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NEWS | April 10, 2020

Departing USATA executive director reflects on 5-year tenure

By Miles Brown, AMCOM Public Affairs Specialist U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command

Dr. Myra Gray became the executive director for the U.S. Army Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE) Activity, headquartered on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, on May 31, 2015. During her tenure, she oversaw some of the most dramatic and impactful transformations of USATA in the organization’s 65-year history.

“This has been one of the most fulfilling endeavors in which I have been involved,” Gray said. “The individuals who accomplish the Army’s TMDE mission are quiet professionals, making up a foundational capability that enables Army readiness on a daily basis. These are professionals who know the business and the science better than anyone; they are truly the [National Institute of Standards and Technology] of the Army.”

The USATA executive director is responsible for directing the Army’s TMDE calibration and repair support enterprise by providing trained and ready support teams worldwide. These metrology teams provide support TMDE for almost every Army unit, installation and activity, as well as other government agencies, foreign partners and private industry. The executive director is also responsible for building future calibration and repair support capabilities through training, research and metrology technique development.

The USATA team made many process and organizational changes that improved the TMDE enterprise and Army readiness during Gray’s tenure. One of the most impressive, according to Gray, is the renovation of the Army Primary Standards Laboratory at Redstone Arsenal.

“The ongoing renovation of the Army Primary Standards Lab, during which the calibration mission is still being performed, is remarkable,” Gray said. “Given the sensitivities of measurements that occur and the very narrow environmental variances that can be tolerated, this is a miracle in itself. These professionals are working around areas of active construction and are moving sensitive calibration equipment and shifting spaces to accommodate the upgrade efforts.”

The $32 million, 30-month renovation project started in early 2019 and will create an additional 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of calibration space to ensure the highly trained APSL metrologists and engineers have a world-class facility to match their world-class mission.

Five years serving as USATA’s executive director is a significant accomplishment. Gray said she will miss the 650 professionals who keep the TMDE enterprise humming.

“I will miss the people the most,” Gray lamented. “I have a great respect for the level of knowledge and dedication these professionals around the world exhibit every day. They are completely mission focused, and work together whenever needed to solve the problems at hand, no matter the complexity or distance of the issues. On top of all that, USATA is filled with some of the most pleasant, positive and helpful people I have met during my Army career.”

Gray leaves the USATA team with this thought:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with USATA, and I know the team will continue to press forward with excellence. Thank you so very much for making this is one of the best assignments I have ever had, and keep up the outstanding efforts. You truly are making a difference and enabling Army readiness through accuracy.

“As for my new assignment, I am looking forward to working with a new set of professionals and a new mission challenge. The Army is one of the greatest environments in which to work, and I know I will have the privilege to work with an exceptional team on an exciting, critical mission,” she said.