The Point Position Newsletter


January 2017 - Volume 2, Number 1- Click to download

Proud of Our Past, Focused on Our Future

This year we are celebrating 100 years of excellence in Army testing.Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) has a long and accomplished history. It was founded as the Proof Department when the Army moved all testing from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to an area of farmland on the Chesapeake Bay, which we now call Aberdeen Proving Ground.

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100 Years of Excellence: The ATC Story, Part 4

A 25-ton 6 x 6 truck tractor undergoes a field dynomometer test, November 1947. During World War every type of weapon, from a pistol to a 16-inch gun, and numerous variants of tank, tractor and jeep, were tested, fired and driven at APG. The hours were grueling as personnel labored on tests at all hours, day and night.

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October 2016 - Volume 1, Number 3- Click to download

The mountains are calling, and I must go

On a clear, sunny, cool Saturday, I stood atop Springer Mountain in Georgia, at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, known as the AT. I recall countless details of that day: flying into Hartsfield-Jackson Airport; the shuttle ride for 2+ hours with another hiker. I had no deep, inspirational reason for hiking the trail. Like many, I went for the challenge, the adventure, and, frankly, to see if I could do it.

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Maryland Lieutenant Governor Shares Views on Leadership

You can lead a parade, lead an army, lead by example, and even lead a horse to water. No matter what the task, good leadership is the result of the little things done to improve the overall environment of subordinates.

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To Cross Is To Conquer

In wartime, bridge destruction by the enemy must be overcome. “To Cross Is To Conquer,” communicates the vital need for Soldiers to physically travel where needed during conflict. ATC’s testing brings the Bridge Erection Boat (BEB) close to full-rate production.

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100 Years of Excellence: The ATC Story, Part 3

Throughout the peacetime years, the personnel at Aberdeen Proving Ground were greatly reduced compared with the numbers during World War I. In a 1932 census, the number of military personnel totaled 150; the number of civilians nearly three times that amount, at 450. These numbers steadily increased and balanced as a new threat to peace arose and APG’s workload evolved.

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From Student to Test Officer

I never thought I would have a career “blowing things up,” especially without joining the military. It isn’t the sort of choice they suggest when you take those career path tests in middle school. But here I am, seven years into my profession, and I can tell people that I blow things up for a living (with the help of many qualified people, of course).

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Soldier as a System

Under some tactical conditions, a Soldier might be his or her own Army. Individual protective equipment is critical to the survival of our military personnel. It is their personal line of defense against fragment, bullet and other impact threats to vital body areas. Items that are carried and used to enhance vision and communication and increase lethality are part of what we call the Soldier as a System.

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“Wet” Works!

ATC tests for the ultimate weapon, and the ultimate weapon runs on water. Clean, potable water is an absolute necessity during wartime. Without it, everything else – both literally and figuratively – dries up. That’s what makes Aberdeen Test Center’s (ATC) Petroleum and Water Systems (PAWS) work so important: the testing of water purification units to provide military personnel with clean, drinkable water for long-term use.

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Save a Gallon, Save a Life

When it’s time to fill ‘er up, we usually think with our wallets. However, the cost of supplying fuel (and water) to our forward troops is measured not simply in dollars, but in lives. Every fuel and water resupply convoy exposes active military personnel to the risk of ambush and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.

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July 2016 - Volume 1, Number 2- Click to download

Soldier Tours ATC After Receiving Life-Saving Helmet

Machinegun fire impacts a Soldier’s helmet, causing a mere abrasion. Soldier gets closure by receiving the protective equipment that saved his life at ATC's Light Armor Range. A single bullet struck him on his Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH), and Lewis sustained forehead abrasions about 1 inch above his right eye.

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ATC Helps Homeland Security Ensure Safe Flight

Terrorism remains an ever-changing threat, and protecting the current and future fleets of commercial aircraft requires the collaboration of organizations across the country. ATC works with Homeland Security to identify threats and countermeasures.

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Test, Fix, Test - Truth in Testing: A Talk With ATEC’s Commander

Soldiers load a military truck, head into the desert on night ops and take it for granted that the vehicle works. The brakes brake. The steering steers. Seat belts keep them from flying through the windshield. They just work.No,the vehicle works because somebody, somewhere, has tested every component. Their lives depend on it. In combat, a Soldier relies on everything he or she touches, from boots, weapons, to the kitchen sink!

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Together in Testing

Soldiers are active test participants, bringing specialized experience to the testing process at ATC. Test personnel spend months, sometimes years, thoroughly testing system mobility, weapon performance, reliability, safety, human factors, environmental performance and electromagnetic effects.

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Shell Collecting With a Vengeance: Ocean's Impact on Ordnance

World War II military ordnance has washed up on the beaches of several U.S. coastline states. Soil erosion on mid-Atlantic beaches exacerbates the problem of munitions washing up on beaches. ATC is testing to find the safest ways to recover ordnance from our coastlines.

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100 Years of Excellence: The ATC Story, Part 2

Phillips Army Airfield was completed in 1923 and was built in honor of the pilot who died in an aircraft accident at the new airfield in June of that same year. The new Phillips Army Airfield witnessed a number of famous firsts with developments in aerial bombing, which included dropping the world’s first 4,000-pound bomb and the first place where dive bombing tactics were tested.

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Finding a Safe Balance

As ATC test professionals, we are often asked why we are still testing Humvees, Abrams tanks and other systems that have been used in the field for decades. Why do they need to climb the slopes again? Why do we keep doing brake stops? What most people do not realize is that those systems are constantly updated, improved or reengineered to improve their reliability and usefulness for our Soldiers.

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April 2016 - Volume 1, Number 1 - Click to download

Blazing an Unmanned Trail

Adaptive cruise control, lane change alerts, assisted parking, emergency brake assist, collision avoidance, and pedestrian detection are making the roads safer through technology. One automaker has publicly declared its vision that by 2020, nobody should be seriously injured or killed in one of their new cars. How can these technologies protect Soldiers on the battlefield? ATC is putting military versions of these systems to the test.

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A Test for All Seasons: ATC’s One-Stop Climatic Testing

Will communication systems work around trees……or buildings? Will vehicles get stuck driving through mud? Will navigation sensors operate effectively in falling snow? Environmental concerns such as these in military testing require a facility in which vehicles and systems can demonstrate their full capability in a variety of climatic situations.

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Dynamic Vehicle Vulnerability Underbody Blast Demonstration

The demonstration included one underbody mine event performed on an M1224 MaxxPro MRAP. Featured were the capabilities to remotely drive an armored vehicle downrange along a predetermined course, detonate a mine at a specified location under the moving vehicle, and collect onboard video, crew survivability, and vehicle performance data.

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The Long Reach of ATC

In a war zone, where bridges are nonexistent or have been destroyed, the military bridge is critical to Soldier success and safety. Historically, tactical bridge deployment needed cranes and other equipment, plus a large crew - a liability in wartime. The Line of Communication Bridge (LOCB) will help our Soldiers advance under adversity with minimal crew, equipment, and time required.

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100 Years of Excellence: The ATC Story

ATC’s inception was a result of the United States’ engagement in World War I. Before 1917, all of the Army’s proof testing was done at Sandy Hook Proving Ground, New Jersey. As wartime work and technology advanced, Sandy Hook’s location and size proved inadequate for the Army’s needs. COL Colden L. Ruggles guided the search for a new location, a quest that would lead him to the northern Chesapeake Bay.

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