By Maj. Matthew Truax, Test Officer, Intelligence Electronic Warfare Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, New Mexico — Eighteen Soldiers from Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos), Texas, conducted night missions in a GPS degraded environment here using a new Army navigation tool called Mounted Assured Positioning and Timing System (MAPS).
The 3rd Cavalry Regiment Soldiers tested two variants of the MAPS systems on different variations of their Stryker vehicles to help determine the best system for the Army.
1st Lt. Nicholas Layden, a platoon leader with Outlaw Troop, 4th Squadron, appreciated the opportunity to take part in the test.
Operating in a GPS denied environment was new to him.
“The test exposed our Troopers to the future of electronic warfare (EW) and the knowledge gained will be taken back to the force in order to continue to push our Troopers to be more lethal in the 21st century,” he said.
During each of their missions, the 3CR Soldiers were required to navigate in a GPS-denied environment.
This enabled the U.S. Army Operational Test Command’s Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Test Directorate (IEWTD) to determine the capabilities and limitations of the MAPS as 3CR maneuvered through simulated future enemy EW effects.
MAPS is designed to support command and control by replacing the need for multiple GPS devices on a single platform, and it also helps to prevent jamming with an onboard anti-jam antenna.
The system aligns with the Army Futures Command (AFC)-directed requirement to prepare for tomorrow by providing overmatch in multi-domain operational environments.
After spending three weeks with the systems, most Soldiers were ready for the system to be fielded.
1st Lt. Sungkeun Kim of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Steel Squadron, 3CR, was especially impressed.
“These systems quickly instilled a new sense of confidence with an alternate and unique way to navigate,” he said. “I am excited to see the finished product in the field.”
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.
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.