PEO Soldier shows congressional leader future of the Army

By Debi Dawson
Program Executive Office Soldier
Public Affairs Office

FORT BELVOIR, Virginia, (July 11, 2017) – A House Armed Services Committee (HASC) member visited Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier) to see the future for Soldiers.

Rep. Niki Tsongas, Massachusetts 3rd District, visited PEO Soldier July 11. PEO Soldier briefed how they are continuing to work to improve female body armors, lightening the combat load for Soldiers and updating the combat helmets through feedback from Soldiers.

“We are duty bound to follow really closely,” the congresswoman said about the future of Army protective gear.

The visit included presentations of multiple generations of improved body armor, protective helmets, and a demonstration of the rapid removal—at two seconds—of female body armor during an emergency using the new shoulder clip design.

“The military makes every investment they can,” said Congresswoman Tsongas about improving the current Soldier protective gear.

Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead, Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment (PM SPE) explained lessons learned, current and future initiatives, and presented updates to body armor. These initiatives led to improved gear for smaller-statured male Soldiers as well. With Sgt. 1st Class Keisha Jumpp wearing the Female Improved Outer Tactical Vest (FIOTV), Colonel Whitehead illustrated a few female initiatives involved better form fitting body armor. The presentation also included weight reduction challenges and future trends. Additionally, Ms. Patricia Gogats, Assistant Product Manager Soft Armor, showed the congresswoman how body armor has changed over the past 14 years.

During the briefing, Col. Dean M. Hoffman IV, Program Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment (PM SPIE), stated that male and female Soldiers test out the equipment and ensure the potentially new gear does not negatively affect the mission.

“Ask hard questions and have adequate resources,” said Congresswoman Tsongas in response to PEO Soldier’s continuing efforts to provide Soldiers with the best equipment.

The congresswoman toured the Warrior Integration Site (WinSite) at Program Manager Soldier Warrior (PM SWAR) for a firsthand look at the technology required for the research and development of understanding the Soldier Load Baseline. Mr. John P. Howell, Project Director Soldier Systems and Integration (PD SSI), showed how Soldier capability has grown from 2001 to 2016 with a minimum increase in carried weight. He explained how WinSite gives the ability to digitally examine how equipment will fit on Soldiers, interact with their movements, and affect caloric usage.

Dr. James Q. Zheng, Director and Chief Scientist at PM SPIE’s Technical Management Directorate (TMD), stated how his team works to improve materials for better gear performance. Dr. Zheng said as weapons evolve the Army must improve personal protection to ensure Soldiers have the best protection possible.

Cutlines Photos
Mr. Timothy Goddette, Deputy Program Executive Officer Soldier, explains to Rep. Niki Tsongas how his organization is working to provide Soldiers better equipment and protection while also lessening Soldier load. Congresswoman Tsongas represents Massachusetts’ 3rd District and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. She visited PEO Soldier July 11.
Dr. James Q. Zheng, Director and Chief Scientist at the Technical Management Directorate of Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, shows Congresswoman Tsongas how an Advanced Combat Helmet stopped a bullet.
Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead, Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment, shows Congresswoman Tsongas the latest efforts by PEO Soldier to make protective equipment fit female Soldiers better. Modeling the equipment is Sgt. 1st Class Keisha Jumpp.
Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead, Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment, shows Congresswoman Tsongas the latest efforts by PEO Soldier to make protective equipment fit female Soldiers better. Modeling the equipment is Sgt. 1st Class Keisha Jumpp.
Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead, Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment, shows Congresswoman Tsongas the latest efforts by PEO Soldier to make protective equipment fit female Soldiers better.
Ms. Patricia Gogats, Assistant Product Manager Soft Armor, shows Congresswoman Tsongas how Soldier body armor has changed over the past 14 years.
Congresswoman Tsongas learns first-hand the weight difference between the Advanced Combat Helmet and the Advanced Combat Helmet Generation II.
Mr. John P. Howell, Project Director Soldier Systems and Integration, explains to Congresswoman Tsongas how the Warrior Integration Site studies the effects of equipment load affects Soldiers.

 

About Debra Dawson