Satellite terminal product leader leaves legacy of increased capabilities and efficiencies
July 2, 2013
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ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (July 2, 2013) -- As the outgoing leader of the Army's satellite terminal product office, Lt. Col. Gregory Coile was instrumental in efficiently leveraging satellite communications (SATCOM) to help improve the way critical information is exchanged in tactical, contingency and peacekeeping operations around the world.
"A saying Greg uses frequently is 'rounds complete,' meaning 'mission is done,'" said Col. Ed Swanson, project manager for Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (PM WIN-T), to which PdM SATCOM is assigned. "Whether managing some of the Army's key tactical satellite terminal programs or fielding critical capabilities to satisfy urgent operational needs, his rounds were always complete."
Coile passed the product manager (PdM) SATCOM charter to the incoming PdM, Lt. Col. Leonard J. Newman, at a change of charter ceremony on June 28 at the Myer Auditorium at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. PdM SATCOM provides protected, multi-frequency band and commercial satellite terminals to extend networked mission command in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and U.S. operations worldwide.
During his three-year tenure as the PdM for SATCOM, Coile also stepped in to serve as the acting PdM for WIN-T Increment 1, the first generation of the Army's tactical communications network backbone. Under his guidance WIN-T Increment 1 and PdM SATCOM achieved cost savings and avoidance of more than $30 million during fiscal year 2012 alone.
"This team has always focused on making sure that we deliver the best capability possible, day in and day out, while being responsible to the needs of the taxpayer by looking for efficiencies in how we do business, reducing redundancies, and balancing performance, schedule and cost," Coile said. "This team looks for ways to improve its foxhole every day."
Coile and his team supported urgent operational needs from the Army and other services by fielding hundreds of satellite communications terminals to OEF, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. In the last year, the program enabled the fielding of four Deployable Ku-band Earth Terminals (DKET) and 68 Secure Internet Protocol/Non-secure Internet Protocol Access Point (SNAP) terminals directly to units and Soldiers in the field to satisfy critical communications requirements. SNAP satellite terminals are designed for use at company echelons and small combat outposts, while DKETs are deployed at larger hub locations.
Additionally, the office has deployed more than 500 Field Support Engineers to maintain, train and supply more than 750 terminals that provide assured and reliable communications throughout the world using both military and commercial satellite constellations.
Under Coile's leadership, the program upgraded a number of key Army and joint satellite communications programs to improve capability and more efficiently utilize commercial and military satellites. To leverage the military's Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites, SNAPs and DKETs were upgraded and certified with military Ka and X-band radio frequencies in 2012. Because the Department of Defense has high efficiency requirements, using military Ka and X-band radio frequencies is more efficient and effective than commercial Ku-band, and there is a significant cost savings by not having to lease expensive commercial satellite time.
The PdM office spearheaded the Secure Mobile Anti-jam Reliable Tactical-Terminal (SMART-T) upgrades that enable the terminals to operate on the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite constellation, providing a four-fold increase in capability to the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and other special users. SMART-T allows Soldiers to extend the range of their network in such a manner that communications cannot be jammed, detected or intercepted.
Using experience from the program's successes and leveraging emerging Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) processes, Coile also led an effort to procure and field the SNAP "Lite," a new, smaller ground satellite terminal designed to provide high-capacity, beyond-line-of-sight communications to newly digitized command posts at the company level. By leveraging the NIE 12.2 event and the demonstration of multiple potential solutions, Coile was able to rapidly deliver a best value solution to the Army, while reducing size, weight and power requirements of the company command post.
In October 2012, PdM SATCOM in conjunction with the Army Contracting Command awarded the Global Tactical Advanced Communications Systems (GTACS) contract, which has a $10 billion ceiling. The scope of the contract enables the acquisition of hardware, software and services to support the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) mission with an emphasis on tactical SATCOM. GTACS provides a unique, comprehensive contractual solution that emphasizes competition, thereby improving the Army's buying power.
Coile has been with the PEO C3T, PM WIN-T's headquarters organization, for almost seven years, serving as the assistant product manager for Tactical Battle Command and Command Post of the Future; the executive officer to PEO C3T; and then simultaneously serving as acting PdM for WIN-T Increment 1and PdM for SATCOM. He has accepted a new position at the Army Test and Evaluation Command.
"It has been my honor to serve in PdM SATCOM alongside such outstanding people and to provide needed capability to Soldiers," Coile said.
The incoming PdM said that he vows to "work tirelessly each day to provide the best leadership, direction, and example" possible. Previous to his new position, Newman served as the Product Director for Tactical Solutions for the National Reconnaissance Office.
"I'm most looking forward to working with an exemplary group of professionals focused on doing their very best to provide tactical satellite communications capabilities to deployed Soldiers in defense of our nation," Newman said.