Schmidt talks ABMS, operational imperatives as he prepares for new role

  • Published
  • By K. Houston Waters
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – A program executive officer is saying farewell to Hanscom as he transitions to a new role.

Maj. Gen. Michael Schmidt, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, is scheduled to take over as the director of the Joint Strike Fighter Program, Office of the Secretary of Defense, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.

As PEO C3I&N, Schmidt is responsible for a portfolio of 2,600 personnel and a budget of approximately $12.1 billion. Those funds go toward developing, producing, deploying, and sustaining Air Force and joint aerial and terrestrial enterprise networks, offensive and defensive cyber systems, cryptologic systems, kill chain technologies, electronic warfare systems, and special projects to enable decisive combat operations.

C3I&N connects warfighters across the Department of Defense, making Joint All-Domain Command and Control, the Advanced Battle Management System, and the Secretary of the Air Force’s operational imperatives possible, he said.

“This portfolio is in the business of connecting people, systems, and kill chains, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done here,” Schmidt said. “It’s our job to deliver those enterprise capabilities to the DOD, which is absolutely foundational to the future of our Air Force if we’re going to stay ahead of our adversaries.”

Aerial networks, IT infrastructure, offensive and defensive cyber and crypto, special programs, migrating the Air Force to the Cloud through CloudOne, and providing defense and commercial contractors with a secure DevSecOps environment through PlatformOne, are just a few examples of how C3I&N accomplishes this on a daily basis, he added.

“Our programs are at the center of many of the Secretary’s (of the Air Force) operational imperatives, and our folks have been knocking it out of the park over the last six months. Without the infrastructure that we provide, and without our teams delivering these enterprise capabilities, many of these OIs are just not possible.”

Of his new role, Schmidt is intrigued by the joint and coalition nature of the F-35 program.

“I am really looking forward to this challenge,” he said. “I am replacing a good friend and awesome leader in our Air Force, Lt. Gen. (Eric) Fick. I have some big shoes to fill there, but I am excited about the opportunity. I am looking forward to jumping back into the joint acquisition world to continue delivering capabilities to our warfighters.”

Schmidt has previous experience supporting the F-35 program. From 2003 to 2005, he served as the lead program element monitor. He has also worked on tactical aircraft systems at the Office of Secretary of Defense, supported the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office overseeing the training and equipping of F-35 systems, and served on Capitol Hill in several F-35 support capacities.

Schmidt has served as the C3I&N PEO since April 2018. He also had been previously stationed at Hanscom from 1991 to 1995.

“I am really glad I was able to come back and serve again at Hanscom,” he said. “I met my wife here in the early 90s, so this community, and New England, is special to us. We have loved living here and we love the people here. It is just a special place.”

Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo will step into the role of PEO C3I&N following a change of leadership ceremony June 28 here. Genatempo is currently serving as the commander of Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.  

In conjunction with assuming his new role, Schmidt will receive a promotion to lieutenant general. That ceremony will also take place June 28 here.