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June 2017 - Training the Future Test and Evaluation (T&E) Workforce

June Cover Final webThe theme for this issue is “Training the Future Test and Evaluation (T&E) Workforce,” and the issue includes a Guest Editorial, Inside the Beltway, two Outside the Beltway features, President’s Corner, an Editorial, and nine technical articles.

Our Guest Editorial, written by Derek Hinton, is “Test Resource Management Center: Statutory and Regulatory Missions.” Mr. Hinton discusses the statutory and regulatory missions of the Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) and the most recent missions for TRMC in specific cyber-related areas. He describes the need to attract and retain a skilled cyber workforce to support the National Cyber Range mission. Then, Mr. Hinton covers the ongoing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics outreach for DoD and for TRMC. He states that the ultimate goal is workforce excellence.

Our Inside the Beltway is titled “The State of the Acquisition Test and Evaluation Workforce,” and Ken Stefanek states that the T&E community within the Defense Acquisition Workforce is growing slowly and is healthy. He highlights gains in the number of people that hold bachelors and graduate degrees and in the percentage of the workforce who have achieved appropriate certification levels. He concludes that the T&E workforce is qualified and capable of meeting the needs of DoD.

For this issue, we are fortunate to have two After the Beltway features, and the first one is “Development Test and Evaluation: Progress and Potential” from Frank Kendall. He states that the Department of Defense has made great progress over the last several years in Developmental Test and Evaluation, but with areas in which more progress could and should be made. He states that Better Buying Power has helped emphasize cost control throughout the system life cycle and that expansion of the use of design of experiments helped testing become more efficient. He concludes his feature with thanks to the very professional T&E workforce and those that support them.

Our second After the Beltway feature is from Dave Brown, Ph.D., and Dave Bell, Ph.D., describing “T&E’s Challenging and Exciting Future.” They predict new types of weapon systems and new methodologies for defining and acquiring systems in the future. They also describe a new capability-centric acquisition process and a new way to decide what systems are needed. This new approach will be called Mission Engineering and it is dependent on mission threads. And, they predict that members of the future T&E workforce will need additional skillsets to those of the current workforce.

The President’s Corner, written by Gene Hudgins, mentions the importance of the theme of this issue and summarizes some of the articles in the issue. He also describes the recent, very successful Cyber Workshop, and he looks ahead to the upcoming Test Instrumentation Workshop and its outstanding line-up.

In Cultivating the T&E Workforce, “Simulation: Helping Develop the Future Workforce,” I discuss a new program for high school and technical school students throughout the nation. The Modeling and Simulation Certification Program had a successful beta test, with more than 100 students having already earned the Modeling and Simulation Certification. The certification is designed to prepare students for internship opportunities, employment after graduation, and postsecondary education.

Our first of nine technical articles, “Approach to a Highly Capable Testing and Evaluating Workforce at US Army Test and Evaluation Command: Attraction—Attention—Advancement/Achievement,” by Major General Daniel Karbler, et al., describes how the United States Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) has developed a strategy to ensure their workforce members are prepared to execute the ATEC mission. They have institutionalized a human capital planning process, emphasizing the need to grow a T&E team ready for the future fight and for maintaining readiness.

The second technical article in this issue, “The Test and Evaluation Workforce and a Base of Sand Issue,” written by Raymond Hill, Ph.D., states that the base of the T&E workforce is not as firm as it needs to be in the area of statistical fluency. He suggests that statistical fluency should be a component of every T&E professional’s foundational expertise. Firming up this base will advance the goal of ensuring statistical defensibility of every T&E program.

For our next article, “Directed Energy Test and Evaluation Education,” Sam Blankenship, Ph.D., et al., present the goal of the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS) to help educate T&E professionals on Directed Energy (DE) and educate DE professionals in T&E. DEPS has offered many introductory short courses and tutorials on DE topics for thousands of students.

In our fourth technical article, “The Joint AFIT/TPS Program: A Test and Evaluation Partnership,” Donald Kunz, Ph.D., states that 91 Test Pilot School (TPS) students have participated in the Air Force Institute of Technology – TPS program. The students now complete five quarters at AFIT, arrive at TPS, complete TPS, and then are allowed 3 months to complete their Master’s Degree thesis. The students graduate from both programs within 30 months. Over the past 35 years, this program has evolved and is a winning partnership for TPS, AFIT, and the graduates.

In the fifth technical article, “Faster, Better, Smarter: Applying Big Data Analytics to 5th Generation Acquisition Systems,” Ryan Norman, et al., describe that we have experienced a significant growth in the amount of information gathered from more complex, higher resolution, software-intensive acquisition systems. Yet, the tools and methods needed to rapidly collect, aggregate, and analyze this information have not kept pace. Evaluations of commercial big data techniques have shown promising results, and big data analytics will be a beneficial change in methods for future tests.

In the sixth technical article, “Data-Intensive Computing for Test and Evaluation,” J. Michael Barton, Ph.D., and Raju Namburu, Ph.D., point out that the ability and the requirement to acquire data from a wide variety of instrumentation has grown in ways unimaginable even 20 years ago. They recommend a systematic, scalable, and rapidly configurable computational approach to big data based on systems engineering and a recognition of, and planning for, the data life cycle.

The seventh technical article, “A Review of Automated Tools to Improve Natural Language Requirements,” from George Gardner, Ph.D., discusses natural language requirements scanners and their use in requirements engineering. This article discusses three automated natural language text scanning tools used to improve requirements statements. The three systems compared are the Automated Requirements Measurement Tool, the Quality Analyzer for Requirements Specifications (QuARS), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Requirements Quality Tool (FRQT).

Our next technical article of the issue, “White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) Radio Spectrum Enterprise Testbed: A Spectrum Allocation Solution,” written by Juan Gonzalez, et al., provides a possible solution within WSMR to the military spectrum loss. The project’s objective was to develop an ontology, characterize the spectrum, and to generate rules of interactions.

For the last technical article for this issue, “A Case Study in Understanding and Evaluating Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) Command and Control Training Effectiveness,” the authors, Andrew Roberts, et al., state that a credible means to evaluate the use of LVC simulation as a training tool for warfighters is lacking. They present an approach for understanding and measuring C2 training effectiveness and trainee performance, and they show how it could be applied to a large-scale Air Force Command and Control LVC training event.

I hope you enjoy this second issue of 2017 for The ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation. By the time you receive issue 38-2 in June, the September 2017 issue 38-3 is being finalized. That theme will be “T&E of Cybersecurity and Readiness.” For the next issue (the last issue of 2017), 38-4, the deadline for submissions is just after September 1, 2017, and the theme will be “T&E for Enhanced Security.” This last theme of 2017 was designed to fit papers from Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Association, other Federal and State agencies, and supporting contractors. We have posted all themes and descriptions for the remainder of 2017–early 2021 on the ITEA website. Please provide feedback on the choice of themes, and please write early and often.


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