Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2015 Contents di erent day-to-day experience, but in
many ways we all have the same perspec-
tive: It's one mission."
What do you do, and why is it impor-
tant to the Army or the warfighter?
I am a PSM for Project Manager Mis-
sion Command (PM MC), part of PEO
C3T. e PSM is a new role within three
of PEO C3T's organizations. My job is
to develop product support strategies to
enable the Army to sustain the C4ISR
technologies that we eld. Operations
support represents approximately 70 per-
cent of a product's life-cycle costs, so the
earlier we look at product support, the
less it costs when we reach the operations
and support phase. Our objective is to
leverage enterprise opportunities across
U.S. Army programs and DOD compo-
nents to develop and implement the best
comprehensive product support strategies
at the best value for the Soldier.
As a life-cycle manager, I collaborate with
the project managers to make the right
investments and decisions to keep our
systems viable for the Army. If we make
those necessary investments upfront, we
reduce operational support costs down the
road. In addition, PSMs are establishing
greater cooperation between PEO C3T
and the Army's Communications-
Electronics Command (CECOM),
the designated life-cycle management
command, also located on the Aberdeen
Proving Ground (APG, MD) C4ISR
During your career with the Army
AL&T Workforce, what changes have
you noticed that have impressed you
the most? What change has surprised
you the most, and why?
When I supported FBCB2, I was part of
a standard paradigm where government
funds supported all technology research
and development in conjunction with a
large contractor. We did not have a lot of
commercial o -the-shelf (COTS) tech-
nology, at least not on a component level.
e government was the con guration
control and management authority, so we
saw a little less exibility with the acquisi-
tion framework, and development e orts
moved more slowly in general.
I now see PEOs and PMs moving toward
COTS, where you see more rapid tech-
nology evolution and more exibility.
is happens because the government
doesn't have to make that upfront invest-
ment with research and development;
commercial industries make this invest-
ment, and that's a good thing.
Now, the COTS software is very agile, but
the hardware is not as much so, because
it was developed as ruggedized with rigid
government speci cations and testing.
Our challenge now is, how do we sustain
COTS hardware that becomes rapidly
obsolete? For example, you may have
a laptop that is somewhat ruggedized
today, but next year it may not be
available to purchase, or the repair parts
may become obsolete. Systems quickly
become obsolete, which makes it very
di cult to use the traditional organic
What's the greatest satisfaction you have
in being a part of the AL&T Workforce?
We have dramatically increased our Sol-
diers' capabilities with the technology
we develop and eld. I have seen a major
evolution of the equipment from the time
I was a Soldier to last year, when I was the
PEO C3T LNO in Afghanistan.
As a retired Soldier, I have the satisfac-
tion of knowing that if we are successful
in implementing a good sustainment
strategy, we will implement a game-
changer for our Soldiers. Our products
will be sustained throughout their life
cycles, whether through training prod-
ucts, technical manuals, supply support
Acquisition has changed profoundly in
many ways in the past 25 years. How
do you see it changing in the future, or
how would you like to see it change?
e biggest change I see is how rapidly
we are evolving our future technolo-
gies. I would like to see the acquisition
framework---and speci cally the sus-
tainment support structure---be more
exible to be able to sustain that rapidly
In the mission command realm, we will
see greater e ciencies with the Command
Post Computing Environment, where we
will use Web services and a single server in
the cloud that reaches across programs of
record at the tactical level. Hardware com-
monality will simplify logistics, which, in
turn, will enhance our life-cycle support.
What's something that most people
don't know about your job? What sur-
prises outsiders most when you tell
them about your job?
I get a lot of blank looks when I tell
people about my job. Many don't
technologies, logistics or even the
military as a whole. e biggest surprise
to many is the scope and impact of our
work within PM MC. ey think I just
provide support to units at APG, but in
fact our support is critical to command
and control throughout the entire U.S.
Army and across the entire globe.
---MR. ROBERT E. COULTAS
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