PEO EIS’s Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP), responsible for modernizing the Army’s networked information infrastructure to enhance global communications, recently completed a tech refresh of the 101st Airborne Division’s home station mission command center (HSMCC) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, seven weeks ahead of schedule.
The 101st Airborne Division’s HSMCC was the twelfth site that I3MP has updated since 2016. HSMCCs are joint operations centers within the mission command network that provide uninterrupted, secure communications between Army commanders and geographically dispersed forces. Because Army corps and division headquarters had accumulated disparate systems over the years, the Army began a three-phase effort to provide tech refreshes and standardize HSMCC capability across 17 sites worldwide.
I3MP developed a repeatable process to perform the tech refreshes, which include upgrades to power systems; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; audio/visual systems; and enterprise video teleconferencing systems at the HSMCCs’ main operations centers, sensitive compartmented information facilities (SCIFs), and additional breakout or conference rooms.
Prior to making the upgrades for the 101st Airborne Division, I3MP spent 13 months preparing for the installation process, managing a team that customized design documents for the command center, created engineering drawings and materials lists, ordered materials and held a kick-off meeting with stakeholders. The actual installation process lasted seven months, during which time I3MP team members conducted in-progress reviews and quality assurance inspections, configured and programmed equipment, tested and trained users on it, and conducted a system acceptance test for each room and the entire system as a whole. Once the upgraded HSMCC passed final inspections and assessments, it entered sustainment on Nov. 9, 2020 — well in advance of the Dec. 28, 2020 project deadline.
According to I3MP assistant product manager assistant (APMA) Lester Langjahr, several factors contributed to the project’s quick completion. Besides leveraging experience gained from past installations, the I3MP team benefited from the availability of extra workspace for command center installation staff, and strong support from the Fort Campbell Department of Public Works and Regional Network Enterprise Center. Langjahr also credited I3MP assistant product manager (APM) and team leader Jim Cox, for successfully overcoming some unexpected hurdles.
“When several integration contract personnel tested positive for COVID-19, Cox’s ability to step up and overcome, keeping the project moving forward and on schedule was a true testament to his exceptional managerial leadership,” said Langjahr.
I3MP — part of PEO EIS’s Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems (DCATS) portfolio — currently is managing HSMCC modernization efforts at five additional sites in Indiana, Washington, Kentucky and Korea.