By Ms. Kathryn Bailey (PEO C3T)June 27, 2014
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 30, 2014) -- When Lt. Col. Shane Taylor assumed the charter for Product Manager Tactical Mission Command (PdM TMC) on June 20, he joined the "new" Project Manager Mission Command (PM MC) organization, which had just merged with PM Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P) the previous month.
Another change also awaited Taylor, as just that morning Sustainment System Mission Command (S2MC), which housed the Battle Command Sustainment Support System (BCS3) logistics management products, merged into TMC to converge all command post web application development efforts into one organization.
"There is no greater place in the PEO than in Tactical Mission Command, where the synergies between our combined organizations, and especially our web-enabled product lines, are producing new and exciting capabilities to fulfill the Army's needs," said Col. Michael Thurston, project manager for Mission Command, assigned to the Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T). "With this alignment, we are creating cohesive technical solutions that will better empower commanders to be more effective, agile and decisive."
Lt. Col. Thomas Bentzel relinquished the TMC charter to Taylor after serving as product manager for three years, leading his team to successfully create both the web framework and applications that are bringing greater commonality and simplicity to the maps, messaging and applications Soldiers use in the command post.
"Serving as product manager for TMC has given me a chance to work closely with some truly exceptional folks, people who are not only smart and capable, but who care passionately about the mission and the Soldiers we serve - and about each other," Bentzel said. "All of these things must come together to create a team that is effective, committed and cohesive, and it has been my honor to be part of that sort of team."
PdM TMC provides the Army's core maneuver applications, including the Command Post of the Future (CPOF), that give commanders the information needed to make timely and effective decisions. CPOF is the commander's situational awareness and decision support tool that integrates data feeds from other Army, Joint and Coalition systems into a common operating picture.
"CPOF played a crucial role during 2009 when the Taliban attacked members of the 4th Infantry Division in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan," Bentzel said. "The division commander supported the fight from miles away, winning the battle and saving American lives in the process. This is why we choose to work in a product office -- we support the needs of Soldiers in the field."
TMC's capabilities, which include the Command Post Computing Environment (CP CE), are critical to the Army's transition into a more mobile and agile Force 2025. The TMC team collaborated with the Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S) to develop the CP CE, which establishes a common set of software and services as a base to build web apps for the warfighting functions of fires, logistics, intelligence, airspace management and maneuver.
With CP CE, these apps are displayed on a common, geospatial digital map hosted on a single workstation, mitigating the commander's requirement to "mentally fuse" the digital information displayed on multiple screens.
Commanders must be able to understand the battlefield, have staffs that can distill mountains of information down to critical decision points, and both commanders and staffs must be able to communicate and visualize both the plan and the current situation. CP CE is making this possible, Bentzel said.
"You led this very challenging effort with integrity, transparency and candor, which is a testament to your character," Thurston told Bentzel. "Your collaborative approach has set up Lt. Col. Taylor for success."
Taylor's previous acquisition assignments include roles as Department of the Army Systems Coordinator (DASC) for Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) and Mission Command; Assistant Product Manager, Intelligent Munitions System (Scorpion) in the Program Executive Office for Ammunition; and Patriot Missile Program Integrator for the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Space Sensors.
"The remarkable work done by this TMC team has the program well positioned to support PEO C3T's and the Army's future network missions, including one of PM MC's key priorities to deliver a common user experience across echelons and devices," Taylor said. "I am both humbled and honored by this chance, and I look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. "
Bentzel said he and his family are excited for his next assignment as Director of the Army International Technology Center in Canberra, Australia, which will allow him another opportunity to live by two of his favorite mottos: "Lead from the front!" from the Audie Murphy club, and "One Mission, One Team" from his own TMC organization.
"The best leader is a good servant," Bentzel said. "I hope I've been a good servant. I'm incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity."