The Army Rapid Capabilities Office has moved its program office for position, navigation and timing to the Program Executive Office – Integrated Electronic Warfare and Sensors, creating a new organizational structure the service hopes will lead to the faster fielding of much needed PNT technologies.
Already, the two organizations are coordinating with Special Operations Command, and in other areas, to better equip soldiers in GPS-denied environments.
The Program Manager for PNT, formerly under the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition Logistics and Technology), moved over to IEW&S September 28, according to a November release from the Army.
In one of their first projects, the two offices are exploring ways for ground vehicles to relay their coordinates and provide PNT capabilities even when GPS isn’t available. The effort is an early example of how the new structure will fast-track PNT development and capability going forward, RCO officials said.
“Because we’re looking at what’s possible…I’ll run that through the [RCO] Emerging Technology office and as we find something that we realize may be an opportunity to accelerate, then we’ll move that back to the program office to execute,” said Doug Wiltsie, director of the Army RCO. “We’ll bring information in, look at it, share it with the [cross-functional teams], share it with the PMs, share it with [IEW&S Program Executive Officer Maj. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke]. Together, back at the board, we can say, ‘there’s an opportunity here.’”
The RCO is “really making sure that the information that we gather is shared with the PNT team, and I would expand that beyond the PM and into these cross functional teams, which PNT is one of the subgroups,” Wiltsie said. “We do have a sense of urgency because of what we have seen with regards to GPS and so do they want us to move forward [with] a demonstration and bring that back for a decision.”
With the move, PM PNT joins programs including the Distribution Common Ground System-Army, the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool, aerial intelligence surveillance systems and several other sensors and systems related to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
PM PNT brings to IEW&S a chartered product manager, Assured PNT (A-PNT); two product leads, Resiliency and Software Assurance Measures (RSAM) and the Emerging Capabilities Office (ECO); and the Global Positioning System Army (GPS-Army) Directorate, the Army release stated.