A new facility in Madison hosted a series of drills last week in preparation for PNTAX, or the Positioning, Navigation and Timing Assessment Exercise, which will be held at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, later this year.
PNTAX is an annual exercise hosted by the Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing/Space Cross Functional Team. This year’s event, scheduled for October, is expected to be the largest yet, with 124 technologies and more than 600 participants, including Department of Defense civilians, contractors, Soldiers and industry partners.
The Rehearsal of Concept drills allowed representatives from several local organizations, including government teams and industry partners, to integrate their equipment and technology onto Stryker vehicles while also gaining a new understanding of the plan for PNTAX.
The ROC drills were the first of their kind held at the new integration facility, which is maintained by local contractor T2S. The 10,000-square-foot building has 7,875 square feet of open bay space and 2,125 square feet of office space.
“The integration facility allows for a wide range of both government and industry position, navigation and timing technologies to be integrated onto military platforms and to be integrated through different communications platforms that are able to provide situational awareness, command and control, maneuverability and logistics,” Lisa Reyes, a T2S contractor working as the PNTAX project lead for APNT/Space, said.
The facility currently houses four ICV Stryker vehicles from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. APNT/Space’s local partners, which include government agencies, contractors and companies that do not currently hold government contracts, have the opportunity to integrate their technologies onto the Stryker vehicles in the facility currently. The facility is designed to host a multitude of military platforms in addition to the Strykers, serving as a hands-on facility for local organizations to integrate their technologies.
In addition to integration opportunities, the ROC drills featured a 30-foot-by-40-foot map representative of what can be expected at PNTAX. That map allows all the stakeholders to have a clear understanding of what to prepare for at White Sands.
“What this exercise does, it provides an environment for industry and government organizations to test their technologies and equipment in a denied environment,” Gene Canada, logistical lead working for T2S Solutions supporting APNT/Space, said. A “denied environment” describes a hostile location that is still under enemy control, limiting the capabilities of U.S. forces.
“The reason that we are doing the ROC drill is to ensure that we are synchronized and everybody understands the concept of how the exercise will commence,” Canada said.
Last week’s ROC drill was just the first for the new facility, which is expected to be a valuable resource in support of the Army’s mission in North Alabama and around the world.
“We are excited to have this new facility where we can really get after integration efforts year-round,” Andy Hotaling, integration director for the APNT/Space CFT, said. “It’s great space and the integration team here operating it is second to none. We’re also extremely glad to host the over 50 organizations participating in the PNTAX exercise this year. Bringing both the government and the industry teams together to align requirements and objectives is critical to our success as we prepare to execute the Army’s capstone PNT technology experimentation and assessment exercise at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in just a few weeks.”