Training with Industry (TWI)
TWI is a 10- to 12-month rotational opportunity for acquisition officers (O-3 to O-5) to work side by side with industry. Current participating companies for Army acquisition in FY12 are: Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Cisco Systems Inc., EADS North America Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Computer Sciences Corp., Intel Corp., General Dynamics Corp., and Boeing Co.
The U.S. Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) participates in TWI so that our officers can actively experience best practices through one-year assignments with leading industry partners. As a result, they can apply lessons learned and effect positive change in AAC. Increased leadership focus has led to expanded participation in the TWI program, from five acquisition quotas in FY11 to 10 in FY12. AAC expanded the focus of the FY12 program beyond defense companies to include innovative, cutting-edge leaders such as Coca-Cola, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel in the TWI portfolio. Moving beyond solely traditional defense-based companies such as Boeing, General Dynamics Land Systems, and Lockheed Martin will allow AAC officers to garner insight and implement creative solutions in an environment that is quite different than the traditional Army program management office.
Each officer will submit a final paper to the Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM) detailing the TWI experience and how he or she will take important lessons from the time spent with industry and use those new skills and best practices to improve acquisition outcomes. On May 17, the DACM will welcome the new FY12 class of 10 officers into the program at our TWI Orientation in Arlington, VA, where outgoing officers, incoming officers, and executives from each company will meet with one another. For more information, contact your assignment officer; contact information is at https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/protect/branches/officer/FS/Acquisition/Acquisition_Contact_Information.htm.
Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship Graduation
The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) hosted the Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) Program’s 12th annual Orientation, Induction, and Graduation March 22 in Huntsville, AL. The CDG/AAF Program is a three-year leadership opportunity that offers competitively selected candidates in grade GS-12 or -13 (or broad/pay band equivalent) expanded leadership training and experience. The 70-person annual event consists of Year Group (YG) 12 orientation and YG09-12 training sessions, followed by a dinner and a graduation and induction ceremony. The event allows the acquisition community to welcome the incoming YG1) as well as to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating YG09. Following are the members of each class and where they participated:
Aladrian Crowder (Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD)
Chenxi Dong-O’Malley (Natick)
Timothy Hoy (Aberdeen)
Adam Morse (National Capital Region)
Craig Riedel (Warren)
Stephen Roberts (Huntsville)
Karen Short (Huntsville)
Matthew Whitworth (Huntsville)
Tamera Balch (Huntsville)
Alvin Bing (Warren)
Jeff Burgess (Huntsville)
Danny Davis (Huntsville)
Peter Degenaar (Huntsville)
Gloria Hemphill (Huntsville)
Jeff Hensley (Huntsville)
Ryan Johnson (Picatinny)
Darold McCloud (Huntsville)
Phillip McDonald (Huntsville)
Joel Price (Huntsville)
Defense Acquisition University – Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF)
The Defense Acquisition University – Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF) Program is a 10-month educational opportunity conducted under the auspices of the DAU in Huntsville, AL; Warren, MI; and Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. The purpose of the SSCF Program is to provide leadership and acquisition training to prepare senior-level civilians for senior leadership roles such as product and project managers, program executive officers, and other key acquisition positions. DAU will host graduation at the following locations:
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD: May 16, 11 a.m.
Huntsville, AL: May 23, 2 p.m.
Warren, MI: May 30, 10 a.m.
The graduating class of 2011-12:
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND
Debra R. Abbruzzese
Ira James Hines II
Patrick J. Layden
Robert C. Lyons
Thomas E. Mikolinis
Stanley M. Niemiec
Thomas J. Stadterman
Willie L. Brazile
Scott C. Dolloff
David J. Hargett
Michael R. Huettel
Joshua S. Kennedy
Peggy Corcoran Maxwell
Cynthia D. McCrary
Martin L. Sargent
Ray K. Sellers Jr.
Michael Robert Switzer
Jennifer L. Beffrey
Ronald J. Bokoch
Christopher D. Miles
Nancy L Saxon
Cassandra C. Smith
David W. Marck
School of Choice
The School of Choice announcement is open through May 7 to full-time career civilian Army Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Workforce members in grades GS-11 through -15 and equivalent pay bands within a demonstration project who have met their position certification requirements. The announcement, at http://usaascinfo.info/career-development/programs/school-of-choice, provides additional information and details on how to apply for this opportunity.
Naval Postgraduate School – Master of Science in Program Management
The Naval Postgraduate School – Master of Science in Program Management announcement is open through June 17 to all eligible personnel in grades GS-11 through GS-15 or broadband/pay band equivalent who have met their current position certification requirement. For more information, visit http://usaascinfo.info/career-development/programs/naval-postgraduate-school-master-of-science-in-program-management/accmouncements/.
Federal Executive Institute – Leadership for a Democratic Society
The Federal Executive Institute (FEI) – Leadership for a Democratic Society announcement is open through June 13. Any interested GS-15s who have met their position certification requirement should read the announcement at http://usaascinfo.info/career-development/programs/federal-executive-institute-leadership-for-a-democractic-society/ for additional information and details on specific offerings and submission requirements. Starting this fiscal year, any applicant for FEI must have either completed the Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course or received equivalency or constructive credit before submitting an FEI application. Interested applicants should visit the website on CES course credit at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/chrtas/help/CES_Course_Credit/asp.
Defense Acquisition University Training
The FY13 DAU class schedule will be available for registration on May 17. Students are highly encouraged to plan and apply for DAU training as soon as the schedule opens. Applying early will afford them a better chance of obtaining a class in the timeframe requested. Students should encourage their supervisors to approve training requests as soon as they apply. Applications cannot be processed by the Army registrar office until the training has the supervisor’s approval. Please apply through the Army Training Requirements (ATRRS) and Resources Internet Training Application System (AITAS) at https://www.atrss.army.mil/channels/aitas. For more information on DAU training to include, systematic instructions, training priority definition and frequently asked questions, please see the link at http://asc.army.mil/career/programs/dau/default.cfm. After receiving a confirmed reservation in the requested class, students should ensure that they attend the class as scheduled.
The timeframe for DAU course cancellations is 30 calendar days from the date the student receives a reservation. Cancellations for a confirmed reservation must be requested at least 30 calendar days before the class starts or by the reservation cutoff date, whichever is earlier. Cancellations submitted after that deadline must have general officer or Senior Executive Service member approval, per DA DAU Training Policy and Procedures signed Dec. 9, 2011, online at http://asc.army.mil/docs/programs/dau/DAU_Training_Policy_&_Procedures.pdf. Students placed on wait status should revisit their class wait(s) and cancel as necessary. If a student rolls into a reservation from a wait within 30 days from the class start date, the student will be held to the 30-calendar-day cancellation policy.
USAASC has been working with the G-1, ATRRS to transfer DAU equivalent and fulfillment training data from the Acquisition Career Record Brief (ACRB) within CAMP/CAPPMIS into ATRRS and on the DAU transcript. The first batch file was successfully loaded on April 17. This process will recur on a weekly basis to upload new records posted to the ACRB. More than 7,000 training records were added to ATRRS. DAU provides a listing of equivalencies for all courses delivered by DAU and/or predecessor courses, which are considered acceptable toward meeting current acquisition career field certification requirements. To document equivalencies accepted by DAU that are obtained from non-Army schools, open a help desk ticket at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/index.cfm?fuseaction=support.helpRequest and ask that your ACRB be updated to reflect completion of DAU equivalent courses.
DAU has successfully procured a commercial-off-the-shelf new Student Information System (SIS) to replace the current distinct DAU registration systems for the four services. PORTICO, the official name of this acquisition workforce initiative, is a Web-based system that integrates critical capabilities including career training management, schedule development, course registration, and Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act transcripts and reporting. PORTICO will interface with DAU and sister DoD systems, ATRRS, and CAMP/CAPPMIS. It will standardize functionality and capability for all services. For Army students, the system will completely replace the current AITAS student registration system at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/aitas. It will allow for a better user experience, and more transparency and up-to-date status information for students applying for DAU courses. Army workforce members will be able to authenticate using a DoD common access card. PORTICO is projected to be released in 2nd quarter 2013. For more information on PORTICO and the latest PORTICO newsletter, please visit http://www.dau.mil/sis.
The U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command’s Communications-Electronics Center (RDECOM CERDEC) has reorganized an element of its workforce to better support integrated capability solutions in mission command; computing platforms; power; and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) platform integration.
The CERDEC Command and Control Directorate, or C2D, has changed its name to Command, Power and Integration (CP&I) and has restructured its branches to better emphasize its core competencies and to ensure that those competencies are not split across divisions. The new name directly reflects the organization’s mission, which is to innovate and implement solutions in the specific core competencies of mission command capabilities, mission command computing platforms, power and energy, and C4ISR platform prototyping and integration.
The changes will allow an increased focus on the individual core competencies while also allowing the directorate to better leverage internal synergies to develop integrated capability solutions for Army-unique challenges, said CP&I Director John Willison, a member of the Senior Executive Service.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure we’ve got the best people with the best facilities working in priority areas in which we can uniquely add value,” Willison said. “Not only will each division have well-defined areas, skill sets, priorities and customers, but we as an organization will be able to connect the dots between these so we’re putting together overall capabilities. This will best posture our organization to add value within each competency and across each competency as a complete package.”
“Not only will each division have well-defined areas, skill sets, priorities and customers, but we as an organization will be able to connect the dots between these so we’re putting together overall capabilities.”
“As an Army science and technology/RD&E organization, we provide value added in both innovating and implementing integrated capabilities, whether the various individual components are ours or those developed by other organizations. We have the expertise to bring all the pieces together to provide integrated capabilities that will solve Army-unique challenges,” Willison said.
Reaction within the directorate has been positive, with personnel recognizing the changes as a more effective path forward, he said.
“We’re catching people on the heels of several significant changes—being relocated as a result of BRAC [Base Realignment and Closure], new leadership, shifting operational priorities, and a current climate of constrained resources across the Army—but this change will help us adapt and put us in a healthier position going forward. We’ll be more uniquely and solidly postured in our various core competencies. In turn, it should be clear to our stakeholders who to go to for what, what our priorities are in each division, and where we think we can add value. This is good for the Army and for the organization,” he said.
- RDECOM CERDEC PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The Army is assessing capabilities and emerging C4ISR technologies as part of its efforts to shape the network of the future, including its annual integrated capabilities event at Fort Dix, NJ.
The Product Director (PD) Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (C4ISR) & Network Modernization Event 2012 (E12), which began April 16, focuses on the network in the near term and several years out. The findings will help senior leaders make informed decisions in shaping the Army’s future force and network.
“Network modernization is an Army priority. Each year our goal is to stand up a fully integrated and instrumented architecture that provides quantifiable data regarding the technical performance of a system-of-systems network that leverages C4ISR capabilities across the spectrum,” said LTC Quentin L. Smith, PD C4ISR & Network Modernization within the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (RDECOM CERDEC).
The event, which provides an opportunity for stakeholders from across DoD to integrate and exercise future force capabilities, will also inform efforts to accelerate and recapitalize C4ISR technologies in the current force, thus supporting the Agile Acquisition process.
“We help articulate the operational ‘so what’ of a provider’s technology early in the process: Where does it plug in, does it have potential, or does the technology provider need to go back to the drawing board to flush some things out, whether that’s back at his lab or by collaborating with us,” Smith said. “This is a nonattribution environment, not a pass/fail test; we’re here to work things out collaboratively.”
E12, scheduled to run through July 27, examines the development of an integrated brigade combat team network that uses future capabilities outlined by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) for 2013-14. The work supports initiatives to provide actionable intelligence at the squad level and improved situational awareness to dismounted Soldiers.
“You don’t just wake up one morning and have a capability. That’s why we are assessing these now, to see what works and makes sense at various echelons,” Smith said. “In the past, we’ve grown technologies, then introduced them to the Soldier at the back end. If we are to effectively and efficiently shape the Army’s future network, the S&T community at large needs to engage with each other and the Soldier upfront, using current and future requirements. And that means testing should be involved as you go through the wickets of engineering a system—from the very beginning to the end.”
E12 critical activities include handheld and cellular technology at the tactical edge, emerging telemedicine technologies using current and future force network capabilities, radio-based combat identification, the assessment of emerging radio waveforms, and the recapitalization of current force technologies, such as the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS).
Network modernization is an Army priority. Each year our goal is to stand up a fully integrated and instrumented architecture that provides quantifiable data regarding the technical performance of a system-of-systems network that leverages C4ISR capabilities across the spectrum.”
The design for E12 assessments is based on guidance taken from the Army Science and Technology Master Plan, Army Modernization Plan 2012, Net Enabled Mission Command Initial Capabilities Document, Common Operating Environment Implementation Plan, and capability gaps identified by TRADOC. This allows PD C4ISR & Network Modernization to better scope the parameters for technology developers seeking to support Army requirements, Smith said.
“Broad requirements result in an abundance of money, and the technology developer can still miss, especially if he throws an existing technology from inventory at a gap. That’s wasting their time and ours. The definitive data needs to be scoped upfront so the technology can be tailored to better support the Soldier’s need. If we do that, there is the opportunity to save a lot of money,” Smith said.
Funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, PD C4ISR & Network Modernization is a research and development program within RDECOM CERDEC. The program provides the Army with a relevant venue to assess next-generation technologies, to evaluate and validate technical progress, to facilitate technology maturation and transition to acquisition, and to perform risk mitigation and candidate assessment and selection for future network integration rehearsal and exercises supporting Agile Acquisition.
Major acquisition programs of record—such as Warfighter Information Network – Tactical Increment 2, the Rifleman Radio for Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit, and the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) for JTRS Network Enterprise Domain—have leveraged PD C4ISR & Network Modernization for risk mitigation and reduction to help achieve their milestone decisions.
The PD has also assessed the impact of Joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and sensor fusion on tactical operations, evaluated the degree of interoperability between ISR and mission command systems across the current and future forces, advanced technologies used to collect data on mobile and ad hoc networks, and proved SRW scalability by conducting the then-largest node demonstration of the waveform in the field.
“We provide a neutral environment where engineers can come together and integrate without the distractions of proprietary positioning. In doing that, we become a catalyst where government and industry engineers learn from one another,” Smith said.
“Instead of developing in a vacuum with a primary contractor, leverage the S&T community at large—government and industry—to shape and mature that technology. If we partner and learn from one another, I think the success rate of putting a great technology into the user’s hand goes up tremendously. Collaborative R&D on the front end will streamline processes, saving time and money on the back end.”
Findings and insights from all assessments conducted during E12 will be captured and presented in a final report, which is a formal deliverable to senior leadership and key stakeholders, and will be made readily available to interested parties from across the Army and DoD enterprise. Immediate quick-look data and feedback are provided to applicable stakeholders throughout the event.
- RDECOM CERDEC PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Officials at Fort Sam Houston, TX, have developed an Acquisition Workforce Civilian Leadership Development Program, offering contracting professionals a structured, detailed road map for career management.
The program was created for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC) workforce, but officials from the U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) exploring a similar program recognized its value to the broader Army acquisition community. The program is scheduled to launch this spring.
“The Army is committed to replenishing and growing our professional acquisition workforce through the enhancement of career development programs and training opportunities,” said BG Stephen Leisenring, then MICC Commanding General. “Professional development serves as a powerful tool in defending this Nation and provides the processes to acquire needed capabilities.”
The overarching objective of the program is to build a cadre of acquisition workforce members using various tools and developmental opportunities with an eye to future leadership roles, said Wiley Cox, a Procurement Analyst with the MICC Acquisition Workforce Development and Training Branch. He said an assessment of the organization revealed a gap in aligning the workforce with professional development.
“We realized there was a disconnect between individual aspirations and decision makers who can match individuals to opportunities,” said Cox, who drew on his previous Air Force experience as one of the architects of the MICC program. “The Acquisition Workforce Development and Training Team designed a program within the MICC that will develop our future leaders.”
The program, fashioned after the Army Workforce Development Roadmap for the contracting and acquisition career programs, uses a four-phase approach, starting with establishing career development road maps.
“Contracting career field members who elect to participate will now have the unprecedented ability to directly communicate their career aspirations to senior leaders, who will then provide a strategic perspective on individual career paths,” Cox said. “This new avenue of communication will serve to identify future leaders and also arm individuals with recommendations that allow them to maximize their growth potential.”
Members who complete a road map should highlight functional competencies and significant business, professional, and leadership skills. Senior leaders then review the road maps, taking into consideration technical competencies, business acumen, leadership skills, and training and education accomplishments that they want to encourage at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.
We realized there was a disconnect between individual aspirations and decision makers who can match individuals to opportunities.”
The second phase entails completion of a contracting career development plan, consisting of an employee’s present and past experience as well as short- and long-range goals, according to Lorraine Massie, MICC Contract Operations Division Chief. This step also includes an assessment and recommendation by an individual’s supervisor.
Following completion of the road map and submission of a development plan, the third phase entails a review by the Acquisition Workforce Civilian Leadership Development Board, consisting of a panel of senior leaders who will analyze experiential and educational accomplishments as well as the immediate supervisor’s input using specific criteria and a structured feedback approach to ensure consistency. Cox said the board will provide a recommendation for at least one follow-on assignment, along with training and educational recommendations, in feedback that takes into account individual accomplishments, career goals, and attributes that may lead to continued professional growth and career progression.
The final phase of the Acquisition Workforce Civilian Leadership Development Program is to match developmental opportunities to the employee based on recommendations by the board. This phase also serves as a tool for succession planning, Massie said. Managing the development program at MICC is the Acquisition Workforce Development and Training Team in the Contract Support Plans and Operations Directorate.
Following the launch of the program, officials from the MICC and ACC will continue to work closely to ensure individuals in the non-acquisition workforce are also folded into the career and leadership development process in the near future.
- DANIEL P. ELKINS is Deputy Director of Public Affairs for MICC. He has served more than 23 years in support of public affairs for the Army and the Air Force. Elkins holds a B.S. in communications from Louisiana Tech University and an M.A. in communications from St. Mary’s University.
A technology used by stock car racers and adapted six years ago by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for military use is now available for use on Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in Afghanistan.
NASCAR has been using tear-away film on race car windshields since 1997, and DLA Aviation—then Defense Supply Center Richmond—adapted the material six years ago for use on Black Hawk helicopters and other systems, at the suggestion of two Army National Guard mechanics from Virginia. Now DLA Land and Maritime supplies a similar laminate, Cold Lava, to protect the expensive ballistic glass on MRAPs in Afghanistan.
Use of the laminate has saved thousands of dollars. In the case of an aircraft application, the Army saves nearly $14,000 every time it can avoid a windshield replacement, officials said.
With the average piece of MRAP ballistic glass costing $2,000 plus labor, officials estimate the government could save as much as $75 million annually by using the laminate.
For years, NASCAR officials have required drivers to use Lexan, a clear tough plastic, for car windshields to protect drivers from flying debris. Since Lexan tends to chip and scratch after several hundred miles of racing, the windshields can become nearly impossible to see through. The polycarbonate/glass material used on shatterproof aviation windshields has similar weaknesses that are solved by the laminate, which Soldiers apply using a simple tool kit.
“The MRAP Cougar uses a five-layer sheet protection on the exterior windshield glass to allow sheets to be removed as they become worn and damaged, which in turn keeps occupant visibility optimal,” said Scotty Achatz, Readiness Support Lead in DLA Land and Maritime’s Land Readiness Room.
“We often use a nomenclature of ‘transparent armor,’” added Brent Watson, a Weapon System Support Manager for DLA Land and Maritime.
With the average piece of MRAP ballistic glass costing $2,000 plus labor, officials estimate the government could save as much as $75 million annually by using the laminate.
Scratches, cracks from rock strikes, sand abrasion, and delamination that impairs the vision of the occupants are the primary reasons for replacing MRAP glass, Watson said.
Introducing the laminate wasn’t a simple matter of taking the NASCAR version and fitting it on military vehicles, however. Modifications were necessary to allow use of night vision equipment. Also, the filmlike material has a tendency to retain electrostatic energy, a problem that had to be fixed. This was accomplished by adding a layer of material.
The materials now used for the MRAP are quite different from the product used for NASCAR, officials said.
As a DoD combat support agency, DLA sources and provides nearly all of the consumable items that the U.S. Armed Forces need to operate, including food, fuel and energy, uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment. DLA also supplies more than 80 percent of the military’s spare parts. For more information about DLA, go to www.dla.mil, www.facebook.com/dla.mil, or http://twitter.com/dlamil.
- TONY D’ELIA is a Public Affairs Specialist with DLA Land and Maritime in Columbus, OH.
A stethoscope specially designed for use in high-noise environments such as medical evacuation vehicles is advancing toward field use.
A study is underway at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA, on the Noise Immune Stethoscope (NIS), developed in 2007. This study is scheduled to be completed in FY13. Scott Brady, a Biomedical Engineer at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, anticipates that within the next year, final steps will be underway to assign the NIS to the appropriate sets, kits, and outfits so the device can be used on patients in real-world operational environments.
The U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) developed the NIS in collaboration with Active Signal Technologies Inc., a Small Business Innovation Research partner. The NIS uses a traditional acoustic listening mode similar to that used for classic acoustic stethoscopes, but adds ultrasound-based technology that is “noise immune” to amplify heart and lung sounds. This technology allows users to switch easily from Doppler to acoustic mode.
Both modes immediately turn body sounds into electrical signals for enhanced performance. The Communications Earplug, currently used by aviators, attaches to the NIS and allows auscultation—listening to heart and lung sounds—while wearing a flight helmet.
Heart and lung sounds are a necessary component of casualty triage and ongoing care, but hearing and assessing these sounds with traditional acoustic stethoscopes is very difficult on the battlefield. It is vital that providers of military medical care providers have the necessary tools to diagnose casualties and identify the proper course of treatment. The NIS enables medical personnel to assess abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system in high-noise environments such as within medical evacuation aircraft, on the battlefield, and in busy intensive care units.
“The dual-mode stethoscope is specifically designed for high-noise conditions,” said MAJ Tim Cho, M.D., Chief of the Aeromedical Factors Branch of USAARL’s Warfighter Health Division. “As a result, the fight surgeon or flight medic will be able to make more accurate decisions while en route to higher echelons of care during flight.”
Heart and lung sounds are a necessary component of casualty triage and ongoing care, but hearing and assessing these sounds with traditional acoustic stethoscopes is very difficult on the battlefield.
After development of the NIS at USAARL, research began to assess the utility and durability of the new stethoscope under field conditions and in patients with cardiopulmonary pathology. In 2011, the development effort passed a number of significant milestones. The NIS received U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance for marketing and distribution, and received an airworthiness release for use on board the Black Hawk helicopter after rigorous laboratory and field tests by USAARL.
A 2011 USAARL research study conducted on board the USS Vinson highlighted clinicians’ ease of use of the NIS acoustic mode for identifying patients’ heart and lung sounds during high-noise operations. The study at Madigan Army Medical Center is the second one conducted by USAARL.
- CATHERINE M. DAVIS is the Public Affairs Specialist at the USAARL, Fort Rucker, AL. She holds a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Troy University.
On March 2, Kim D. Denver, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Procurement (DASA (P)), recognized Marilyn Shortle from U.S. Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground Belvoir Division with a Certificate of Achievement. Shortle successfully completed a six-month developmental assignment with the Office of the DASA(P) Policy and Oversight Directorate. During her assignment, she developed and implemented end user certificates, justifications and approvals, congressional notifications, and head of contracting appointment letters, which greatly enhanced many Army contracting best practices. Shortle is the second careerist selected for this program.
The Contracting and Acquisition Career Program (CP-14) accomplishes its primary objective through the Developmental Assignment Program. This program provides competitive training assignments at the Office of the DASA(P), which improve individuals’ capabilities by giving them an opportunity to perform at the HQDA level and thus prepare careerists for future key leadership positions.
Arthropods—they bug us most of the time. Mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, mites, centipedes—the list goes on and on. Many people have a hard time tolerating these little creatures; some are even deathly afraid of them.
For the men and women conducting research funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Military Infectious Disease Research Program (USAMRMC MIDRP), studying this particular group might be considered a labor of love. For many years, the research teams at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Naval Medical Research Center, and OCONUS laboratories throughout the world, in coordination with MIDRP, have been working to safeguard Soldiers against potentially serious diseases carried by often seemingly harmless bugs, flies, and spiders. The result of this joint effort is the Arthropod Vector Rapid Diagnostic Device (AV-RDD).
“The AV-RDD products developed by the USAMRMC are unique, in that they can identify if an arthropod is infected with a pathogen that may cause severe disease in humans,” said Monica O’Guinn, a Senior Biomedical Scientist on the MIDRP team.
The AV-RDD is a handheld device used to determine whether arthropods, such as sand flies and mosquitoes, are infected with pathogenic organisms capable of infecting deployed military personnel. The device, which can be used anywhere at any time, is as simple to use as an over-the-counter pregnancy test and provides results in less than a half-hour.
Currently, five AV-RDDs have been completed and assigned a National Stock Number (NSN), which means that preventive medicine detachments and units, health care personnel, and medical laboratories can purchase them for use in a deployed setting.
The device, which can be used anywhere at any time, is as simple to use as an over-the-counter pregnancy test and provides results in less than a half-hour.
These five products include detection kits for malaria, West Nile virus, and Rift Valley fever virus, as well as a combination of viruses such as West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, and Western Equine encephalitis; and West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, and Eastern Equine encephalitis. An AV-RDD was established in February for Dengue. An NSN assignment is in the works for a Leishmania device.
“These products are not for use with human samples, so they do not diagnose disease in Soldiers who have acquired a disease spread by these various arthropods,” O’Guinn said. “Instead, they are used to identify areas in which arthropod-borne diseases are present, so that commanders can determine which steps to take to either control the arthropods with pesticides or trapping, or mandate the use of personal protective measures.”
These personal protective measures typically involve the use of bed nets or bug repellents, the enforcement of proper uniform wear (such as long sleeves, long pants, and hats), and potential prophylactic measures (such as pills) in the case of a malaria outbreak.
To establish their effectiveness as a countermeasure against infectious disease, the AV-RDD kits have been tested in both Army and Navy laboratories, and evaluated at USAMRMC and Naval Medical Research Center field sites in Thailand, Peru, Indonesia, and Kenya. These products have also been endorsed for use by the Armed Forces Pest Management Board.
“A goal of the USAMRMC is to produce products that have an impact on increasing force health protection, and now we can use these AV-RDD kits in the field as a tool to conduct surveillance against medically relevant pathogens transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, and other carriers,” said O’Guinn.
- JEFFREY M. SOARES is a Communications Specialist for USAMRMC Public Affairs. He holds a B.S. in secondary education/English from the University of Scranton and an M.A. in English language and literature from the University of Maryland.
In preparation for Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 12.2, the third in a series of semiannual evaluations designed to holistically integrate and rapidly advance the Army’s tactical network, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) is spearheading key ground vehicle integration efforts from its headquarters in Warren, MI.
This marks the first time the Detroit Arsenal has conducted vehicle integration in support of the NIE. During the first two exercises, NIE 11.2 and 12.1 in the spring and fall of 2011, respectively, the systems that underwent testing and evaluation were integrated into the Army’s combat vehicle fleet at Fort Bliss, TX, and White Sands Missile Range, NM, where the 3,800 Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (2/1 AD) carry out the evaluations. The work was moved to the Detroit Arsenal to ensure that all vehicle integration, verification, and design work was completed upfront before the equipment arrived at Fort Bliss for integration with the gaining unit.
“TARDEC’s previous work on network integration projects positioned us well in receiving this work,” said Kirndeep Bhamra, Deputy Associate Director, Project Management at TARDEC’s Center for Ground Vehicle Development and Integration (CGVDI). “We’ve led many projects, including Digital Backbone and command and control on-the-move integration. This prior relationship with PEO C3T [Program Executive Office Command, Control, and Communications – Tactical], coupled with our core mission of managing systems development and integration projects, made us the best choice to lead this effort.”
A key part of the effort is integrating equipment for Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2, the Army’s on-the-move, satellite-based communications network, into various Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles (M-ATVs).
“There were various components that needed to be integrated into the M-ATVs, taking into consideration space, weight, power, thermal impacts, safety, mobility, and various other analyses,” Bharma explained. “CGVDI is the overall project lead for this work. We designed the brackets to hold the equipment and integrated three prototype vehicles (mechanical and electrical).”
Additionally, CGVDI helped procure production kits in support of NIE, leveraging various TARDEC resource groups for electrical design, software, and supporting analyses.
WIN-T Increment 2 is designed to extend satellite communications down to the company level, allowing Soldiers to communicate through voice, data, images, and video, even in complex terrain that can break line-of-sight radio connections. In conjunction with NIE 12.2, WIN-T Increment 2 will undergo its initial operational test and evaluation in May and June.
- KATIE E. CAIN is a Media Relations Specialist for the Tolliver Group Inc., supporting the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology System of Systems Integration Directorate. Cain holds a B.A. in applied arts in integrative public relations, with a concentration in political science, from Central Michigan University.
Program Executive Office Soldier’s Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PM SW) has fielded the new M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun Systems (MASS) to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team “Strike”, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY. Tests have determined the M26 to be the most reliable, durable, rugged shotgun in the Army inventory. The receiving unit initiated a week of fielding, training, and range activities in early February, with a small ceremony to mark the milestone achievement.
The newest small arm in the Army’s inventory has a notable history of deployment, test, and evaluation. About 200 shotguns of an early predecessor of the M26, the Lightweight Shotgun System (LSS), were fielded to the 10th Mountain Division in 2003. This fielding answered an Operational Needs Statement that specified the need for a modular shotgun compatible with the M4 Carbine. The modularity concept specified that the shotgun could be configured as either a compact stand-alone shotgun or an under-barrel modular accessory to the M4, and that it be transformed into either mode quickly by Soldiers in the field without special tools or equipment.
Units that received the LSS returned them upon redeploying from Afghanistan in 2005, about the same time as the XM26 MASS program got underway. The Army formalized the need for a MASS with an Operational Requirements Document, and a subsequent competition identified C-MORE Competition’s MASS as the shotgun best able to meet the Army’s needs. The XM26 was considered to be a non-developmental item because of its design maturity and demonstrated performance.
Subsequent testing during the engineering and manufacturing development phase identified areas for improvement. Program managers put the XM26 through three stages of improvement and user testing, demonstrating steadily increasing performance and higher levels of user satisfaction. The weapon that emerged from the test and evaluation process is unique in the Army inventory.
New Lightweight Capability
The M26 MASS is a major departure from currently fielded shotguns. The Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 shotguns currently in Soldiers’ hands are military versions of familiar, widespread commercial arms. They are stand-alone weapons with tube magazines, weighing between 7 and 8 pounds. The M26 differs in that it can be used as an attached module to the M4 or as a stand-alone weapon; uses a box magazine; and weighs just 5.5 pounds in stand-alone configuration and 3.5 pounds as an attached module.
The modular aspect of the M26 offers distinct advantages in some environments. Mounting a shotgun to an M4 can result in a weapon system with instant lethal and less-than-lethal capabilities.
The lighter weight of the M26 is an advantage in all environments, although reducing the shotgun’s weight presented a design challenge. Less weight means more acute recoil forces.
The answer to this challenge was the introduction of an innovative hydraulic recoil buffer in the M26 buttstock. While the overall recoil force remains the same, the buffer effectively reduces the “felt recoil.” Users have compared the buffer’s effect to the difference between a slap and a push.
The box magazine is another innovative feature of the M26. Shotguns are flexible weapons because of the different types of ammunition they can fire, including buckshot, breaching, and less-than-lethal loads. Currently fielded shotguns must be unloaded one round at a time when the operator needs to change ammunition types. The M26 shortens switching ammunition to the amount of time it takes to change or reload a magazine.
The modular aspect of the M26 offers distinct advantages in some environments. Mounting a shotgun to an M4 can result in a weapon system with instant lethal and less-than-lethal capabilities. The M26 brings this much-needed capability to situations in which force escalation is a concern, such as at checkpoints and during detainee handling operations. User testing showed that Soldiers transition from less-than-lethal engagements with the M26 to lethal engagements with an M4 faster than when using a stand-alone conventional shotgun.
Urban operations that include door-breaching scenarios can also favor the M26 MASS. Shotguns are a primary tool for ballistic door breaching. The M26’s magazines allow a fast change from conventional buckshot ammunition to specialized door-breaching rounds. When there is a high likelihood of breaching operations, using the M26 MASS attached to the M4 lowers the Soldiers’ load by more than 4 pounds.
Fielding Through 2015
PM SW will be fielding two M26s per squad, 18 per unit, to Military Police and Engineer organizations through 2015. Fielding will begin with predeployers in CONUS. The Army has already taken delivery of 1,900 weapons to support the initial fieldings and has approval and funding to procure 8,000 M26s in all.
- STAN EMELANDER is Product Director for the M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System at PEO Soldier’s Project Manager Soldier Weapons, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. A retired Army officer, Emelander holds a B.S. in physics from the United States Military Academy, an M.B.A. and an M.S. in systems management from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in organization and management from Capella University, He is Level I certified in systems management, Level II certified in program management, and is a certified Project Management Professional. Emelander is a member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps.