Sponsoring Facilities

Army Facilities

TRADOC Analysis Center - White Sands Missile Range (TRAC-WSMR)

Service or Branch: Army

Location: White Sands Missile Range, NM


STEM Fields: Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences, Computer and Computational Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Operations Research, Physics

TRAC is an analysis agency of the United States Army. TRAC conducts research on potential military operations worldwide to inform decisions about the most challenging issues facing the Army and the Department of Defense (DoD). TRAC relies upon the intellectual capital of a highly skilled workforce of military and civilian personnel to execute its mission. Ultimately, TRAC serves our Nation's soldiers by helping to define and underpin the concepts, requirements and programs that enable our Army to be the best-organized, equipped, trained and ready Army in the world.

TRAC is a values-based organization with high standards of conduct and professional ethics. TRAC-WSMR has received numerous prestigious awards to include the Dr. Wilbur B. Payne Award for Excellence in Analysis across the Army, the David Rist Prize (which recognizes the practical benefit sound operations research can have on "real life" decision making and seeks the best implemented military OR study), the DOD Modeling and Simulation Award, and the John K. Walker Jr. Award.

The discipline of OR is built upon the collaboration of interdisciplinary team members who have mutually supporting knowledge, skills, and experiences pertinent to the study problem. The TRAC building blocks of military operations analysis are future scenarios; leading edge models and simulations; realistic data about systems, forces, and behavior; and skilled operations analysts. Leading a core team of 5 - 20 analysts, a TRAC Study Director may receive support from other TRADOC and Army agencies as well as from other government agencies and industry. TRAC adheres to the proven principles of scientific inquiry and applies the problem-solving model to perform its analysis.

Our Projects: TRAC is heavily engaged in development and fielding of the Army's next generation combat simulation, COMBATXXI. This model will be fielded throughout the analysis community. As part of this effort, specific scenarios must be developed to facilitate analysis efforts. Additionally, particular threads of functionality must be developed and incorporated into these scenarios and COMBATXXI. Efforts may include modeling system and force characteristics as well as battle command functions.

TRAC is involved in an effort to develop solutions to key gaps in the representation of irregular warfare in analytic methods, models, and tools that impact effective decision support for organizing, equipping and fighting ground forces within the current operational context. This effort will inform and enable management support and resource decisions by defining what constitutes "good enough" analytic capability in mitigating those gaps, identifying the method/model/tool(s) to mitigate each gap, and defining statements of work to achieve the 'good enough" analytic capabilities.

Post Graduation Employment: Per SMARTs service agreement, post graduation employment start date will be within 30 days of degree conferral. Typically, participants will be hired at an entry-level position based on factors such as academic record, experience, and skill set. Starting position ranges from GS-05 to GS-09 with promotion potential to target grade of GS-11. Current base salary ranges are $27,431 – 41,563 USD per year. In addition, locality pay based on geographic area is also applicable; current rate for Rest of US is 14.16%. Upon successfully completing the program, individuals may be converted to a permanent Federal position.

Typical Duties: As an intern, receives advanced on-the-job training and instruction in the application of analytical techniques and methodologies, and performs a variety of assignments selected to broaden skills and provide practical experience to prepare for progressively more complex assignments. Tasks are frequently portions of broader assignments of higher-level professional employees. Assignments include a wide variety of tasks related to engineering and scientific field including performing a variety of mathematical analyses, computations, and measurements of limited scope; performing one or more of the seven basic scientific processes--problem definition, background research, planning, investigation, reduction of findings, analysis and inference and documentation; performing application of statistical techniques in the appropriate subject-matter specialization; assisting and/or performing assigned functions in developing and/or improving concepts, principles and techniques that will advance the body of knowledge of computer science or analysis efforts (e.g., developing new software systems, etc.). These assignments require a professional knowledge of concepts and techniques in the field of assigned discipline with the expectation of acquiring more advanced knowledge, skills, and on-the-job experience.

Our Local Area: With an average of 350 days of sunshine annually, year-round activities abound. The surrounding high range desert, mesas, and Organ Mountains are filled with places to walk, hike, bike, or play. The southwest is a very diverse environment suited to a wide range of hobbies including year round golf and unique special annual events such as Balloon Rallies, numerous wine festivals, and the Whole Enchilada Fiesta to name a few. A culturally rich environment, New Mexico offers nostalgic historical sites such as Old Mesilla, the site of the signing of the 1854 Gadsden Purchase and Billy the Kids' old stomping grounds, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Santa Fe, and a variety of museums and ghost towns. The Sacramento Mountains and the scenic towns of Cloudcroft and Ruidoso provide engaging day trips during which one can enjoy the cool pines and fresh mountain air as well as winter skiing, sledding, and snowboarding. Those with a gambling spirit will like the Ruidoso Downs racetrack and Casino Apache, or Sunland Park racetrack and Casino. To the north you will find hot springs, water sports, fishing, and camping at Caballo and Elephant Butte Lakes. The metropolitan city of El Paso is less than one hour to the south. El Paso boasts a low crime rate, state-of-the-art educational and medical facilities, an international airport, a wealth of cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities, and an economical cost of living. Area residents can spend leisure time golfing, visiting a local winery or orchard, cheering at college or semi-pro sports games, attending an opera, watching horse races, shopping at one of several area malls, visiting the zoo or botanical garden, riding a tram up the mountains or exploring historical sites and natural wonders of the area.