C5ISR Center History

C5ISR Center strives daily to make a positive difference in the lives of Soldiers by conducting applied research, advanced technology development, and systems and sustainment engineering. To date, C5ISR Center has received more than 1,200 patents, more than 100 R&D awards and numerous Army’s Greatest Invention Awards.

The Army established the Army Materiel Command Aug. 1, 1962 during which time a subordinate element of AMC, the U.S. Army Electronics Command (USA ECOM), was established at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

Dr. Robert S. Wiseman, who served as Director of Research, Development and Engineering and Director of Laboratories, led ECOM. ECOM focused on combat surveillance and target acquisition, night vision, atmospheric sciences, avionics, communications/automatic data processing, electronic warfare, and electronics technology and devices.

On Jan. 3, 1978 ECOM was disestablished and three new Research and Development Commands were established under the Communications-Electronics Readiness Command (CERCOM). The Army established the new commands to improve the Army’s R&D Materiel Acquisition Life Cycle. These commands focused on electronics, communications automatic data processing and aviation. The Combat Surveillance and Target Acquisition Laboratory, Night Vision Laboratory, Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory, Electronic Warfare Laboratory, and Electronic Technology & Devices Laboratory came under the operational control of the Electronics R&D Command (ERADCOM), with provisional Headquarters at Adelphi, Md.

Technology developments fundamental to how the Army communicates and fights today included:

  • PSS-11 Handheld Metallic Mine Detector (1969)
  • First frequency-hopping radio techniques (1975)
  • PNVS-5 Night Vision Goggle (1977)
  • Received patent for Transponder Based Landing Systems (1977)

The Center for Communications Systems (CENCOMS), the Center for Tactical Computer Systems (CENTACS) and the Center for Systems Engineering and Integration (CENSEI) were aligned to form the Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) in May 1981 under Technical Director Theodore Pfeiffer.

On Oct. 1, 1985, the CECOM Research, Development and Engineering Center (RDEC) was created. This change was the result of AMC’s determination to improve the effectiveness of its laboratories and research and development centers. The Army re-designated the CECOM R&D Center as the CECOM Research, Development and Engineering Center (RDEC) under which CENCOMS and CENTACS combined to form the new Communications/Automated Data Processing Center (COMM/ADP). CENCOMS, CENTACS, and ERADCOM’s Electronic Warfare Laboratory and Combat Surveillance and Target Acquisition Laboratory merged to form the new Electronic Warfare/Reconnaissance Surveillance and Target Acquisition (EW/RSTA) Center. ERADCOM’s Signals Warfare Laboratory became the Signals Warfare Center, and ERADCOM’s Night Vision and Electro-Optics (NVE&O) Laboratory became the NV&EO Center.

Significant developments that emerged during the 1980s included:

  • Received patent for fabricating Integrated Circuits, which could operate under extreme temperatures (1980)
  • GVS-5 Laser Rangefinder
  • Patent awarded for discovery of the first practical and low-temperature electrolytes for Lithium-ion batteries
  • AN/AVS-6 Aviator's Night Vision Imaging System (1984)
  • Development of the FHMUXs and AUTOSPEC, a system that was used in developing and evaluating second-generation image processing systems and the Forward Looking Infrared Systems that employed them

The 1990s were rich in history with the leading effort of work undertaken by Robert Giordano and the engineering staff in support of Force XXI and Army Digitization in 1994 under the Battlefield Digitization and First Digital NTC rotation 94-07 "Desert Hammer VI."

Other significant efforts included:

  • Development of the Budd Lite Marking system and Fast Response Intelligence Analyst Resource (1991)
  • AN/AAQ-11 Pilot's Night Vision System (1992)
  • Received patent for detection and characterization of LPI signals, the Fiber Distributed Data Interface with a 100MB encryption rate and the 2nd Generation FLIR Horizontal Technology Initiative (1993)
  • Soldier’s Personal Adaptive Monitor
  • Received patent for dual EHF, VHF vehicular whip antenna (1996)
  • Two Color per Pixel Staring Focal Plane Array
  • AN/AVS-5 Driver's Vision Enhancer (1997)
  • Received Research and Development Lab of the Year (1998)
  • Multiband, Single Feed Satellite Communications Antenna Feed (1999)

The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), formerly CECOM RDEC, was stood up on Oct. 1, 2002 when AMC Commander General Paul J. Kern directed the establishment of a Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM).

The RDECOM mission was to field technologies that sustain America’s Army as the premier land force in the world; thus, operational control of R&D activities transferred from CECOM to RDECOM, effective May 1, 2003. The command became official March 1, 2004 when the Department of the Army approved the RDECOM concept plan.

2000 - 2009 technologies and accomplishments included:

  • The Student-Centered Learning System, an approach to education focusing on the needs of the students, rather than those of others involved in the educational process, such as teachers and administrators, influenced the design of curriculum, course content, and interactivity of courses (2000)
  • Quick reaction fielding of the Phraselator (2001)
  • Establishment of C4ISR On-The-Move to prove out emerging concepts of moving from a kinetic force to a force empowered by information (2001)
  • Development of the 1 GHz Quartz Crystal Oscillator (2002)
  • Agile Commander ATD (2002, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Well Cam and Zinc Air Battery products (2003)
  • Light-Weight Counter Mortar Radar (2004)
  • Countermeasures Protection System (2005, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Dual Band Antenna (2005, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Remote Urban Monitoring (2006, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Recognition of Combatant (ROC) Suite (2007)
  • IED Interrogation Arm (2007, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Cerberus Fore Protection Towers (2008)
  • Whisper (2008, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Robust Improvised Explosive Device and Landmine Detection products (2008, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • LRAS3 Mobile Training Facility was established (2009, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Hostile Fire Indicator technology (Small Business Innovative Research Award)
  • Husky Mounted Detection System (2009)

In 2011, CERDEC was one of five C4ISR organizations relocated from Fort Monmouth, N.J., to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure law. In all, CERDEC had 74 laboratories which were moved and reconstituted at Aberdeen Proving Ground occupying 1,276,731 total square feet of space. On August 15, 2011, C4ISR COE Senior Leaders certified to the Senior Mission Commander at Fort Monmouth, N.J. that all CERDEC mission functions have transitioned to Aberdeen Proving Ground.

The move to APG was an opportunity as the state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities were configured for maximum efficiency and to maximize organizational synergy, thus enabling current and future CERDEC engineers and scientists to remain at the S&T forefront of supporting and informing the Army’s Modernization Strategy. The BRAC move proved to be a catalyst for change that allowed CERDEC to pursue transformational objectives, accept new missions and to consolidate or co-locate common business functions to provide better level of services at a reduced cost.

On June 4, 2018, Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper established Army Futures Command, or AFC, the Army’s first new four-star command since 1973, when he signed General Order 2018-18. In that order, Secretary Esper charged the new command to lead the Army’s Future Force Modernization Enterprise, or FFME, by driving the Army towards the future, creating a consistent vision, increasing unity of command and unity of effort, and speeding up the process for delivering capabilities to our Warfighters. General John M. “Mike” Murray became the first Commanding General of the U.S. Army Futures Command on Aug 27, 2018.

On Feb. 3, 2019, RDECOM and its subordinate elements, including CERDEC, officially transitioned from the Army Materiel Command to AFC as one of three subordinate Commands. RDECOM changed its name to the Combat Capabilities Development Command, or DEVCOM, to better articulate what it contributes to the FFME. After careful consideration, and to align with its missions, CERDEC changed its name to the DEVCOM C5ISR Center. C5ISR stands for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. The transformation is an important step towards creating the culture to which GEN Murray wants his integrated S&T command to aspire.

2010 - 2019 technologies and accomplishments included:

  • Hostile Fire Indicator (2010)
  • Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System (2010)
  • Universal Collaboration Bridge (2010)
  • Space/Strategic and Tactical Information Dissemination and Management Application (2011)
  • Low-Profile Multi-Band SATCOM Amplifier (2011)
  • Squad level 300W Fuel Cell (2011)
  • Color 1280X1024 AMLCD Micro Display (2012)
  • Automated Network Management Tools (2012)
  • Information Assurance Tools (2012)
  • Low Profile Multi-Band SATCOM Antenna Terminal (2012)
  • Target Location/Designation System (TLDS) (2012)
  • 3rd Generation Forward Looking Infrared (2012)
  • Spectrum Sensing and Signal Detection/Analysis suite of capabilities (2013)
  • Vehicle and Dismount Exploitation Radar (2013)
  • Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter Concealment Enabled Radar (2013)
  • Conformal Wearable Battery (2014)
  • Low Light Level Sensor (2014)
  • Multi-Int Analytics (2015)
  • Warfighter Integrated Navigation System (2015)
  • Advanced Weapon Sight Technology (2015)
  • Vital Infrared Sensor Tech Acceleration (2015)
  • Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) - transitioned to PM PNT (2015)
  • Platform Protection Techniques for ASE (2016)
  • Cloud Analytic Collaboration Environment (2016)
  • Co-founded Cyber Blitz experiment with the Cyber Center of Excellence to inform the Army on how to employ evolving Cyber Electromagnetic Activities across all aspects of the Army (2016)
  • C4ISR Hardware/Software Convergence Architecture and Standard (2017)
  • High instantaneous BW dual Converter Processor (2017)
  • mmW Macrocell Block Converter (2017)
  • SATCOM Baseband Diversity (2018)
  • Offensive Cyber Simulation and Training Capability (2018)
  • Tactical Assault Kit (2018)
  • Automated Planning Framework (2018)
  • Common High-Assurance Internet Protocol Encryptor Interoperable Manager for Efficient Remote Administration (2018, Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene Award for Innovation)
  • Modular Active Protection Suite Cueing Sensor and Declaration Algorithms (2019)
  • Multifunction Video Display (2019)