Fielding Made Simpler


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PEO C3T process improvements get C4ISR and other
capabilities to Soldiers more easily, efficiently

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Fielding Made Simpler

  1. 1. REAL-TIME TROUBLESHOOTINGUSF improves fielding support to the Soldier by providing DSEs and FSRs to helptroubleshoot the Army’s digital capabilities and network. (U.S. Army photo)58 Army AL&T Magazine April–June 2013
  2. 2. As units rotated into com-bat operations in Iraq andAfghanistan, it quickly becameclear that there needed to be arepeatable, synchronized process to equipforces with new digital mission commandand situational awareness equipment.Fielding and resetting sophisticatedcommand, control, communications,computers, intelligence, surveillance andreconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities is acomplex task. Communication systems,the network and all the support person-nel must work in unison, and trainingmust take place in a logical order.That wasn’t happening. Stand-alone sys-tems were fielded one at a time, each withits own training. The result of that cum-bersome, stovepiped process was that thedigitized capabilities were fielded to justtwo to three brigades per year.The remedy was unit set fielding (USF),a process begun in 2006 by the ProgramExecutive Office Command, Con-trol and Communications – Tactical(PEO C3T).USF has vastly increased the rate atwhich capabilities are fielded to unitsand units are trained. It has beenembraced by many Army organizationsinvolved in fielding a wide array of capa-bilities, including HQDA G-3/6/8; theU.S. Army Training and Doctrine Com-mand; U.S. Army Forces Command;National Guard Bureau; Office of theChief of Army Reserve; and the AssistantSecretary of the Army for Acquisitions,Logistics and Technology.USF effectively creates a one-stop shopfor planning and implementing fieldingand training, synchronizing and stream-lining the process. Thus USF relievessome of the burden Soldiers face asthey receive new capabilities and trainto use them. As the Army continues tomove away from fielding stand-alonecapabilities and as technology becomesmore interdependent, USF providesa proven method for integrating thetechnologies that end up in the handsof Soldiers, in both new fieldings andreset. For a budget-constrained Army,USF demonstrates that process efficien-cies can have just as great an impact asprocurement efficiencies.With USF in place, the Army is now reg-ularly fielding more than 100 units a yearwith state-of-the-art C4ISR capabilities.F I E L D I N GMADE SIMPLERPEO C3T process improvements get C4ISR and othercapabilities to Soldiers more easily, efficientlyby Ms. Ariel Arrosa, Mr. Rick Stoverink and Mr. Bob WinesA S C . A R M Y. M I L 59LOGISTICSLOGISTICS
  3. 3. FIELDING MADE SIMPLERAs of January 2013, about 75 percent ofactive Army units at the brigade level andhigher had been through the USF process,many of them more than once, along with62 percent of Army National Guard, 31percent of U.S. Army Reserve and 58 per-cent of multicomponent units.Now, having played a leading role in digi-tizing Army units during the wars in Iraqand Afghanistan, the USF process willcontinue to bring efficiencies as the draw-down from Afghanistan continues andthe Army looks to realign its forces.MULTIPLE BENEFITSClosely aligned with the Army ForceGeneration (ARFORGEN) processfor building trained and ready forces,USF continues to shape the fielding ofC4ISR capabilities. As the Army adjustsARFORGEN to support current missions,USF will help ensure that Soldiers areproperly equipped with the latest capabil-ities in a timely and coordinated manner.USF has also assisted in the Army’sapproach to fielding and training forCapability Set 13 (CS 13), the current,integrated set of communication tech-nologies and networked vehicles beingfielded to select brigade combat teamsscheduled to deploy to theater later thisNOT YOUR FATHER’S TOCTactical operations centers (TOCs) hold an increasing amount of interdependentcapabilities. Army units can look to the USF process to get that equipment into thehands of Soldiers quickly and efficiently. (Photo by Claire Heininger)60 Army AL&T Magazine April–June 2013
  4. 4. year. The USF approach so far has sup-ported the successful and timely deliveryof CS 13 to the first two units.Some of the C4ISR systems fieldedthrough USF include Warfighter Infor-mation Network – Tactical (WIN-T),which provides the tactical communica-tions network backbone; radios that allowcommanders and Soldiers to take thenetwork with them in vehicles and whiledismounted; situational awareness andBlue Force Tracking technology; andmission command systems. Units haveembraced the USF process, welcomingthe training and support it brings. Theyhave said it would be difficult for them toknow exactly what was needed to properlyfield C4ISR equipment without the directsupport of the various program manager(PM) representatives.USF allows units to get the big pictureof the planning required for the orderof fielding, training requirements andintegration of the various capabilities.To effectively schedule a new equipmenttraining plan, fieldings must occur ina specific order so that training reflectshow Soldiers fight. For example, dataproducts must be fielded before the situ-ational awareness capabilities of JointBattle Command – Platform, TacticalMission Command products and WIN-T. Those capabilities must be deliveredbefore the Standard Integrated Com-mand Post Shelters.With everyone at the same table, USFaverts conflicts in training and schedul-ing. This is particularly important forNational Guard and Reserve units, as theyoften have different training challengesthan active Army Soldiers, requiring siz-able commitments of people, time andresources. The USF process takes intoconsideration that Guard and Reserveunits do not always have the availablemanpower to train, that they may need tofind a secure place to store the equipmentduring training, and that suitable loca-tions to host training exercises might notbe readily available.A PHASED APPROACHUSF includes five phases: the planning orsynchronization meeting; fielding execu-tion; deployment support; support whiledeployed; and the reset and reuse phase.(See Figure 1 on Page 62.) Commandsand program managers meet at the firstand fifth phases to coordinate events andschedule fielding and training, while theother three phases focus on setup, train-ing, execution and support. The phasesare as follows:Phase 1—PM representatives meetwith Army units to go over the listof authorized equipment, explainA S C . A R M Y. M I L 61LOGISTICS
  5. 5. FIELDING MADE SIMPLERthe required training and lay outthe order in which the systems canbe fielded. The synchronizationmeeting uses a round-robin formatso that each unit can sit down witheach PM representative and ham-mer out a fielding and trainingschedule. The training is alignedwith the unit’s schedule, givingdecision-making power to the unit.With all the PM representatives inthe same room with the unit, theUSF process ensures that unitsleave with all questions answered.The process also eliminates the needfor PMs to travel to meet with unitsindividually, which saves time andtravel expenses.By eliminating the previous processwhereby individual PMs fieldeddifferent units on different sched-ules, USF allows Soldiers to focuson training without the distrac-tions of fielding details. It has alsoincreased the breadth of capabilitiesthe C4ISR community can field tounits at one time.Biweekly USF battle update briefsallow representatives from the USFcommunity to update the C4ISRsenior leaders on the current sta-tus of all programmed, plannedand ongoing fielding, training andreset operations for units across allArmy field support brigade regions.The briefs provide a way to quicklyidentify areas that need additionalcommand emphasis or rapid deci-sions regarding fielding operationsacross all Army components.Phases 2 to 4—Users first learnthe initial applications and systems,then are trained to operate themin a collaborative environmentin order to build the integrated,networked common operatingpicture expected on today’sbattlefield. This system-of-systemsapproach augments Soldiers’proficiency with digital capabilities.Throughout these phases, digitalsystems engineers (DSEs) andFIGURE 1USF PHASE 3: Deployment SupportSupport as requested to exercise upper and lowertactical Internet connectivity checks or digital exercise.Transition of unit sustainment responsibilities to in-theatersustainment infrastructure.UNITMODERNIZATION USF Phase 4: Support While DeployedSupport during in-theater operations.Support pre-reset requirements.USF PHASE 1: PlanningSync meeting in which fielding and new equipment trainingare coordinated for 48-plus systems.Systems architecture and data product plans.New materiel in-briefs (NMIBs) scheduled.USF PHASE 2: Fielding ExecutionExecution of individual system training.Mission command systems integration training.Support of unit collective training events.USF Phase 5: ResetReset to HQDA readiness standards.Unit equipping and reuse conference syncs resetand upgrades to new equipment training and fielding.New fieldings, NMIBs.Re-training/delta training (training owed to unit fromlast fielding).The five phases of the USF process support the phases of the ARFORGEN model. (SOURCE: PEO C3T)62 Army AL&T Magazine April–June 2013
  6. 6. field service representatives (FSRs)provide troubleshooting supportto the unit and handle requests forassistance. They help the units withthe initial setup and integrationof the capabilities and stay withthem throughout the process,including training. PEO C3Tdeveloped this concept to bettersupport the Soldier by giving theunit a single USF team captain.DSEs, the first line of defense whenissues arise with C4ISR capabilitiesor the network, work with unitsduring reset and fielding. FSRsdeploy and travel with units and arecalled on to resolve any issues withthe systems. The close working rela-tionships among DSEs, FSRs andunits build the Soldiers’ trust andconfidence, which is imperative formission success.Soldiers report issues through the“single interface to the field,” a pointof contact through whom they canobtain support for any C4ISR sys-tem. Problems reported by DSEs orFSRs are also reported to a supportoperations center at Fort Hood,TX, which functions 24/7.Phase 5—This is the reset and reusephase, which takes place after a unitreturns from deployment, whenequipment is sent for cleaning andupgrades. Units meet with seniorcommand representatives, regionalsupport representatives and DSEsto tackle any problems that tookplace in the field or could arise inthe pending reset process. Unitslearn, item by item, what equip-ment is included in the reset andthe fielding timeline. Often thisalso includes fielding new equip-ment to them.CONCLUSIONOvertime,thecoordinatedandstreamlinedUSF process has delivered efficiencies.As the Army continues its drawdownfrom Operation Enduring Freedom andrebalances its resources to other regions,units will continue to realign equipmentand train for new missions.USF is securely established as an essentialtool not only to support the Army’s futurealignment, but also to offer efficiency infielding, training and reset in a fiscallyconstrained climate.For more information on PEO C3T, goto Foradditional information for DOD employees,including a video interview with aformer DSE, go to milTube at (Common Access Cardlogin required).MS. ARIEL ARROSA is the USFteam lead within the Plans, Fielding,and Training Branch of PEO C3T. Sheholds a B.A. in political science and Span-ish from Angelo State University and anM.S.B.A. from Texas A&M University –Texarkana. Arrosa is Level III certified inlife-cycle logistics and Level II certified inprogram management.MR. RICK STOVERINK is the PEOC3T USF Phase I lead. He holds a B.S. inbusiness from Drury University.MR. BOB WINES is PEO C3T’s USFPhase 5 lead. He holds a B.S. from theUnited States Military Academy at WestPoint and a J.D. from the University ofMiami School of Law.THE WHOLE PACKAGEThe USF process helps to manage the mechanics of fielding and resetting sophisticated C4ISRcapabilities, such as the mission command systems that are a part of this TOC. (U.S. Army photo)A S C . A R M Y. M I L 63LOGISTICS