Major Range and Test Facility Base [MRTFB]
The Major Range and Test Facility Base [MRTFB] is a set of test installations, facilities, and ranges which are regarded as "national assets." These assets are sized, operated, and maintained primarily for DoD test and evaluation missions. However, the MRTFB facilities and ranges are also available to commercial and other users on a reimbursable basis. Oversight of the MRTFB is performed by the Office of the Director for Test, Systems Engineering, and Evaluation, Resources and Ranges.
In 1971, DoD recognized that large military test facilities represented national assets and were required to support development and deployment of U.S. warfighting capabilities. DoD established the MRTFB management concept to provide coordination among the major facilities, promote multi-Service use, reduce unnecessary duplication of assets and establish budgetary priorities at the Department level. Each of the above MRTFB members were selected because of unique test and evaluation (T&E) assets needed to ensure proper T&E support for U.S. Military weapon systems developers.
DoD established special oversight for the MRTFB and specific management procedures that incorporate uniform management and pricing policies. This fosters joint use by all Services, and eliminates unwarranted duplication. T&E is a DoD mission where all Service facilities are managed for joint use. Last year, Congress directed that MRTFB facilities be made more accessible to commercial users through reduced charges. This also will increase utilization of T&E facilities. Since users of the MRTFB pay for and are the only source of funding for all direct costs of test services, the size of the MRTFB work force is self-regulating.
The MRTFB is a national asset that shall be sized, operated, and maintained primarily for DoD T&E support missions, but also be available to all users having a valid requirement for its capabilities. The MRTFB consists of a broad base of T&E activities managed and operated under uniform guidelines to provide T&E support to DoD Components responsible for developing or operating materiel and weapon systems.
T&E programs are structured to integrate all developmental T&E, operational T&E, live-fire T&E, and modeling and simulation activities conducted by different agencies as an efficient continuum. All such activities shall be part of a strategy to provide information on risk and risk mitigation, to provide empirical data for validation of models and simulations, to permit an assessment of the attainment of technical performance specifications and system maturity, and to determine whether systems are operationally effective, suitable, and survivable for the intended use. The MRTFB is part of the National Test Facilities Base and is a national asset that exists primarily to provide T&E information for DoD decision makers and to support T&E needs of DoD research programs and weapon system development programs.
Other U.S. Government Agencies (Federal, State and local) and allied foreign governments, and defense contractors may be permitted to use the MRTFB. Private organizations and commercial enterprises may use the MRTFBs as authorized by Congress and any subsequent policy from the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology (USD(A&T)). A commercial enterprise is defined as any U.S. commercial user (a profit-making organization or individual), or a non-Government-sponsored university. MRTFB commanders are to ensure that they are not competing with U.S. private industry in providing services to commercial users or non-DoD Government users. The use of MRTFB facilities by private organizations and commercial enterprises shall not increase the cost to the Department to operate the MRTFBs and shall not be factored into the decision-making process for sizing and maintaining the T&E infrastructure.
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