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Home | Tag Archives: Joint Modernization Command

Tag Archives: Joint Modernization Command

Senior NCO feels well prepared for retirement after stint at Joint Modernization Command

Master Sgt. Rochelle Cofield’s career in the Army has been longer and more rewarding than he expected when he first enlisted just a few days after graduating from high school in Georgia. And now as he prepares to retire from the Army, he is secure that his service has him well prepared for his next stage.

Cofield is the senior enlisted advisor to the Field Experiments Division chief of the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command. As the Division NCOIC, he assists with coordinating, planning, and sustainment operations during JMC’s Joint Warfighting Assessments. He is also responsible for tracking and monitoring personnel readiness, mandatory training, and daily administrative matters in his division.

Cofield will soon be retiring from the Army after more than 25 years of service. But when he first enlisted, he thought he would serve three years then pursue a college education. He found instead that he enjoyed serving in the Army and staying in allowed him to support his family.

“I love serving alongside my brothers and sisters as we make a difference here at home, in Iraq and or any given place where we are needed,” Cofield said. “I love the cohesion and the brother/sisterhood of working together to accomplish any mission or task that is brought before us. It’s been rewarding, whether it’s deploying to Iraq, volunteering and helping in the community or traveling to many places and meeting new people as we experience different cultures.”

Cofield said his time at JMC has made him a better leader and has taught him a lot about how the Army modernizes. He has constantly volunteered in the community, especially in helping judge science fairs in the El Paso community.

“You are always improving your craft as a leader to be well rounded,” he said. “I’ve learned how things work as we bring new equipment to the fight or the battlefield. It must go through a significant number of assessments and testing from us and other agencies to be vetted for safety requirements and does it benefit the Army Soldier to defeat our adversaries.”

Cofield said he was especially impressed to see how Soldier feedback is incorporated into the JMC assessment process.

“During Joint Warfighting Assessments, I like going out to the field to see the Soldiers experimenting and using these new concepts and capabilities,” he said. “I want to hear their feedback about these new gadgets because Soldiers’ opinions are the real reason why we should either keep, make changes or get rid of something.”

Cofield and his wife, Dolly, have enjoyed their time in El Paso, and especially enjoy attending UTEP football and basketball games, hiking and spending time with friends.

“El Paso has incredible mountains to see, and the people are great and friendly,” Cofield said. “I like the weather even though it gets hot. The area is not too small and not too big. They have awesome hiking trails, mountain views and Mexican culture to learn.”

Cofield has spent his time at JMC well: Volunteering, learning and spending time with his family. The attributes that make him an excellent NCO have him well positioned for a successful retirement from the Army, as well.

Master Sgt. Rochelle S. Cofield, Field Experiments Division NCOIC at the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command, and his wife, Dolly, judge a student’s robot project during the Five Star Innovation STEM Cup and Robotics Competition on March 7 at Western Technical College in El Paso. | photo by Jonathan Koester
Joint Modernization Command

Author:  Jonathan Koester  – Joint Modernization Command

MICC-Fort Bliss team assists quarantine area setup

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – Contracting professionals from the Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Bliss contracting office and 919th Contracting Battalion in Texas are serving a vital role in the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Several members of MICC-Fort Bliss contracting office and 919th CBN conducted a site visit March 22 at Forward Operating Base Westbrook to view the quarantine site and conduct an initial meeting with Logistics Civil Augmentation Program contractors who constructed the site.

FOB Westbrook is one of two quarantine sites built on the Army installation. MICC-Fort Bliss is conducting local contract administration services in support of the LOGCAP Contract.

“Providing immediate support to a national crisis is our top priority,” said Mike Medrano, the MICC-Fort Bliss contracting office deputy director. “The Army and its partners have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and have put in place the ability for Soldiers and civilians to be monitored after arriving from COVID-19 high-risk areas.”

LOGCAP was initiated March 17 to support two quarantine sites at Fort Bliss. The purpose of the sites is to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by placing individuals who are at high risk of being exposed to the virus in quarantine and isolating confirmed carriers of the virus at Fort Bliss.

MICC and contractor representatives met to establish a working relationship, provide informal feedback regarding FOB Westbrook operations and identify dependencies on other contract work.

As the largest mobilization platform in the Department of Defense, many service members, civilians, and contractors rotate through Fort Bliss, increasing the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

“The work we are doing with LOGCAP is critical because it minimizes the potential spread of the disease in the local Fort Bliss and El Paso community as well as when visitors depart Fort Bliss to various locations around the world,” Maj. Reginald Gholston, the 919th CBN rear detachment commander.

MICC’s Fort Bliss contracting office and 919th CBN personnel are also playing a critical role in administering contracts for additional mission requirements to include contract support to 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss as well as during deployments, full food services for all tenants to include military and civilian personnel at Fort Bliss, intelligence support services for the Joint Modernization Command, and other services and supplies that support readiness and Soldiers and their families at the installation.

Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon.

MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.

Author: Ryan Mattox  – U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command

Joint Modernization Command judges bring real-world experience to El Paso science competition

Back in early March, before COVID-19 and social distancing, a huge room full of El Paso-area students showing off their science experiments, drones and robots was an inspiring sight.

At the Five Star Innovation STEM Cup and Robotics Competition at Western Technical College on March 6-7, drones whipped around the room, over and through obstacles; robots battled it out to see which had the strength to push another out of the battle circle; and students talked about their science experiments to judges from the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command.

More than 250 students from around the El Paso area competed in the engineering, robotics and drone competition. This was the first year drones were included in the competition.

The event, now in its eighth year, included workshops and presentations from Western Technical College’s information technology experts, cyber security experts and more. Military professionals from JMC judged the various challenges and competitions. The keynote speaker for the event was Col. Bert Shell, Joint All-Domain Command and Control Division Chief at JMC.

“Seeing the high-level science and engineering that El Paso students are involved in is truly impressive and inspiring,” Shell said. “As the Army and JMC focus on the future, it’s important to encourage our young scientists, engineers and inventors. That is why JMC participates in this event every year. Looking around, it’s clear our future is in good hands.”

Five Star Innovation works to cultivate tomorrow’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals in order to make the El Paso region the nation’s hub for STEM business and education. The competition helps students understand the world around them, develops and strengthens their critical thinking and problem solving skills, and teaches them the principles and concepts necessary for discovery and innovation.

Shane Haggerty, President of Five Star Innovation, said that having JMC’s military personnel leading and judging the Five Star Innovation STEM Cup and Robotics Competition, gives El Paso students a different, important perspective. Both civilian and military personnel from JMC and the El Paso chapter of AFCEA International volunteered at the competition in an effort led by Rod Chavez, Capabilities Integration Analyst at JMC.

“These military judges pose real-world questions and offer a perspective that is much different than a judge from a traditional science fair,” Haggerty said. “These JMC judges really force the students to sell themselves and their ideas. They make the students explain how their ideas can help the Army and the world. It adds an extra dynamic, and it’s what makes this competition special.”

The winners of the competition received scholarships to Western Technical College, a $250 cash prize and the permanent trophy, which will be on display at their schools for a year. The high school division winner was Cristopher Nunez from Montwood High School with his project on an autonomous weapon recognition and alert system. The middle school winners were sixth graders Adrian Ramirez and Devon Calvin from Parkland Middle School, with their project on a suicide prevention app.

Author:  Jonathan Koester Joint Modernization Command 

Army, JMC assess new navigation, positioning systems

A critical part of Army modernization will be upgrading positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) systems to allow Soldiers to know exactly where they are, where friendly forces are and where autonomous information and attack systems are at all times.

A team from the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command (JMC) recently spent several weeks at White Sands Missile Range assessing the latest dismounted navigation systems, gathering Soldier feedback and observations on the latest technology available from industry.

The assessment was part of the Army’s PNT modernization effort led by the Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing (APNT) Cross-Functional Team (CFT), which is responsible for placing emerging PNT, Tactical Space and Navigation Warfare technologies into the hands of Soldiers.

The newest PNT systems have impressed Soldiers with the ability to maintain position accuracy while in a city, inside buildings, or other environments that interfere with the traditional Global Positioning System (GPS), said Capt. John Sexton, logistics applications officer at JMC, headquartered at Fort Bliss.

“There are a couple systems that use emerging technology, using multiple sources to correlate and pinpoint exactly where you are based on those different data sources that they’re pulling in,” Sexton said. “It’s fascinating because typically you think of GPS as the system to tell me where I’m at, but there are now other sensors they are adding to enhance positioning accuracy.”

As the Army faces a future of competing with peer or near-peer adversaries in Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), Soldiers will need to be able to operate in challenged PNT environments where GPS may not be available, said Capt. Javier Martinez, observer/analyst at JMC. One of the new dismounted systems will replace the defense advanced GPS receiver, or DAGR, that the Army currently uses for PNT.

“This is important because it will enhance the ability of Soldiers to move and maneuver in combat situations and in contested environments,” Martinez said. “We’ve relied on GPS signal for almost 30 years. Now, we’re adding to GPS with other sources to increase accuracy to know where we are at, at any time.”

The dismounted systems being assessed by JMC are impressive not only for their accuracy, but for their easy portability, said Sgt. 1st Class Jorel Santiago, an air defense observer/controller Non-Commissioned Officer in the MDO Group at JMC.

“The mapping systems that they have are normally in heavier pieces of equipment, like a laptop,” Santiago said. “Now it’s becoming more hand held and on the Soldier, so those capabilities are going to be useful. The lighter they are, the easier they are for Soldiers to carry.”

JMC’s assessors worked with Soldiers with the Colorado National Guard to test the PNT systems in a variety of conditions at White Sands. JMC’s role is to assess the available PNT systems to help find the best one for the Army. The exacting process should help the Army save money while getting the best equipment possible into the hands of Soldiers.

“Our role is to assess the military feasibility of the dismounted systems,” Sexton said. “Does this dismounted system make sense for a Soldier to carry in the field? Will it get him through his dismounted mission? We’re looking at aspects of size, weight and power. Is it going to tangle up on things? Does it impede movement? Is it easy to use, for Soldiers to quickly adapt to it?”

This dismounted PNT assessment was one of the worldwide multi-echelon, joint and multinational live experiments JMC plans and executes in support of the Army’s modernization strategy. The JMC also leads a yearly Joint Warfighting Assessment – the Army’s premier modernization and interoperability exercise.

Once the equipment capabilities and Soldier feedback is assessed, the APNT CFT will use the information to build requirements for modernized PNT systems. Getting accurate, easy-to-use PNT systems into the hands of Soldiers is critical to the joint forces’ capability in MDO.

Author:  Jonathan Koester – Joint Modernization Command 

Real-world challenges inspire CSM’s arrival to Joint Modernization Command

Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher D. Gunn had been wanting an appointment to the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command (JMC) for a long time – even if he didn’t yet know of JMC’s existence.

Gunn, who recently became the senior enlisted advisor for JMC, which is headquartered on Fort Bliss, had previously served as Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. for the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division as the brigade took on a regionally aligned force mission in Europe.

As the brigade worked on solutions for facing off with a newly powerful and aggressive Russia, they worked on tank decoys to make their footprint look larger and tested methods to hide their communications. For example, a Soldier in their intelligence company built small radio signal emitters that ran on 9-volt batteries. They then placed the emitters all over the area, thinking that with enough radio signals, they could potentially hide the brigade’s communications from the Russians. As the brigade worked through solutions on the fly, Gunn wondered if there was a better way.

“We were struggling with these problems,” Gunn said. “And these are real-world problems that every armored brigade in the Army is going to have to deal with when they come to Europe. I told myself then – if there was just a unit out there that did this for the Army, I’d really like to know what unit this is; I’d really like to get in contact with them.”

After a stint as command sergeant major of the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade, where he again found himself testing equipment on the fly, wondering if there was a better way, he received a call from that better way. After speaking with JMC commander Brig. Gen. Johnny Davis, Gunn couldn’t wait to jump into the job.

“Once I received notification that I was going to compete for this job, I thought, ‘What is Joint Modernization Command?’” Gunn said. “I didn’t even know. I started doing the research, and I started getting excited. I knew this was the unit I had been looking for.”

JMC plans and executes worldwide multi-echelon, joint and multinational live experiments in support of the Army’s modernization strategy. These live experiments assess and ensure the Army’s capability in Multi-Domain Operations. In addition to a yearly Joint Warfighting Assessment – the Army’s premier modernization and interoperability exercise – JMC assesses potential Army equipment year-round in smaller exercises.

“When you look at what Joint Modernization Command does for the Army, we’re nested within Future Concepts Center and Army Futures Command,” Gunn said. “We are the exploration arm of Army Futures Command. We’re the organization that takes the concepts and capabilities, and we actually put them in the dirt with Soldiers. We let the Soldier give us the feedback that we need. That’s the central link. Once you give a piece of equipment to a Soldier, a Soldier is going to be brutally honest with you every time. They are going to tell you this works, or this does not work.”

Gunn and Davis both have children either serving in the military currently or who might be soon. Gunn said preparing the Army for the future is what inspires him at JMC.

“The other important role of JMC is concepts,” Gunn said. “We’re looking at how the Army is going to have to fight in the future, not how we fight right now. We’re doing this for the future generation of our forces. That’s why I take such pride in being here.”

Author:  Jonathan Koester – Joint Modernization Command

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