By Mr. Rick Michael, Mission Command Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
FORT CARSON, Colorado – Ivy Division Solders teamed up with Unified Action Partners (UAP) to test the newest version of Command Post Computing Environment (CPCE) during a Joint Warfighting Assessment (JWA) here recently.
The partner nations were United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
The exercise spanned multiple bases in the U.S along with the select units within U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM).
Exercise control came from the Pacific Warfighting Center in Honolulu, Hawaii as part of a PACOM Joint Readiness Exercise (JRE).
“Leveraging JWA21 as the venue for our operational assessment provided the test team the ability to collect a tremendous amount of manual and digital data,” said Maj. Mitch Monette, CPCE Test Officer, with the Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos), Texas-based Mission Command Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command.
“This was the ideal environment for capturing all test objectives defined in the operational test plan,” he said.
CPCE is the primary Computing Environment (CE) in the software infrastructure framework within the Army’s Common Operating Environment (COE) initiative in its Network Cross Functional Team, using a common interface, data and services.
This operational assessment of Mission Command software gave the Army the opportunity to demonstrate the current and future capabilities of tactical, operational, and strategic mission planning, according to Monette.
He explained how operational testing determines the operational effectiveness, suitability and survivability of systems.
“This software system is no different,” said Monette. “It was subjected to the weather, terrain, and the daily regimen of a Division Headquarters in an effort to replicate the actual operational environment where it will be used.”
He explained how the 4th ID’s system usage put CPCE through its paces.
During the final 72-hour period, there were an average of 94 active CPCE users across the six instrumented Tactical Server Infrastructure (TSI) servers.
Monette said the test got after the data needed.
“This notable level of user participation exceeded all stakeholder expectations for the testing event,” Monette said. “The team was able to collect over 100 workstation recordings to help assess the wide-spread user activity.”
Of course, operational testers modified daily operations to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fort Carson exercise centered in and around the post’s Mission Training Complex (MTC) where four Nation’s Service members operated in close proximity.
“Specific mitigation procedures were implemented to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus from one force to another,” Monette said. “Coalition forces required their Soldier members to wear masks within the confines of the MTC to reduce the risk of possible exposure.”
“We were able to collect manual and instrumented data on CPCE in a Corps-level exercise with the Army’s Coalition Partners, providing an operationally realistic multi-domain operations (MDO) environment for testing and training,” said Ms. Madeline Wright, Deputy Director MCTD.
“OTC’s testers received feedback from 4th ID that will help our Army Leaders shape future increments of CPCE,” she added.
About the U.S. Army Operational Test Command:
OTC taps the Total Army 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.
OTC’s Mission Command Test Directorate tests systems for a net-centric environment that will process and transmit voice, data, messaging and video information through networks at the tactical, operational, strategic and sustaining base levels.