Military


5th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
Army Evaluation Task Force
"Front-Runners"

In 2010, the 5th Brigade, 1st Armored Division was inactivated and its mission was subsequently transfered to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division.

The Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF), also known as 5th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, included many combat-veteran Soldiers tasked to test and evaluate the ease-of-use and efficacy of Army equipment. Soldiers in the AETF had been to theater and brought with them to the testing environment knowledge of what was needed there. They had a knowledge of how the equipment they were asked to test would be received by Soldiers in combat.

The AETF was at the very center of FCS's development. After the cancellation of the Future Combat Systems program during 2009, the Army continued its focus on modernization of the force through the Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization program. The AETF continued its test and evaluation mission supporting the BCTM program.

In Fall 2009, soldiers with the Army Evaluation Task Force at Fort Bliss, Texas, conducted a "limited user test" that would move equipment that was part of the Early Infantry Brigade Capability Package one step closer to being in the hands of Soldiers.

This LUT was reviewing the maturity, readiness and functionality of equipment like the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle, the Class I Unmanned Aerial System, both the tactical and urban unattended ground sensors, and the Non Line of Sight-Launch System, as well as an early network integration kit.

As part of the three-week LUT, which was slated to end 16 September 2009, soldiers put equipment through the full spectrum of military operations, including defense, offense and stability operations. Included in the test were such things as cordon and search missions, urban operations and operations among civilian populations.

Following the LUT, the Army's Test and Evaluation Command would use data gathered to assess the equipment's maturity, readiness and functionality. The reports would feed into milestone decisions for the equipment's production and fielding. Follow-on tests would prove final maturity of some systems.

By the end of 2009, the AETF was training with and testing the BCTM program increment 1 equipment. The AETF's mission continued to be in support of the Army's objective to ensure that every soldier, in every theater, receives the proper training and equipment needed to accomplish their full spectrum of missions.




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