PEO C3T Program Review & Vision Guide

Fielding and Training the GRRIP: A Soldier’s Story  

By MSG Rene Sales, United States National Guard Joint Training and Training Development Center

Headquarters Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (DCSINT) tasked the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) to act as the procurement agent for the Army, other Department of Defense organizations and government executive departments/agencies that may require an early entry communications capability that is small, light weight and easy to use.

To fill this requirement, the Special Projects Office (SPO)/Northeast Regional Response Center (NRRC) was chartered by PEO C3T to lead the development, engineering, acquisition, integration, testing, fielding and logistics support for the Global Rapid Response Information Package (GRRIP). GRIPP is a small, standalone, lightweight communications package that enables individual or small team early entry forces to rapidly deploy anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.

GRRIP was originally developed by Intelligence and Security Command of the Chief Information Office/G6 at the request of Army G2. It further transitioned to PEO C3T SPO/NRRC for execution. GRRIP is now called Communications Control Set, AN/PSC-15. The following is MSG Rene Sales’ account of his experiences with this capability.

When I became a soldier 25 years ago, communications on the battlefield was difficult, time consuming and nearly impossible. The various radios were not compatible and acquisition of new signal equipment was a lengthy process. Data and video communications didn’t exist.

In the last quarter-century, the Army’s communications capabilities have taken a 180 degree turn. Nowadays, with new tools, soldiers can send voice, data and video on the battlefield using a variety of equipment with transmission speeds similar to what we get at home. One of those tools is the GRRIP.

Weighing less than 30 pounds, the GRRIP fits into a single man-portable, weather-tight case. Despite its relatively small size, it enables warfighters and first responders to communicate to any location in the world. It provides NIPR/SIPR voice and data capability and can be set up in less than 10 minutes.

One of my favorite features of the GRRIP is that it allows you to move into and occupy any terrain and have NIPR/SIPR voice, data and video within a short timeframe. Where most other radios have only one capability, the GRRIP is an integrated system that is transportable and provides excellent situational awareness to any location, at any time.

I’m an “old” soldier, used to former means of battlefield communication, and it amazes me that the soldier of today can now get on his or her laptop and send and receive secured information with immediate results. Previously, sending intelligence reports required additional steps such as encoding. Now, all intelligence reports are sent by e-mail over the Internet, and it’s secure, direct and immediate.

I did two tours in both theaters from 2008-2009. While I was there, I trained about 400 Soldiers on the 150 GRRIPs I fielded. GRRIP is user-friendly and requires eight to ten hours of training at the user/operator level. While I was training during my first tour, some of the soldiers came to me and gave me feedback on what worked and what needed to be improved upon or upgraded. When I went back to Fort Dix, N.J. and told the staff at the PEO C3T SPO/NRRC, they made the changes and upgrades based on the soldier’s feedback, which were implemented by my second tour. When I returned to theater, I found that the requested changes and upgrades were very well received.

Personally, I would very much like to see the GRRIP continue to progress, develop and grow. I believe strongly in its ease of use, portability and overall importance for keeping Soldiers connected in theater. I look forward to continuing to work with the NRRC staff to keep focusing on rapidly delivering this capability to soldiers for years to come.