Guard and Reserve leadership experience Soldiers’ future

By Debi Dawson
Program Executive Office Soldier
Public Affairs

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (April 18, 2016) – Program Executive Office Soldier hosted Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy and Mr. Stephen D. Austin April 15, and showed how it’s working to lighten Soldier load, protect their hearing and increase their lethality.

Williamson is the Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology (ASA (ALT)) and Director of Acquisition Career Management. Kadavy is the Director of the Army National Guard, and Mr. Austin is Assistant Chief of U.S. Army Reserve.

LTG Timothy J. Kadavy, right, listens as BG Brian P. Cummings, left, talks about the capabilities of TCAPS. Looking on is CPT Paul L. Janker, APM for TCAPS.

Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, right, listens as Brig. Gen. Brian P. Cummings, left, talks about the capabilities of Tactical Communications and Protective System. Looking on is Capt. Paul L. Janker, APM for TCAPS.

The visit was part of Brig. Gen. Brian P. Cummings’ and PEO Soldier’s contribution to the Army’s goal of lightening the Soldier Load. Cummings has made lightening Soldier’s load his top priority at PEO Soldier.

At Project Manager Soldier Warrior, Lt. Col. Archie L. Williams Jr., Product Director of Soldier Systems and Integration, explained how the Warrior Integration Site helps engineers “make informed and well-integrated design decisions that reduce the Soldier’s load.” WinSite allows the engineers to virtually add and remove equipment from the virtual Soldier, and measure the Soldier load and energy expenditure. The Load Effects Assessment Program–Army measures the quantitative effects of equipment weight, bulk, stiffness, fit and comfort on Soldier performance. It collects data from fully outfitted Soldiers negotiating a specially designed obstacle course and other events such as a foot march, rifle marksmanship, and combat vehicle operations.

Recently, PEO Soldier teamed with the Maneuver Center of Excellence on a LEAP–A evaluation with 27 Soldiers April 4-15 at Fort Benning, Georgia. LEAP–A consists of an instrumented course comprised of 14 repeatable and relevant Warfighter tasks along with other events that measure the effects of individual equipment configurations and combat loads on Soldier physical performance.

LTG Michael E. Williamson asks COL Wayne E. Barker, PM SWAR, a question about the Soldier baseline mannequins.

Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson asks Col. Wayne E. Barker, PM SWAR, a question about the Soldier baseline mannequins.

LEAP–A Soldiers reviewed variants for the dismounted Soldier that included Squad Leader, Team Leader, Grenadier, Automatic Rifleman and Rifleman as the starting point since the Army designated the Squad as the Foundation of the Decisive Force.

At WinSite, the three leaders saw how the engineers use a baseline of five mannequins outfitted as a basic Infantry rifle squad to visualize real-world placement of equipment. Cummings said the baseline helps with “what is reality and where we are going to make improvements.”

LTG Michael E. Williamson looks at the Soldier baseline mannequins as COL Wayne E. Barker (background), PM SWAR, and BG Brian P. Cummings (foreground), PEO Soldier, look on. The baseline represents a basic Infantry rifle squad.

Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson looks at the Soldier baseline mannequins as Col. Wayne E. Barker (background), PM SWAR, and Brig. Gen. Brian P. Cummings (foreground), PEO Soldier, look on. The baseline represents a basic Infantry rifle squad.

Capt. Paul L. Janker, Assistant Product Manager for Tactical Communications and Protective System, explained how the device provides active hearing protection in high-noise combat environments while simultaneously providing clear radio and voice communications. The system ensures Soldiers do not have to choose between protecting their hearing and maintaining situational awareness on the battlefield.

Kadavy and Austin fired the Family of Weapon Sights–Individual in a darkened shooting range. FWS–I enables Soldiers to acquire and engage targets with small arms, conduct surveillance and fire control under day/night obscurants, no-light and adverse weather conditions while maintaining bore sight of an in-line day optic. A reticle on the weapon shows where the Soldier is aiming the weapon while using the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle. FWS–I allows Soldiers to engage a target without bringing the weapon up for aiming.

About Debra Dawson