees to lift immunity for contractors in Iraq (NYT)
  • New policy aims to help prevent loss of leave (ARNews)
  • China inspired interrogationsNYT)
  • Med school is asked to stop animal use (WP)
  • Veteran's story: Mansfield Soldier was one of few to escape Anzio bloodbath (MFJ)
  • Army general to oversee league officiating (BS)

WORLD VIEW

  • Al-Qaeda finds three safe havens for terror training (TO | Story)
  • French army chief quits over shooting at military show (GRD | Story)
  • Hezbollah said to train Shiite militiamen in Iraq (IHT | Story)
  • Softer tone from Iran has experts guessing (IHT | Story)
  • U.S. helicopter downed near Kabul (BBC | Story)
  • Israel resumes Gaza goods transfer (AJ | Story)

WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

  • Related to article under Interest: Nothing is wrong in the NBA, so here comes the Army (SR)
  • In the rear view mirror (N2G)
  • Related to article under News About Army: Pentagon to EPA: You and what Army? (CSM)
  • Book review: I will not be broken, by Jerry White (SM)

External Links Disclaimer

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Events

May- July 4, 2008: Season of Remembrance

June 24- May 12, 2008: 60th Anniversary of Berlin Airlift

July 1-3, 2008: Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

July 13, 2008: Army National Guard concert band performance

July 26, 2008: 60th Anniversary- Integration of the Armed Forces

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"Customarily, we train and function in the counterterrorism role. We had to figure out what our place was. It's too easy to suddenly think, 'Let's go fill sandbags,' when you have a highly specialized group of trained individuals."

-Lt. Col. Timothy Glynn, civil support team commander from the Iowa Army National Guard, who used his Soldiers' skills of locating weapons of mass destruction to assist in finding hazardous materials in flooded areas of the Midwest

Iowa Guard civil support team pulls poisons from flood waters

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Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.