After reading chapter 2 below, describe and define T&E. The post must be at least 260 words. voice your opinion professionally and courteously while backing up your opinions with facts and or data.
What is Acquisition Test & Evaluation?
What do you think of tests? Have you ever done any testing before? I love it when people say that they have no test experience. I disagree. Everyone taking this class has done a test before. Have you ever bought a car? Did you test drive it to see if you liked it? What about buying a mattress? Did you lay on it before you bought it? How about a couch?
In the world of acquisitions for the Department of Defense, we try to do some testing before we ever put a product out in the field. You are probably saying to yourself, “well that makes sense”, but we are talking about the government, aren’t we? We look at testing products at the beginning of a program and throughout the program to make sure it provides us what we want it to.
The Department of Defense does things in a process. Just like all the other acquisition classes you might have had, this one really shows you that it is all a process that programs must go through. We must follow the rules set out by DoD 5000 and some of the other important documents that guide how we do things. Or, we should follow the rules; if not, then we are in for a discussion
Why test? Well, to make sure that the system or product or service that the US Government or the Department of Defense pays for does work. That sounds simple, but it is rarely simple. There are stories of failures of product testing where the engineers and analysts and military had good intentions, but something went wrong.
For instance, the Army made a tank that was so heavy that it could not move. It weighed over 70 tons. It just sat there when taken off the warehouse floor, and rolled slowly along the breaking cement, into the grass test field, where it sank.
Or, there is a test firing of 15 wired guided TOW missiles. The test firing was great. A soldier in a foxhole fired one after the other and the target was hit. Everyone was happy. Then it was tested on final time. The first time the test was in a nice green grassy pasture. The second time, which was under protest of wasting money for one more test, was conducted in the desert. The foxhole was dug out. The soldier fired the first one. What happened? Did you guess? The cloud of dust kicked up by the blast that the soldier could not see through the dense fog of dust. The missile missed the target. So did all the others. Oops was not enough to say to those who have developed the requirements for operational use of this weapon.
Those are stories from experience, long ago, for this professor who is writing this story. Do you have a similar story? Did you see or witness a failure of some system? Maybe a reader of Radio Frequency Identification or RFID tags on military equipment that failed to read each solder or weapon as they passed through a doorway into a warehouse. Things do fall apart in testing. They simply do not work in all operational environments. And it is the job of those working in this testing part of the acquisition process to find out where that failure point exists.
The “&” is a key part of this part of the military and civilian contracting and testing. The “and” part if the lynchpin of this field of study. How much evaluation do we must perform? This decision is usually made by a committee of experts looking at the range of computer simulated testing, mathematical model testing, data analytics of similar legacy systems, and the results so far of current testing.