A PEO Aviation Soldier garnered Product Director of the Year honors for 2017 at the U.S. Army Acquisition Executive's Excellence in Leadership Awards ceremony held at the Pentagon Jan. 18.

Col.Calvin Lane, the Product Director for PEO Aviation's Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft, received the award for his efforts in advancing the CH-47F Chinook Block II program while serving as a product manager in the Cargo Helicopters Project Management Office.

The annual Excellence in Leadership Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the Army Acquisition Workforce, and provides an opportunity to showcase the professionalism and excellence within the acquisition community at large.

The Hon. Bruce D. Jette, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)), hosted the awards ceremony, which was also attended by Dr. Mark T. Esper, secretary of the Army, and Jeffrey S. White, principal deputy to the ASA(ALT).

"I was definitely humbled by the recognition but I also realize that the success of the Block II upgrade was not a solo effort," said Lane, about his achievement. "I accepted the award on behalf of the Army Civilians, military and contractor team members who worked late hours and weekends away from their families to deliver this capability to the Chinook Community."

As the product manager responsible for the modernization of the CH-47 Chinook platform, Lane led his team to achieve a number of significant accomplishments, culminating in the CH-47 Block II program achieving a favorable Milestone B decision. This allowed the program to move into the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase, where the system is developed and designed before going into production.

Achieving Milestone B was no small feat, as there were almost 60 separate requirements that had to be met, including the completion of an Analysis of Alternatives, and the development of an Engineering and Manufacturing Development Request For Proposal. Once all the requirements were compiled, the information had to be reviewed by the Army Systems Acquisition Review Council to determine that it met all the criteria to enter into the next acquisition phase.

"The Chinook Block II Upgrade program was three years of intense negotiations and stakeholder management," said Lane. "Col. Rob Barrie, our Project Manager, was instrumental in providing just the right amount of strategic guidance to keep the program on track. We experienced some set-backs but the team always managed to bounce back."

In April 2017 Lane and his team executed a highly successful ASARC that received laudatory feedback from many of the senior council members.

"You get a great feeling being around Col. Lane and his team of dedicated acquisition professionals," Brig. Gen. Thomas Todd, Program Executive Officer for Army Aviation said as an endorsement of Lane's recognition. "They have a culture of achievement and are always seeking new and innovative ways to deliver capability to our Soldiers. I attribute the team's performance and success to Calvin's leadership and acquisition acumen."

Lane, who arrived at PEO Aviation in August 2013, has displayed a versatility throughout a number of assignments within the organization. Before assuming his current duties as the NSRW Product Director, he gained direct experience in building partner capacity, deploying to Afghanistan for six months to serve as the Foreign Military Sales Branch Chief for the Combined Security Transition Command.

In addition to Lane's individual accolade during the ceremony, a joint team consisting of PEO Aviation's Fixed Wing Project Office and PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S) was also recognized as the Product Management/Product Director Office Team of the Year for the O5 Level for its work on the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System.