By Maj. Matthew Truax, Test Officer, Intelligence Electronic Warfare Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
FORT HUACHUCA, Arizona — Airborne Soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky tested two new GPS navigation systems here that could allow the Army to better shoot, move and communicate in a GPS degraded environment.
Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment and 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division assessed the GPS solutions, called Dismounted Assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing System (DAPS).
They conducted reconnaissance and fire missions in a variety of threat scenarios to understand the DAPS’ performance in a realistic operational environment.
“The Soldiers played a significant role in helping the Army develop a replacement for the legacy Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR),” said Col. Dylan Randazzo, director of the Intelligence Electronic Warfare Test Directorate.
After several days of logging numerous miles during night operations across rough and varied terrain of the Huachuca Mountains, Randazzo said Soldiers provided critical feedback regarding the system’s operational effectiveness and suitability.
Scenarios involved night vision goggles, nuclear, biological and chemical masks, Stryker infantry carrier vehicles, different rucksack configurations and inclement weather.
“In addition to highlighting system strengths and weaknesses,” Randazzo said, “the Soldiers identified different techniques for better employment and suggestions for improvement.”
DAPS is designed to support command and control by providing positioning, navigation, and timing to Nett Warrior and other networked command and control solutions.
About the Intelligence Electronic Warfare Test Directorate:
IEWTD executes independent operational testing of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); EW; biometrics (BM); and intelligence analysis systems to inform acquisition and fielding decisions for Army and select multiservice warfighting systems. Additionally, IEWTD provides threat and ISR simulation and instrumentation support for internal and external test events.
About the U.S. Army Operational Test Command:
As the Army’s only independent operational tester, enlists the “Total Army” (Active, National Guard, and Reserve) when testing Army, joint, and multi-service warfighting systems in realistic operational environments, using typical Soldiers to determine whether the systems are effective, suitable, and survivable. OTC is required by public law to test major systems before they are fielded to its ultimate customer — the American Soldier.
America’s First Team celebrated their 100th Birthday this morning with a cake cutting ceremony. Commanders and Troopers gathered at Cooper Field on Fort Hood to begin festivities in honor of the division’s centennial.
The 1st Cavalry Division was formally activated on Sep. 13, 1921 at Fort Bliss, Texas. The division, originally a mounted division, distinguished themselves as the “First Team” when 1st Cavalry Division was first in Manila in February 1945, the first to lead occupational forces into Japan making it the “First in Tokyo” in September 1945, and the first in Pyongyang in October 1950.
“This week and next week is about unit pride, pride in the 1st Cavalry Division, and pride in the regiment,” said Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson, commanding general, 1CD. “This birthday is about remembering our past and remembering our heroes. We will live up to the legacy that was set before us.”
Next week the 1st Cavalry Division will host festivities across its footprint to celebrate and commemorate veterans who served in the division during various conflicts. Throughout the week Veterans have an opportunity to come on post and visit with current Troopers and exchange shared experiences while serving with the First Team. Additionally, there will be several events hosted by 1CD’s six separate brigades as part of “CAV Week” to commemorate its 100 year legacy.
During next week’s “CAV Week,” the division and subordinate brigades will host sports competitions, a division run, a race with unit colors, a 5k race down Legends Way, static displays of past and present equipment. The week will conclude with a parade and the notable special cavalry charge with a flyover.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of the 1st Cavalry Division, every Trooper will take part in the celebration, which offers an opportunity to appreciate our rich history,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Shade S. Munday, command sergeant major, 1CD. “The First Team is the most lethal division because of our Troopers, past and present, and it will continue to be for the next 100 years.”
By Capt. Christopher Weber, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina – Airborne Soldiers here recently tested combat helmet sensors looking to help the Army lessen repetitive traumatic injuries to the head and neck while jumping from aircraft.
The 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division and the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate teamed up to do testing for the Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) newest Head Impact Monitoring Sensors.
Ongoing research supported by the ARL over the last 10 years has developed improved monitoring devices and the implementation of many new protective gear developments.
“Ultimately our goal for the Rate Activated Tether (RAT) helmet suspension is to increase the blunt impact protection in all combat helmets for all Soldiers,” said Thomas Plaisted, the ARL Materials Engineer Research Lead.
He said whether Airborne or ground-based operations Soldiers, the goal is to achieve a comfortable and stable helmet fit with minimal added weight.
“The Impact Monitoring Mouthguard (IMM) is a ‘Check Engine’ sensor that provides understandable and objective head impact and blunt force data to line leaders regarding the readiness of their Service members,” said Dr. Adam Bartsch, Chief Science Officer for Prevent Biometrics.
For the past year, the IMM Team has been collaborating with the ARL to evaluate the RAT impact absorption system fitted into the Army Combat Helmet.
Testing of the IMM and RAT began mid-July with a day of ground training and familiarization, followed by combat-equipped jumps on Fort Bragg’s Holland Drop Zone.
“The findings from this test are vital in understanding the physical demands Soldiers encounter while conducting airborne operations,” said Capt. Tyler Miller, ABNSOTD Operations Officer.
“With this data, leaders and researchers can develop equipment and processes to better protect paratroopers.”
Ground training consisted of experts from ARL and Prevent Biometrics conducting training on proper wear and fitting of the RAT and IMM.
The test jumpers then tested the equipment on the ground with Sustained Airborne Training, Parachute Landing Falls on various surfaces, and then practicing jump commands and aircraft exits out of a mock door trainer.
That was followed by combat-equipped training jumps on Fort Bragg’s Holland Drop Zone from U.S. Air Force C-17 Aircraft, along with Paratroopers from 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, who were already jumping for training for mass tactical airfield seizure insertions.
“The ability to test and put these new and emerging technologies directly into the hands of our Soldiers goes far too rapidly evolve technology for the future of the Army,” said Miller.
Data collected from post jump surveys and the head impact sensors will lead to further development of protective equipment for Paratroopers.
Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division plan to assist medical researchers, by utilizing the IMM for further head impact data collection during training events over the coming months.
The data these Soldiers will gather will assist researchers in further development of protective equipment and techniques to prevent future mild traumatic brain injuries from combat and everyday training events.
About the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate and the U.S. Army Operational test Command:
The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate plans, executes, and reports on operational tests and field experiments of Airborne and Special Operations Forces equipment, procedures, aerial delivery and air transportation systems to provide key operational data for the continued development and fielding of doctrine, systems, and equipment to the Warfighter.
The U.S. Army Operational Test Command is based at West Fort Hood, Texas, and its mission ensures systems developed are effective in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which they train and fight. Test unit Soldiers provide feedback by offering input to improve upon existing and future systems Soldiers will ultimately use to train and fight.
FORT HOOD, Texas — The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center COVID-19 vaccination site, Abrams gym, will be closed 3-6 Sept., for Labor Day weekend.
The site will resume normal hours at 7:30 a.m., 7 Sept.
By Ms. Joni M. Moore, Military Test Plans Analyst, Maneuver Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina — Infantry Soldiers here recently went to the front lines of training using what the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) Program Manager refers to as the “better boot.”
The ISV is a new concept to allow Army Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers to cover large areas of challenging terrain more quickly and less fatigued by reducing the area usually covered on foot.
Infantrymen would also be able to carry enough personal and squad provisions to self-sustain for several days, and the ISV is also transported easily by air assets during air assault and airborne assault missions.
“The 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions have been integral to the ISV development,” said Maj. Howard VanMatre, ISV assistant program manager, upon completion of the Pilot Test, which is essentially a dress rehearsal prior to the actual Operational Test to follow.
“As we gained insight from previous Soldier Touchpoints with these units, we then incorporated lessons learned into the production ISV,” he said.
“We are looking forward to the results of this test and then the subsequent fielding to the first unit equipped, the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division,” he added.
The Initial Operational Test gave Infantry Soldiers the opportunity to put the ISV to the test using their own unit Concept of Operations as they might in a real combat situation.
One warrant officer said the ISV should add to an Infantry unit’s lethality.
“Soldiers really seem to like the new capability, being able to travel at high speed to the fight instead of marching,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Sean Mott, Aviation Liaison Officer for the operational test.
“The ability to cross tough terrain and arrive at the objective fresh makes them much more lethal.”
“The cargo straps are fantastic and there is enough room for rucks but there could be an improvement made to carry more food, water and fuel,” said Sgt. Garrison Reigle, 2nd Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR).
“Additional racks would be great,” he suggested.
The Company Commander of Company C, 1-504th PIR said the ISV enhances his Soldiers’ mission.
“The ISV enabled us to close on the objective and rapidly maneuver to the objective,” said Capt. Brian Connell.
“As a light infantry company, we are able to internally move our own class IV. Without the ISV we’d be out there cutting down trees to try to disrupt the enemy or doing what we could with our shovels.”
“The ISV is a great mission enhancer,” he said.
Soldiers were given an opportunity to provide relevant in-person feedback to the Program Manager and Military Evaluators regarding what they think should be sustained or improved upon in future development of the ISV.
“Manual mode offers exceptional control, it’s the only way I drive the ISV. The suspension is outstanding,” said Spc. Lucas Golm, Headquarters Company, 1-504 PIR.
“When expecting an ambush we used speed to blow through and return fire,” said Pfc. Caden Wilhelm of 1st Platoon, C Company, 1-504 PIR.
“During Movement to Contact we covered restrictive terrain faster and it allowed us to surprise the enemy!” said 1st Lt. Colin Larrabee, executive officer of C Company, 1-504 PIR. “Great asset to the Company!”
Program managers said the ISV might not only be a real game changer for future Light Infantry operations but may just be a “better boot” that fits just right!
Operational testing began Oct. 1, 1969, and as the Army’s only independent operational tester, the U.S. Army Operational Test Command taps the “Total Army” (Active, National Guard, and Reserve) when testing Army, joint, and multi-service warfighting systems in realistic operational environments, using typical Soldiers to determine whether the systems are effective, suitable, and survivable. OTC is required by public law to test major systems before they are fielded to its ultimate customer – the American Soldier.
The Maneuver Test Directorate (MTD), based at Fort Hood, Texas, is OTC’s lead directorate for conducting independent operational testing of Infantry, Armor, and robotic systems to inform acquisition and fielding decisions for the Army and select joint Warfighting systems. Poised, ready, and always able, MTD has and will remain the “go to” test directorate to provide the Army Futures Command and senior U.S. Army leadership with truthful test feedback they need to make informed decisions as to what capabilities will be brought to bear against future adversaries in a Multi-Domain Battle environment.
FORT HOOD, Texas – Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, its primary care clinics, and COVID-19 testing sites will modify hours Sept. 3-6 in observance of the Labor Day federal holiday. The hospital remains open every day for emergency services, inpatient care, and labor and delivery services.
Monroe and Bennett Health clinics will be closed Friday, Sept., 3. Active Duty Service members enrolled to either of those clinics should seek care at Thomas Moore Health clinic. All other clinics and services will be open.
COVID-19 Testing Sites
Respiratory Drive -Thru Clinic
Friday Sept., 3 & Monday, Sept., 6
Thomas Moore Health Clinic COVID-19 Testing (Active Duty only)
Friday, Sept., 3
Friday, Sept., 3
Bennett and Monroe pharmacies will be closed
All other pharmacies normal operating hours
Saturday, Sept., 4
Clear Creek PX Pharmacy
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
All other pharmacies closed
Monday, Sept., 6
All pharmacies closed
All CRDAMC clinics and pharmacies will resume normal operations on Tuesday, Sept., 7.
TRICARE Prime enrollees with urgent, emergent care needs or COVID-19 symptoms should seek assistant at the CRDAMC Emergency Department.
For questions or concerns about COVID-19, please call the 24 hr. APHN COVID-19 hotline at 254-553-6612.
The Nurse Advice Line is available 24/7 by calling (800) TRICARE or 1- 800- 874-2273, Option 1. Individuals living in the Fort Hood area entitled to military healthcare may talk to registered nurses about urgent health issues, guidance on non-emergency situations, and information about self-care for injuries or illnesses.
Beneficiaries can make or cancel appointments through TRICARE online at www.tricareonline.com or by calling Patient Appointment Service at 254-288-8888. At TRICARE online, you can make and cancel appointments as well as request, pharmacy refills, and access health information like laboratory results, radiology results, and immunization records.
FORT HOOD, Texas — The 360 Hoops basketball experience is coming to Fort Hood for a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for active-duty Soldiers and their families 3-9 p.m. Aug. 29 at the West Fort Hood physical fitness center. There are 27 teams of 4 players each for the tournament. Both men and women teams.
Mike Brey, head coach for the University of Notre Dame, will be there to provide basketball tips. He has a meet and greet at 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.hood.armymwr.com.
Youth basketball clinic
360 Hoops will host a youth basketball clinic ages 7-13 years old from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 29 also at the West Fort Hood physical fitness center. For more information, visit www.hood.armymwr.com.
Media who wish to cover these events should contact Tracy Thomas at (254) 681-8057 for an escort to the event.
The Department of Defense recently approved a request for assistance from the State Department to provide temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for specified Afghan Special Immigration Visa applicants and their families, and possibly other vulnerable Afghans, at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, and Fort Bliss, Texas, in addition to Fort Lee, Virginia.
Approximately 130 service members from the 627th Field Hospital and the 546th Area Support Medical Company, 1st Medical Brigade from Fort Carson, Colo. and Fort Hood, Texas respectively, have deployed to provide medical support at Fort McCoy, in order to assist in these efforts as part of the task force located there. Additionally, the 49th Movement Control Battalion, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command from Fort Hood have deployed 2 Soldiers to Fort Bliss, Texas to serve as linguistic translators.
U.S. Northern Command is the Department of Defense’s lead combatant command for this mission in the continental United States and is providing oversight in support of the Department of State. U.S. Army North, as U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command, is the lead operational command for this mission.
“1st Medical Brigade, as the largest and most diverse medical unit in the Army, has the clinical, operational, and administrative expertise to be able to respond quickly and in great measure when called upon by our nation,” explained Col Scot A. Tebo, the Chief of Professional Services for 1st MED BDE. “We are deploying personnel to multiple locations in the U.S. and overseas in support of Operation Allies Refuge.”
The task force at Fort McCoy will provide the housing, medical, logistics, and transportation support.
We are proud to join Task Force McCoy, U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command and the Department of Defense team, in supporting the State Department with this mission.
FORT HOOD, Texas – Surgical services at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center have been temporarily reduced to support current COVID response operations 23 Aug.
CRDAMC has limited surgical services and will only conduct surgeries that support select readiness cases, time-sensitive procedures that would affect a patients long term health if delayed, and urgent or emergent procedures.
A large number of elective procedures will be temporarily delayed until CRDAMC can reopen to full capacity. The Surgical Services team is actively assessing the ability to reopen capacity on a daily basis and will reschedule all cases as soon as possible.