Changes in PEO Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (STRI)

On May 13, 2014 MG Jon Maddux conducted a Change of Charter with Dr. Jim Blake to become the head of the Army’s Program Executive Office, Simulation Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). This was the second PEO position for MG Maddux; he previously also served as PEO Ammunition in Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. Most recently, MG Maddux served as the Assistant to the Principal Military Deputy, Assistant Secretary of the Army Acquisition, Logistics and Technology [ASA(ALT)] prior to assuming the charter for PEO STRI. MG Maddux brings a wealth of operational and acquisition experience to the position and quickly showed why he was picked to replace Dr. Blake as the head of PEO STRI.

Immediately after assuming the charter, MG Maddux changed the STRI organization structure to resemble an Army G-staff. He developed a position of Chief of Staff and pulled an experienced Project Manager (a Colonel) to assume the role. He then assigned personnel to fill G1 to G8 staff positions and organized several current positions into a personal staff (to include a newly designated executive officer positon) and a special staff. MG Maddux’s next step was to change PEO STRI’s mission from, “Acquire and sustain training and testing solution for the United States” to “Acquire and sustain training and testing solutions for the Army.” The scope of PEO STRI’s mission was narrowed to an Army focus. MG Maddux then conducted a portfolio review with each one of his project managers and project director to reflect the change in mission.

Most changes were internal and did not affect industry until 3 June 2014 when PEO STRI announced the cancellation of its effort to develop a $5.4B Train, Educate, and Coach (TEACH) contract. Immediately after TEACH was cancelled rumors of PEO STRI’s future began to circulate. A few of them included PEO STRI relocating to Huntsville and falling under the Army Material Command (AMC), PEO STRI would stay in Orlando but falling under the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) with a very narrow mission and scope, and PEO STRI would fold up its flag altogether and its mission would be dispersed throughout the other PEO’s in the Army. In a recent article titled “Exclusive: Rumors of local military closures put to bed”, Abraham Aboraya from the Orlando Business Journal interviewed MG Maddux and put to rest most of the rumors concerning PEO STRI’s future. In the article, MG Maddux dismissed any base realignment and closer (BRAC) discussion in senior Army leadership concerning PEO STRI.

MG Maddux addressed industry for the first time during the Training and Simulation Industry Symposium (TSIS) in mid-June. The essence of MG Maddux’s message to industry was PEO STRI will phase out most of its customer funded services contracts and would now focus its efforts on STRI programs of record (POR). In addition, PEO STRI staff would work with the Army staff and TRADOC to refine POR requirements to more accurately baseline these programs and develop defendable, enduring funding. MG Maddux provided additional details of PEO STRI changes when he released to industry a Memorandum for Record dated 5 June 2014 outlining his 30-day assessment of PEO STRI and its portfolio, mission, workforce and resources. In this document, MG Maddux high level assessment was:

  • The Training and Instrumentation mission that PEO STRI is responsible for is a critical component of Army readiness.
  • The workforce is motivated and exceptionally professional, I am honored and humbled to serve as their role model and leader.
  • The core portfolio of RDA [Research, Development, and Acquisition] programs are under-resourced and unexecutable in their current condition.
  • The Training Support System Enterprise (TSS-E) leadership has great momentum and a battle rhythm for seeing near-term issues and opportunities. However, they lack the long-term strategic planning and programmatic discipline associated with RDA investment portfolios, LIRA [Long-Range Investment Requirements Analysis] and S&T [Science & Technology] alignment that is applied to the RDA in the EE PEG [Equipping Program Evaluation Group].
  • It appears that over the last 10 years the TSS-E leadership viewed RDA funding (RDT&E [Research Development Test & Evaluation] 2-year funding and OPA [Other Procurement, Army] 3-year funding) aligned with the portfolio similar to OMA [Operations and Maintenance, Army] 1-year funding by applying an annual 1-N prioritization methodology to all programs.
  • The TSS-E leadership has implemented a “Critical Requirement” funding level for each program that lacks any linkage to the requirements or acquisition program definition and puts program execution into a “level of effort” scenario. Their “Critical Requirement” funding ceiling ignores the G-3 approved and validated requirement documents for (Collective Training) non-systems TADSS.

MG Maddux’s assessment is ten pages long and elaborates on each of these high level bullets, but how does this assessment affect industry? Although no one can be certain because most of MG Maddux’s assessment and recommended changes depends on decisions from Army leadership, one can see a theme in the direction of PEO STRI resulting in changes that may affect industry. Some of these changes are include:

  • More reliable, enduring funding and program planning through accurate Program Object Memorandum (POM) development resulting in better coordination and accuracy with industry; PEO STRI will no longer rely on undependable customer funding for its programs
  • An immediate reduction in the PEO STRI portfolio resulting in an estimated 40% decrease in Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) support requirements
  • A focus on Army POR only; no more Navy, Air Force and other Federal Government contracts
  • Limited services contracts; STRI’s new focus will be on TADSS development and sustainment
  • A drastic cut in the War Fighter Focus funding ceiling
  • An eventual increase in programs of record through coordination with other PEO’s in the Army and developing new requirements with TRADOC to build the Army’s Synthetic Training Environment (STE)
  • Lower sustainment contracts through mission transition to AMC and common TADSS and Instrumentation products

To learn more about these changes in PEO STRI and their effect on industry or to learn more about opportunities coming out of PEO STRI, please contact an Agility consultant or continue reading future blogs and monitoring opportunities listed on the Agility website.

-J. Michael Courtney

Works Cited:
Aboraya, A. (2014, July 24). Exclusive: Rumors of local military closures put to bed. Exclusive: Rumors of local military closures put to bed –. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from