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PEO soldier.

AMERICAN Soldiers are the best equipped in the world, thanks in part to the Army's Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, an organization created three years ago to ensure that the best equipment gets to Soldiers as quickly as possible.

PEO Soldier's mission is to arm and equip Soldiers so they can perform at their best. To achieve this, the Army is treating the Soldier as a system, much the same way that large weapon platforms, such as tanks and aircraft, function as systems and integrate with other systems.

The result is a single, integrated system that increases the Soldier's effectiveness as it improves his quality of life, and, most importantly, it saves lives.

PEO Soldier, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., is supported by three project manager offices, or PMs. PM Soldier Warrior is responsible for Land Warrior, Air Warrior and Mounted Warrior. PM Soldier Equipment has purview over sensors and lasers, survivability items, and clothing and individual equipment. PM Soldier Weapons manages individual and crew-served weapons.

PM Soldier Warrior

Soldier Warrior supports the Soldier as a system through acquisition of all warrior systems. Air Warrior, Land Warrior and Mounted Warrior programs provide significant improvements in Soldier lethality, survivability, mobility and sustainment.

Air Warrior

Army aircrews deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are being equipped with the newly developed Air Warrior system--the new generation aircrew ensemble that provides advanced life support, ballistic protection, and biological-chemical protection while decreasing weight and bulk. AW consists of:

* an improved, flame-retardant aviation battle dress uniform;

* the Electronic Data Manager, a "ruggedized" computer worn as a kneeboard that features a GPS-driven moving map and interface to the Aviation Mission Planning System;

* a primary survival-gear carrier that includes various first-aid. survival, signaling and communications equipment:

* flexible body armor with a ballistic upgrade plate; and

* a Microclimate Cooling System that's worn under chemical-protective and duty uniforms to increase mission duration by more than 350 percent.

As of fiscal year 2006, more than 10,000 AW systems had been fielded --nearly four times the number planned in support of OEF and OIF.

Land Warrior

Land Warrior is designed to provide unprecedented tactical awareness and significant improvements in lethality, survivability and mobility to dismounted Soldiers and units engaged in the close fight.

LW uses state-of-the-art computer, communications and geo-location technologies to link dismounted Soldiers into the digital battlefield. System components include a computer, helmet-mounted display, navigation module, voice/data radio and a multifunctional laser, all of which are integrated with the Soldiers' mission equipment.

LW-equipped Soldiers can communicate instantly, via voice or data, with other Soldiers, command posts, and supporting vehicles and aircraft. With his HMD the Soldier can see his location, the locations of other LW-equipped Soldiers, known enemy positions and operational graphics on a large-scale map display. He can also engage the enemy, exposing only his hands, by using HMD target images from his weapon-mounted video gun sight or thermal sight. With the multi-functional laser, a Soldier can designate an enemy position to appear on a common map display. He can also transmit the enemy position instantly to fire-support elements in a digital call for fire.

Mounted Warrior

Mounted Warrior is designed for armor-vehicle crewmen. It combines cordless communications and personal displays with the Soldier's mission equipment. The system leverages capabilities developed in other Warrior programs, allowing MW-equipped crew members to communicate wirelessly with dismounted LW-equipped Soldiers and other Army communication and command-and-control systems.

PM Soldier Equipment

PM Soldier Equipment develops, fields and sustains equipment to advance Soldiers' warfighting capabilities by procuring, adapting or developing state-of-the-art sensors, lasers, clothing and other individual equipment.

Among the systems under PM Soldier Equipment's purview are:

* Laser Target Locating Systems, Mark VII, Mark VII E (Enhanced) and Viper. The handheld or tripod-mounted target locators are used to determine the range, direction and vertical angle to a target for field artillery call-for-fire missions. When targeting, Soldiers send data to a Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver or a Defense Advanced GPS Receiver, which allows the system to compute and display target locations. The systems run on commercial batteries, and provide 7x magnification and a 120-mil field of view.

* The Army Service Uniform. Army blue, green and white service uniforms will be streamlined to one blue ASU as part of an evolutionary process to reduce the number of Army dress uniforms. Army blue as a uniform color traces its origins to the national blue of the U.S. flag and was first mandated for wear in 1779 in the Continental Army. The ASU eliminates the need for numerous sets of green Class-A uniforms, dress-blue uniforms and, for some, dress-white uniforms. Streamlining various dress uniforms into one ASU reduces the burden on Soldiers in the same manner that the Army Combat Uniform did for the field utility uniform.

* The Enhanced Night Vision Goggle is a helmet-mounted device that gives individual Soldiers enhanced mobility and situational awareness day or night in all types of weather and battlefield-obscurant conditions. It optically overlays imagery from a long wave infrared (IR) sensor onto an image-intensification image to create a fused image. ENVG-equipped Soldiers will be better able to "see," acquire and engage targets through varying light levels, weather conditions and through battlefield obscurants while maintaining visibility of their IR laser pointer/illuminators in one head-mounted device.

* The AN/PAS-13 Thermal Weapon Sight family enables individual and crew-served weapon gunners to see deep into the battlefield, increase surveillance and target-acquisition range, and penetrate obscurants, day or night. TWS is a second-generation, forward-looking IR that is digital-battlefield compatible and provides a standard video output for training, image transfer or remote viewing. The family is composed of three variants: the Light Weapon Thermal Sight for the M-16 and M-4 rifles and carbines, as well as for the M-136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon; the Medium Weapon Thermal Sight for the M-249 and M-240B medium machine guns; and the Heavy Weapon Thermal Sight for the squad leader's M-16 and M-4 rifles and carbines, M-24 and M-107 sniper rifles, and the M-2HB and Mk. 19 machine guns. Each is a silent. lightweight, compact, durable, battery-powered thermal sight. The newest generation of TWS weighs 35 percent less than the original version and uses standard AA batteries.

* The Generation III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System was designed to function in multiple cold-weather climates. It consists of a versatile, multi-layered insulating system that allows the Soldier to adapt to varying mission requirements and environmental conditions. New materials are lighter weight and provide greater versatility. The 12 components of the GEN III ECWCS include a lightweight undershirt and boxer shorts, mid-weight shirt and shorts: fleece cold-weather jacket: wind cold-weather jacket; soft-shell jacket and trousers; extreme cold/wet weather jacket and trousers; extreme cold-weather parka; and trousers.

* The MC-6 Personnel Parachute System provides airborne Soldiers with a new tactical, static-line-deployed, steerable personnel parachute replacing the legacy MC1 series parachute assembly, associated harness and reserve. The MC-6 has a lower rate of descent, lower opening shock, reduced canopy damage, a better turn ratio and a better glide ratio than the MC1-1C. These improvements result in better maneuverability, canopy control, reduced jumper injury and reduced canopy damage. This program is a combined Army and Special Operations Command project.

PM Soldier Weapons

PM Soldier Weapons supports Soldiers through the development, production and procurement of future and current weapon systems, ammunition and associated target-acquisition/fire-control products.

M-101 Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station

--allows Soldiers to acquire and engage targets while inside vehicles, protected by armor. CROWS can be mounted on a variety of vehicles and supports the Mk. 19 grenade machine gun, M-2.50-caliber machine gun, M-240B medium machine gun, M-249 squad-automatic weapon, and the XM-307 advanced crew-served weapon. It also increases engagement range, first-round-hit probability and operational response time.

XM-110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System

--fires 7.62mm ammunition out to a maximum effective range of 800 meters. It leverages a rapid fire/rapid reload design, variable day optic sight, and 10- or 20-round magazine. The weapon system exceeds the rate-of-fire and lethality of the current M-24 SWS. The XM-110 (combat ready with suppressor) weighs 17.3 pounds and includes a detachable folding bipod, an enhanced spotting scope (XM-151) and a MIL-STD-1913 rail. Accessories include hard and soft cases, 10- and 20-round magazines, cleaning and maintenance equipment, and manuals.

The Army's Rapid Fielding Initiative, executed by PEO Soldier, gets the state-of-the-art equipment mentioned above into the hands of Soldiers as quickly as possible.

Expanded in 2004 to field such capabilities to the entire Army, RFI accelerated operations to an average of 25,000 Soldiers per month. The RFI team has now equipped more than 750,000 Soldiers.

By the end of FY 2007 more than 1 million Soldiers will be RFI-equipped. Currently, the RFI list contains 58 items of the most up-to-date equipment for Soldiers and small units, in the categories of force protection/ mobility, lethality, Soldier mission-essential equipment and weapons optics.
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Publication:Soldiers Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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