Test Integration: three missions, three views, one goal

  • Published
  • By Katherine C. Gandara
  • Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Public Affairs

The first Tri-Center Test Integration Summit recently kicked off at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The event was hosted by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, and co-chaired by the Air Force Test Center and the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center.

The summit focused on identifying areas of concern impacting each center, as well as where each center is best positioned to support the others when it comes to test integration. All three center commanders signed a Tri-Center Integrated Test and Evaluation Memorandum of Understanding which focuses on adopting a unified vision for driving integrated test and evaluation.

“This MOU acknowledges our joint understanding as we pursue common ground,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Sears, AFOTEC commander. “While we have three missions and three views as test organizations, we have one goal, strengthening test integration through coordination, cooperation and collaboration.”

Through the MOU, the centers agree to adopt a unified vision that drives an integrated test and evaluation activity through:

1
Collaboration on material support in manpower and shared resources.
2
Gathering and sharing data supporting test objectives.
3
Participating in integrated test planning; supporting the adoption of digital best-practices to enhance applications of digital engineering.
4
Commitment to developing a template for a singular, integrated test organization to be beta tested on a specific program and potentially scaled to the larger enterprise for four-star stakeholder consideration and approval in the future.

All three centers agree the way to accelerate change is by bringing tests in earlier.

“I’m excited about the future of test,” said Maj. Gen. Evan Dertien, Air Force Test Center commander. “One of the great aspects about partnering with these two centers is that we can drive collaborative test planning and execution to increase the speed at which we field mature capabilities. Since we all have an understanding of the ‘value of test’ and face similar challenges, I believe this MOU will move us forward with short term and long term goals that will drive increased efficiencies. A tight collaboration between developmental test and operational test is essential to developing needed capabilities and accelerating change.”

“In order to accelerate change and keep pace with our strategic competition, it is critical that our three centers are closely aligned in order to speed up the delivery of new capabilities to the warfighter and shorten the feedback loop from warfighter to developer,” said Maj. Gen. Case Cunningham, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center commander. “It’s a privilege to work closely with AFOTEC and AFTC in pursuit of this no-fail business for our nation.”

The Tri-Center MOU positions AFOTEC, AFTC and the USAFWC to pursue synchronized collection of data by using test events to achieve test objectives in a collaborative fashion with a one team, one plan, and one test approach.

“Our focus is to integrate developmental and operational test to the maximum extent possible,” Sears said. “This Tri-Center MOU creates the opportunity to create a multi-domain test enterprise focused on delivering truth to the warfighter and acquisition communities at the speed of relevance.”