by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
11/1/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The
program executive officer for C3I&N provided an update on his
organization and emphasized working together during a presentation to an
industry group at the Minuteman Commons here Oct. 25, 2012.
Speaking to approximately 100 attendees, Maj. Gen. Craig Olson told a
personal story about working with personnel in Iraq and how the
differing parties came to rely on one another.
"Trust-based relationships are the foundation of the work we do together," he said.
Olson emphasized how this is equally important between government and
industry partners, saying that he has been blessed with many such
relationships throughout his career.
"You spend a couple of months working together, building a relationship,
talking about your family, hobbies, and once you get that trust, the
business aspect takes off and everyone benefits."
By using this tactic, with the varying parties working toward a common
goal, personnel can be upfront and transparent about confronting issues.
"There should be nothing that we can't work through together -- no
technical issue, no relational issue, no program or schedule issue," the
Another topic he spoke about was how well the PEOs within the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center are working together.
"Cross-PEO integration is now more important than ever before," he said,
stressing how the mission areas are all connected. "There can be no
walls between the PEOs."
For the 10 PEOs under AFLCMC, he said he sees them coming together more than during his previous 20 years in acquisition.
After presenting a chart depicting LCMC's mission and objectives, Olson
spoke about how he will be working to refine his own organizational
"We're a relatively new organization," he said. "We'll be looking at
what our objectives and metrics should be, while making sure they're in
alignment with AFLCMC and AFMC [Air Force Materiel Command]."
The general talked about how the divisions are currently organized,
adding that they cross the differing domains of ground, air and space.
He said that he will be working with "the great leaders in the
organization" to ensure that what is put in place optimizes the best way
to get the mission accomplished.
Olson added that he is dealing with a new set of customers, as he did
not "grow up" in the command and control, space, communications and IT
arenas, but he is learning more all the time.
He also stressed resource constraints, adding that because of them,
programs will be limited to the required amount of capability at the
"This is the way our customers are looking at planning and programming, and we need to do the same in the PEO."
In order to meet the goals of being efficient and effective, Olson said there needs to be a commoditized infrastructure.
"We can't have "each's" -- unique services for each mission and asset,"
he said. "We need a simplified set of services on a commoditized
infrastructure which benefit multiple missions and assets."
Olson is convinced that industry partners can assist the C3I&N
organization with establishing and successfully carrying out its mission
as they have gone through similar struggles, especially the IT
However, he knows none of it can happen without partnerships.
"As in previous positions, my focus will continue to be on building good, strong, trust-based relationships," he said.