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PEO C3T Equips, Trains, and Supports U.S. Army in Afghanistan
Written by Army AL&T Online   

Soldiers in Afghanistan are reaping the benefits of a broad, coordinated effort to provide them with systems and support they need to possess situational awareness (SA), gather intelligence, and make decisions and communicate quicker. The Army’s Program Executive Office Command, Control, and Communications Tactical (PEO C3T) remains synchronized with numerous other Army organizations in a coordinated effort to effectuate digitized capabilities and sustainment of these surge units.

PEO C3T provides vast support for operations in Afghanistan, from equipping and training units in preparation for deployment to around-the-clock reachback field support and reset of units upon redeployment. PEO C3T embeds digital support engineers (DSEs) in support of their assigned brigade combat teams (BCTs) that ultimately deploy with the unit into Afghanistan. Additionally, a lead DSE in theater has oversight of all Army units in Afghanistan.

Single Interface to the Field (SIF)
As in Iraq, DSEs and field service representatives (FSRs) provide tiered support for all issues that arise with Army Team Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. “Through use of the SIF Web portal and the 24/7 Army Team C4ISR Support Operations Center [SOC], PEO C3T is just a click or a call away from supporting the Soldier,” said LTC Michael Rodriguez, Director, PEO C3T Battle Command and Network Support Directorate. “Additionally, through Department of the Army initiatives, PEO C3T is engaged in conducting field assessments to help the Army redefine actual user requirements as they evolve in the theater of operations to ensure the right solution set is provided to achieve mission success.”

SIF provides warfighters with an entry point for support of any system managed by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command Life Cycle Management Command (CECOM LCMC). It guides them to the assistance they need and also links them to mission-essential information pertaining to areas such as fielding and training. The portal is one method for users to initiate contact with the SOC at Fort Hood, TX. The SOC provides tiered support but is required to adhere to military standards. The around-the-clock center, established in January 2007 under the direction of Program Executive Officer C3T MG Nickolas G. Justice, provides a single point of support for issues with hardware, software, interoperability, systems architecture, training, and field support across Army Team C4ISR.

Commercial Satellite Terminal Program (CSTP)
The PEO C3T CSTP, led by LTC Duane Amsler, supports commands and operators by providing various terminal types, such as the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network/Nonclassified Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET/NIPRNET) Access Point (SNAP). SNAPs are portable satellite terminals that provide Soldiers in small, distant combat outposts with connectivity to the world with SIPRNET/NIPRNET and voice communications.

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According to Jennifer Zbozny, Product Director (PD), Tactical Network Architectures and Configurations-Current (TNAC2), CSTP has provided seven initial SNAP systems to a command in Afghanistan and its operators. PD TNAC2 developed the architecture and configurations for approximately 50 SNAPs for that command, accounting for future projected fieldings and deployed personnel to integrate the SNAPs into the existing Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) network architecture. PEO C3T also provided and procured SNAPs for additional units in Afghanistan.

PEO C3T accelerated the fielding of Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment One to 48th Infantry BCT to support its earlier deployment. PEO C3T’s Project Manager (PM) WIN-T Increment One also provided contractors as operations and maintenance support for the 37th’s WIN-T Increment One equipment, at the request of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, since the unit had no Soldiers to operate the equipment.

Radios
Radios also remain critical in Afghanistan. Assigned to PM Command Posts, PD Tactical Radio Communications Systems (TRCS) has a principal focus of ensuring that warfighters expediently receive supportable radios necessary to complete their mission. To sustain these radios, FSRs reside in theater to assist with troubleshooting, repair, maintenance, and over-the-shoulder training to warfighters.

“They are our eyes and ears on the ground,” said James K. Goon, PD TRCS. “Those guys work 24/7 out there and they do just an outstanding job, not only representing this office, but also supporting the warfighter in theater.”

The CECOM LCMC and its Software Engineering Center also provide field support. “We are really working as a team to support the war effort,” Goon said. The radios fielded in the present fight satisfy user requirements across the full spectrum of operations or the broad scope of Army missions. These radios proved to be effective in the first Gulf War of 1990, along with both OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom. “I feel they will continue to meet the users’ requirements until they are supplemented or replaced by JTRS [Joint Tactical Radio System],” Goon said.

JTRS is planned to be the next-generation voice-and-data radio used in field operations by the U.S. military. However, enhancements continue to be made to the radios used in the present fight to increase robust waveforms and improve throughput. As time has progressed, the capabilities of these radios have been enhanced to meet the needs of today’s digitized battlefield.

PEO C3T, in partnership with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center’s Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, is also developing a capability to provide vehicle crews with increased real-time SA of friendly unit locations and potential radio frequency threats.

 
Did You Know?
  • 071910_symbolic_timeline_thumbs_0033_1972_01.jpg1972 - C languageDennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan at Bell Labs develop the C programming language from a predecessor language, named B. The UNIX operating system was the first major program written in C.

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