Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Milley meets with APG senior leaders

(left to right) Col. Raymond Compton, RDECOM chief of staff; Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army; and Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins, RDECOM commanding general.

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley visited Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, recently where he saw firsthand how Army teams across the C4ISR community work together to develop cutting-edge technology for Soldiers.

Milley met with senior leaders to discuss how the APG teams support the Army’s tactical communications network, which enables Soldiers to stay connected with their commanders and maintain situational awareness.

“Maintaining a reliable, robust tactical Army network is critical for Soldiers to communicate both now and in the future,” said Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, RDECOM commanding general. “In order to achieve this mission and provide Soldiers with the latest technology, we work as a team across the APG community.”

With more than 10,000 scientists and engineers, the Research, Development and Engineering Command, the Army’s premier research and development organization, develops cutting-edge technology to meet Soldiers’ needs. Milley was briefed on how RDECOM supports the Army’s number one priority — readiness — by leveraging its six Research, Development and Engineering Centers and the Army Research Laboratory.

A major subordinate command of U.S. Army Materiel Command, RDECOM is the leader of the science and technology community where ideas become prototypes and technologies are passed to Program Executive Offices for further development and procurement.

Working side-by-side with RDECOM, Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications Tactical is responsible for delivering tactical communications that enable commanders and Soldiers to stay connected and informed at all times.

With its suite of communication products, PEO C3T deploys the network around the world to the Army’s joint and coalition partners, using high-speed, high-capacity voice, data and video communications. Project Manager Tactical Radios, which falls under the PEO C3T umbrella, develops and fields the next generation software-defined tactical radio systems.

Milley toured the Unified Lab for Tactical Radios-Army, or ULTR-A, a joint effort that combines personnel and resources from PEO C3T, Communications-Electronics Command and Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center. The ULTR-A facility supports the full lifecycle of Army radios and waveforms — from research and development, to procurement and management, to sustainment. Through ULTR-A, the Army’s science and technology, acquisitions and sustainment subject matter experts work closely, sharing knowledge and expertise to support the Army’s radio portfolio.

“The ULTR-A Lab provides lifecycle engineering for the Army’s lower tactical internet. Ultimately what we do here is find solutions!” said Ben Foresta, tactical radios branch chief. “Working with each of the program management offices, we provide implementation changes and lessons learned for near term fixes and workarounds. We use these same findings and gaps to drive our science and technology programs, such as our Soldier Radio Waveform Narrowband, which will greatly increase scalability, reduce network management complexity and provide improved electronic warfare and electronic counter-counter measures protection. “

Milley was also briefed on the Project Manager Mission Command Command Post Computing Environment. The CP CE is a partnership between multiple project management offices that work together to simplify the hardware and software used for the military network, enabling commanders and their staffs access to the network anywhere, anytime and on any device.

Milley thanked the teams “for doing a great job,” emphasizing the importance of their role in delivering critical capabilities to Soldiers and providing connectivity to the Army network.

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The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.