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NEWS | Dec. 23, 2019

PEO Soldier Supports Big Red One Leader Professional Development

By Timothy Ahearn PEO Soldier

Members of Program Executive Officer Soldier (PEO Soldier) and Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team (SL CFT) supported a 1st Infantry Division Leadership Professional Development (LPD) session at Fort Riley, Kan. on Dec. 11, 2019.

The LPD offered a rare opportunity for senior leaders to receive a hands-on capability set brief on the U.S. Army’s most advanced night vision goggle, the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B), Family of Weapon Site-Individual (FWS-I), Nett Warrior, and Next Generation Improved Head Protection System, as well as an overview of PEO Soldier.

The ENVG-B provides the U.S. Army’s close combat forces with the capability to observe and maneuver in all weather conditions, through obscurants, during limited visibility, and under all lighting conditions. This system signifies an evolution in technology that stems from innovative and collaborative efforts between PEO Soldier, Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team (SL-CFT), and Army Futures Command (AFC).

Additionally, it successfully demonstrates the rapid prototyping process to meet the Army’s modernization priorities and is the first program to deliver an AFC capability set.

“We received a lot of interest during the initial fielding of the ENVG-B in September,” said Maj. John Nikiforakis, Assistant Program Manager, ENVG-B, PEO Soldier, “1st Infantry Division leadership requested that we return and provide a capabilities demonstration to senior leaders from across the division.”

Following the brief, leaders were able to engage in a hands-on demonstration of the ENVG-B and FWS-I. Each leader was given a 30-round magazine and an ENVG-B and FWS-I equipped rifle to become familiarized with the capability set.

"Following the brief, leaders were able to engage in a hands-on demonstration of the ENVG-B and FWS-I."

They were able to execute Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA) through the synergistic capability derived from ENVG-B and FWS-I via the Intra-Soldier Wireless (ISW) connection to quickly acquire and engage thermal targets.

SW is a short-range encrypted wireless technology that enables wireless interoperability amongst devices worn by a Soldier. Employed with the ENVG-B and FWS-I, it enables the two devices to interface with each other in order to obtain RTA.

Events like this LPD session with the 1st Infantry Division are an important element of capability set fielding as they provide leaders a firsthand look at the equipment and capabilities that their Soldiers use to plan and execute their missions.

“This is instrumental to capability set fielding because it provides a very different experience than reading or receiving a brief on the ENVG-B and RTA,” said Nikiforakis, “They actually get to handle the equipment and experience RTA by firing rounds downrange.”

Fielded to them earlier this year, 1st Infantry Division Soldiers will be taking this capability set with them on an upcoming deployment to Korea in 2020.

Sgt. Adam Rieger of B Co., 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, deploying to Korea, described the many advantages of the ENVG-B compared to legacy night vision systems.

“The white phosphorous and dual tubes give us a better depth perception than previous goggles,” said Rieger, “We ran with them at the range and found that we navigate hazards much easier.”

Rieger also noted increased picture clarity when zooming and a much longer battery life than previous systems.

“This capability is going to be amazing in Korea,” said Rieger, “Being able to use thermal in tunnels and to see around a corner without having to physically turn it will be a huge advantage.”

Program Manager Soldier Maneuver and Precision Targeting’s mission is to equip the Soldier with sensors, lasers, and precision targeting devices to dominate the battlefield through improved lethality, mobility, situational awareness, and survivability in all operational environments.

PEO Soldier rapidly delivers agile and adaptive, leading edge Soldier capabilities in order to provide combat overmatch today and be more lethal tomorrow.