By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, PEO C3TJuly 30, 2014
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (July 30, 2014) -- Email was just becoming mainstream, the release of the iPhone was seven years away and September 11, 2001 was nothing more than a date on a calendar.
It was March 8, 2000, and the now retired Lt. Gen. William Campbell, director of the Army's Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications and Computers, was speaking to Congress at a hearing on Information Superiority and Information Assurance. During his testimony he pushed for a digitized Army, one that achieved seamless and secure, end-to-end connectivity from installation to the deployed Soldier.
"As the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army have testified, our Army today has the world's best heavy forces and the world's best light forces, but to respond effectively to 21st Century requirements, we must change," Campbell said. "We must transform the Army… Information technology will enable the Army and our sister Services to dominate future battlefields."
Campbell's forward-looking vision set the precedent for today's modernized Army, which is now fielding its high-speed, mobile tactical communications network to some of its most expeditionary light and heavy units. More than 15 years after that testimony, Campbell will offer new insights for today's Army as the first speaker in a new lecture series that kicks off on September 30 at the Army's center of excellence for communications and electronics.
The inaugural event in the Excellence in Acquisition Lecture Series will take place at 1 p.m. in the Myer Auditorium at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Md. The event is free and open to the entire APG workforce.
Created by the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), the lecture series provides an opportunity for former Army acquisition leaders to share their expertise and engage in discussion with the workforce at APG. Campbell led the organization that today is known as PEO C3T at Fort Monmouth, N.J., when it was called PEO Command and Control Systems from January 1993 through July 1995 and PEO Command, Control and Communication Systems for the next two years. He also served as the Army's Program Executive Officer, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare from November 1987 through April 1992.
"The contributions we make in support of our Soldiers each day would not be possible without the vision and foresight of our previous leaders," said Brig. Gen. Daniel P. Hughes, program executive officer for C3T. "General Campbell's commitment to excellence has helped keep today's Soldiers connected and safe, while also shaping how we develop, procure and deliver state-of-the-art capabilities to the Army."
The lecture series will be held quarterly, focusing on the intersection of acquisition and the Army's command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) technologies.
"It's important to know the history of Army acquisition so we can learn from the lessons of the past," Hughes said. "This will allow us to make wiser decisions now and to smartly plan for the future."
Campbell's career culminated in July 2000 with his duty as the Director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications and Computers and the Chief Information Officer of the U.S. Army. He also led the Army's campaign to improve computer security and initiated the Army's biometric identification program.