By Maj. Dacharvrick Collins, Test Officer, Intelligence Electronic Warfare Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
FORT HUACHUCA, Arizona — Soldiers from Fort Gordon, Georgia, and Fort Bliss, Texas tested a new aerial intelligence platform designed to give battlefield commanders direct, timely and responsive multi-intelligence.
They spent more than eight months training on the new Aerial Reconnaissance Low-Enhance (ARL-E), leading to a record test during late May.
The test saw Soldiers from the 104th Military Intelligence Company from Gordon and the 204th Military Intelligence Battalion from Bliss gathering both Signals intelligence (SIGINT) and Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) during flight missions in multiple real world scenarios.
“The Soldiers learned how to operate new systems they had not previously used on mission and expanded their operating abilities,” said Warrant Officer 1 Amber Cornelius, with the 104th MI Co.
“For the system itself, the ARL-E is one of the most capable aircraft when looking at both SIGINT and GEOINT mix of sensors.”
Feedback provided by the Soldiers informed evaluators and capability developers of the actual capabilities and limitations of the ARL-E system.
“The GEOINT Soldiers learned a great amount from the ARL-E system,” said GEOINT Warrant Officer 1 Robbie Griffin with the 104th MI Co. “Especially the hands-on phase on how to operate the sensors — something most have never done before — onboard and remotely.”
Program Executive Office Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Sensors (ARL-E system developers), plan on an excursion exercise in the near future for a final sensor to provide the best possible system for the users.
Final results of the test will help determine the materiel release decision.
The operational test was led by the Intelligence Electronic Warfare Test Directorate (IEWTD), from Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
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.