By Mr. Scott Uini, Enterprise & Mission Command Test Division, Mission Command Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina — A new Army software package tested here by airborne troopers may impact mission command at all levels on the modern battlefield.
The Mounted Mission Command Software Version 3.1, (MMC-S v3.1) aims to provide accurate digital command and control and situational awareness on the move, according to Major Andrew Johnson, a test officer with the Mission Command Test Directorate of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command at Fort Cavazos, Texas.
“The overall purpose of this test is to gather data to tell the Army and the Department of Defense whether this software is ready to be deployed,” Johnson said.
“MMC-S aims to provide accurate digital command and control and situational awareness on the move.”
Soldiers with 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division performed the testing.
Johnson said the software aims to provide a mounted mission command, improved Common Operating Picture (COP), and reduce the risk of fratricide.
“Operational testing is one of the last steps a system goes through before being deployed to the Army,” he said.
The test officer also said the test generates data to determine if the software is effective in helping Soldiers accomplish their mission.
“Testing uncovers whether the software is suitable or useful to the Soldier and user friendly,” said Johnson.
“Lastly, this test provides data on whether the software is survivable and robust enough to stand up to the rigors of war and important cybersecurity requirements.”
Soldiers of the 1-73rd CAV were trained on MMC-S and then achieved a 12-day record test under operationally realistic conditions.
The Soldiers used MMC-S when conducting planning, preparation, execution, and assessment multiple 72-hour field training mission cycles. At the end of each mission cycle, they paused to provide valuable feedback in the form of surveys, focus groups, and Mission Effectiveness Roundtable (MERT) discussions.
Soldiers and leaders advocate that the operational test allowed them to train on a new software system and provided a great collective training opportunity for the unit. Captain Stephen Rohrlack, commander of Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division stated, “this test provided a good training event to allow us to work our tactics, techniques, and procedures.”
“The Soldier’s embraced all aspects of testing from early planning all the way through execution,” said Johnson. “This has been a rewarding experience interfacing with such an outstanding team of paratroopers.”
Mission partners supporting the test included representatives from the Army Futures Command, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Deputy Under Secretary of the Army for Test and Evaluation, Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical, and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
About the U.S. Army Operational Test Command:
As the Army’s only independent operational tester, USAOTC tests Army, joint, multi-service, and multi-domain warfighting systems in realistic operational environments; using skilled Soldiers to provide data on whether the systems are effective, suitable, and survivable. USAOTC 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 plans, conducts, and reports on independent operational tests, assessments, experiments and rapid initiatives of Enterprise and Tactical Mission Command systems to provide essential information for the decision-making process for acquisition and fielding.