PEO C3T Program Review & Vision Guide

Engineer/Warrant Officer Reflect on Previous Deployment  

By Josh Davidson, Symbolic Systems, Inc., supporting PEO C3T

From the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, Calif. prior to his last deployment to Iraq, chief warrant officer three Benjamin Talbert crashed and re-built his own Tactical Assault Command Post servers to ready himself for each network crisis that might occur in theater.

Talbert would create all of his network accounts, dump them off the server environment and exercise bringing them back, recalled Dee Moschette, lead digital systems engineer (DSE) in support of the Army’s Third Armored Cavalry Regiment (3d ACR).

“He was very proactive with being ready for a crisis,” Moschette said.

As they prepared their digital capabilities and network at Fort Hood, Texas, for their next NTC rotation, Moschette and Talbert, systems technician for 3d ACR, recalled the experiences of their previous deployment. DSEs and field service representatives (FSRs) provide tiered troubleshooting support to soldiers who use the Army’s digital capabilities and network.

The DSEs and FSRs were brought in by the Army’s Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) to better support warfighters such as Talbert, so he can focus his efforts on his mission. These support representatives are provided to enhance efficiency and proficiency as warfighters train and deploy for theater with Army Team C4ISR capabilities.

PEO C3T also utilizes the five-phased Unit Set Fielding (USF) process to ensure warfighters are ready and equipped with the capabilities it provides. USF manages the planning and implementation of fielding and reset for all major tactical Army Team C4ISR capabilities.

The U.S. Army and, specifically, the organizations affiliated with the Army’s CECOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC), simultaneously provide warfighters with everything they need to perform their combat mission. This means providing Army Battle Command Systems, communications systems, power, network, and enablers, all at the same time. By aligning itself with the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model through USF, PEO C3T can support each unit’s rotational readiness model, modularity requirements, ARFORGEN
modernization strategy and Army equipping strategy. USF maintains a level of synchronization across the Army as Army Team C4ISR capabilities are fielded.

Both Moschette and Talbert recalled an unforgettable occasion where a key piece of the unit’s Microsoft Exchange server ceased to function. After spending a few hours running through his own troubleshooting checklists, Talbert called Moschette and informed her that he couldn’t resolve the issue. Moschette located an FSR to assist him. The issue could not be resolved by phone. The FSR was flown in on a Blackhawk helicopter and worked by conference call with the system’s developers to resolve the issue within 32 hours.

Soldiers plan the battle through the networked battle command systems of PEO C3T at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. in October.

Photo by Rich Mattox.

“We worked a good 15 hours straight, non-stop,” Talbert said. “We worked until we brought that server back to life and at full function.”

The incident, Talbert said, demonstrated the importance and dedication of the DSEs and FSRs who supported him.

“If we were stuck somewhere else and I had no support anywhere, that piece of equipment would probably not function correctly for the remainder of the deployment,” he said. “They are proactive. They’ll call us every single day, even if you don’t need them around or if you don’t have an issue. They will call to check up on you. That’s how good they are.”

Moschette shared similar sentiments about the unit.

“(3d ACR) takes ownership of their equipment and they’re very dedicated,” Moschette said. “If it needs to be fixed, they do what they need to do to fix it.”

During the 15 month deployment, this was the only Exchange server crash. The main server was completely functional through the duration, she said.