Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, Maryland
Contract # W912DR11C0022:
Automotive Test Evaluation Facility (ATEF), Phase 2:
The Aberdeen Proving Ground is the United States’ oldest active proving ground and was established October 20, 1917. During World War I, the United States Army needed larger facilities to test munitions and the existing facilities would not be adequate. The Sandy Hook Proving Ground in New Jersey was located near New York City and bordered the New York Harbor, making its necessary expansion impossible. As demands for munitions to fight the war in Europe increased, the Army needed to find new and larger Proving Grounds. The site chosen was located in Aberdeen, MD and was chosen due to its close proximity to industrial plants as well as shipping facilities. After the government took over the land officially on October 20, 1917, the Army immediately began building testing facilities. Over the years it has been used for proof-testing field artillery weapons, ammunition, trench mortars, air defense guns, railway artillery, and small arms. As soon as the first test bullet was fired in 1917, the Proving Ground has gone through numerous changes that are built to suit the needs of the times.
The Automotive Technical Facility (ATEF), Phase II project consisted of constructing a high speed track designed for specialized motorized vehicles. The scope of work included a paved 4.5 mile tri-oval test track that is 27 feet wide and includes a 75 foot wide stabilized safety overrun adjacent to the track. The paved track needed to be able to support US Army combat and tactical tracked and wheeled motorized vehicles at sustained speeds of 70+ miles per hour. Upon completion, the US Army will be able to test their vehicles to make sure they are ready for use in actual combat.