by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
3/18/2015 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- A
program office here is improving conditions for warfighters using the
Control and Reporting Center Operations Module, or OM.
The CRC is a mobile command, control and communications radar element
that provides a comprehensive air picture by integrating input from air-
and ground-based radars. It consists of several subsystems, including
AN/TPS-75 radar, a radio module, theater deployable communications unit
module and the OM.
Often, personnel refer to the OM as the "heart" of the system, as it's
where warfighters receive and use the information gathered from various
sensors. The team here has upgraded the OM by reducing its footprint,
making it more easily transportable and bringing it up to date with
The system is set up with 16 operator stations in four OM shelters. The
goal with the new system is for everything to be within one shelter in a
decreased 10 foot by 12 foot size. Program officials here say the
upgrades are necessary.
"The key is to get our warfighters out of the legacy (CRC) shelters that
have cold war-era technology and ensure what they train on equals what
they'll fight with in theater," said Capt. Joshua Sollee, program
manager. "The new system will have a commercial-off-the-shelf
architecture, in line with training and industry standards, so that an
Airman off the street can use it easily."
With a goal to look to small businesses for production, the team here
did a lot of preparation, including completing a technical data package
and producing production-ready units as a risk-reduction activity. The
production-ready units will be fielding in early 2016 and new OMs will
be the system of record.
In November, milestone C, or the engineering, manufacturing and
development phase, was completed and the program office released a
request for proposal for the production contract, which will be a small
business set-aside. This will be for up to 16 more units, and award is
anticipated by summer of 2015, with fielding by early 2016.
Sollee emphasized the importance of the system, including increased
track capacity and speed of processing, which are vital to support a
larger area of operations. The OM Mod also improves human-machine
interface, customization for specific theater needs and allows a
combined tactical operations center for crews, he said.
The big take away for end-users is that they will be able to track more
flights, with more fidelity, in a more user-friendly functionality that
allows the system to leverage future technologies that are already being
developed. By bringing the system more in line with current
technology, upgrades will be easier in the future.
"The CRC will allow our warfighters to deploy with the system they train
on and reduce current in-theater sustainment costs," Sollee said. "We
need to get the warfighters the technology they deserve."
He added that it took a lot of collaboration to get to this point.
"I'm very proud of our team and the work they have accomplished in such a short amount of time," he said.