WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. – White Sands Missile Range recently hosted the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) Commanders' Conference designed to encourage and support ongoing ATEC leadership collaboration.
"This conference went exceptionally well, it is very important because of the way this command is spread out over multiple states," said ATEC Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Helring. "The commander can get all his commanders, the technical directors, and his group together to plan what's happening next in the command; it is extremely vital."
Presiding at the quarterly event held Nov. 21-22 was Maj. Gen. Joel K. Tyler, commanding general of ATEC, who was able to communicate directly with his staff and the nine testing locations he oversees, as well as other offsite tenants.
"This was a great event to get commanders and the staff of ATEC together so we can discuss how to create the future together," said Tyler.
As a direct support unit of the Army Futures Command, ATEC provides expertise in testing and evaluation to the U.S. Army's overall priorities. Modernization is one of the top priorities, and established this year is a more holistic approach. Currently, the Army Modernization Strategy is to become a multi-domain force by 2035 with the Army Futures Command tasked in bringing the unity of effort together.
"What we accomplished was a common level of understanding and a common vision of where we need to go," said Col. David Trybula, commander of White Sands Missile Range. "The stage is set to both plan and execute - and to actually make a difference moving forward."
ATEC is responsible for a wide variety of Army capabilities, from vehicles to weapon systems. With such a diverse portfolio and the breadth of space between test centers and other offsite areas, the face-to-face collaboration proves well for planning and strategic purposes. It also serves as a platform to share the challenges and to learn best practices from one another.
"Everybody can show, 'this is where I am struggling, this is where I need help,' and we can identify what that means to us and how we can reprioritize things to go after," said Col. J.R. West, deputy commanding officer of ATEC. "Doing what is best so we can accomplish the mission and doing it in a manner that takes care of our people; in the end, they are our greatest resource."
Synchronizing force modernization is essential, with aggressive priorities entrenched in multi-domain efforts. Having leadership come together at the conference to plan for the diverse workforce, and the multiple projects was one of the main objectives.