A number of changes within the portfolio of the Marine Corps’ first Program Executive Office over the past year have served to emphasize the dynamic nature of activities surrounding those underlying service programs.
William Taylor, Program Executive Officer for Land Systems (PEO LS) recently outlined elements of that portfolio refinement and transition during the National Defense Industrial Association Tactical Wheeled Vehicles Conference, held Feb. 6-7, 2012, in Monterey, Calif.
When initially established, the PEO Land Systems portfolio included the: Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV); Joint Light Tactical Vehicle; Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (GATOR); Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR); Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC); Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR); Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S); and Lightweight 155mm howitzer.
Taylor began his recent presentation by recognizing the conference theme – ‘Aligning Our Tactical Vehicle Fleet For The Future’ – and offering a related lesson learned from the five years that PEO LS has been in existence.
“With respect to their ground vehicles, synergy between the services is not a luxury; it is an imperative; particularly when you look forward to the pressures of the budgetary environment,” he said. “And I think Kevin Fahey [U.S. Army PEO Combat Support and Combat Service Support] is doing a marvelous job in keeping that paradigm at the forefront of his thoughts in managing JLTV [Joint Light Tactical Vehicle]. The synergy between the services on JLTV is a recognized imperative. And that’s why it is succeeding right now.”
Noting that the fleet alignment is occurring in a period of significant budgetary tightening, Taylor pointed to the process characterization of “affordability with capability and reliability.”
“Again, in the budgetary environment in which we find ourselves we have no other choice,” he said. “There will be no second chances. So my intent this afternoon is to highlight how, through PEO Land Systems, the Marine Corps is accomplishing some of that tactical wheeled vehicle alignment.”
“This year marks five years of operations as the Marine Corps’ first PEO,” he observed. “And I will readily acknowledge that we are a ‘fledgling’ PEO…The Army’s acquisition infrastructure dwarfs the Marine Corps in comparison. So we do what we can within our own constraints and we take advantage of where the infrastructure and expertise exist – no matter […] what service it is. Again, it’s that synergy piece.”
Pointing to the professionalism of his staff and the range of programmatic achievements and milestones they have accomplished over the past half decade, Taylor offered a “bottom line takeaway” message: “PEO Land Systems, if ever it was just a grand experiment, through the Marine Corps’ actions, particularly over the last six months, it is clearly not an experiment any longer. And it looks like the PEO is here to stay.”
In addition to emphasizing the need for cost discipline, Taylor said that today’s budgetary realities were also helping to drive an ongoing program realignment within the PEO.