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Archive for the ‘PEO-Soldier’ Category

11th Abn Div Testing Cold Temperature and Arctic Protection System in Alaska

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

Soldiers of D Company, 70th Brigade Engineering Battalion, supporting the 11th Airborne Division, test out the new Cold Temperature and Arctic Protection System, or CTAPS, at the Cold Regions Test Center, Fort Greely, AK.

CTAPS is an innovative multi-layer system that aims to keep Soldiers warmer in cold weather environments, spanning from 45 degrees Fahrenheit to -65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Photo from PEO Soldier

Integrated Visual Augmentation System 1.2 Development Task Order Awarded

Monday, January 9th, 2023

Washington – On Dec. 20, 2022, the U.S. Army awarded a task order to Microsoft Corporation to develop the 1.2 variant of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System.

This task order is the latest step in the process that began in March 2021, when the Army awarded Microsoft a firm-fixed-price Other Transaction Authority production agreement to manufacture IVAS. Under that agreement, the Army envisioned improving the system through an iterative process, and this task order will provide improvements based on completed test events.

The IVAS will provide Soldiers with a single device to fight, rehearse and train by integrating next-generation situational awareness tools. To date, the Army has conducted over 30 Soldier test events and more than 100 technical sub-tests, with more than 1,000 Soldiers contributing nearly 100,000 hours of IVAS user feedback. These tests validated the system’s continued progress while identifying areas for focused improvements.

IVAS will begin incremental fielding in September 2023. IVAS 1.0 provides baseline warfighter capability, and the IVAS 1.1 features an improved low-light sensor to aid maneuver and positive target identification. In addition to the IVAS 1.1 improvements, IVAS 1.2 will include a new form factor to address Human Systems Integration, including physiological impacts identified during testing, and a lower profile heads-up display with distributed counterweight for improved user interface and comfort. IVAS 1.2 will also include software improvements for increased reliability and reduced power demand.

Delivery orders for IVAS 1.2 production systems will be placed after qualification and operational testing.

The Army will continue to work with its IVAS industry partner, Microsoft, to execute the IVAS program in a rapid and innovative manner. The iterative and Soldier feedback oriented developmental process for IVAS will result in fielding substantial capability several years ahead of traditional acquisition program timelines. The Army is fully committed to IVAS and the leap-ahead capability it will provide for Soldiers to prevail on the battlefield.

By U.S. Army Public Affairs

Laser Target Locator Fielded to More Soldiers

Wednesday, December 28th, 2022

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Program Executive Office Soldier concluded a four-day fielding event of the Laser Target Locator Module II, or LTLM II, units to Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, with a new equipment training session on Fort Campbell, Dec. 1.

PEO Soldier personnel fielded 166 LTLM II devices and provided Soldiers training on its operations both in the classroom and outdoors in practical exercise scenarios.

“We want them to get as hands-on as possible,” said Mario Garcia, Soldier Precision Targeting Devices New Equipment Training team lead for PEO Soldier. “We also give them the training material because this is a ‘train the trainer’ course. That way, they can take that with them and build the training within their unit.”

LTLM II is a second-generation lightweight, handheld laser target locator with a direct view optic, uncooled thermal camera, low-light camera, eye-safe laser range finder, digital magnetic compass, and a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS receiver. It provides dismounted forward observers, scouts, snipers, and platoon leaders all-weather capability to locate targets accurately and transmit target data.

LTLM II improves upon its predecessors, such as the Target Reconnaissance Infrared Geolocating Range Finder, or TRIGR, by being smaller, lighter and more user-friendly.

“The biggest difference is size and weight. With the TRIGR, we’re going from a five-and-a-half-pound system to a system that’s just over three pounds. And that’s not counting the batteries or tripod. The buttons and menus are easier to operate as well. You have less multi-functions of the buttons, which enhances ease of use. These changes were all the result of Soldier feedback,” said Garcia.

Prior to the LTLM, a single Soldier would determine the location of a target of interest by getting their self-location, finding the potential target and estimating the distance and direction of the target. Once the self-location, distance and direction to the target are found, the Soldier then would go back to their map and plot the estimated location on it and find the location.

With LTLM II, Soldiers can determine a target location in seconds and much more accurately. Soldier feedback following the hands-on training was positive and many look forward to using LTLM II in the field.

“I think this device is going to be really good to integrate into dismounted reconnaissance teams,” said a Soldier assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. It has good thermal capabilities and picture quality, so we’ll be able to deliver really good information to our commander and send that up immediately. The only thing we have that’s comparable to this right now is the AN/PAS-13 (thermal weapon sight) and as a tool this is 20 times better.”

In addition to fielding more than 160 units, PEO Soldier personnel were also able implement a software update that allows LTLM II’s fielded prior to September 2021 to communicate with the Precision Fires-Dismounted system. LTLM II’s fielded after September 2021 already have the software installed.

“We conducted software updates on systems previously fielded to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division while we were here doing this fielding with the 3rd Brigade. The update allows the device to also communicate with the PFD in addition to the Defense Advanced GPS Receiver and Pocket-sized Forward Entry Device. In the event I’m targeting something, instead of having to read off the screen, it’ll send the targeting data to whatever device I’m using, and I can send that digitally to wherever it needs to go,” said Garcia.

By Jason Amadi

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.”

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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.