Fire Support Command and Control changes hands, moves into the next-generation of fires capabilities
May 29, 2014
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 29, 2014) -- For more than 30 years, Fire Support Command and Control (FSC2) has delivered technologies that carry accurate communications up and down the fires chain.
To help transition the Army's fire support capabilities into the future, FSC2 recently welcomed Julia Ruhnke as its new leader during a change of charter ceremony on May 22.
Outgoing product director Lt. Col. Larry Glidewell passed the charter to Ruhnke at a ceremony held in the Mallette Auditorium, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG).
FSC2 provides the U.S. Army, joint and coalition commanders with the capability to plan, execute and deliver both lethal and non-lethal fires.
"Lt. Col. Glidewell leaves this office in a very strong position to continue supplying our Soldiers the best fire support systems possible," said Col. Jonas Vogelhut, Project Manager for Mission Command (PM MC), to which the FSC2 program office is assigned. "We will certainly miss Lt. Col. Glidewell's leadership and friendship, but our loss is our higher headquarters' gain."
Glidewell has been selected by Brig. Gen. Daniel P. Hughes, program executive officer for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) to be the executive officer for the PEO's new Science and Technology Advisor, Mr. Terence Edwards, where he will help build the PEO vision supporting the Army's Force 2025 campaign.
Before the official change of charter, Glidewell received the prestigious Order of Saint Barbara, which is awarded to those individuals who have contributed to the promotion of the Artillery branch by demonstrating the highest standards of integrity.
After assuming the FSC2 charter in July of 2012, Glidewell provided the guiding force that led to full materiel releases for several crucial fires systems, including the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS), the automated system housed in the command post that supports fires planning and execution; the Joint Automated Deep Operations Coordination System (JADOCS), which coordinates fire support among the joint forces; and the Pocket-sized Forward Entry Device (PFED), a handheld device used by forward observers to transmit and receive fire support messages.
In addition, he shepherded both JADOCS and the latest version of PFED Increment II (INC II) successfully through Material Development Decisions (MDD), making both official acquisition programs within PM MC. PFED INC II, also known as the Mobile Handheld Fires Application (MHFA), will provide forward observers with a smartphone-like device to transmit information such as text messages, photos and Global Positioning System (GPS) locations, as well as to access various mission applications.
The Army plans to field this enhanced fires capability in Fiscal Year (FY) 16.
"I can only describe what our team has brought to the Soldiers as exceptional," Glidewell said. "If Soldiers are talking about your product, then that is the definition of exceptional -- you have done your jobs, and I thank all of you."
In addition, Lt. Col. Glidewell successfully presented the path ahead for the AFATDS INC II program to the Army Acquisition Executive and has positioned the program to be brought to the Defense Acquisition Executive for an MDD later this year.
The FSC2 change of charter is a homecoming for Ruhnke, who had previously served as the AFATDS deputy project manager and is a proud member of the Order of Saint Barbara (Patron Saint of the Field Artillery). With more than 25 years of acquisition experience, Ruhnke most recently served as deputy product manager for Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 3. She also previously served as the product director for Common Software and acting product manager for Global Command and Control System-Army (GCCS-A), both assigned to PM MC.
"I look at this crowd and I see some familiar faces from my time with PM Mission Command," Ruhnke said. "We were like family at FSC2, and I look forward to leading this next generation of family and delivering the best fire support systems for the Warfighter."
Ruhnke takes charge just as the entire fire support suite of products is transitioning to web-based capabilities. As part of the Army's Command Post Computing Environment (CP CE), the fires applications will display on a common, geospatial digital map hosted on a single workstation, along with the other warfighting functions of logistics, intelligence, airspace management and maneuver to provide the commander with a complete and consolidated picture of the battlefield.
"For more than three decades, FSC2 has provided the fire support community with critical fires support that leaves very little room for error," Vogelhut said. "With the excellent leadership provided by Lt. Col. Glidewell, and the experience and innovative ideas that Ms. Ruhnke brings to the organization, FSC2 will continue to ensure our Soldiers launch the right weapon at the right place at the right time."