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Military leaders meet for conference
From the highest level to the lowest, everyone knows that effective communication is a vital commodity, something of which one can never have too much.
With the purpose being to share information and build relationships, test center commanders and senior leaders from throughout the nation gathered for three days of intense discussions at Yuma Proving Ground's Palm Gardens Conference Center this summer. Led by Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco, commander of the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), over 60 participants took part in a schedule that kept them busy each day from morning until well into the evening.
“ATEC is a diverse command, both in terms of the many missions performed and geography,” said Dellarocco. He has traditionally gathered together his commanders twice each year, the last time in January at the Cold Regions Test Center, Alaska.
“I want our senior leadership to be personally exposed to these dynamics, for extreme temperatures have a great effect on people and equipment.” This, he said, helps test managers serve their customers, America's warfighters, in the best manner possible.
Dellarocco said part of the conference's value is the networking among participants, for they are widely spread throughout the nation, but he also takes the opportunity to impart a great amount of information from the highest levels of the Army. This enables each test center commander to configure local operations in accordance with budget realities, testing thrusts and initiatives of senior Army leaders.
“Having this dialogue with my senior leaders is vitally important,” he said.
One of the highlights was going downrange amid 110-degree afternoon temperatures to fire weapons, see exhibits and ride an armored vehicle along a desert road.
“Our intention was to give them personal experience of what our soldiers go through overseas and what our testers do each day,” said Col. Reed Young, YPG commander. “They wore body armor, helmets and eye protection amid the heat of the desert which, I'm sure, was a highlight for those who had never done it before.”
A great deal of preparation went into the conference, and Young feels it was a “tremendous” success.
“Team YPG really stepped up to the plate to make this a well-organized, well-orchestrated event. I received a great many highly laudatory comments from conference participants.”
Chuck Wullenjohn writes for The Outpost, the newspaper at Yuma Proving Ground.