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Archive for the ‘PEO-Soldier’ Category

Program Manager Soldier Lethality Reorganizes

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

During this week’s Future Force Capabilities Conference presented by the National Defense Industrial Association in Austin, Texas, Program Manager Soldier Lethality COL Scott Madore briefed the audience on changes to his PM’s structure.

The structure of PEO Soldier has undergone several changes over the past few years and part of Reorg Phase III was to stand up PM Small Arms Fire Control (SAFC). SAFC is responsible for Family of Weapon Sights, Small Tactical Optical Rifle Mounted (STORM) sights, and the XM157 Next Gen Squad Weapon Fire Control (NGSW-FC).

Transitioning several program from PM Soldier Sensors and Lasers, PM SAFC will continue operations at Ft Belvoir, VA and NGSW-FC will remain at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ.

With the addition of PM SAFC, PM-SL is now has responsibility for the full life cycle of small arms, including enablers.

82nd Airborne Troops Test Army’s Next-Generation Combat Goggle

Friday, August 12th, 2022

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina — 82nd Airborne Division Paratroopers helping the Army make decisions on its newest program to provide Infantry Soldiers with a mixed reality headset.

Working toward a future when cloud services, squad radios, and necessary combat information can be combined and visualized on a set of futuristic goggles, Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team are rehearsing combat missions under sweltering 100 degree-plus heat, high humidity, and even a few thunderstorms.

According to Program Executive Office Soldier, the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) may one day integrate next generation 24/7 situational awareness tools and high-resolution digital sensors to deliver a single platform that improves Soldier sensing, decision making, target acquisition, and target engagement.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said during first looks at IVAS, “Remember early satellite phones from the 1980s that wealthy people had in their cars? They were big and clunky and now we have iPhones. It took us some time to get there.”

Capt. Roberto Huie, commander of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), 82nd Airborne Division, said seeing the location of all his Soldiers wearing the system is a huge benefit.

“Such a system will significantly improve reaction time for unit leaders who make decisions under the stress of battle,” he said.

The Opposing Force Commander, Capt. Phillip Johnston of Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), 82nd Airborne Division, said the test gave him an opportunity to train his company, with nine separate missions to plan, rehearse and execute.

“We trained at a level of we have not seen previously in the Army,” he said. “It was invaluable to have an outside look into the Company from the Operational Test Command without having the pressure of graded evaluations that normally come with training events.”


Story by LTC Jerry L. Jones Jr., Test Officer, Maneuver Test Directorate, U.S. Operational Test Command

Photos by Mr. Nicholas Robertson, Visual Information Specialist, U.S. Army Operational Test Command

PEO Soldier Holds Relinquishment of Charter Ceremony for PM Soldier Maneuver and Precision Targeting

Sunday, July 31st, 2022

FORT BELVOIR, VA – Project Manager, Soldier Maneuver and Precision Targeting (PM SMPT), executed a relinquishment of charter ceremony on Fort Belvoir, July 14.

In his final act as Project Manager for SMPT, Col. Douglas Copeland, turned over the organizational charter to Brig. Gen. Christopher Schneider, Program Executive Officer (PEO) Soldier, signifying the disestablishment of the project management office, after more than 20 years of providing Soldiers with capabilities designed to enhance lethality, mobility and survivability.

Initially established as Product Manager Sensors and Lasers in 2002, the SMPT team developed and delivered night vision devices, thermal weapon sights, Soldier borne sensors, aiming lasers and precision targeting systems. In 2009, and commensurate with increased responsibilities due to wartime requirements, the team was converted to a Colonel-led project management office and re-designated Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers. In 2019, the team was renamed Project Manager Soldier Maneuver and Precision Targeting and continued to deliver critical technology to U.S. forces.

“I was incredibly lucky to get to join the team that we’re celebrating today. This PM team is filled with incredible professionals. We have military, civilians and contractors who are literally the best at their craft and experts in their field. It’s my hope that I was able to provide the team with the right resources, a steady approach and clarity-in vision and intent along the way,” said Copeland.

During his time as project manager, SMPT accomplished many things, including equipping the Army with the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular beginning just 12 months after requirement approval. Copeland thanked the SMPT team for allowing him to be part of their successes and credited them for their ability to adapt and overcome obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This team did a lot of incredible things, even despite the pandemic. It forced us to disperse and work from home, but that didn’t stop you. This team maintained a high performing and close-knit culture even while teleworking. That says something about the men and women on this team. We never missed a fielding. There’s a global shortage of subcomponents and all sorts of challenges that we had to work through, and this team made it through on its own initiative. You did it, not me. I look forward to seeing the members of this team continue to do great things for the Army,” said Copeland.

Personnel assigned to SMPT will continue to serve after re-organizing within Project Managers Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) and Soldier Lethality. Copeland will remain with PEO Soldier serving as the Assistant Program Executive Officer, Soldier.

“If you want to get a master class in watching somebody command a formation day in and day out, that’s what Doug has done from day one. This is tough work and I’m incredibly proud of him. I know the team is proud of him and there’s no doubt wherever his future takes him, people are going to be lucky to have him in their formation,” said Schneider.

Story by Jason Amadi, PEO Soldier

PEO Soldier Welcomes New Leader

Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

Fort Belvoir, VA  –  

PEO Soldier held a change of charter ceremony as Brig. Gen. Christopher Schneider assumed responsibility as the organization’s leader from Maj. Gen. Anthony Potts, at the National Museum of the United States Army, at Fort Belvoir on June 21st.

Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and family members and friends of the ceremony participants filled Veterans Hall for the event, presided over by Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA ALT), Mr. Douglas Bush.

PEO Soldier delivers 127 programs, 253 products and integrated capabilities to Soldiers across the world, including weapons systems, body armor, helmets, sensors, lasers and uniforms. Its mission is to “rapidly deliver agile and adaptive, leading edge Soldier capabilities in order to provide combat overmatch today and be more lethal tomorrow.”

Much of the ceremony highlighted the achievements of Potts as Program Executive Officer and the scope of the work performed by the many directorates under his command for nearly four and a half years.

Bush cited how more than six million items were fielded to Soldiers since Potts’ tenure began in January 2018 – 114,000 items for 53 months – to include protective equipment, armor, helmets, combat and service uniforms, cold weather gear and flame-resistant clothing.

“An awesome level of achievement,” said Bush, who awarded Potts the Distinguished Service Medal as part of the ceremony.

Specifically, Bush praised Potts for overseeing the ongoing Rapid Fielding Initiative, which supplied tens of thousands of Soldiers this year with clothing and gear before they were sent to Europe. He applauded Potts’ multi-year efforts in the design, development, testing, evaluation and rollout of the Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU).

Bush also commended Potts for overseeing the quick fielding and delivery of the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B), which he described as, “the highest performing night vision device ever.”

He noted the Next Generation Squad Weapon and the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) as programs PEO Soldier has brought to fruition through Potts’ leadership, successfully synchronizing efforts with Army Futures Command and Cross Functional Teams (CFTs) to increase the capabilities of Soldiers on the battlefield.

During his remarks, Potts was quick to credit others for PEO Soldier’s accomplishments, thanking by name dozens of mentors, Army leaders and current and former staff from the organization.

“Our three priorities at PEO Soldier are to deliver capability, take care of people and develop a culture of innovation,” he said. “This is a team that sees the possibility of the future and asks the question, ‘what if,’ and then they go after it.”

Potts singled out as successes the Modular Handgun System and Sub Compact Weapon as popular programs that delivered improved pistols and machine guns to Soldiers, and the Soldier Enhancement Program, which “enabled us to accelerate modernized clothing and equipment to our force.”

Our Soldiers are “grateful to the men and women that design, build, test and deliver the capability they need to have overmatch today,” remarked Potts.

The day after PEO Soldier’s change of charter, Potts assumed the charter as Program Executive Officer for Command, Control and Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T), during a ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Schneider assumes command of an organization with a $2.3 billion budget, comprised of 1,300 personnel, four project management offices, eight product management offices and one project director office.

Schneider is familiar with many of these offices. He previously served in several positions within PEO Soldier, to include Project Manager for Soldier Sensors and Lasers and Project Manager for the Integrated Visual Augmentation System. He returns to PEO Soldier after his most recent assignment as Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology).

Bush said Schneider’s “top level knowledge of acquisition, coupled with his valuable experience will enable him to continue this PEO’s tradition of strong, effective leadership.”

Schneider said he was “excited and grateful” to return to the PEO Soldier workforce.

“It’s my greatest professional honor and privilege to serve for a third and final time amongst your ranks,” Schneider said. “Your work is sacred. Every ounce matters. Every bullet counts.”

By Frederick Shear PEO Soldier

PEO Soldier Evaluates the Next Generation Advanced Bomb Suit

Saturday, July 9th, 2022

SSG Nikolas Brodock, an Explosive Ordinance (sic) Disposal Specialist with 55th EOD CO, conducts a series of tests to evaluate the function of the Next Generation Advanced Bomb Suit (NGABS) during a Soldier Touch Point at Ft. Belvior, VA., June 1, 2022. The NGABS increases Soldier readiness to respond to evolving threats by providing EOD Soldiers with 360° ballistic protection and drastically increasing situational awareness.

DoD IG Releases Report on Audit of the Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

The Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General has released their report on an audit to determine whether Army officials effectively managed the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) program to meet user needs.

IVAS is a $21.88 Billion program to field a militarized version of Microsoft’s HoloLens. Modifications were based on seven requirements that enhance the Soldier’s decisions and capabilities to execute combat tasks with speed and precision identified by the Soldier lethality cross-functional team: communication, lethality, mobility, protection, situational awareness, survivability, and training and human performance.

This program is so important to the Army that it even has its own Program Manager under PEO Soldier. During development PM IVAS used Soldier Centered Design during multiple testing events in the IVAS rapid prototyping phase. This process is intended to ensure that Soldier needs are considered when making design tradeoffs and production decisions.  A core metric is user acceptance.

Unfortunately, the IG found that program officials did not define minimum user acceptance levels to determine whether IVAS would meet user needs because Army policy does not require program officials to define suitable user acceptance levels.  

Consequently, the IG recommends that the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology) develop Army?wide policy requiring program officials to define suitable user acceptance measurements for testing and evaluation.

Furthermore, they also recommend that the Program Executive Officer Soldier define clear measures of user acceptance levels to meet user needs before Soldier Touch Point?5 testing of IVAS.  In addition, they recommend that the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology), as the decision authority for IVAS, verify whether the Program Executive Office Soldier meets established user acceptance measures and addresses Soldier?identified issues before IVAS production.

This should help satisfy those who feel that the program is moving too quickly, is technologically immature, or does not have Soldier buy-in.

Project Director Soldier & Squad Integration Helps Forge Relationship Between PEO Soldier and USASOC

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

FORT BELVOIR, VA – Project Director Soldier & Squad Integration (PD S&SI) hosted a side-by-side gear comparison between Project Executive Office (PEO) Soldier and U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) on Fort Belvoir, March 8-10.

PD S&SI held an event at the Soldier Integration Facility on Fort Belvoir, designed to provide a familiarization of selected items from Project Manager Soldier Survivability (PM SSV) and USASOC’s respective portfolios.

“We put the event together and facilitated bringing everyone in at the same time,” said Christopher Baker, survivability and power lead for the operational synchronization team for PD S&SI. “USASOC’s chain of command believed that they could realize some cost savings by leveraging the work that PEO Soldier is doing and what they’re fielding. The most interest and discussion were around the protective equipment, helmets and body armor, and the differences between what PEO Soldier fields and what USASOC has right now.”

Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment (PdM SPE) displayed the modular scalable vest (MSV), the blast pelvic protector (BPP) and the ballistic combat shirt (BCS). SPE personnel went over the capability and functions of the MSV, BPP, BCS, their threat levels and the differences between the Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPI) plates and the legacy ESAPI plates. The SPE presentation highlighted the Army’s focus on increasing protection but slimming down on weight.

“A lot of the questions we received were predominantly on sizing and the kinds of threats our plates stopped,” said Capt. Kim Pierre-Zamora, assistant product manager for PdM SPE. “For us, the key message we want to convey to our audience, especially the Special Forces community, is that not only are we scaling back on these extra areas of redundant coverage or parasitic weight, but we’re also able to scale up the coverage depending on what they’re doing, where they are, and their commander’s intent.”

“Not only are we looking to make Soldiers lighter and more mobile, but also more lethal. Because if they can move enough to avoid a threat, they can engage that much better.”

The gear comparison not only presented an opportunity for USASOC personnel to get their first hands-on look with gear currently fielded by PEO Soldier, but it allowed for in-depth discussion of what goes into developing and producing that equipment.

“From my perspective, especially working in Future Capabilities, it’s good to see where the Army is with their equipment,” said Lt. Col. Rachel Cepis, S8 Future Capabilities Director, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade. “At the tactical level, you hear Soldiers sometimes complain and say, ‘why is this like this?’ or ‘when are we going to get this?’ Therefore, it is good to be able to see what is out there and being developed. It’s going to be helpful for me to be able to pass that message on to other Soldiers.”

The gear comparison event was the first step in developing the relationship between PEO Soldier and USASOC, with the future collaboration already in the works. Within the next six months, a future follow-on event, hosted by USASOC, will be scheduled.

Story by Jason Amadi, PEO Soldier

PEO Soldier Issues Integrated Visual Augmentation System Program Update

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

FORT BELVOIR, VA – The Army decided to shift the IVAS Operational Test and fielding to a date later in FY22. The Army is fully committed to its partnership with Microsoft to advance specific technologies to meet operational requirements and maximize warfighter impact. The Army conducted an Adversarial Electronic Warfare and Cybersecurity Test in September 2021, and plans to execute testing regularly throughout FY22. This decision allows the Army and Industry team to continue to enhance the IVAS technology platform ensuring Soldiers achieve overmatch in Multi Domain Operations. The Army intends to continue developing and fielding this revolutionary, first-of-its-kind technology in FY22.

Project Timeline:

• OCT / NOV 2020: Soldier Touchpoint 3 (STP 3) & Distinguished Visitor Days

• DEC 2020: Rapid Fielding Decision

• JAN 2021: Vehicle Integration VE2 – Stryker & Bradley

• FEB 2021: Cold Weather Test

• MAR 2021: Production Award

• MAR 2021: Tropical Weather Test

• APR 2021: Soldier Touchpoint 4 (STP 4)

• JUL 2021: OT Entrance Criteria User Jury

• SEP 2021: Vehicle Integration VE3 – Bradley

• SEP 2021: Adversarial Electronic Warfare & Cybersecurity Test

• MAY 2022: Operational Test (IOT)

• SEP 2022: First Unit Equipped (FUE)