TRADOC deputy visits PEO Soldier

Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, visited PEO Soldier Nov. 15 to learn what the organization is providing Soldiers.

FORT BELVOIR, Virginia. (Nov. 20, 2017) – Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, visited Program Executive Office Soldier Headquarters at Fort Belvoir Nov. 15 to learn how the organization supports Soldiers.

PEO Soldier briefed how it is enabling the future Army by developing and field uniforms, protective equipment, weapons, and sensors and lasers.

Lt. Gen. MacFarland’s son and son-in-law are also Soldiers, and he was particularly interested in how PEO Soldier’s work impacts them.

“What you do will affect my son and son-in-law more than me,” he said. “It makes me feel better to know what we’re working on. We’re thinking in advance of our peer competitors.”

John Howell, Product Director Soldier Systems and Integration, explains to Lt. Gen. MacFarland, how his office studies how equipment and its placement affect Soldiers.

Project Director Soldier Systems and Integration fitted Lt. Gen. MacFarland for the Tactical Communication and Protective System and explained how it increases mission effectiveness, safety and survivability. TCAPS provides concurrent hearing protection and auditory situational awareness using existing tactical radios. Historically, Soldiers have had to choose between hearing protection and force protection; TCAPS is a combat force multiplier that maintains hearing protection without degrading audio.

Lt. Gen. MacFarland also participated in a mission briefing and network discussion. Brig. Gen. Brian P. Cummings, Program Executive Officer Soldier, provided an overview of PEO Soldier’s major activities, including Nett Warrior. The Nett Warrior program uses commercial smart devices to provide an integrated dismounted leader mission command and situational awareness system for use during combat operations. Lt. Gen. MacFarland learned about a recent case study from the platform’s successful use in the Mosul offensive.

Clay Williamson, Assistant Product Manager for the Pink and Green Uniform, displays the proposed uniform to Lt. Gen. MacFarland.

Lt. Gen. MacFarland also learned about the Project Manager Soldier Weapons and Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers portfolio. He engaged in a live-fire exercise with the XM17 Modular Handgun System, the replacement for the existing M9, and the Family of Weapon Sights–Individual and Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III. FWS-I is mounted on a Soldier’s weapon and links wirelessly with the ENVG to transmit a video signal of the reticle into the ENVG III display, worn on the Soldier’s helmet. This enables the Soldier to see what the weapon sight “sees” and to aim without having to raise the scope to eye level.

PM SWAR then briefed Lt. Gen. MacFarland on PM Soldier Warrior’s Warrior Integration Site progress. At WinSite, the general saw the physical manifestation of integration at the PEO level. WinSite allows PEO Soldier to have a more focused and deliberate approach to studying lightening Soldier Load and Systems Integration. It gives the ability to examine how Soldier equipment will fit on Soldiers, interact with their movements and affect energy usage.

Alex De Groot, Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment, explains the Modular Ballistic Applique to the Soldier Protection System.

PM Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment updated Lt. Gen. MacFarland on the latest products in the portfolio. The jungle boots and improved hot weather uniform were of particular concern in how they improve Soldier performance in specific environments. Soldiers in the field have tried the uniform items and the next step is optional use Army-wide.

Additionally, Lt. Gen. MacFarland learned of new capabilities PEO Soldier is working on for Soldiers through the Soldier Enhancement Program. SEP allows the Army to move at “the speed of industry” to evaluate and type classify existing prototypes or commercially available items that will enhance Soldiers’ ability to carry out their missions. He saw recent successes, such as Soldier Power, which follow the “buy, try, decide” maxim to get capabilities in Soldiers’ hands faster.

Lt. Col. Loyd Beal III, Product Manager Crew Served Weapons, talks about the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon to Lt. Gen. MacFarland.

After an afternoon of learning about weapons, sensors and lasers, and Soldier power, Lt. Gen. MacFarland was pleased with the approach PEO Soldier is taking to improve the combat effectiveness of the Soldier.

“It’s quite an exciting and diverse portfolio you have here. I’m glad you’re so well integrated with other PEOs. It’s all about the integration.”

PEO Soldier and TRADOC are focused on the future of Soldier performance. PEO Soldier develops, acquires, fields and sustains affordable integrated state-of-the-art equipment to improve Soldier dominance in Army operations today and in the future. TRADOC was borne of innovation and agility, and quickly adapts to shifting world, national and institutional situations.

Lt. Col. Anthony E. Douglas, Product Manager Soldier Maneuver Sensors, explains the Family of Weapon Sight-Individual to Lt. Gen. MacFarland.

About Debra Dawson