The United States Army Operational Test Command (USAOTC) is headquartered in Fort Cavazos, TX, with other locations in Fort Bliss, TX, Fort Liberty, NC, Fort Huachuca, AZ, and Fort Sill, OK. USAOTC provides independent, unbiased, and rigorous testing of weapons and systems under realistic combat conditions. The command uses Soldiers, in operational units, to determine whether these systems perform as intended. We provide operational test results to senior Army leaders who make informed decisions on Army modernization efforts, including whether to purchase or field these weapons and systems. In other words, USAOTC is the Army’s version of consumer reports . We remain true to our ultimate customer - the American Soldier, our nation’s sons and daughters who answer the call to serve our nation. Our motto is “Truth in Testing!”
Day in the Life
USAOTC is required by public law (Title 10, US Code, Section 139) to test major systems before they are fielded to Soldiers. With over 340 square miles of terrain that could simulate most places in the world, Fort Cavazos is the perfect location to carry out this directive. Field tests are performed under realistic combat conditions to decide whether systems are effective, suitable, and survivable while being used by typical Soldiers under combat conditions. On the technical side, employees at OTC work with land and air vehicles (manned and unmanned) and electronic/IT systems. On the administrative side, OTC employees may work in business/administrative roles, project/program management, budget, human resources, and much more to support the testing mission.
Fort Cavazos boasts a variety of attractions on its installation. If you are interested in learning a new skill, there is an arts and crafts center, auto craft center, and wood shop. For general entertainment, there is a bowling alley, bingo center, and library. For outdoor activities, there is a golf course, skeet and archery ranges, a paintball course, ATV tracks, mountain biking and hiking trails, and much more. To learn more click here. Off post has a variety of offerings as well. You can visit nearby cities such as Austin, Belton, Copperas Cove, or Killeen where you can explore shopping, arts and culture, and natural scenery. Additional cities and information can be found here.
The U.S. Army Operational Test Command originally started out on 1 October 1969 under the name U.S. Army Mobile Army Sensor Systems Test, Evaluation, and Review (MASSTER). Its mission was to test and evaluate a multitude of night observation and target acquisition devices to determine which were the best. Over the course of the next 50 years, this organization evolved and changed while sticking to its core mission. It finally became Operational Test Command on 1 October 1999. For a more thorough and detailed history, please click here.