March 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 10 
Integrated Defense Systems

Answering the call

Tactical Systems gets on the battlefield


Wherever the U.S. military goes, a small band of Boeing employees goes along to keep critical battle management, intelligence and communications systems up and running.

Among the field service representatives supporting numerous Boeing products are technical experts of Tactical Systems—part of Space and Intelligence Systems' Advanced Information Systems. S&IS is an Integrated Defense Systems business unit.

These experts, who are members of Tactical Systems' Integrated Logistics Support team, provide field service, intelligence data analysis, logistics, and engineering support for the U.S. Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities program. Army Space Program Office and Boeing work closely to ensure that tactical commanders have the battle information, intelligence resources and communications needed for their operations.

Members of Tactical Systems' Integrated Logistics Support team have been involved in almost every conflict the U.S. military has undertaken since 1977, said Gordon Pirtle, a program manager at S&IS Advanced Information Systems in Seal Beach, Calif.

"As the products become more sophisticated, the need for technical support, on the ground with the equipment, has become more important," Pirtle said. "Boeing representatives are deployed to maintain the systems, so the soldiers are free to concentrate on their operational missions."

The specialized group, known as Tactical Systems, has a network of personnel assigned to 41 systems throughout the world.

The field representatives are the ones visible to the military units, but they are also supported by a team of logisticians, technicians and engineers in Seal Beach who are available around-the-clock via email, phone or satellite communications.

The team deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom focused on maintaining the equipment at a high level of readiness so the military could accomplish its mission. This team of 16 representatives was one of 21 teams to win the Boeing Global Achievement Award in 2004 for excellence in customer support.

The field representatives have performed their duties in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Kosovo and many other hot spots around the world. Although they are noncombatants, most of them have military backgrounds. When traveling with military units, these field representatives carry such items as Battle Dress Uniforms, combat boots, dog tags and body armor. They work and live with their military customers, at times under the most adverse conditions imaginable.

"The teams form a close relationship," Pirtle said. "They develop a strong bond and rely on each other."


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