Special Projects Office-Program Executive Office Command Control Communications Tactical

Special Projects Office-Program Executive Office Command Control Communications Tactical
PEO C3T Special Projects Office
Country United States
Branch Army
Type Systems Integration
Garrison/HQ Fort Monmouth, New Jersey

The Program Executive Office Command Control and Communications Tactical Special Projects Office is a United States Army unit which specializes in sophisticated information technology issues.



John Sklinar, Director, Special Projects Office (SPO)/Northeast Regional Response Center (NRRC) summarizes the unit's work as "Ensure that all Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) issues are resolved in an expeditious and professional manner and the resolution complements the Army’s C4ISR Architecture."[citation needed]


The Special Projects Office (SPO) promotes the application of sound acquisition principles for all activities which are not part of Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical’s (PEO C3T’s) programmatic effort. A critical part of this mission is the promotion of a collaborative environment to highlight and resolve communications infrastructure integration issues between dissimilar networks, including the voice, data, and video systems which support Coalition (Allied Forces) operations, Homeland Defense/Security (Civil Agency) response systems and Allied Governments. To accomplish this, the SPO is organized into three user-funded divisions:

Technical and Discipline Based Support Division

This division provides support to Army Units that fall outside of the normal Unit Set Fielding (USF) process, as well as other Government Agencies like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Northeast Regional Response Center (NRRC)

The NRRC provides a range of secured and unsecured communications options to both Department of Defense (DoD) and non DoD users, including assets deployed in support of natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other incidents where communications services have been impacted.

Foreign Military Sales (FMS)

This division which provides support to Foreign and Allied Governments.

The SPO solves complex system and system of systems problems by applying a robust engineering methodology to ensure the successful design and acceptance of new or reengineered capabilities and/or systems, optimize total system performance and minimize system cost and delivery across the system life cycle.

Who, What, When, Why

Who (is it for?)

The SPO supports a diverse group of “customers” who are critical to the National Defense of the United States. The SPO provides critical support to the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), Homeland Defense (HLD), Real World Contingency Operations, Theatre Security Cooperation (TSC) missions. It provides Joint, Interagency, or Multinational (JIM) network integration services, and we operate a unique network infrastructure which allows Homeland Defense, Civil Support (CS) Operations, and Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) elements to communicate with appropriate DoD and Homeland Security (HLS) assets.

What (does the SPO provide?)

The SPO has developed an acquisition framework which insures that individual acquisitions, carried out over time, result in a fully integrated and interoperable information infrastructure. That framework consists of standards governing the acquisition of computer software and an enterprise-wide approach to acquisition that supports such standards. It is a framework which also ensures the compatibility of data that is shared between locations and computer systems. The SPO’s approach to acquisition is based on dependent entities and harmonized acquisition activities. This approach places greater emphasis on early support to a customer, including system architectures, Mission threads and integration testing. It seeks a more active relationship between suppliers, mission support entities and “other” affected entities to achieve “fit and function” compliance between components and overall system architecture. This means that:

  • Mission oriented entities adopt an approach consistent with an overall architecture rather than implementing independent solutions.
  • There is a higher probability that Mission oriented entities will focus on component functionality and interfaces that support an integrated architecture.
  • The approach works on qualifying components submitted by different vendors against these interface standards and other architecture specific criteria.
  • The approach can assist the Mission support entities in the acquisition of components that address Mission requirements, or contracting for additional components as needed to build complete operational systems.
  • The Bottom Line - The SPO provides the right system solution, at the right time and at the best value.
When (will Soldiers benefit?)

The SPO meets customer needs by rapidly developing, fielding, and supporting leading edge, survivable, secure and interoperable tactical, theater and strategic C4ISR systems. Examples of the SPO’s ability to respond rapidly and effectively are:

  • Mobile Command and Control Vehicle (MC2V)
  • National Guard Bureau (NGB) Joint Incident Site Communications Capability
  • NGB Joint Information Exchange Environment
  • NGB Joint Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) Coordination Center
  • Synchronized Predeployment & Operational Tracker
  • Cross-Domain Strategic Operational Solution (CDSOS)
  • Global Rapid Response Information Package (GRRIP)
  • Central Command (CENTCOM) Counter Narcotics (Tajikistan)
  • Egypt Border Guard Security
  • Jordan Border Security and C4ISR Upgrade
  • Ukrainian Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF)
Why (does the SPO do it?)
  • Flexibility is the key to ensuring Infrastructure Integration solutions work for a specified customer base
  • User Community – provide an infrastructure integration service which maximizes Mission specific functionality and interoperability such that the initial solution is both workable and cost effective, and future system evolution involves appropriate technological improvements and best practices.
  • Certification and Standards - deliver proven quality of service through the application of best practices optimized to a specified Mission environment and user requirements. Insure that capabilities can be applied across multi-vendor, heterogeneous environments
  • Promote uniform terminology, protocols, and standards for data collection, archival and documentation. Insure that information from different sources can be compared and combined when necessary.
  • Methodology - identify the deficiencies of legacy and interim systems relative to user Mission requirements, particularly with respect to the evolving infrastructure, critical needs requirements and Mission capabilities.
  • System Test and Evaluation, Knowledge Management, Collaborative Environment, Simulations and Exercises and Technology Insertion allow our customers to move from a centralized thinking/planning paradigm to a network centric approach for information sharing and Mission execution.


PEO C3T actively uses Twitter to broadcast links to articles, photos and even employment opportunities. The Army’s profile can be found at http://twitter.com/USArmy and PEO C3T’s profile at http://twitter.com/ArmyConnect. These sites are not accessible on every Army installation: some Directorates of Information Management (DOIM) block access to Twitter on their networks.[1]

History of SPO

In preparation for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the U.S. Army PEO C3T was contacted by the Pentagon to provide a complete set of integrated Command and Control products for the Warfighter. The extreme challenge was to provide this unprecedented capability within ninety days. The objective was to provide real-time Situational Awareness, robust Command and Control, and real-time interoperability to the men and woman in Afghanistan or Iraq. According to the PEO C3T Commanding General, "The battle Commander needs to be able to see first, understand his environment first, then be able to make a decision and act decisively, and by digitizing the field, we are providing that capability."[citation needed]

It was a bold plan to move immediately to a standardized interoperable digitized force years ahead of schedule, provide common hardware and software, and provide increased C2 and common operating environments across the battlefield.

Within two weeks, the PEO C3T SPO was created with a forty-person core team and ninety trainers and installers fanned out to each of the contingency forces. The result was that all hardware and software installations and new training was completed within ninety days.

Many PEO C3T systems were chosen for this effort. Global Command and Control Systems Army (GCCSA) the baseline to the automated C2 system, Defense Collaboration Tool Suite (DCTS) for collaborative planning, Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Defense System (AFATDS) for software upgrades, All Source Analysis System (ASAS) and ASAS light for notebooks, Air and Missile Defense Workstation (AMDWS) to deliver the common tactical and air picture, Tactical Airspace Integration System (TAIS) upgraded for air traffic, Combat Service Support Control System (CSSCS) upgraded to deliver the common logistics picture to the Maneuver Commander, Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) Blue Force Tracking (BFT) to bring the combat multiplier Situational Awareness to the Commanders at the point of the sphere, Army Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S), the Command Post in the sky, Command and Control Vehicle (C2V), LDOCS, and Battle Command On The Move (BCOTM). The Special Projects Office led the way for all these systems to be upgraded and integrated in ninety days to deliver a mobile Command and Control capability to the Warfighter on the battlefield.

According to the PEO C3T Commanding General, "We provide them a map, the terrain, the weather conditions, where they are physically located, where their buddies are physically located, and where the enemy is, so that they understand the battlefield environment."[citation needed]

The SPO team helped to provide information dominance through satellites, computers, and operatives on the ground. Commanders had an unprecedented ability to see and shape the battle. The SPO led twelve different systems, over three hundred PEO personnel deployed, and over 1,700 Soldiers to be trained in ninety days.

In the time since, the SPO has become the Army's premier organization supporting digitization efforts in the Global War on Terrorism. The SPO's Operations Cell acts as the PEO's Command Center and manages the overall digital design, integration, and interoperability efforts for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Operational details


The SPO uses a straight forward process for dealing with the technical difficulties arising from integrating different communication systems, differing levels of government organizations, differing acquisition strategies and differing approaches to Mission execution:

  • Develop functional system description and operational performance attributes to enhance system usability, information exchange capability and operational effectiveness; and enable the customer to better manage risks, further reduce operating costs and accelerate delivery times
  • Define the physical system of systems architecture to support individual system production and ensure the system and its interconnections conform to and support the required functionality, and are interoperable with other systems and enable evolution into a network centric architecture framework
  • Develop a systems integration methodology to determine the trade-offs to achieve the optimal systems solution
  • Document the developed system design solution to support design reviews, system fabrication, and life cycle management and the development of technical/operations manuals and training courses; facilitate future system enhancements/improvements/evolution and ensure system viability
  • Perform Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) & Network Impact Analysis
  • Perform system of systems management to ensure the implementation/execution of systems engineering process, as well as the integration, maintainability, safety, logistics, producibility and other areas of the mainstream effort

Role in the PEO

Given the SPO's unique charter; it has the following role in the PEO:

At all times PEO C3T’s first priority is directed toward Units that are included in the prioritized USF plan. However, the PEO C3T must not overlook or dismiss the needs of units that are categorized as Priority II and below who may be suffering delays in technology insertion, and have projected potentially high priority missions and decreased funds available for modernization. The SPO is subordinate element of PEO C3T that was formed to address this requirement. The SPO also performs specialized tasks that have arisen due to the rapid evolution of Command, Control and Communications (C3) requirements and systems that are outside the Table of Distribution and Allowance (TDA) missions of the PEO C3T Project Manager structure. As an example, the SPO manages and supports a range of secured and unsecured communications options for deployed or mobile forces operating at locations or incidents sites where communications services are unavailable or have been degraded. The SPO also promotes a collaborative environment between DoD and non DoD Agencies as well as Allied Governments to highlight and resolve communications infrastructure integration issues between dissimilar networks. The SPO also operates a test bed for technology insertion, and provides a mechanism for rapid prototyping, experimentation and operational assessment of legacy and emerging systems to ensure that all C4ISR issues are resolved in an expeditious and professional manner and ensure that any resolution complements the standard Army C4ISR architecture. Because the NRRC is involved in the development of technical solutions, it obviously is also capable of servicing various Army organizations, without the need for costly upgrades. One such requirement was a tasking from the Deputy Chief of Staff (Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA) G-2) to the PEO C3T Special Projects Office to provide operational support to the INSCOM Intelligence and Security Communications Wireless Communications Office (IAIM WCO). This was not a SPO Mission; rather it was a decision by the G-2 to utilize a developmental network at the NRRC to meet a Mission requirement, rather than implementing an independent solution.

Support of foreign governments

The SPO has the following involvement in the support of Foreign Governments:

The PEO C3T provides defense articles and services to friendly foreign governments and international organizations under the authority of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA). As an example, the SPO supports the CENTCOM Counter Narco-Terrorism Program Office in its efforts to curtail and mitigate drug proliferation in Afghanistan. The SPO manages the execution of a project to improve the technical capabilities of the Jordanian Military to secure their borders. The SPO is also responsible for the execution of a multi part upgrade of overall Jordanian C4ISR capabilities. The PEO C3T community is uniquely positioned to act as a bridge between the DoD and Allied Military initiatives in the Global War on Terror. This relationship is essential for addressing the complex issues, which must be considered in the totality of a single integrated system rather than isolated domains. Infrastructures, like scientific inquiry, must be based on real data and facts about the nature of vulnerabilities, the evolving reliability challenges, and the real-world, real-time environment in which information networks operate. There is no substitute for a reasoned, methodical approach to understanding this problem and seeking solutions to it. Cost, performance, and reliability objectives must all be balanced through an engineering process of analysis and informed tradeoffs. A sound technical approach is one, which recognizes the need to manage risks and keep them at acceptable levels.

See also

  • Project Manager Battle Command


  1. ^ Christie Silver (May 2009). "What Has the Army A-Twitter?". http://peoc3t.monmouth.army.mil/articles/2009-5_WhatHastheArmyA-Twitter.html. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 

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