By Dan Lafontaine, PEO C3T Public AffairsMay 19, 2017
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 19, 2017) -- The Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical workforce filled APG's Myer Auditorium May 17 to reminisce about three decades of the organization's advancements through the development, testing and fielding of systems.
Seven current and former PEO C3T employees shared anecdotes from 30 years of projects and missions: Task Force XXI; Base Realignment and Closure, known as BRAC; Army communications systems that were used to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts; support to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom; Network Integration Evaluations; and Capability Set Integration.
John Sklinar, who worked at PEO C3T from 1997 to 2011, recalled how the Army quickly responded to Hurricane Katrina's widespread devastation across the Gulf of Mexico region in 2005. The Army Chief Information Officer/G6 deployed PEO C3T's Special Projects Office and organized resources across the Communications-Electronics Command.
Upon arrival, the group established satellite, radio and cellular communications throughout the area as Army relief workers set up command at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
"Our team provided parishes with vital lifesaving communications in support of FEMA and the local population," Sklinar said. "This was a monumental effort, but our team worked tirelessly and under grave conditions to get this job done.
"While this event is a memory of devastation that has taken years to rebuild and heal from, one memory I have is that of the amazing human spirit, bravery and dedication of our personnel, which provided a positive force in support of this relief effort."
PEO C3T also serves a significant role in testing the Army network through massive exercises known as NIEs, which have been conducted semiannually since 2011. They bring together several Army organizations to the west Texas desert as thousands of Soldiers evaluate the Army's expeditionary mission-command network.
Tim Selph, who leads PEO C3T's NIE operations at Fort Bliss, Texas, shared his experiences.
"NIE is more than an event -- it is a collection of people committed to equipping and training our great Soldiers on C4ISR that will give them a decisive advantage on tomorrow's battlefield and PEO C3T is key to the backbone of people completing this mission," Selph said.
Gary Martin, program executive officer for C3T, closed the celebration by lauding his employees' contributions and sharing thoughts from his tenure in the Army communications and electronics community.
"Our focus for the next couple of years will be making equipment smaller, lighter and, in many respects, cheaper," Martin said. "The human capital that it takes to make all of that work is really the secret behind this capability.
"On behalf of myself and Soldiers in the field, I thank you. Your contributions have been significant in ensuring that the Army can communicate at all echelons and at every part of the battle space."
The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 realigned Army project managers from Army Materiel Command and placed them under program executive offices, which reported to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition (at the time). When the reorganization was implemented on May 1, 1987, the PMs that comprise the current PEO C3T organizational structure were divided between PEO Command and Control Systems and PEO Communications Systems.
The U.S. Army Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical develops, acquires, fields and supports the Army's mission-command network to ensure force readiness. This critical Army modernization priority delivers tactical communications so commanders and Soldiers can stay connected and informed at all times, even in the most austere and hostile environments. PEO C3T is delivering the network to regions around the globe, enabling high-speed, high-capacity voice, data and video communications to a user base that includes the Army's joint, coalition and other mission partners.