By Caitlin O'Neill, PM PNTSeptember 22, 2016
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (September 22, 2016) -- Charged with delivering next-generation positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) technologies, the Direct Reporting Program Manager Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PM PNT) has taken the lead in providing interoperable and secure PNT services to the Army.
In order to support Soldiers in the field, PM PNT needs to understand their PNT environment, including factors such as disruptions in service, system requirements, capability needs, logistical use and others. Through partnership and collaboration with system users, other Department of Defense (DoD) Services, and industry partners, PM PNT uses a whole community approach in developing trusted PNT technologies that ensure the warfighter's ability to safely navigate and communicate in any combat environment.
This summer, PM PNT hosted two events that facilitated collaboration efforts with its various stakeholders -- the Assured PNT (A-PNT) Industry Day and the Army PNT Integrated Product Team (IPT) Meeting. These heavily attended events focused on the Army PNT strategy and provided information on program requirements.
Army reaches out to industry for Assured PNT solutions
In August 2016, PM PNT hosted an A-PNT Industry Day at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., to update potential vendors on the Army's planned timeline and contracting structure for the A-PNT program.
Approximately 168 people, with 114 industry personnel representing 72 companies, attended the event, which was held in collaboration with the Army Contracting Command (ACC)-APG and Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Legal team. The event included a general session, which provided an overview of PNT capabilities and their importance to the Army.
A-PNT seeks to use GPS plus other augmentation sensors and techniques to provide PNT services when GPS signals are denied or intermittently available. A-PNT is a family of solutions which includes four products -- mounted, dismounted, anti-jam antenna, and Pseudolite.
Program leaders stressed that A-PNT is a complex system of systems that must iterate over time as threats evolve.
"We have to set up a construct to maintain the innovation -- it's about pacing the threat," said Kevin Coggins, Program Manager for PNT, who emphasized that collaboration between industry and government must be continuous throughout the life of the program.
Capabilities need to be established for integration now and in the future, he said. A-PNT cannot be an "as-fielded" technology, but instead must adapt and instill innovation post-fielding -- and planning for that must occur today, Coggins said.
Also discussed in the general session were the status and timeline of the potential contracting strategy for the A-PNT program, including requirements and sustainment considerations. The PM stressed two-way communication with industry and asked for vendor feedback on the proposed approach.
The general session was followed by two and a half days of 30-minute one-on-one meetings with vendors. The one-on-one sessions allowed industry to address specific issues presented by PM PNT in the Industry Day announcement on the Federal Business Opportunities website. PM PNT held 39 such one-on-one sessions.
PM PNT Hosts the Fall Army PNT Integrated Product Team Meeting
On Aug. 30, 2016 PM PNT kicked off the Fall Army PNT IPT Meeting, also hosted at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. The three day event was attended by more than 300 individuals representing more than 65 organizations including the Program Executive Offices, Department of the Army Headquarters Staff, U.S. Army Materiel Command, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps., and the U.S. Navy. Brigadier General John A. George, Director, Force Development, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, provided opening remarks.
During the IPT, PNT community members came together to collaborate and focus on the continued development of the Army PNT strategy and Army Program Objective Memorandum (POM) planning for FY 2019-2023. Various organizations provided briefs on program requirements and updates, cybersecurity, training efforts, and G-8 POM guidance. More focused dialogue occurred during the breakout sessions, where attendees had the opportunity to participate in discussions designed to share program plans and impact.
The Army PNT IPT serves as the forum to provide the domain and functional expertise to ensure the production of a PNT System of Systems Architecture. The IPT facilitates collaboration among the PNT community to align capabilities and continue planning for the transition to A-PNT and M-Code solutions. This includes conducting system engineering activities, coordinating PNT schedules across the Army, and gathering data for A-PNT requirements development and acquisition planning.
The next Army PNT IPT Meeting is scheduled for March 6-9, 2017. Questions regarding the details of the Army PNT IPT can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PNT needs are continuously evolving and the threats Soldiers face in the battlefield are changing. In partnership with industry and government organizations, the PNT program office is driving continuous innovation to support the warfighter to overcome emerging threats and challenges. Through forums like the IPT and Industry Day, the organization continues to develop and deliver the most reliable and efficient PNT solutions.
For more information regarding PM PNT and its programs, please visit https://www.pmpnt.army.mil/.