By Susan L. Follett
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Aug. 24, 2017)—Steffanie B. Easter, acting assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology and the Army acquisition executive, led a ceremony today marking the 50th anniversary of the Project Manager for Expeditionary Energy and Sustainment Systems (PM E2S2)—five decades of fielding operational energy solutions that save lives, reduce the logistical footprint and provide important combat capability to warfighting commanders.
Part of the Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS), PM E2S2 was stood up Aug. 3, 1967—when gas was 33 cents a gallon, Lyndon Johnson was president and U.S. forces were deploying to Southeast Asia. Then PM Mobile Electric Power, the organization was chartered to serve as the DOD Lead Standardization Activity responsible for providing a modernized family of mobile electric generator sets throughout the services. Fifty years later, PM E2S2 is a lead integrator of operational energy solutions across multiple combat support systems.
“The reason our troops are able to deploy with a level of comfort is because of the capability you provide,” said Easter. “Thank you for using your expertise and your knowledge to build the most efficient and effective systems that we have in the DA and DOD. Thank you for taking the time to explain that you’re about more than generators to people like myself, who, from a distance, might not see that right away.”
She added, “Thank you for living up to the core values that you espouse as an organization: integrity, commitment, quality and innovation—because that is the foundation of excellence, and that is what I think you represent today.”
Sixteen project managers have led the organization—considered to be one of the oldest Army program management offices—and several took part in the anniversary celebration: retired Col. Mark Jones, who led PM Mobile Electric Power from July 2001 to June 2004; Michael Padden, PM for Mobile Electric Power from August 2007 to April 2011; Brig. Gen. Brian Cummings, PM for Mobile Electric Power from June 2011 to February 2014; and Col. Maurice Stewart, the first PM for E2S2, who served from May 2014 to June 2017. Also on hand for the event were Col. Adrian Marsh, current project manager for E2S2, and Ross Guckert, deputy PEO for CS&CSS.
“It’s notable when an organization is older than the person running it—especially in my case, since I’m not that young,” said Marsh. “But that longevity highlights the organization’s relevance despite technological and geopolitical change.” He added that recent engagements “only reaffirmed the importance of efficient and effective power on the battlefield that was the cause of our founding,” and he noted that PM E2S2 “touches all facets of national security, from the tactical all the way to the strategic level.”
PM Mobile Electric Power was renamed PM E2S2 in 2014 to reflect the growing importance of emerging operational energy capabilities and a fiscal imperative to improve efficiency and reduce sustainment costs wherever possible. It also added the Product Management Office for Force Sustainment Systems and the Product Director for Contingency Base Infrastructure.
“I can’t tell you how much I value and appreciate what you do,” said Cummings, noting that the team’s work provides “our contractors, our men and women in uniform of all service branches the comfort they need to do the operations and missions that are most sacred to our country.”
PM E2S2 provides integrated materiel solutions, force sustainment support and contingency basing designs to joint warfighters across the full range of military operations. It is the life cycle manager for multiple combat support and combat service support capabilities, including power generation and power distribution; field feeding and field services; shelters and environmental controls; aerial delivery systems; and contingency base engineering design support.
“I couldn’t be more proud to work with a dedicated and motivated workforce that loves to come to work every day, loves what they do—and what they do, they do it very well,” Guckert said.
Easter echoed that sentiment and urged the organization to look forward as well as back. “Let the same resolve that got you through the first 50 years carry you through the next 50 years,” she said.
She added, “Thank you is all I want to say to you today. I appreciate everything you do, and I ask that you continue to stay on the front edge of your area of expertise … to continue to push yourself to improve, so that we as an Army evolve and you can evolve with us and in some areas you can push us to be better than we are today. … I wish you 50 more years of excellence, and I expect nothing less from you.”
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