Test resources have many conflicting demands, and their use must be scheduled well in advance of a test. Resources specific to a particular test must often be developed and funded from the Program Managers (PM) own Research and Development (R&D) Test and Evaluation (T&E) budget. Thus, the PM and testers must ensure that test resource requirements are identified early in the acquisition cycle, that they are documented in the initial Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP), and that modifications and refinements are reported in the TEMP updates.
Funds for testing are provided by congressional appropriation to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which apportions the funds to the Services through the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). The PPBE Process formulates budget requests to the Congress. Requests by PM for test resources are usually outlined in the TEMP. Generally, system development is funded from RDT&E funds until the system is operationally deployed and maintained. Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funds are used for Follow-on T&E (FOT&E) and system maintenance. The weapon system materiel developer is also responsible for funding the development of new test resources specifically needed to test the weapon system.
Test resources are developed and funded under various Army appropriations. The Army Materiel Command (AMC) and other commands provide test items, spare parts, support items (such as diagnostic equipment), and ammunition. Soldiers, ranges, fuel, test support personnel, and maneuver areas are provided by the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Weapon system PMs use RDT&E funds to reimburse these supporting commands for costs directly related to their tests. Weapon system materiel developers are also responsible for funding the development of new test resources specifically needed to test the weapon system. Funding for Army operational testing is through the PM’s Program Element (PE) and is given to ATEC for direct control of funds for each program. Funding requirements are developed in consonance with the Outline Test Plan (OTP).
Air Force Funding
In the Air Force, direct-cost funding requires that test-peculiar (direct) costs associated with a particular test program be reimbursed by the Program Office (PO) to the designated test agency. The RDT&E appropriation funds the cost associated with R&D, including test items, Development Test & Evaluation (DT&E), and Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) support of Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) of the system or equipment and the test items. Costs associated with Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) are RDT&E-funded, and costs of OT&E are O&M-funded. Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) is funded through its own PE and has direct control of OT&E funds for all programs. The IOT&E manager prepares a TRP that summarizes the resource requirements for IOT&E and related test support. All pre-test IOT&E planning is budgeted through and paid out of the O&M appropriation. The FOT&E costs are paid by AFOTEC and/or the MAJCOM operating the system and funded by the O&M appropriation.
In the Navy, the weapon system PM is responsible for funding the development of all required test-specific resources from the program’s RDT&E funds. These resources include test articles, expendables, one-of-a-kind targets, data collection/reduction, and instrumentation. The development of generic test resources that can be used in OT&E of multiple weapon systems such as targets, threat simulators, and range capabilities, is funded from the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) generic accounts (such as target development) and not from weapon systems RDT&E. The PM’s RDT&E funds pay for all DT and OT through OPEVAL. The PM pays for all post-production OT with program funds.
AcqLinks and References:
- DAU Test and Evaluation Management Guide – Chapter 15.4
- Army Regulation 73-1 “Test and Evaluation Policy” – 1 Aug 2006