• Army Completes Chemical Stockpile Destruction at Anniston

    The Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) at Anniston Army Depot, AL, completed disposal of the chemical weapons stockpile stored at Anniston on Sept. 22.

    The ANCDF is a subordinate element of the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA). Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, CMA has the mission to provide safe, secure storage of the Nation’s chemical weapons and to safely destroy 90 percent of the Nation’s chemical weapons stockpile.

    Ted Gerth, a Westinghouse Anniston Control Room Operator, guides Timothy K. Garrett, Government Site Project Manager, at the ANCDF, as he uses a computer to move destroyed chemical munitions out of the facility's metal parts furnace on Sept. 22. (Photo by Westinghouse Anniston Protocol.)

    “This is a great day for the U.S. Army, the people of Alabama, and our Nation,” said CMA Director Conrad Whyne. “Thanks to the steadfast dedication of the Anniston team—the United States Army, its civilian workers and contractors—the Anniston community, the state of Alabama, and our Nation are all safer today. I could not be more proud of our workforce.”

    The ANCDF had the mission to provide safe and environmentally compliant destruction of chemical agents using incineration and explosive destruction technologies. Additionally, the Anniston Chemical Activity (ANCA), also a subordinate element of CMA, had the mission to provide the safe and secure maintenance, storage, and transport of 7 percent of the original U.S. stockpile of chemical munitions and containers while ensuring maximum protection of the installation and community and providing treaty compliance of the chemical weapons stockpile. The original inventory of chemical weapons stored at Anniston Army Depot included 661,529 nerve agent and mustard agent munitions and 2,254 tons of chemical agent. Destruction operations began Aug. 9, 2003.

    “The vast experience of CMA employees and contractors—both at the site and at headquarters—was used to build, operate, and oversee the work to safely accomplish today’s destruction milestone. This same cooperation is being demonstrated for the successful operation of CMA storage and disposal facilities across the Nation,” said Carmen Spencer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for the Elimination of Chemical Weapons.

    The ANCA and ANCDF will now begin closure operations, which will continue for approximately 18 to 24 months. These operations will be conducted in accordance with facility and storage area end states as agreed upon with all appropriate stakeholders.

    The United States established the Chemical Demilitarization Program in 1986 to remove the threat posed by continued storage of outdated chemical weapons, meet international treaty requirements, and inspire a worldwide commitment to the elimination of an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. In April 1997, the United States came under the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention, thereby requiring the safe destruction of 100 percent of the Nation’s chemical weapons by April 2007. The United States petitioned to have the original deadline extended to April 2012, an extension allowed by the treaty, and was granted this five-year extension.

    CMA has safely completed disposal operations and closed facilities in Edgewood, MD; Newport, IN; and Johnston Atoll, 800 miles southwest of Hawaii. CMA has also completed disposal operations in Pine Bluff, AR and is in the process of closing the chemical agent disposal facility at Pine Bluff Arsenal. CMA continues to safely store and destroy chemical weapons stockpiles in Tooele, UT and Umatilla, OR. CMA also safely stores the chemical weapons stockpiles in Richmond, KY and Pueblo, CO. The disposal of these munitions falls under the purview of the Program Manager Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, a separate DOD program.


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  • U.S. Army Acquisition Corps Honors Annual Award Winners

    ALEXANDRIA, VA—The acquisition community paid tribute to uniformed and civilian acquisition workforce professionals Oct. 9 at the 2011 U.S. Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) Annual Awards Ceremony. The AAC awards recognize those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide combatant commanders and their Soldiers the weapons and equipment they need to execute decisive, full-spectrum operations in support of the global contingency operations.

    Former Army Acquisition Executives (AAEs) joined Ms. Heidi Shyu, current AAE and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, at the 2011 AAC Annual Awards Ceremony. From left: The Honorable Malcolm Ross O'Neill, Shyu, Mr. Dean Popps, and the Honorable Claude Bolton. (Photo by McArthur Newell.)

    The categories and winners of the 2011 AAC awards are:

    • 2011 Army Life Cycle Logistician of the Year Award — Jeffrey Forgach, Program Executive Office (PEO) for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical
    • 2011 ASA(ALT) Contracting Noncommissioned Officer Award for Contracting Excellence — MSG Sandra Williams, 409th Contracting Support Brigade
    • Acquisition Director of the Year at the Colonel Level Award — COL Jeffrey Gabbert, Defense Contract Management Agency Operations Directorate
    • Acquisition Director of the Year at the Lieutenant Colonel Level — LTC Carol Tschida, U.S. Army Contracting Command
    • Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Continuous Performance Improvement Award —  Special Tools Accountability Lean Six Sigma Project Team from PEO Combat Support and Combat Service Support
    • Army Research and Development Laboratory of the Year Award — The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command
    • Director, Acquisition Career Management Award — Constance Tucker, PEO Ground Combat Systems
    • Equipping and Sustaining Our Soldiers System Award — M855A1 Team, PEO Ammunition
    • Information Enabled Army Award — Secure Go Mobile, PEO Enterprise Information Systems
    • Individual Sustained Achievement Award — Dorothy Bell, Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Carson, Colo.
    • Product Manager of the Year Award —  LTC Courtney Cote, PEO Aviation
    • Project Manager of the Year Award — COL Linda Herbert, PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors
    • Research and Development Laboratory Management Award — The Engineer Research and Development Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    • Transforming the Way We Do Business Award — PM Soldier Sensors and Lasers, Logistics Management Directorate, PEO Soldier

    The AAC awards are held annually the night before the opening of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition.  Pictures from the evening and of the award winners can be found at the Army Acquisition Support Center’s Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usaasc.


      • USAASC supports Army warfighter readiness by developing a world-class professional acquisition workforce, effectively acquiring and stewarding resources and providing customers with the best possible products and services. For more information about USAASC, visit http://asc.army.mil.

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  • PEO Aviation Wins Performance-Based Logistics Award

    On Sept. 27, the Office of the Secretary of Defense recognized the Apache Sensors Product Office in Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation as one of three recipients of the 2011 Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) Award.

    An AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III, the newest variant of the Apache helicopter, conducts flight testing in Mesa, AZ. The first full-production aircraft will be unveiled during a rollout ceremony scheduled for Nov. 2. The Apache Block III is the next iteration of the world’s most lethal attack helicopter; it resets the aircraft to 21st-century technology, including Level 4 Manned-Unmanned Teaming. (Photo courtesy of PEO Aviation.)

    The AH-64D Apache Sensors Team won the Sub-System Level Award for supporting the Modernized Target Acquisition Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor used on AH-64 Apache helicopters. The award will be presented to the Product Manager (PM) team on Oct. 25 at the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Fall Product Support Conference in Hilton Head, SC.

    The Apache Sensor PBL project, which is on contract with Lockheed Martin Corp., has demonstrated a comprehensive solution that is credited with maintaining fleet mission capability (at 100 percent), improved reliability and maintainability (with a 100 percent increase in mean time between failure from July 2010 to the present), and reducing sustainment costs with innovative supply concepts ($7 million in cost avoidance since July 2010).

    “Apache Sensors PBL is truly a model for how we can do business,” said LTC Steven Van Riper, Product Manager Apache Sensors. “It provides balanced, cost-effective, and timely support to our Soldiers here in the States and OCONUS.”

    The Apache Logistics Team, both government and industry partners, “works hard every day to make the PBL effort a success. I am absolutely thrilled that their accomplishments have been recognized at the DOD level,” Van Riper said.

    PBL is the DOD strategy to improve weapon system readiness in obtaining life-cycle product support of weapon systems, subsystems, and components. PBL focuses on an integrated package based on output measures such as materiel availability, materiel reliability, and reduced ownership cost. The Secretary of Defense PBL Awards recognize the government-industry teams that have demonstrated outstanding achievements in providing warfighters with exceptional operational capability through PBL agreements; they are examples of better buying power in action.

    Apache Sensors PBL is truly a model for how we can do business. It provides balanced, cost-effective, and timely support to our Soldiers here in the States and OCONUS.

    “The Apache Sensors PBL program represents the benefits that can be achieved utilizing a partnering relationship between government and the private sector,” said Thomas Downey, Senior Technical Analyst with the Apache Sensors PM Office. “The program accomplishes direct and exact supply-chain specifics that benefit the Soldier and the aviation community,” he said. It does so “by providing a team concept that explores processes that can be utilized to provide a better product and establishes certain goals and objectives after jointly identifying areas of concern.”

    PBL provides a means to ensure reliability, improve supply availability, implement product improvements, study and monitor obsolescence issues, maintain a high rate of readiness, and identify leading-indicator metrics to support supply posture and integrated operations.

    One of the measures used to gauge the success of the Apache Sensors PBL program is a Supply Availability Metric, which is applied to the contractor and is constantly monitored for effectiveness and applicability, Downey said. “This provides the contractor with incentive to improve both their processes and sustainability.” The net result, he said, is that the Soldier has a cost-effective way to track part availability. “That improves Soldiers’ ability to sustain the end item and increases mission readiness.”

    Nominations for the PBL Award were received from the services and the Missile Defense Agency. A team of representatives from Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Acquisition University, and the AIA evaluated the nominations.


      • PEO AVIATION PUBLIC AFFAIRS 

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  • DACM Corner: Selecting, Mentoring, and Developing Interns

    As I look around at my fellow professionals in the Army acquisition, logistics, and technology (AL&T) community, I see a dedicated, seasoned workforce—and I wonder, who will take the place of these experienced professionals when they decide to retire?

    This is something that leadership throughout AL&T should be thinking about: Where do we find the best and the brightest young people to bring into government service, and how do we help them develop into future AL&T leaders? Fortunately, we have some very successful internship programs to guide us.

    Nealie Page, an operations research analyst intern attending PEO STRI’s Acquisition Academy, jumped from the 34-foot tower at Fort Benning’s Airborne School Sept. 8. She, along with the other interns from the Academy, had the opportunity to jump from the famed tower as part of their “day in the life of a U.S. Soldier” experience, a professional development opportunity for the new federal government interns at PEO STRI. (Photos by PEO STRI/Thomas Kehr.)

    Experience has shown us that, despite the advantages that private industry may have over government in hiring, many talented college graduates want careers in which they can serve their country. We can harness that talent and commitment without necessarily having to pay the higher salaries that industry may offer. A number of intern programs across the AL&T Workforce have succeeded in doing just that.

    ‘Hire for Life’

    The key, program leaders say, is to make the interns feel like part of the AL&T Workforce from the start, or as I like to call it, “hire for life.” Several organizations have created a boot camp program that builds a bond between the intern and Soldier to serve just that purpose.

    The Program Executive Office Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) has seen firsthand the value of this team ethic. PEO STRI’s Acquisition Academy, now in its fifth year, is a highly competitive program with a 96 percent retention rate that needs no advertising, apart from the required posting of new openings.

    For the Academy course that began in July, PEO STRI received almost 1,700 applicants for a dozen openings. The candidates are screened through online testing and interviews with senior personnel. The competition allows PEO STRI to take only the brightest candidates, the self-starters, and then introduce them to the AL&T Workforce.

    Sarah Weston, a systems engineering intern attending PEO STRI’s Acquisition Academy, had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Sept. 8 to jump out of a plane with the Fort Benning’s Silver Wings precision parachute team.

    Every candidate has a bachelor’s degree, and many have master’s degrees. While some have prior military service, they all share an appreciation for Army values and a desire to be part of a team with the critical mission of serving the warfighter.

    But bringing good interns onboard is only the first step. Helping them map and meet their career goals should be the next major focus. This means establishing Individual Development Plans (IDPs) and then providing each intern with a variety of challenging assignments and continuous learning opportunities.

    Of course, this systematic training, mentorship, and follow-up take time out of already hectic schedules. But it is time well spent. If we want our young professionals to be all that they can be, we have to put some sweat equity into it. We must serve as mentors and advisors and guide these young individuals who are so eager to learn and contribute.

    Structure Leads to Success

    A successful internship program is very structured in this regard. PEO STRI’s Acquisition Academy, for instance, starts with 11 weeks of classroom training by senior personnel. It serves as the intern’s introduction to how the Army is structured and how the Acquisition Corps is organized. It also introduces the Defense Acquisition University courses that are needed to develop an understanding of their field, be it contracting, engineering, or some other specialty.

    By far, one of the most rewarding aspects of the interns’ experience is working directly with Soldiers who use the equipment that their organization provides. Acquisition Academy interns, for example, have the opportunity to visit Fort Benning, GA, during Tower Week, a U.S. Army Airborne School event that validates jumpers’ individual skill training in properly and safely exiting an aircraft. The interns can jump from the 34-foot tower, and some even jump in tandem with the Silver Wings precision para­chute team. They also see how Soldiers use the Close Combat Tactical Trainer and the Digital Multi-Purpose Range Complex that PEO STRI procures.

    Shi Deng, a budget analyst intern attending PEO STRI’s Acquisition Academy, had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Sept. 8 to jump out of a plane with the Fort Benning’s Silver Wings precision parachute team.

    PEO STRI’s interns are in two- to three-year programs from which they become journeymen. Though not every intern training program needs to be this comprehensive, the driving elements remain the same: Army Team values, senior-level involvement, individual attention to include an IDP, challenging work, and regular follow-up. The goal is mission success, and everyone has a role in that accomplishment.

    Top-Level Attention

    The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command’s (CECOM) Command-Sponsored Intern Orientation Program has taken a slightly different approach, starting with 3½ days devoted to educating new interns on the CECOM mission; the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Materiel Enterprise team; and military protocol and traditions.

    The CECOM Commanding General (CG), or another senior leader in the CG’s absence, addresses incoming interns on the role they will play in the Army’s mission and support of the warfighter. Since interns are typically new to the Army, the orientation program addresses topics such as the Army’s rank structure; financial planning information; work personality assessment and team building; use of C4ISR Materiel Enterprise collaboration tools; unique characteristics of the enterprise’s diverse, multigenerational environment; the culture of communication and cooperation in the workplace; personal accountability; and juggling work and life priorities.

    One of the CG’s top priorities, Human Capital, includes the development of a workforce that is forward-thinking and conscious of the impact they have in the field. This effort has multiple elements, including:

    • Specialized training courses for interns to complement their respective career programs. For example, interns have the opportunity to sharpen their communications skills to include business writing, oral presentation and organization skills, and how to deal with and resolve conflicts in the workplace.
    • Intern Professional Development Day, an annual event that provides interns the opportunity to interact with senior leaders and each other.
    • Greening, which consists of a variety of activities set up to provide insights into the CECOM and C4ISR Materiel Enterprise mission and the life of a Soldier.

    Getting Started

    So where does the money come from to pay for a successful intern recruitment and development program? As you know, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order in December (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/27/executive-order-recruiting-and-hiring-students-and-recent-graduates), ending the Federal Career Intern Program as of March 1, 2011, and establishing the Internship Program and the Recent Graduates Program. Along with the Presidential Management Fellows Program, those initiatives are collectively called the Pathways Programs.

    Additionally, section 852 funding, named after Section 852 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, can help pay for some intern costs; see http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/852-program for more details.

    As you look around at what you can do to bring in and retain young talent, I hope you’ll find the special ingredients that will make your organization an attractive, fun, and rewarding place to work. Your efforts will pay off for the entire Army, and especially our warfighters.

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  • USAASC to Provide Acquisition Career Counseling at AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition

    FORT BELVOIR, VA—Army Acquisition Workforce career counseling sessions will be available during this year’s Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition. The sessions will be held in the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) booth, part of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASAALT) exhibit. The AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition will be held October 10-12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The ASAALT exhibit number is 6328 and is located on Level 2 of the convention hall.

    Visitors to the USAASC booth can receive valuable career advice from career counselors in the ASAALT exhibit at the 2011 AUSA annual meeting and exposition. (Photo by McArthur Newell.)

    Career counseling is available to military and civilian members of the Acquisition Workforce or those interested in joining the Workforce. Among those offering career counseling advice is LTC Charles Stein, Product Manager Ground Combat Tactical Trainers (PM GCTT), part of Program Executive Office Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). Stein is nominated for an Army Acquisition Corps Award as Product Manager of the Year.

    In addition to the career counseling sessions, 12 PEOs, the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command are represented at the ASAALT booth, displaying the latest technologies supporting the American warfighter. The PEOs that in attendance are:

    • PEO Ammunition
    • PEO Aviation
    • PEO Combat Support and Combat Service Support
    • PEO Command, Control, and Communications-Tactical
    • PEO Enterprise Information Systems
    • PEO Ground Combat Systems
    • PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors
    • PEO Missiles and Space
    • PEO STRI
    • PEO Soldier
    • Joint PEO Chemical and Biological Defense
    • Joint PEO Joint Tactical Radio System

    The AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition is a professional development forum that includes seminars and special presentations on the Army’s transformation to the Future Force, LandWarNet, expeditionary logistics, actionable intelligence, and other issues affecting today’s Army. For more information or directions to the convention center, visit AUSA’s website at http://www.ausa.org.


     

      • USAASC supports Army warfighter readiness by developing a world-class professional acquisition workforce, effectively acquiring and stewarding resources and providing customers with the best possible products and services. For more information about USAASC, visit http://asc.army.mil.

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  • Army Engineer Association Honors Two Geospatial Center Professionals

    Ric Herrmann (left), Deputy Director of AGC, presents Mike Hardaway with the AEA’s Bronze de Fleury medal. (Photos by Mike Timms, AGC.)

    Daniel Visone and Mike Hardaway recently received the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal from the Army Engineer Association (AEA) in recognition of their superior leadership, selfless service, and career contributions to the U.S. Army, Army Geospatial Center (AGC), and the geospatial community.

    Ric Herrmann (left), Deputy Director of AGC, presents Daniel Visone, Chief of the AGC’s Geospatial Acquisition Support Directorate, with the AEA’s Bronze de Fleury Medal.

    Visone is Chief of the AGC’s Geospatial Acquisition Support Directorate and is responsible for the synchronization of Geospatial Enterprise policies, priorities, programs, production requirements, strategies, and technologies across the Army Acquisition community.  His directorate also ensures the efficient integration of geospatial information and services technologies in weapon systems acquisition.

    As Chief of the center’s Tactical Source Branch, Hardaway manages and executes end-to-end support of high-resolution geospatial information and intelligence in support of immediate warfighter operations, Quick Response Capabilities, demonstrations, and prototyping for the Army, DOD, and other government agencies.

    The de Fleury Medal was established during the early years of the Army Corps of Engineers to honor individuals who provided significant contributions to Army engineering. It is named for French engineer Francois Louis Tesseidre de Fleury, who volunteered to fight with the American Army in the Revolutionary War. For his bravery and courage under fire in the Battle of Stony Point, NY, the Continental Congress awarded a medal struck in his honor on Oct. 1, 1779.


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  • New App to Spotlight Army Exhibits, Forums at AUSA

    Gary Sheftick, Army News Service

    A new application for smartphones allows Soldiers worldwide to visit Army exhibits and watch presentations taking place at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting at the Washington (DC) Convention Center Oct. 10-12.

    The Army Exhibit Mobile App helps visitors find what they’re looking for at AUSA’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, and allow those who can’t be there to take a virtual tour.

    The Army Exhibit Mobile App will spotlight Army exhibits and speeches at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition.

    The app also allows users to watch Secretary of the Army John McHugh, U.S. Army Chief of Staff GEN Raymond T. Odierno, and other senior leaders discuss leading-edge issues facing the Army, such as advancing the network, cyber security, future training, leader development, and more. They can hear Soldiers ask questions and get frank answers from their senior leaders.

    “We want to expand the reach beyond the building and beyond the calendar,” said LTC Thomas Smedley, who explained that the presentations and exhibits will be available for viewing on the app not just during the three days of the conference but for months to come.

    “You can watch it during halftime at the football game,” Smedley said. “You can watch it at an airport while waiting for a plane,” he added.

    “We don’t encourage watching it while driving in traffic,” he joked.

    Smedley, Military Deputy for Community Relations and Outreach at U.S. Army Public Affairs, has been working on the app since May. He said it is available for downloading for iPhones and iPads, and his team is working on a version for Droids and BlackBerrys.

    The www.army.mil/mobile website has a link to the iTunes App Store and will have a link to the Android Market and the HTML5 BlackBerry site, where the app can be downloaded.

    The smartphone application will link to video of the 14 Institute of Land Warfare panels from the AUSA convention. The opening ceremony Oct. 10, where McHugh will give the keynote address, will be available for viewing, as will the Eisenhower Luncheon Oct. 11, where Odierno will speak.

    “You can sit and watch the Chief talk about the way ahead,” Smedley said, adding that the presentations will also be useful for unit professional development sessions, such as for NCOs.

    “It’s all about avoiding that white piece of paper,” he said, explaining that an interactive application and video are much more exciting than reading a handout.

    The app is a partner to the www.army.mil website, which will have the links for viewing live-streaming and archived video on the smartphone, he said.

    The app will also include feedback mechanisms. In-app analytics will measure usage and allow Soldiers to rate the exhibits. The app will also allow users to provide both quantitative and qualitative feedback on the communication campaigns.

    The four Family Forums at AUSA and the presentations at the Warrior’s Corner, part of the Department of the Army exhibit at Booth 1775 at the center of the exhibit hall, will be available on the app.

    Next to Warrior’s Corner will be a theater, playing two films also available on the app: “The Army Profession” and “The Squad: Foundation of the Decisive Force.”

    The third zone of the Army exhibit will be an interactive look back over the past 10 years of war and the communications campaigns.

    “We’re nested with the communications campaigns,” Smedley said, adding that one of his jobs has been to ensure that the Army’s eight communication priorities resonate throughout the app and the Army’s exhibit.

    “We’re pretty excited,” he said. “The app is permeating with our force.” Young Soldiers are used to receiving information digitally through mobile devices, Smedley said; they read books on iPads or Kindles and download technical manuals from the Internet. He predicted that they will be very comfortable with the new app.

    “The convenience and portability are very good,” he said.

    The app will also include feedback mechanisms, Smedley said. In-app analytics will measure usage and allow Soldiers to rate the exhibits. The app will also allow users to provide both quantitative and qualitative feedback on the communication campaigns.

    Soldiers with ideas for making the app even better are invited to submit their suggestions, Smedley said.

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