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OTC welcomes Spellmon, thanks Amato for five years of service

Email   Print   Share By Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
June 25, 2013 | News
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Incoming USAOTC Commander Col. Scott Spellmon returns the headquarters’ guidon after receiving the flag from ATEC Commanding General Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco during an assumption of command ceremony held June 19 at OTC Headquarters. Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
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ATEC Commanding General Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco congratulates Col. Scott Spellmon during Spellmon’s assumption of command ceremony June 19 at OTC Headquarters on West Fort Hood. Spellmon assumed command of the testing command three months after previous commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin left for the 1st Cav. Div.. Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
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New USAOTC Commander Col. Scott Spellmon delivers remarks after assuming command of OTC June 19 at West Fort Hood. Spellmon, an engineer officer, said the OTC mission is new to him, but he has already had a small glance at the vital work the testing directorates do at Fort Hood for the installation and the Army. Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
Soldiers and civilians from U.S. Army Operational Test Command welcomed a new commander during an assumption of command ceremony June 19 at West Fort Hood.

Col. Scott Spellmon accepted the command’s guidon from Army Test and Evaluation Command Commanding General Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco during a ceremony held in front of OTC headquarters. ATEC is the higher headquarters for OTC.

Spellmon, an engineer officer, comes to Fort Hood from Washington, D.C., where he served as the executive director, Office of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army. He replaces Acting Director Senior Executive James Amato. Amato led the organization since April, when previous commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin left OTC to become deputy commanding general, 1st Cavalry Division.

The ceremony also served to farewell Amato, who is heading to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., where he will serve as the director of Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity. He served at OTC since 2008.

During his remarks, Dellarocco reviewed some of Amato’s contributions to OTC over the past five years.

Hallmarks of Amato’s tenure with OTC at Fort Hood have been a series of Network Integration Evaluations, which focus on modernizing the Army’s tactical networks and communication systems, and OTC’s Forward Operational Assessment Teams, which are teams of testers and evaluators that embed with those troops in theater that are using the new systems and complete the evaluation.

Over the course of his five years at OTC, Amato “cut his teeth with the Network Integration Evaluations,” Dellarocco said, noting that Amato and his teams demonstrated a proven track record with the program.

“(That) has been a very visible mission,” the general added. “They stepped up to the plate and they really executed.”

Dellarocco noted Amato’s contributions to 47 other major system tests and the Forward Operational Assessment Teams the SES led while at Fort Hood.

Amato, Dellarocco said, was committed to civilian and military leaders, mentoring and developing Soldiers and civilians across the ranks, and bettering the efficiency within the command while not degrading service.

“He embraced Lean Six Sigma ... and gained efficiencies (within the command),” Dellarocco said. “We put a benchmark on the wall, by 2013 we’d achieve $1 billion on savings to taxpayers. We’ve now broken the $900 million mark.”

With Amato’s departure, OTC closed one chapter and opened a new one under Spellmon who brings engineering expertise, more than 23 years of service to the Army and combat experience to the testing community.

The incoming commander’s several combat deployments and years of experience will serve OTC well now and help lead the command into the next era, Dellarocco said.

“His experiences are exactly what the Operational Test Command needs,” the ATEC general said. “He’s just the man to do it.”

Not all of his experience came from overseas though, as this marks Spellmon’s second time to serve at Fort Hood. He originally served as a lieutenant in the 1st Cav. Div. 23 years ago.

Spellmon said although the OTC mission is new to him, he has had a small glance over the past several weeks at what the command’s eight test directorates and headquarters do at Fort Hood and for the Army. In that short span of time, the importance of OTC was evident to the new commander.

“It did not take long for me to realize that this is absolutely fascinating work,” he said, adding “how hard and critical this business is for our Army and Soldiers in the field and that this organization has an incredibly strong reputation.”
 
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