Eight PEO IEW&S employees receive Knowlton awards

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – During the American Revolution, Lt. Col. Thomas Knowlton was tasked with assembling a special group of Soldiers. These handpicked specialists would become the eyes and ears of George Washington’s fighting force against the British. The unit would be the first of its kind, combining the skills of both spies and Soldiers in both intelligence gathering and combat.

Knowlton’s proud name has since become synonymous with mission critical battlefield intelligence. Recently, the Military Intelligence Corps Association, or MICA, honored members of the military community who have proved exceptional in the field of Military Intelligence (MI) with an award named for Knowlton.  Officers, warrant officers, enlisted soldiers or civilians are all eligible for this award. These Soldiers and civilians from a vast range of fields supported the war fighter and the intelligence community extensively, and below are the unique highlights.

Lindsay Yowell

Lindsay Yowell, Deputy Project Manager, Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A), earned her Knowlton for her support to the MI Corp’s Flagship Intelligence Program of Record, the Distributed Common Ground System-Army, and her service as an acquisitions professional for MI Operations during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Further, she enhanced communications and synchronization among PM staff and the user community.

Lt. Col. Laura Poston

Lt. Col. Laura Poston, Product Manager within Project Manager DCGS-A, received the award for her exceptional leadership and outstanding competence supporting development of the DCGS-A. Poston’s leadership, efficiency and team development helped ensure the Warfighter’s essential link to Joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms and sensors, intelligence community resources, Army Mission Command, and other services’ systems. Under Poston’s leadership, her team conducted research and laid procedural foundations that will inform acquisition strategies for technology and support services in the coming years.

Maj. Ryan Welch

Maj. Ryan Welch, Assistant Product Manager, Electro-optic Infrared Payloads was also awarded the Knowlton  for efforts  and leadership of manned/unmanned aerial platform Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance payloads for the Gray Eagle, Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System, Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced, Guardrail, and the Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) programs. He was also responsible for the modernization, operation, and sustainment of the MX Family of Systems and coordinated closely with the Intelligence Center of Excellence, Headquarters Department of the Army, Joint ISR Task Force, Product Manager Unmanned Arial Systems, and Special Operations Command to ensure the success of these critical sensors.

Capt. Reginald Bennet

Capt. Reginald Bennet, Assistant Product Manager DCGS-A Increment 1, was awarded the Knowlton award for not only his work on an incredibly complex endeavor that integrated 26 programs of record, but also his leadership and high standards as a program manager of the Command Post Computing Environment (CP CE). The CP CE will impact every tactical unit within the Army, assisting the commander’s decision making process and making troop support for robust yet more efficient.

Lee Cramer

Lee Cramer, System Acquisition Manager for the Common Sensor Payload (CSP) program, was honored with the Knowlton for his significant contributions as System Acquisition Manager for, among CSP among along with other ISR sensors. His efforts have enabled this state-of-the-art capability to be fielded and utilized by the Conventional Forces and the Army Special Operations Aviation Command (ARSOAC) deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and outside the Continental United States. Cramer also regularly consulted with Intelligence Center for Excellence, HQDA, SOCOM and many other programs and commands to ensure the best support to the warfighters on his watch.

Christopher Fischer

Christopher Fischer, Procurement Contracting officer from Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, DCGS-A, received his Knowlton Award for, among many other achievements, lead a unique demonstration during the source selection process. Fischer coordinated a live software capability demonstration utilizing Amazon Web Services for Government and the National Ground Intelligence Center for each offeror who submitted a proposal to be the source.  This demonstration allowed potential candidates the opportunity to showcase and prove their software worked within the designated network environment. This, in turn allowed the government to see live and first-hand how offerors’ software meets Army intelligence tasking, processing, exploitation and dissemination requirements.

Kamman Lok

Kamman Lok, Deputy Chief Systems Engineering Division PM DCGS-A, received the award for his technical management, vision and leadership of multiple programs across the Department of Defense over 26 years of service. Most notably, Lok lead the team in Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Surveillance (Joint STARS) and Control Data Link over Satellite Communications with interoperability between the E-8C Joint STARS aircraft and the Common Ground Station using the Joint Tactical Terminal. JTT systems have been integrated a host of platforms across the DoD, including the Joint Tactical and Tactical Ground Station, and Patriot within the Army, Rivet Joint/Combat Sense and RC-130 Hercules aircraft in the Air Force, and the AEGIS weapons system, EP-3 Aries aircraft and P-3 Orion aircraft within the Navy.

Mary McEntee

Mary McEntee, Deputy Director Operations, earned her Knowlton performing dual roles with Project Manager Sensors-Aerial Intelligence and at the Program Executive Office-Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO-IWE&S). McEntee built intelligence and security practices early into the acquisition process significantly reducing vulnerabilities to enemy tampering while ensuring the fielded systems were highly capable for the military intelligence Soldiers to use to gain situational awareness and accurate targeting packages for the commander to action in highly contested overseas environments. McEntee has also had a positive impact on more than 80 intelligence and intelligence related systems as Senior Security Manager for PEO-IEW&S.

“The recognition of these outstanding PEO IEW&S team members is significant as the Knowlton award embodies excellence and their outstanding contributions to the MI Corps,” said Maj. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke, PEO IEW&S. “These awards represent the users of our systems and validates the technology we provide them and the outstanding effort our dedicated experts put forth is making a positive difference in their ability to conduct intelligence missions”

Story by John Higgins, PEO IEW&S