It is a challenge for any person or organization to live up to the expectations of others. But a greater challenge than that is living up to one’s own standards.
The vision statement of the Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensor, or PEO IEW&S, reads, “Outpace the threat with technical excellence, adaptability, and rapid solutions that support a broad range of operating environments.”
This sentence perfectly describes one of the most complex PEOs in the Army.
For their efforts, the PEO IEW&S team has been awarded the Army Superior Unit Award. During the award period of August 2014 to August 2016, the unit developed, tested and fielded Soldier supporting equipment from over 80 Programs of Record (POR) and Quick Reaction Capabilities (QRCs).
“Stephen Hawking once said, ‘I think the next century will be the century of complexity;’ his words could not have been more profound in the 21st century,” said Maj. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke, the program executive officer for IEW&S. “The men and women of this PEO are deeply committed to tackling the toughest military IEW&S equipment or solution problems by their tenacious will, technical excellence and abilities to deliver now.”
PEO IEW&S has supported the U.S. Central Command, Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, the Department of Homeland Security and several other defense and law enforcement organizations. The reach of its technology has spread to 13 countries with more than 800 personnel serving outside the continental United States. Its dedicated of Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors ensure equipment functions well, and that Soldiers have the right training to use that equipment.
Teamwork is a common theme within PEO IEW&S. In fact, the PEO is a “team of teams” with six project managers fielding billions of dollars in equipment to ensure the odds are consistently in the Soldier’s favor.
Project Manager Aircraft Survivability Equipment, or PM ASE, has provided some of the best systems for protecting rotary and fixed wing aircraft. From August 2014 to August 2016 there were no losses of either aircraft type to missile systems. PM ASE works to outpace threats, coordinating with SOCOM to meet Joint Urgent Operational Needs that close critical gaps in aircraft defense.
Project Manager Distributed Common Ground System Army, or PM DCGS-A, has been working to improve its flag ship system, fielding it to 56,000 Military Intelligence Corps Soldiers with more than 14,000 upgraded to system to improve readiness and effectiveness. In addition, PM DCGS-A fielded the Machine Foreign Language Translation System, or MFLTS, to the 10th Mountain Division, augmenting its capabilities overseas as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. MFLTS is a Solider mounted system and application that allows Soldiers to speak and understand foreign languages, such as Arabic, at the basic level, saving time and effort and freeing up linguists for more complex language missions.
PEO IEW&S also has a robust cyber warfare component in Project Manager Electronic Warfare and Cyber, or PM EW&C, which fields and maintains a critical piece of modern war fighting equipment, the Counter-Radio Controlled Improvised Electronic Warfare systems, that block the remote detonations of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. In addition, PM EW&C has developed the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool that can be used to plan coordinate, manage, de-conflict and synchronize electronic warfare mission command and electromagnetic spectrum management operations.
The Project Management office for DOD Biometrics designs, engineers, acquires, deploys, and sustains enterprise biometric solutions in multiple operating environments and also supports the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of State. Biometrics is a critical tool for stopping terrorism; it renders captured biometric data useless and can track personnel globally as needed.
While Biometrics gathers data on people, Project Manager Terrestrial Sensors, or PM TS, gathers data about land and the people on that land. PM TS enables the Army to understand the battlefield by providing state-of-the-art intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and survey capabilities to support the Warfighter. Its extensive portfolio brings in an abundance of high definition imagery and video to ensure Soldiers are always at least one step ahead of enemy forces. In addition, PM TS fields the Husky Mounted Detection System, a vehicle with ground-penetrating radar that can detect buried IEDs, which has saved countless lives in theater.
Another project manager that gathers intelligence in abundance is Project Manager Sensors-Aerial Intelligence. PM SAI fills the skies with manned and unmanned Surveillance and Reconnaissance. The workforce of PM SAI directly supported 50,000 hours of airborne ISR during the aware period for combat commanders in theater, having a direct, positive impact on national security, Soldier safety and overall readiness.
These accomplishments are just a fraction of everything the PMs and PEO IEW&S does for the Army.
“The men and women of this PEO are deeply committed to tackling the toughest military IEW&S equipment or solution problems by their tenacious will, technical excellence and abilities to deliver now,” Vollmecke said. “Your extraordinary service earned this prestigious award approved by the Secretary of the Army. It’s an award fitting for such an outstanding Army team and PEO. Be proud of your accomplishments.”
By John Higgins, PEO IEW&S