By Army AL&T MagazineOctober 25, 2019
The third in a series, ASA(ALT) at Work, which looks into ASA(ALT) organizations, what they do and where they do it.
PEO Soldier's mission is to rapidly deliver agile, adaptive, leading-edge Soldier capabilities to provide combat overmatch today and be more lethal tomorrow. Commanded by Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, PEO Soldier will be releasing the first product partnered with the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC)-the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle - Binoculars (ENVG-B). In addition to partnering with AFC on capabilities such as Next Generation Squad Weapons and the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, PEO Soldier delivers 130 programs of record and 253 products and non-programs of record, such as essential capabilities from body armor, helmets, sensors and lasers, to legacy weapon systems.
Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, PEO Soldier comprises some 1,438 personnel-military, government civilians and contractors providing systems engineering and technical assistance support.
WHAT SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT PEO SOLDIER?
PEO Soldier provides the processes and tools to ensure a collaborative, iterative Soldier-centered approach to delivering integrated capability to Soldiers and squads.
HOW DOES PEO SOLDIER SUPPORT THE FUTURE FORCE?
Our focus is making sure that Soldiers have enhanced capabilities in lethality, mobility, survivability, situational awareness and sustainment. We treat the Soldier as an integrated weapon system and the squad as an integrated combat platform, from their uniforms to their personal protection to their weapons. Soldiers of the future will have adaptive, agile, modular and scalable equipment that will be optimized for the mission without sacrificing capability or performance.
HOW HAVE YOUR CHALLENGES CHANGED?
The Army has been asked to deliver capability sooner by assuming prudent risk and leveraging existing and new authorities. We are addressing these challenges and supporting the Army's priorities by leveraging middle-tier acquisition authorities and using other-transaction authority contract vehicles in prototyping and delivering key capabilities, such as the Integrated Visual Augmentation System and the Next Generation Squad Weapon.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR PEO SOLDIER?
A key enabler for taking a systems approach to the Soldier and squad and treating them as integrated combat platforms is the Adaptive Squad Architecture. This architecture will be foundational for all close-combat capabilities by defining standards and interfaces and allocating size, weight and power across the subcomponents. This will enable the assessment and optimization of new capabilities across doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel and facilities, and take advantage of the resources at integration facilities being established by PEO Soldier, the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team and the Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning, Georgia. This iterative, Soldier-centered approach ensures that we deliver capability that achieves overmatch and incorporates innovative ideas from Soldiers and industry.
Our greatest challenge is delivering on our promise to our Soldiers to deliver next-generation combat capability. Working closely with the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team, we are planning to deliver the ENVG-B in September 2019, and over the next few years we are planning to deliver the Next Generation Squad Weapon and the Integrated Visual Augmentation System. These are extremely accelerated acquisitions, and each of these cross-functional team programs will deliver significantly enhanced capability over current capability and leverage state-of-the-art technology to achieve overmatch. PEO Soldier oversees the execution of these critical programs through close partnership with AFC, the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team and the rest of the Army materiel enterprise.
Our biggest successes are our people and the collaboration across the Army materiel enterprise. We have an amazing civilian, military and contractor workforce that delivers day in and day out, despite manpower shortfalls and other constraints. We deliver literally millions of pieces of kit every year that help Soldiers accomplish their missions and come home alive.
Within the new Army materiel enterprise, we have seen a significant increase in collaboration, including cross-functional teams, the science and technology community, the user community, the life cycle and sustainment commands, and industry. This collaboration has led to streamlined requirements, accelerated acquisition strategies, and well-funded and well-supported programs across the stakeholder community. It is proving to be a good model.
WHAT ROLE DO SOLDIERS PLAY IN PEO SOLDIER?
As our name indicates, Soldiers are a part of everything we do. Soldiers work on our acquisition teams, provide needed feedback during Soldier touch points, and are ultimately the motivating factor in why our workforce is passionate about developing enhanced capabilities. With the iterative, Soldier-centered design approach that's in place across our organization, Soldiers play a pivotal role in ensuring that we deliver the most lethal and effective force ever.
This article is published in the Fall 2019 issue of Army AL&T.