Letter from the Program Executive Officer

PEO C3T strives to maintain tech dominance for warfighters deployed today and in the future
By Brig. Gen. Lee S. Price

In present day operations, our adversaries continually challenge us with new threats in varied environments and terrains. The Acquisition, Testing, Signal, Science and Technology, and Research and Development communities have converged to technologically meet requirements which emerge from these threats, while simultaneously preparing for those of the future.

In order to enhance our adaptability to evolving circumstances and requirements, C4ISR has transitioned its headquarters to a Center of Excellence at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. We now work in closer proximity with our aforementioned partners to develop, field, support and sustain the networked battle command solutions for the deployed forces of today and the Warfighters of tomorrow.

Since the inception of the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), process improvements have allowed us to cost-effectively support a technologically dominant force. During our journey to this Center of Excellence, Unit Set Fielding (USF) was critical in allowing us to maintain our support to deployed forces, while fielding integrated sets of capabilities. Since it began in 2005, the USF process has placed equipment in Warfighters’ hands at the right time and place, so they can train, deploy and Reset as they progress through the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) cycle. They can become familiar with capabilities early in the cycle, long before battle. When it began to digitize its forces prior to USF, the Army could only field its capabilities to between two to three brigades per year. We are now fielding and Resetting close to 100 units a year.

From the central hub at APG, our developmental efforts and support will be global. The Marine Corps will remain an equal partner as we develop future iterations of Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below/Blue Force Tracking (FBCB2/BFT). We continued to field the present iteration of FBCB2/BFT to the Army and Marines and began fielding the software-enhanced version, Joint Capabilities Release (JCR) to operational units in January.

In response to requirements for faster position location information reports, the BFT 2 network will be significantly faster than its predecessor, allowing users to simultaneously transmit and receive data. Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P) will empower Soldiers on the ground with further situational awareness and the command and control capability to make effective decisions, know where to turn and where to go. Ground combat Commanders will lead their own forces effectively with less dependence on higher headquarters.

JBC-P software on a dismounted handheld will similarly share situational awareness and command and control messaging. To leverage emerging capability, third party applications may be developed and then hosted on a common operating environment, similar to today’s “apps” marketplace for Smartphones.

To evolve the Army and Joint force's command and control strategy, PM Battle Command will consolidate stand alone infrastructures and applications and collapse the fires, sustainment, air defense, and airspace product lines onto a common workstation.

Speaking of PM BC, its Product Manager, Tactical Battle Command was a first place winner of this year's Institute of Defense and Government Advancement's Network Centric Warfare Award in the category of "Outstanding Government Program” for its efforts in streamlining the collaborative environment on the battlefield. PM BC also recently received two DoD Systems Engineering Awards for the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) and the Defense Readiness Reporting System-Army (DRRS-A) systems.

Program Directorate, Counter-Rockets, Artillery and Mortar (PD C-RAM) expanded the radar network among separate Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and received a 2010 Army Acquisition Excellence Award. MilTech Solutions’ milBook received the 2010 Army Knowledge Management (AKM) Award in the technology category, for facilitating the implementation and expansion of Knowledge Management principles and practices within the Army. 

When the nature of operations in Afghanistan called for data sharing across the Coalition, the Allied Mission Network (AMN) was the solution. Today, Commanders throughout the region use AMN as a centralized network where they can share data from their respective secure networks. Independent discussions and planning efforts between separate Commanders of different nations have been replaced by data sharing across AMN.

With our partners in PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (IEW&S) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) J2/J3/J6, we migrated all appropriate mission-critical United States Command and Control and Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance systems from the Secure Internet Protocol Router network (SIPRnet) to CX-I. The Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System (CENTRIXS)- ISAF (CX-I) secure network is the U.S. component of AMN. For this effort, PEOs C3T and IEW&S received the 2010 David Packard Award for Acquisition Excellence. PEO C3T’s Project Manager, Mobile Electric Power received this award in 2009.

Future enhancements to the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) and the integration of separate radio waveforms will empower Company Commanders to effectively Command and Control their subordinate troops who will be capable of sharing intelligence with higher headquarters.

On February 3, the Army and PEO C3T moved one step closer to fielding satellite communications on-the-move to the company level in austere environments when the Defense Acquisition Board approved a Milestone C Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) decision for WIN-T Increment Two. Prior testing phases have already placed this equipment in the hands of engineers and users. For the first time, we can evaluate this equipment in dynamic, operational conditions.

Beginning in June, we will participate in a six week Network Integration Evaluation with our partners in the Army Test and Evaluation Command; its Operational Test Command; the 2/1 Armored Division; and the Army’s Program Executive Offices. The primary goal will be to conduct parallel Limited User Tests of several Army programs , with a secondary goal of evaluating capabilities of the current network, the theater provided network and the emerging network. The exercise will also assess developmental networked and non-networked capabilities. It will be the first of a series of four events leading to executing a fully integrated BCT Network Evaluation at the end of 2012. The 2012 Integrated Network Test (INT) will be the culminating event to solidify the 2013-2014 Network Capability Set.

In closing, we look forward to a bright future with our partners within and beyond C4ISR, as we set the stage to support the future innovation by some of our nation’s brightest engineers. These individuals will play a critical role in networking the battlespace for our brave, talented and dedicated men and women in uniform.

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