by Susan Follett
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Dec. 10, 2018)—A team from the Army Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) and the Project Manager for Electronic Warfare and Cyber (PM EW&C) has been awarded the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award for its work to quickly develop and field a new electronic warfare capability that lets Soldiers implement electronic protection for their own formations, detect enemy activity in the electromagnetic spectrum and disrupt adversaries through electronic attack.
The team is one of four groups to receive the award, which is given by Hon. Ellen M. Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, to recognize organizations, groups or teams whose contributions demonstrate exemplary innovation and best acquisition practices.
The team’s work was sparked by a 2016 operational needs statement from U.S. Army Europe that requested electronic warfare tools that would enable ground troops to maneuver freely, even as adversaries manipulated the electromagnetic spectrum and targeted friendly force systems with jamming and interference.
RCO and PM EW&C, part of the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, worked together to implement a phased prototyping, experimentation and fielding approach to deliver the new capability. The approach incorporated Soldier feedback throughout and quickly delivered incremental upgrades to reduce operational risk while informing program of record capabilities under development. As a result, the Army was able to move faster than traditional acquisition methods allow and to put electronic warfare capabilities into the hands of Soldiers roughly one year after the capabilities were first envisioned. Soldiers with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade and rotational armored brigade combat teams in Europe are already using the new tools.
Also receiving the 2018 Packard award are the U.S. Air Force Enhanced Polar System Team, the U.S. Special Operations Command Stand-Off Precision Guided Munitions Team and the Missile Defense Agency’s Space-Based Kill Assessment Program Management Office. All four will be honored at a Pentagon ceremony in January or February.
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