Fort Belvoir, Va –
This month, the first of 5,000 Integrated Visual Augmentation Systems (IVAS) 1.0 systems will be fielded to Training and Doctrine units at Fort Moore, Ga. The fielding is a significant milestone for the Army and professionally and personally satisfying for the Soldiers and civilians directly working on the program at Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier.
Within Product Manager IVAS, Project Manager Soldier Warrior (PM SWAR), Payton Robertson plays an integral role in keeping the IVAS program on track. As IVAS’ Assistant Product Manager (APM) for Production, she oversees the cost, performance, and scheduling of IVAS 1.0 and IVAS 1.1, the variants of the system that will be fielded to schoolhouses and operational units as part of the Army’s Campaign of Learning, which will inform the continued development of future versions of IVAS.
A Northern Virginia native, Robertson studied environmental science at Virginia Tech, graduating in 2020. The uncertain job market in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic led Robertson to seek employment opportunities outside her field of study. She secured a position with IVAS in 2020 as an operations analyst with the test team.
“COVID was a nerve-wrecking time to be looking for a job. When I found one outside of my comfort zone, I worked hard to make the most of it,” said Robertson. “I was hesitant to start since I did not have previous experience working with the Army, I even made flashcards of the military ranks on Quizlet! Everybody welcomed me with open arms and taught me the things I needed to be successful. It has been a really healthy work environment.”
Robertson, who also earned an M.A. in project management from Bellevue University, moved into her current job as an APM earlier this year, after serving with the IVAS test team and a subsequent stint with the Product Manager Soldier Precision and Targeting Devices (PdM SPTD) acquisition team.
As Production APM, Robertson ensures IVAS systems are in a condition to be delivered. She helps manages the program’s budgeting and scheduling and monitors Soldier feedback from personnel who train with IVAS. APM positions are often held by field-grade officers with over 10 years of service. Robertson credits her “passion for scheduling and planning” for enabling her to fulfill her duties, as well as the strong bonds developed among the IVAS team.
The IVAS platform features a mixed reality heads-up display that integrates next-generation situational awareness tools, high-resolution simulations, low-light sensors, and thermal imaging to provide Soldiers more tools in combat.
“I like that nothing like this has been done before. IVAS will be a life-saving device,” said Robertson. “The technology is only getting better in my three years I've been on the program.”
Robertson also believes this technology can be useful outside of the military, in fields such as real estate and medicine. The 3D layouts and augmentation tools can provide a fuller picture of a home or a human body, she said.
Roberton’s leadership appreciates her efforts in moving IVAS from development, to production, to fielding.
“Payton Robertson is a consummate professional, bringing focus, attention, and motivation to the IVAS Production team,” said Lt. Col. Denny Dresch, Product Manager IVAS. “She’s able to understand the big picture and quickly rally her teammates, and stakeholders, to accomplish the mission. We’re really excited to see her bring IVAS 1.0 to Fort Moore at the end of September.”
When she is not working at Fort Belvoir, Robertson enjoys being outdoors, reality television and thriller novels