FORT STEWART, Ga. – Soldiers assigned to “Maintain Battalion,” 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, have begun fielding the new, state-of-the-art shelters known as the Next Generation Automatic Test Set in August 2021 and completed commissioning in September 2021 at Fort Stewart.
The NGATS replaces the former Direct Support Electrical Systems test set platform and provides quality maintenance and repair capability to soldiers in combat and field operations.
According to U.S. Army Operational Test Command test officers, “NGATS is designed to provide a general-purpose, mobile, modular diagnostic test system to support digital and analog electronic hardware and software testing for a variety of army weapon systems”.
The commissioning supports 2nd ABCT’s modernization effort as 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID begins to receive modernized vehicle platforms, such as the 109A7 Paladin Howitzer, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Tank M1A2 Abrams, which will make the 3rd most modernized ID. division in the U.S. Army by summer 2023.
“It’s not just line units that need to be modernized; it’s the full force to include those of us who are supporting the fight, and NGATS is playing a major role in the modernization plan,” said Lt. Col. Harley Jennings, commander of 703rd BSB, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID . “Building expertise and mastering the new system before new equipment arrives will ensure the brigade is ahead of the power curve for maintenance of integrated test equipment.
Integrated Test Equipment Operator and Maintainer Soldiers, assigned to Bravo Company, 703rd BSB, 2nd ABCT, completed four weeks of classroom instruction in September 2021 on new NGATS systems led by subject matter experts from the Command Army equipment and Picatinny Arsenal. Soldiers were trained to master the operation, capabilities and maintenance of the new system. Soldiers also received cross-training on the M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System and Container Handling Units to become fully self-sufficient and functional in both shelter operation and transport.
“NGATS allows us to be streamlined and highly mobile, which improves our effectiveness across a wide range of missions,” said Warrant Officer 2 Aaron Jones, senior technician for Bravo Company’s Missile Electronics Repair Section, 703rd BSB, 2nd ABCT. “In addition to a smaller footprint and increased mobility, new features such as air-conditioned interiors and integrated lift systems are just a few examples of the enhancements to this next generation of maintenance capability. With all the upgrades that have followed the legacy system, sustainment soldiers are ready to support electronic diagnostic repair of modernized military vehicle platforms.