For the second year in a row, the Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) will receive the David Packard Award for Acquisition Excellence. This year, PEO C3T will accept the award with its teammates from PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (IEW&S) for their efforts in standing up the Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System (CENTRIXS)- International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) [CX-I] secure network, the U.S. component of the Afghan Mission Network (AMN).

"More important than winning the award is the capability we have given the troops in Afghanistan," said Brig. Gen. N. Lee S. Price, PEO C3T.

The David Packard award is the Army's most prestigious acquisition team award and is given annually to only a handful of recipients across the Department of Defense. It recognizes organizations that have demonstrated exemplary performance and innovation in acquiring and delivering products and capabilities to the Warfighter. This year there are three winners, but only one winner from the U.S. Army. In 2009, PEO C3T's Project Manager, Mobile Electric Power received this award in the category of Program Management.

"This award is a tremendous honor and a recognition of our folks continuous contribution to the war fight," said Douglas Wiltsie, (Acting) PEO IEW&S. "It also recognizes the contributions of our ongoing collaboration between PEO-IEW&S and PEO-C3T to converge intelligence and operations requirements with the available network. This is a great day for both organizations."

Together the two PEOs will accept the award on Nov. 2 at the Packard Awards luncheon on the first day of the PEO/SYSCOM Conference, at the Fort Belvoir Officer's Club in Virginia. The awards will be presented by the Hon Dr. Ashton Carter, Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics).

"Prior to developing and fielding this capability, US Soldiers in Afghanistan could not share critical information electronically with their coalition partners. They had to print it off and show it to them," Price said. "With CENTRIXS we are now able to pass this information electronically to our coalition partners, so we all have a common operational picture and shared situational awareness. This is a tremendous capability we have given to the Soldiers who are deployed there."

AMN was developed to enable the 45-nation coalition in Operation Enduring Freedom to effectively communicate, establish situational awareness across the entire coalition, share information, and operate on a common security enclave. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, former commander of ISAF and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, deemed the immediate migration to AMN paramount to winning the war in Afghanistan. A Jan. 2010 operational order directed the immediate migration in this theater of all mission critical US systems from the US Secret Internet Protocol Router (SIPR) network to the CX-I coalition-secret network.

"The Afghan Mission Network is today's example of how our Army will fight in the future with coalition partners and a means to openly share information," Wiltsie said.
"Additionally, CX-I marks a strategic shift and supports the President's vision by enabling the Coalition to become 'full' partners," Price said.

In their efforts to develop, field and support networked battle command solutions to enhance Warfighter effectiveness, PEO C3T and PEO IEW&S were critical in the CX-I mission to bring Coalition-wide collaboration to Afghanistan. Their accomplishments in this arena were executed swiftly and at the lowest possible cost to the government and the taxpayer.

Both PEOs ensured that all tactical systems would operate on the new network, preventing Soldiers from defaulting back to US Secure Internet Protocol Router (SIPR) as Warfighters have done during previous attempts. The PEOs also facilitated the Soldier's ability to conduct all mission business on AMN, helping to ensure the successful implementation of this effort.

The Second Stryker Cavalry Regiment was the first unit to be fielded with CXI in Afghanistan. In its continuing efforts to meet the evolving operational requirements of deployed forces, PEO C3T continues to field and support the effort for troops deploying into theater.