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Air and Space Forces to Initiate Training Program for System Testing, Evaluation

Interagency partnership

Air and Space Forces to Initiate Training Program for System Testing, Evaluation

Gen. David Allvin, U.S. Air Force vice chief of staff, and Gen. David Thompson, U.S. Space Force vice chief of space operations, signed a memorandum of agreement Thursday to establish the Space Test Course, a one-year program aimed at teaching warfighters how to conduct full-spectrum testing and evaluation of space mission systems and equipment.

The Space Test Course will comprise formal instruction and hands-on components and cover subjects such as orbital mechanics, electromagnetic spectrum and sensors. It will be provided at the Air Force Test Pilot School in Edwards Air Force Base in California. Col. Michael Hopkins, director of the Space Force Test and Evaluation directorate, and Col. Sebrina Pabon, commandant of the Test Pilot School, oversaw the development of the program.

Participants are expected to learn integrated testing, an approach that merges developmental testing with operational testing. The former is focused on verifying whether a given system meets technical specifications while the latter is centered around evaluating performance in an operational environment and developing new procedures, the Space Force said Friday.

Thompson revealed plans to craft an integrated testing strategy as part of a May 2022 briefing on the Space Test Enterprise Vision, a set of guidelines for testing and evaluating a given capability. According to Thompson, combining developmental and operational testing would reduce requirements and cut costs, potentially leading to faster decision-making and more efficient procurement.

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Category: Space

Tags: David Allvin David Thompson developmental testing integrated testing space Space Test Course US Air Force US Space Force