10th Mountain Division general visits PEO Soldier

Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe learns about Nett Warrior from Maj. Andrew Miller, Assistant Product Manager (APM) with Project Manager Soldier Warrior (PM SWAR). Brig. Gen. Donahoe is Deputy Commanding General (DCG) of the 10th Mountain at Fort Drum, New York. He visited Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier) March 9 to learn how the organization is lightening Soldier Load and developing Arctic weather gear.

FORT BELVOIR, Virginia (March 9, 2018) – The deputy commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division visited Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier) March 9 to see what the organization is doing to reduce Soldier load.

Additionally, Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe saw what PEO Soldier is doing to help Soldiers to fight and survive in Arctic conditions. The Division is at Fort Drum in upstate New York.

Visits such as these, and Soldier feedback, are important to PEO Soldier because they give the organization insight into what Soldiers want and to produce kit useful to Soldiers.

“We fail if Soldiers don’t use our kit,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony “Tony” Potts, Program Executive Officer Soldier, to Brig. Gen. Donahoe.

Brig. Gen. Donahoe said in his 30-year Army career, Soldiers today are receiving the best equipment. “We’ve revolutionized what’s on the Soldier in that 30 years,” Brig. Gen. Donahoe said.

Brig. Gen. Potts said PEO Soldier focuses on Soldiers as a System, meaning everything a Soldier uses and carries works with all the kit the Soldier may carry. He described how an airplane is integrated in the sense everything works together to keep the aircraft in flight. That sense of Soldier integration is the basis of Soldier as a System.

John Howell, Product Director of Soldier Systems Integration (PD SSI), explains to Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe how PEO Soldier uses the Warrior Integration Site to learn how to lighten Soldier load and integrate their kit as a system.

Lessening Soldier load and equipment weight is a major concern for PEO Soldier. Brig. Gen. Potts told his counterpart the days of hanging equipment on a Soldier like ornaments on a Christmas tree are over. However, lessening the Soldier load doesn’t have an easy solution.

“Where’s the right balance with weight?” Brig. Gen. Potts said. “Weight is the enemy.” Brig. Gen. Donahoe mentioned that World War II-era Soldiers of the Division worried about weight and sought solutions to lessen their load. For example, he mentioned how Soldiers drilled holes in their toothbrushes to get rid of unwanted weight.

The Soldier Enhancement Program (SEP) and its success was another part of the visit. SEP helps the Army move at “the Speed of Industry” to evaluate and type classify existing prototypes or commercially available items that will enhance Soldiers’ ability to execute their combat mission. Brig. Gen. Potts said 40 percent of PEO Soldier’s Programs of Record (POR) came from SEP. A few examples are the AN/PVS-30 Clip-on Sniper Night Sight (CoSNS), Soldier Power, and Tactical Communication and Protective System (TCAPS).

Lt. Col. Anthony Douglas, Product Manager Soldier Maneuver Sensors (PM SMS), explains how the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) works on a Soldier’s helmet to Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe.

During his visit, Brig. Gen. Donahoe learned how PEO Soldier uses the Warrior Integration Site (WINSite) to study the effects of Soldier load.

Later on, the general gained first-hand experience with the XM17 and XM18 Modular Handgun Systems (MHS), and Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) III and the Family of Weapon Sight–Individual (FWS-I). With the later, Brig. Gen. Donahoe had no problem putting rounds through a target in a darkened and smoke-obscured range. FWS-I uses a reticle mounted on the end of the M4 Carbine to wirelessly transmit an image to the Soldiers Night Vision Device. It allows Soldiers to accurately aim the carbine without bringing it up to normal firing position.

At the end of the visit, Brig. Gen. Donahoe learned how the new Soldier Protection System (SPS), Modular Scalable Vest (MSV), and Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) will lessen Soldier Load while increasing protection. He also learned how PEO Soldier is working on new cold weather boots and gloves for Soldiers, and are currently reviewing product user feedback from Soldiers that will drive improvements.

Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe fires the XM17 Modular Handgun System (MHS).

Master Sgt. Lashon Wilson, right, shows to Brig. Gen. Donahoe, center, how the Family of Weapon Sights–Individual (FWS-I) will allow Soldiers to maintain situational awareness through the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG). Master Sergeant Wilson is the Senior Enlisted Advisor (SEA) for Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers (PM SSL). Looking on is Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Jason Johnson, 10th Mountain Division Rear Command Sergeant Major.

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