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Memo Establishing PEO Unmanned and Small Surface Combatants

The following is the March 13, 2018 memo Establishment of Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Surface Combatants.

From the Memo

SUBJECT: Establishment of Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Surface

To better align our course and scope of responsibilities for both manned and unmanned systems to meet combatant commander needs now and in the future, I am renaming Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ship (PEO LCS) as Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC).

Since the creation of PEO LCS in July of 201 l, the organization’s portfolio has grown beyond its original focus on the development, procurement and sustainment of LCS, its associated mission modules, and related systems. Today, PEO LCS oversees the acquisition of the littoral combat ship (LCS) and its associated mission modules, as well as mine warfare systems, unmanned maritime systems, the future Frigate (FFG(X)), and the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC), an LCS variant for international customers. This represents 4 distinct shipbuilding product lines in development or under construction, I0 unmanned maritime systems and 15 ACAT or pre-ACAT programs. The name PEO LCS no longer adequately reflects the breadth of its portfolio nor the full importance of its work.

The Littoral Combat Ship and its mission capabilities remains a critically important shipbuilding program. With the introduction of FFG(X) and MMSC in the near future and our burgeoning fleet of unmanned surface and subsurface vehicles, this new name more accurately represents the work on platforms and systems that are key enablers for the future Fleet through all phases of warfare. Their continued organization under a single PEO will allow improved program execution, alignment and agility today and into the future.

Establishment of a name change to PEO USC is at zero cost. It renames the already established organization of program offices – – Unmanned Maritime Systems (PMS 406), LCS Mission Modules (PMS 420), Mine Warfare Systems (PMS 495), Littoral Combat Ships (PMS 501), LCS Fleet Introduction and Sustainment (PMS 505), Frigate (PMS 515) and International LCS (PMS 525).

I want to emphasize that the work accomplished by the leadership and workforce in PEO LCS on the LCS program has put us on a stable trajectory to build the Navy the Nation Needs. This name change codifies the true expanse of their responsibility for delivering the future Battle Force to meet our growing operational demands.


James F. Geurts

  • Desplanes

    Paragraph 2 of the memo:

    Hopefully they’re not trying to build ‘maimed’ systems.

    Proofreading !

  • Duane

    While it is just a name change, this move acknowledges the role of LCS and FFG(X) as the natural “mother ships” and deployment platforms for the broad range of unmanned systems, including aircraft like the MQ-8, surface vessels like the minehunting/minekilling CUSV, and a range of UUVs now in development to handle roles is ASW, ISR, and SuW. The small surface combatant with a big flight deck and hangar, large modular multipurpose spaces, and the ability to launch and retrieve unmanned vessels, and shallow draft is unique in the world’s navies today.

    • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

      Today CNO announces that we rename it the “USS Mother Ship, which was formally known as the ‘It’s better than an Arleigh Burke,’ which was formally known as ‘THE battle Frigate,’ which was formally known as a ‘Frigate,’ which was formally known as the Large Crappy Ship, which was formally known as the BAR NONE warship, which was formally known as the Littoral combat Ship.” Next week it’s going to be renamed the Death Star to better reflect it’s mission and capabilities.

      • Duane

        Did it ever occur to you that your LCS hate is just plain weird?

        It is, if course. Hating on ships, of all things.

        • Retired

          Did it ever occur to you that you have a LCS fetish of the highest order, and that you have zero tolerance for anyone that DARES bring up any facts and logic that diminishes your PRECIOUS? Did it occur to you that facts and logic have no place in your thinking? Did it occur to you that you dismiss all tests, evaluations done by professionals that clearly demonstrate the vast shortcomings of the LCS as “not professional,” and “they don’t know what they’re talking about.” Did you occur to you that on many occasions that you stated “The LCS is superior to the Arleigh Burke destroyer.” What the world wonders is what you’re going to say next-we’re all sure it’s going to be hilarious but sad at the same time.

          • Duane

            No I don’t have an LCS fetish. I resist silly BS when its obvious purpose is to degrade the effectiveness if the US Navy. Anerican defense website comment pages are the obvious targets of anti-American trolls, largely based in Russia, nearly all of whom claim to be “retired military” or “veterans”, and like most trolls, they run in packs to commit “trollstorms” to bully, harass, and overwhelm those who oppose them. Such tactics are typical Russian means of spreading their propaganda, along with repeated ad hominem. The objective of such tactics is to suppress objective discussion of US defenses and to foment extreme cynicism and despair and nihilism about US defense spending and commitments. The ridiculous “ship hate” coincides with equally ridiculous “F-35 hate”.

            You guys may think you are fooling dumb Americans into abandoning our defenses, but you’re not.

          • Dan O’Brian

            ooooh, I’m scared of russians now, oh look, there’s a russian hiding behind that tree, oh look, there’s another one over there, and one over there… d a n g, where’s mueller when you need him

          • Retired

            This is hilarious. Hey admiral, since you’ve been talking to all these russians, aren’t you guilty of collusion?

          • Todd

            aren’t you ‘hating’ in the Russians a bit much?

          • Mike47

            The moral of this posting is that if you don’t agree with the fleet admiral then you are “anti-American,” “Russian,” “troll,” “bully,” “hater,” and a host of other names. So who’s the really bully and name caller here admiral, is it the forum or you?

          • BMC retired

            “Objectivity” has departed the USS Duanee many many years ago.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Do you ever think accusing your critics of being Russians might make you a little ridiculous?

      • Ed L

        Death to the users unfortunately

  • airider

    PMS-515 should move to PEO Ships with the rest of its real warship brethren. Then PEO USC could become what it is mainly focusing on right now…UC’s. Ultimately UC’s should be “host platform” agnostic. Doing this would open up the options of which types of ships could deploy them, and get away from LCS specific mission modules

    • Duane

      Unmanned systems are not dependent upon LCS mission modules. The MQ-8, for instance, is common to all LCS regardless of MM. What unmanned systems are dependent upon is having large aviation facilities capable of deploying UAS, and other large modular spaces and shipboard infrastructure to support the launch and retrieval and sustainment of USV and UUV. The LCS was designed with such features built in from the keel up to support 21st century naval systems. And the requirements set forth for FFG(X) are the same in these regards.

      It’s not the modules that makes this approach feasible … it’s the modularity. Or to put it another way … it’s the adaptability of the ships that was designed in, to support future naval systems that had not yet even existed when these ships were designed.

      • airider

        Duane, the cheer leading really needs to stop. The fact that PEO LCS is changing its name to protect the guilty (and the innocent suckers who followed) doesn’t change the fact this program has always been about mission modules, because the ship is pretty much worthless otherwise….and will remain worthless if the mission modules don’t start improving.

        My comment focus’s on two truths. PMS-515, which should be a real warship, should move under PEO Ships, and PEO USC should become PEO UC and focus on that.

  • robert richard

    This is an excellent move for the future of surface subsurface communities.

  • DaSaint

    Maybe I’m reading much too much into this, but by making this inclusive of the LCS, FFG(X) and then roping in the MMSC, leads me to believe they’re tipping their hand on the FFG(X) selection.

    Hope I’m wrong.

  • PolicyWonk


    Instead of court-martialing the denizens of the hyper-incompetent LCS PEO who the USN itself said ran “the program that broke US naval acquisition” and failed to meet any of its major design objectives, gets rewarded for deliberately defrauding/lying to the US taxpayers and the HoR’s?

    Doubling down on disaster isn’t supposed to be the way the USN operates.


  • Ed L

    Was Duane ever in the Navy

    • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

      If he wasn’t, how did he ever make Fleet Admiral 😛

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Well, because of their well decks and extended flight decks, I believe the unmanned systems will be THE best way for the LCS to contribute to fleet operations and requirements. They (the unmanned systems) certainly have the potential to be true ‘force multipliers’, given some of the present shortcomings in real combat capacity for these ships. If weapons like the NSM can be launched from helicopters and/or UAVs, every naval surface ship could have a capability to ‘reach out and touch somebody’ if that somebody is on an enemy ship. It is my understanding that the only helicopter launched ASM the Navy currently has is the Penguin. Had the Navy not ‘gold plated’ the LCS program from the get-go, they might not be a source for so much derision and uncertainty. I think they epitomize that term, and warning, of “don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good”. They took a good basic premise and added on so much crap as to distort what they were supposedly all about.

  • Rob C.

    Have they established what Multi-Mission Surface Combatant is? Another Frigate design or a new design of Destroyer?