DVIDS – News – U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground hosts EDGE 23

Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona — During intense natural-environment testing with over 80 new technologies, Experimental Demonstration Gateway Event (EDGE) 23 combines development and operational testing of what could be a critical component of the future force. I was.

The Army Futures Command (AFC) Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Cross-Functional Team (CFT) held its annual demonstration at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) for four weeks in April and May.

The FVL CFT not only advances electronic warfare knowledge, but actively tests all aspects of the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and FVL. Unmanned aerial vehicles, launch effects, and all manner of assistive technologies to extend communications capabilities and soldier survivability were all during demonstrations involving the participation of 32 inter-military organizations, 10 international partners, and multiple private industrial companies. Tested here at the same time.

“What really matters is pursuing transformative capabilities and building a joint deterrence capability that supports our national defense strategy,” said FVL CFT Chief of Staff Col. Jason Freeman. “These are not finished programs, but technologies that are mature enough to be tested in a natural environment. It’s about trying to find the most reasonable one that fits the way you need it.”

In multiple use cases involving 101st Airborne Division soldiers and international participants, more than 600 firefighting missions were conducted, about half of which were entirely digital. The simulated air attack included manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as so-called launch effects from the air and ground.

“What we did in our use case was a multinational airstrike operation, sending troops into territory previously occupied by an ‘enemy,’” said FVL CFT Director Maj. Gen. Walter Rugen. and in a roundtable discussion with government officials. After the demonstration, international media representatives met at the YPG. “The payload and some advanced tactics were where I really felt the innovation. I am very pleased with the pace of the effects introduced.”

Planning for the event took more than six months and involved at least 500+ YPG personnel.

“YPG is very dynamic. We embrace change. And our culture is about getting to yes, not saying no,” said Justin Crouch, FVL CFT Integrator at YPG. . “We started talking months ago, but we knew the initial concept would evolve. We want to be ready for it.”

The clean, stable air and extremely dry climate of this test site, combined with its ability to control wide swaths of the radio frequency spectrum, make it a desirable location for the type of testing that EDGE was interested in: unmanned aerial vehicles. Access and flight for countermeasure solutions, network expansion autonomous and semi-autonomous aircraft. Other extensive infrastructure for other divisions of the YPG’s post-test missions was utilized to support aerial evaluations. The YPG not only has technical and tactical objectives, but also locations such as generators and a garage complex. The YPG’s deep organizational knowledge has enabled extremely complex test scenarios with dozens of aircraft performing simulated operations missions and even firing live fire. In order to conduct all this activity safely, YPG personnel must identify flight routes and boxes in advance and ensure that appropriate personnel are on the ground at the landing zones where simulated attacks will be conducted during execution. bottom. As it progressed, testers were able to monitor activity in real time.

“YPG has put in place fairly rigorous and efficient safety processes,” Crouch said. “All the technologies here have been considered from a safety perspective of what hazards those technologies entail. I was able to choreograph where things happen.”

The event included the first attempts at autonomous landing and refueling by a Bell 412 aircraft brought from Canada, and the first autonomous landing in a desert environment. Impressed with the progress. interconnected architecture.

“The alignment of our theater with the Northern Edge at Fort Wainwright, 4,000 kilometers away, really replicated the geometry of our theater,” Rugen said. “My focus is getting that information to the tactical edge quickly.”

The FVL CFT’s top leadership was pleased with the support it received from the YPG from over 300 range personnel.

“The YPG is a literal gem that recreates the battlefield very well,” said Rugen. “The land, air and spectrum that this facility provides will undoubtedly be critical to our success. The team’s professionalism is outstanding and we will return to Yuma.”

“At this point, it’s my third major event in three years, so I don’t think there were any surprises,” Crouch said. “There was certainly a lot going on within a very brief and narrow frame, but the operation was quite typical of the YPG’s way of doing things.”

Acquired data: May 25, 2023
Posted on: May 25, 2023 10:12
Story ID: 445522
position: Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, USA

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