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Army Names Its Top Tester

Army Names Its Top Testers

Alexandria, Virginia-- (ANS, March 21, 2000) -- The Army named its top testers of the year earlier this month. Members of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command took home the awards for Military, Civilian and Industrial Tester of the Year.

The winners were selected through the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of the Army for Operational Research and the honors were presented at the National Defense Industrial Association Test and Evaluation Symposium in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Awards went to personnel in three different ATEC major subordinate commands.

Military Tester of the Year was Maj. Layne Merritt, an experimental test pilot with the Aviation Technical Test Center at Fort Rucker, Ala. ATTC is part of the U.S Army Developmental Test Command.

Civilian Tester of the Year was presented to Colleen Devlin, an evaluator with the U.S. Army Evaluation Center in Alexandria, Va. She is also the Air Division chief for AEC's Intelligence Evaluation Directorate.

Robert R. "Bob" Haden received the Industrial Tester of the Year honor. Haden, a systems analyst for Maden Tech Consulting, Inc., works in support of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command at Fort Hood, Texas.

As one of only a few dozen experimental test pilots in the Army, Merritt has pushed the edge of the envelope on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter on several occasions, according to ATEC officials. He has flown the CH-47F as high and as fast as it can fly and lifted as much weight as it can carry.

Merritt, who says his job is to ensure warfighters get the kind of aircraft they need to successfully complete their mission, also is known for flying a CH-47D helicopter, equipped with a developmental engine, to lift a sling-loaded M198 howitzer.

Devlin, who has been around the world conducting operational assessments of unmanned aerial vehicles, says civilian testers provide the Army with continuity and have the same ultimate customer - the soldier -- as military testers.

Devlin, who as an ATEC System Team Chair played a major role in the acquisition process that led to the Army's selection of the Shadow 200, has been called on to assess UAVs during real-world missions in Bosnia and Korea.

Sent by the chiefs of staffs of the Army and Air Force, Devlin went to Bosnia to assess the Predator as it flew tactical intelligence missions and later she was in the Republic of Korea assessing the Aerial Reconnaissance Low fixed-wing aircraft.

Her efforts and skills were also called upon when the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency needed to observe hurricane damage - from his office - to U.S. territories in the Caribbean.

As a contractor supporting the Operational Test Command, Haden has been involved in high-tech testing of computer systems like the Joint Computer-aided Acquisition and Logistics Support system and the Reserve Component Automation System.

Haden says his job is to provide the best technical and planning support possible in order to assist the Army in acquiring highly accurate test information and data.

ATEC, formerly the Operational Test and Evaluation Command, is headquartered in Alexandria, Va.

Formed last October to consolidate Army developmental and operational testing, ATEC is the newest and largest test and evaluation organization in the Army, operates in 23 locations nationwide and has installation management responsibility for White Sands Missile Range, N.M.; Dugway Proving Ground, Utah; and Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.

In addition to ATTC, test centers that are now part of ATEC include Aberdeen Test Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Redstone Technical Test Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.; Electronic Proving Ground, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Cold Regions Test Center, Fort Greely, Alaska; and the Tropic Regions Test Center, headquartered at Yuma Proving Ground.

(Editor's note: Information provided by an Army Test and Evaluation Command news release.)


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).