Program Director Counter-Rockets, Artillery and Mortar transitions to new program executive office

PD C-RAM moves to new PEO with same mission of keeping warfighters as safe as possible
By Amy Walker

One of the deadliest threats in conflicts within Iraq and Afghanistan is an unforeseen mortar or rocket attack. Since its inception, Program Director Counter-Rockets, Artillery and Mortar (PD C-RAM) has countered these attacks with integrated systems that successfully protect and warn Warfighters of incoming fire. 

In order to facilitate the migration of the Air and Missile Defense community to a single common Command and Control (C2) user interface, the Army Acquisition Executive directed PD C-RAM to transition from Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) to PEO Missiles and Space. The directive set April 20 for the transfer to be complete, however, some actions will hold over through the rest of the fiscal year. Although PD C-RAM has been reassigned to another office, the capabilities fostered under the leadership of PEO C3T will continue to protect and support the Warfighter well into the future.

The transition of PD C-RAM to its new home has been a successful one, with no impact on current or on-going theater and other support operations. Additionally, it will remain closely connected to PEO C3T activities, since much of what it has done and continues to do is integral to PEO C3T's support of the Army.

The C-RAM System of System (SoS) integrates interceptors, sensors, warning devices, and C2 systems to provide area protection from Indirect Fires (IDF). C-RAM SoS capability is currently fielded at 16 Sense, Warn, and Respond (SWR) Forward Operating Bases (FOB), three of which include the Intercept capability. The cost-effective practice of utilizing pre-existing Department of Defense systems, allows PD C-RAM to reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while increasing efficiencies for the Army.

Among the many accomplishments of PD C-RAM while assigned to PEO C3T, it tied together for first time more than 40 existing external radars in Iraq, increasing its ability to more effectively warn Soldiers in harm’s way.  Since its inception, PD C-RAM had been able to network radars within a single FOB, but this was the first instance it was able to network radars across bases to form a “Super FOB.” The endeavor linked radars across six major FOBs and more than 90 square kilometers, potentially saving hundreds of lives.

In a separate effort, PD C-RAM used the same C2 system it used for the above IDF detection effort and provided the first true joint Single Integrated Air Picture (SIAP). The addition of this capability to the force allows PD C-RAM to detect aircraft and improve the air portion of the common operating picture.

SIAP enhances situational awareness by uniting multiple Joint feeds that are all detecting the same aircraft, enabling an aircraft to appear on a single screen as a single aircraft. Most sensors, weapons and C2 devices engaged in air and missile defense operate as separate entities. PD C-RAM attacked this stove-piped structure by bringing the “sensors and shooters” together within the same architectural environment. Team C-RAM linked all radar systems operating in Iraq into a single Joint service communications center. In the process it improved airspace deconfliction and increased the capability to warn of incoming attacks. 

SIAP will continue to be maintained and supported by PD C-RAM.

In recognition of these accomplishments, PD C-RAM received a 2010 Army Acquisition Excellence Award for the expanded radar network in Iraq and for the SIAP effort.

About the Author

Amy Walker is a staff writer for Symbolic Systems, Inc. supporting the Army’s Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T). This special report was commissioned by the Content Solutions unit, an independent editorial arm of 1105 Government Information Group. Specific topics are chosen in response to interest from the vendor community; however, sponsors are not guaranteed content contribution or review of content before publication. For more information about 1105 Government Information Group Content Solutions, please email us at [email protected]