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PEO for C3I&N focuses on connectivity

PEO for C3I&N focuses on connectivity

Maj. Gen. Michael Schmidt, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, addresses current and potential industry partners during a Hanscom Representatives Association meeting in Lexington, Mass., Nov. 15. Schmidt gave an overview of his organization, highlighting some recent successes and ongoing initiatives. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Saslav)

LEXINGTON, Mass. – The program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, or C3I&N, highlighted culture, commonality and connectivity during a presentation to the Hanscom Representatives Association Nov. 15.

Maj. Gen. Michael Schmidt said he has seen the mindset of personnel changing, definitely within his own organization and often with contractors, who made up a large portion of the audience, as well.

“Better answers start with ‘yes, if…,’ rather than ‘no, because…,’” he said.

He spoke about some ongoing initiatives, such as Unified Platform, and how it is bringing together disparate cyber systems from all services and enabling them to talk to each other and share and tag data. Schmidt also mentioned LevelUp Codeworks, which will be developing Platform One, a common development platform for weapon systems with common tools with a continuous authority to operate.

“We don’t want the world to be re-created by everyone trying to do software development out there,” he said. Schmidt added that Platform One would eventually be able to promote into Cloud One at all security levels.

C3I&N personnel have been working with Nick Chaillan, Air Force chief software officer, who has been pushing them to deliver this common software development platform.

“We want a place that everyone in the Air Force can access all the data and not have to pay for it over and over again,” Schmidt said.

AERONet was another capability the general mentioned, which is a low-tech version of an easily modified datalink capability where data can be shared with all partners, including international ones. He also mentioned looking to incorporate more open radio standards.

“It’s phenomenally exciting,” Schmidt said. “We’re connecting stuff that never connected before.”

One area C3I&N personnel, in conjunction with the Navy, is looking at is whether additional slots for cards can be added to Multifunctional Distribution Systems Joint Tactical Radio Systems, or MIDS JITRS, to access other waveforms.

“I’m focused on trying to make Hanscom the communication center of excellence again,” Schmidt said. “It was previously and I think we lost it due to the lack of delivering on tight timelines. We need to make a conscious effort to get out of that type of environment. ABMS (Advanced Battle Management System) is all about getting things to talk to each other.”

During the event, Schmidt also played a video showcasing C3I&N’s capabilities. Following his presentation, there was a question and answer session where the general again highlighted the need for open and common standards.