By Kevin Kane, RDECOM Communications-Electronics CenterJuly 25, 2018
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army presented its top award for innovation to an engineer from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command during a July 19 ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
Patrick Doyle, an engineer in the Cryptographic Modernization Branch of RDECOM's Communications-Electronics Center, or CERDEC, received the Maj. Gen. Harold "Harry" J. Greene Award for Innovation in the Civilian category.
The highly coveted award recognizes the technological contributions of U.S. Army Soldiers and civilians who greatly enhance Readiness and Soldier performance, helping make Warfighters healthier, safer, faster and more lethal.
"Today's honoree joins a company of scientists and engineers who have made a significant impact in our Army," said RDECOM Commanding General Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, who presented the award to Doyle. "Thank you, Patrick, for your contribution; it is a great example of the RDECOM mission to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers."
Doyle earned the award for his leadership in developing a tactical encryption technology known as CHIMERA, or the "Common High-Assurance Internet Protocol Encryptor, or HAIPE, Interoperable Manager for Efficient Remote Administration."
CHIMERA is a single, software-dashboard capable of managing up to 15 of the most widely deployed modern, NSA-approved encryptors from a single management device/platform.
Encryptor management is complicated because many have unique management suites, some require separate licenses and each requires its own host computer. Thus, Doyle realized that Soldiers at the Forward Operating Base and in Network and Tactical Operations Centers faced a major hurdle managing thousands of Army HAIPEs.
"We realized we had three different HAIPE managers, and each one required its own unique host, resources, licensing and associated logistics costs," said Mr. Doyle. "If you have two different vendors and send cryptographic material from one to the other, without several different pieces of external software, you don't know if it was properly received. CHIMERA solves this problem by being able to immediately verify receipt on the distant end when critical data required for operation is transferred over the network."
In addition to providing Soldiers better situational awareness of cyber incidents within their network, CHIMERA lessens risk by allowing Warfighters to remotely control multiple communication encryptors from a single, safe location instead of hand-carrying cryptographic key to encryptors based in hostile or remote locations.
The common interface reduces training hours, as the user does not have to learn multiple interfaces, and since it is a government-developed/owned software, it saves the Army money by helping to reduce the number of software license fees for vendor-specific management.
CHIMERA officially transferred to Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications -- Tactical, or PEO C3T, Project Lead Network Enablers for Army-wide use in October 2016 and has since been deployed across all services spanning the Department of Defense.
"Patrick's Soldier-first focus and the excellent work of his team demonstrate the effort required to field leap ahead and game-changing technology, to protect critical data and voice communication on the battlefield," said Patrick J. O'Neill, director of RDECOM's Communications-Electronics Center.
"We are honored to be part of this award that honors Maj. Gen. Green's legacy; he was a great American who was revered for his service, leadership and dedication to his Soldiers. He is missed," said O'Neill.
The award -- which is managed by the Army Materiel Command in partnership with the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology -- replaces the Army's Greatest Invention Award and the Soldiers' Greatest Invention Award programs.
"Maj. Gen. Harry Green was a former Deputy Commanding General of RDECOM, so this award holds special significance in our command. I can think of no higher praise. I know that Harry would be honored that his name continues to hold a special significance within our community," said Wins.
Greene, was serving as the deputy commanding general of the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan when he was killed by an Afghan Soldier on Aug. 5, 2014, while making a visit to Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul. He is the highest-ranking American Soldier to be killed in a combat zone since the Vietnam War.
"Maj. Gen. Greene serves as an example for every Army engineer and leader within the Cyber Security Information Assurance Division," said Doyle. "To even be considered for something with his name on it is truly an honor and very humbling to myself and the amazing folks I am lucky enough to work with on this project."
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's Communications-Electronics Center conducts applied research and executes advanced technology development for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance - or C4ISR - capabilities. RDECOM has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.
Those interested in partnering with RDECOM's Communications-Electronics Center should visit the organization's public website, www.cerdec.army.mil, and click the "Request a TIM," or Technology Interchange Meeting, tab at the top right of the page.