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Army begins planning for annual integrated capabilities event

Feb 12, 2010

By Edric Thompson, CERDEC Public Affairs

FORT MONMOUTH, N.J.-U.S. scientists, engineers and technology developers from government, industry and academia gathered at Gibbs Hall, Feb. 2-4, to begin preparations for an Army-sponsored, integrated technology event.

Product Manager Command, Control, Communications, Computers Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance On-the-Move will conduct the Army's largest C4ISR system-of-systems, integrated capabilities event to date - C4ISR OTM Event 2010.

More than 100 government, industry and academic organizations participated in last year's event, and 11 Army Technology Objectives and 10 technology-base programs leveraged the venue.

"The scope, complexity and resources needed to design and execute relevant technology demonstrations require leveraging related work across the Army and Joint Services. That's why planning conferences such as these are important - they help to create synergy," said Deputy PdM Monica Farah-Stapleton, PM C4ISR OTM.

"We're looking to expand our relationship with our Army and Joint colleagues during C4ISR OTM E10, and we're examining how we can link to other venues that are doing complementary integrated activities." she said.

Conference sessions were focused on C4ISR OTM E10 guidance and campaign goals, overviews of PM C4ISR OTM capabilities and facilities, briefings of proposed technologies for exercise inclusion, and break-out sessions for the 122 attending technical providers to collaborate or discuss their proposals with the PM's personnel.

"The conference was well paced with plenty of opportunities for the attendees to brainstorm with each other," said Claude Speed, Program Manager for the Communication Airborne Layer Expansion, Joint Capability Technology Demonstration, Naval Research Laboratory.

Another benefit was getting an early look at technologies hoping to participate, said William Harris, the experimentation co-lead for Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. "It provided wonderful opportunities for synergy; we got to 'play with others in the sandbox,' if you will. We can't wait to bring our new software and network."

C4ISR OTM E10 will support broader Army initiatives by examining stated or implied programmatic requirements, risks and technology gaps, said Jason Sypniewski, chief for PM C4ISR OTM's Integrated Event Design and Analysis branch. The PM will also emphasize addressing Army Capability Sets for 2013-14 as well as synchronizing with Brigade Combat Team modernization efforts.

"E10-designed activities will enable the Future Force and support the Current Force by identifying technology acceleration opportunities," Sypniewski said. "These activities will be based on HQDA Army Technology Objective guidance in the areas of power and energy, human dimension, battle command and battlespace awareness."

The PM, an asset of the Research Development and Engineering Command, is part of the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center headquartered here.

As an Army capital investment, the PM is a research and development program of record that supports Army, DoD and industry technology development efforts by providing a relevant environment to assess emerging technologies in a C4ISR system-of-systems.

The PM's "product" to the R&D and acquisition communities includes providing a relevant SoS environment, tools, and methods that assist transitioning technology to programs of record, mitigating and reducing risk for Army Technology Objectives, assessing capabilities for acceleration into the current force, supporting programs of record milestone decisions, and providing a body of integrated C4ISR SoS knowledge to the DoD community.

Technology providers also leverage the venue for capabilities excursions to get proof of concept or quick looks at emerging capabilities that the Army or other DoD organizations may be examining.

The PM will build on data and lessons learned during C4ISR OTM E09 when analyzing how Current Force and Future Force systems will integrate into the system-of-systems construct and enable network-centric warfare, Farah-Stapleton said.

"We want to know what the issues are when examining the integration of system of systems and information dissemination across a network of networks: what's the actual information dissemination across the network and what are the implications to those loads," Farah-Stapleton said.

"If someone is interested in bringing a technology or system, we invite them to contact us, submit a participation package and attend one of our planning conferences. We do have limitations when it comes to foreign nationals participating, but we're certainly interested in any organization that has a key role with the 13-14 Capabilities Set. We would like to be able to use program of record assets, as opposed to surrogates," she said.

Those interested in participating in C4ISR OTM E10 should submit their participation packages to the PM by Feb. 26. Organizations interested in participating are invited to contact PM C4ISR OTM at MONM-PdMC4ISROTM@conus.army.mil. The Final Planning Conference is scheduled for March 31 - April 2.

C4ISR OTM E10 is scheduled to begin June 1 and conclude with its Presentation Days, Aug. 31 - Sept. 2. The activities will be conducted at the PM's Fort Dix field site, its Fort Monmouth Center for L/V/C Environments, and at selected additional distributed locations.

For more information regarding PM C4ISR OTM, visit www.cerdec.army.mil/directorates/pmc4isr.asp

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