Army Geospatial Center provides eyes in sky for boots on ground
By Lt. Col. Rob Manning
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal recently visited the U.S. Army Geospatial Center, to gain situational awareness and ensure the Army is correctly prioritizing, balancing and integrating resources to support the contributions of this mission-critical organization.
Joseph F. Fontanella, director, U.S. Army Geospatial Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Army Geospatial Informational Officer, outlined the mission of the organization and underscored the "combat edge" that his staff provides to Soldiers on the 360-degree battlefield.
"Doctor Westphal's observations, insight and encouragement regarding the geospatial support and expertise we provide to our Soldiers and strategic partners are invaluable," said Fontanella.
As the "Ground Warfighter's geospatial knowledge center", the directors introduced Westphal to each of the program areas at the center. Additionally, he was given demonstrations of several advanced geospatial and products that directly support deployed troops.
"I am very impressed with this talented team of technical experts," Westphal said. "Our Army benefits 24-7 from the incredible capabilities this organization provides our warfighters, and the cutting edge technology used to give our Army the decisive edge on the battlefield."
One of the many mission-critical applications the U.S. Army Geospatial Center develops, and manages, is the Common Operational Picture, or COP. Commands at all echelons utilize the COP to synchronize operational data and it is essential in a unit's ability to maintain maximum situational awareness and information superiority.
The center's efforts to standardize and synchronize geospatial information greatly increases mission command capabilities, and ensure Soldiers and mission partners have the right information, at the right time, in the right place.
Throughout his visit, Westphal recognized the workforce for their expertise, dedication, and support to Soldiers.
"This is a true team of professionals. The work that you do contributes to the success of every mission that the Army conducts around the world," Westphal told the workforce.
"His understanding and appreciation of our team's efforts to deliver geospatial enterprise-enabled systems and capabilities to the Army confirms they are critical to maintaining the service's role in supporting Unified Land Operations," said Fontanella.
Organized as a major subordinate command under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Army Geospatial Center coordinates, integrates, and synchronizes geospatial information requirements across the Army and provides direct geospatial support and products to Soldiers on the battlefield.