• CHESS Adds Tablets and Slates for Consolidated Buy

    Leveraging the Army’s buying power, CHESS, the Army's designated primary source for procurement of commercial off-the-shelf information technology (IT) products, now makes tablets and slates available through its online ordering system, IT e-mart. (Image by David Baker, PEO EIS)

    Michael Dorsey

    The Project Director Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software, and Solutions (CHESS) opened the 15th Consolidated Buy (CB) for ordering June 18 with the announcement that tablets and slates are now available to all government organizations purchasing desktops, notebooks, and printers during CB-15. The ordering period runs through Sept. 30.

    Tablets offer a highly mobile platform that performs similar to laptops but weighs less and has touch-screen capability. Slates—smaller tablets with touch-screen imprint—are also being offered. Customers can choose from eight tablets and slates.

    Tablets offer a highly mobile platform that performs similar to laptops but weighs less and ha touch-screen capability. Slates—smaller tablets with touch-screen imprint—will also be offered. Customers can choose from eight tablets and slates.

    What distinguishes the tablets and slates offered in CB-15 is their ability to meet network standards and run the Microsoft Windows-based Army Golden Master. This means they can connect to the Army network, process For Official Use Only documents, and obtain standard security patches.

    The CB-15 is open to all government agencies and employees eligible to buy from CHESS, the Army-mandated purchasing program.

    For more information on the tablets and slates, go to https://CHESS.army.mil. For information on purchases by individual government employees through the Government Employees Purchase Program, click on “Resources.”

    CHESS has also established an Army Knowledge Online page where customers can review
    benchmark information for CB desktops and notebooks.

    The CB program offers substantial savings regardless of the quantities procured. CB products and prices are available on the CHESS website in the online comparison tool and in a downloadable spreadsheet file, making it easy for customers to compare products and prices by category and assess all eight Army Desktop and Mobile Computing 2 vendor product offerings.


    • MICHAEL DORSEY is the Strategic Communications Officer for CHESS within Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) at Fort Belvoir, VA. He holds a B.A. in communication studies from the University of Maryland. Dorsey is also a graduate of the U.S. Defense Information School. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran with more than 20 years’ experience in military public affairs.

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  • CHESS Saves Millions in Oracle Licenses and Maintenance

    Organizations that benefit from CHESS involvement in enterprise licensing agreements include AMC and users of the General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS), the Army’s new Web-enabled financial, asset, and accounting management system. GFEBS uses commercial-off-the-shelf software in transforming how the Army does business. (U.S. Army photo)

    Robert Grasso

    Project Director Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software, and Solutions (CHESS) has awarded an Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) for Oracle licenses and maintenance that consolidates more than 250 existing maintenance contracts across Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) and U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), avoiding at least $10 million in costs and potentially as much as $50 million when taking into account contractual administration and other issues.

    The ELA, awarded May 29, affords all PEO EIS programs and AMC organizations the unlimited use of 11 licensed products, quantity buys for an additional eight products, and discounts on others.

    The Oracle product mix is based on the most commonly used products across PEO EIS and AMC, including Database Enterprise Edition, Advanced Security, WebLogic Suite, Real Application Clusters, Partitioning Identity and Access Management, Management Suite Plus Database Lifecycle, Management Pack, Diagnostics Pack, Tuning Pack, Spatial Business Intelligence, and the Server Enterprise Edition.

    The ELA consolidates existing Oracle maintenance agreements into one agreement with a standardized period of performance of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 for each year of the performance period.

    All licenses will be owned, with a set amount for maintenance on licenses moving forward. The agreement should resolve any current compliance issues for the 11 ELA products. Overall benefits also include providing stable, locked-in prices for accurate budgeting, and a drastic reduction of administrative costs for tracking and monitoring the metrics.

    Further, the first Army-managed SharePoint licensing portal tracker is being created to allow ease of issuance and tracking.


    • ROBERT GRASSO is Deputy Project Director Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software, and Solutions. Grasso holds a B.S. in business from Monmouth University and an M.B.A. from Florida Institute of Technology. He is Level III certified in contracting and program management.

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  • OSD Unmanned Warfare Directorate Develops Online Unmanned Catalog Database

    An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crew with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team wheels out a Shadow 200 UAV for a June 7 flight at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Ghazni province, Afghanistan. The crew is assigned to 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion. (Photo by SGT Mike MacLeod)

    Since 2000, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has been publishing a 25-year road map for unmanned systems (UMS) on a regular basis. Inclusive of the 2009 edition, these road maps evolved to include an ever-growing list of DOD UMS.

    With the rapid development and increased acquisition of UMS over the last decade, these road map catalogs provided a useful but quickly outdated snapshot of DOD UMS, encompassing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned ground vehicles, and unmanned maritime systems.

    “This new catalog is a great resource for providing detailed system capabilities to the broader defense community, all at a single location.”

    The Unmanned Warfare directorate in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD (AT&L)) recognized the need for timely updates to the UMS database and modified the road map format by extracting the UMS catalog portion into an easily accessible database.

    This new online catalog database, launched in conjunction with the 2011 Unmanned System Integrated Roadmap, is now part of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center Unmanned Warfare Information Repository (UWIR).

    The UWIR, which is accessible using a Common Access Card, is at https://extranet.acq.osd.mil/uwir. It is a one-stop shop for all things unmanned, including UAS Task Force information, road maps, references, and summary charts. The site allows for quick and easy comparisons, analysis, and reporting on many variables across all of the systems of an unmanned domain. For example, a user can quickly review engine performance and manufacturer information for all UAS. The individual system pages are extensive, including system information, background, design parameters, performance, attributes, and images.

    “This new catalog is a great resource for providing detailed system capabilities to the broader defense community, all at a single location,” said David Ahern, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategic and Tactical Systems. The catalog, maintained by the OSD Unmanned Warfare directorate, is slated to become the authoritative source for unmanned system data.

    For more information, send an email to UWcatalog@osd.mil or go to https://extranet.acq.osd.mil/uwir/.


    • —USD (AT&L) Staff

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  • S&T Notebook: Robotics, Strategy, Small Units and More

    The Army Science Board conducted its Summer Study Meeting July 23-27 in Dedham, MA, after which the board formally out-briefed the findings of two current studies to Army leadership. (Photo by Randall Wingett, ASA(ALT) Graphics Design Specialist)

    Dr. Scott Fish

    This is a regular column by Dr. Scott Fish, Army Chief Scientist, on activities in the Army science and technology (S&T) community and their potential impact on Army acquisition programs.

    While this has been a busy summer with lots of activity pertaining to the future of Science and Technology (S&T) Management in the Army, the end of July and early August were packed full of reviews and actions.

    On July 25, I participated in the Congressional Robotics Caucus, co-chaired by U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Phil Gingrey (R-GA), M.D. The meeting covered a variety of subjects, but the focus was on driverless cars and supporting technologies. I described the unique requirements of such systems in the Army and the need to consider user trust when fielding unmanned systems with any degree of autonomy.

    Dr. Jim Overholt, our Robotics ST [Scientific Professional Corps expert] at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center, contributed much of the material and talking points for a possible success-oriented development path. (For more information on the ST Corps, see my article “Thought Leaders,” Army AL&T Magazine, July-Sept 2011, online at asc.army.mil.) Gingrey supported the advancement and application of this technology to save Soldiers’ lives and said that the research and development dollars spent by both industry and government were well worth the effort.

    The Army Science Board (ASB) conducted its Summer Study Meeting July 23-27 in Dedham, MA. After the ASB had completed panel reports and background writing, members voted to accept the findings and recommendations of the current studies. On July 27, the board formally presented the out-briefing of the study, “Strategic Direction for Army Science and Technology,” sponsored by the Secretary of the Army (SecArmy).

    The study contains recommendations derived from looking at the current S&T environment and familiar trends, such as the growing global and industrial investment in technology. It also looks hard at how to enhance the transition of S&T while providing more focus for our S&T Enterprise.

    The board also out-briefed the results of the study, “Small Unit Data to Decisions,” sponsored by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. This study focused on opportunities to exploit the proliferation of information sources to understand and shape the battlefield at small-unit levels.

    These studies will be briefed to the SecArmy in mid-September.

    On July 26, my Military Assistant, LTC Charles Emerson, addressed the National Research Council’s Committee on Capability Surprise on U.S. Naval Forces at the National Academies. While the council’s concern was on Naval affairs, capability surprise and ways to deal with it at strategic levels are concerns shared across the services. LTC Emerson articulated the Army’s background and experience in this area while detailing some of the ways we were addressing it in the acquisition community.

    That same week saw the completion of Israel’s Namer Infantry Combat Vehicle testing, in which my office has been involved over the past 14 months. The completion of the test objectives were the product of months of hard work and exemplary effort from the U.S. and Israeli teams. The results of this testing are valuable inputs into the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle program planning.

    The following week I attended the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Enterprise for Multiscale Research of Materials (EMRM) kickoff meeting. The EMRM builds upon ARL’s strong internal programs in multiscale materials research with the addition of two cooperative research agreements: Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments, awarded to a consortium led by the Johns Hopkins University; and Multiscale Multidisciplinary Modeling of Electronic Materials, awarded to an alliance led by the University of Utah. Over the past few years, theory, modeling, and experimental fabrication have advanced to a degree that promises exciting new advances in this field.

    I had the Integrated System Architecture (ISA) team outline and demonstrate their concepts to me recently. ISA is an effort under the Deployable Force Protection team headed by Dr. Niki Goerger in the Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology. The past decade of deployments has seen an explosion of sensor stovepipes as new technologies have rapidly augmented our forces, and I see this work as critical to guiding us to a performance-based architecture standard. The Army will overcome a huge hurdle when we sensor products are available in a common environment based on rules-based applications that can adapt over time to changing cyber threats and user needs.

    I accompanied Ms. Heidi Shyu, the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA(ALT)) for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)) and Army Acquisition Executive, when she recently visited the U.S. Army Geospatial Center (AGC). Our purpose was to gain a better understanding of geospatial support and capabilities being provided to the warfighter and to the acquisition community in general.

    I very much enjoyed the interaction with the AGC professionals as they described and demonstrated the data and analysis tools developed to inform and enhance command and control, logistics, and intelligence systems being used and refined by the Army and DOD. They made a great impression on all who participated.

    Coming Up
    Later this month, I will accompany Ms. Shyu to Sandia National Laboratories. Following that, I will be participating in an Air Force Research Council session at the Air Force Research Laboratory and a variety of cyber-security reviews and development efforts.


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  • WRAIR Investigator Receives Key Support to Develop Combined Anti-Heroin and HIV Vaccine

    WRAIR investigator Dr. Gary R. Matyas is the 2012 recipient of the NIDA Avant-Garde Award for Medications Development. (Photo by Phil Collins, WRAIR)

    Dr. Gary R. Matyas of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Avant-Garde Award for Medications Development.

    Matyas proposes to develop an effective, safe, and easily manufactured combination anti-heroin/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine that could treat heroin addiction while also preventing HIV infection in those receiving the vaccine. Matyas will receive $1 million per year for five years to support his research. He is a U.S. Army civilian at WRAIR in Silver Spring, MD. NIDA, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced the award July 25 as part of its Avant-Garde Award Program for HIV/AIDS Research.

    “This highly innovative dual-vaccine model would simultaneously address the intertwined epidemics of heroin abuse and HIV,” said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. “This is precisely the type of groundbreaking research NIDA’s Avant-Garde program was designed to support. The implications for public health are enormous.”

    The proposal stems from an existing research collaboration between NIDA and WRAIR’s U.S. Military HIV Research Program, which is supported by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. In 2010, the two organizations entered into an agreement to create a combination anti-heroin/HIV vaccine. The goal was to build upon previous preclinical research indicating that hapten-based anti-drug vaccines—in which a small molecule chemically similar to a drug of abuse (hapten) is bound to a protein carrier to induce an immune response—showed promise against a variety of abused drugs, including heroin.

    As a result of this collaboration, a combination candidate anti-heroin/HIV vaccine has been created that is ready for optimization and advanced preclinical testing. The grant award will support this next phase of research and development.

    Matyas proposes to develop an effective, safe, and easily manufactured combination anti-heroin/ human immunodeficiency virus vaccine that could treat heroin addiction while also preventing HIV infection in those receiving the vaccine. Matyas will receive $1 million per year for five years to support his research.

    “Heroin use is strongly associated with a high risk of HIV infection and represents an increasingly important worldwide health problem,” said Matyas. “The possibility of creating a combination heroin/HIV vaccine provides an important opportunity to address both a unique treatment for heroin abuse as well as continuing the quest to develop an effective preventive HIV vaccine.”

    Founded in 1893 as the Army Medical School, WRAIR now comprises two Centers of Excellence, the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) and the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience (CMPN). HIV, malaria, dengue, diarrheal diseases, and wound infections are some of the diseases under study at CIDR. CMPN performs research in the areas of brain injury, neuroprotection, sleep management, and post-traumatic stress.

    For more information on WRAIR, visit www.wrair.army.mil.


    • —WRAIR Public Affairs Office

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  • Army Fielding New Joint Medical Logistics Tool

    SSG Stephonee Payne of the 325th Combat Support Hospital processes medical supply orders for the U.S. Military Hospital Kuwait July 25, using the DMLSS 3.1.2 Prime Vendor GEN IV software. (Photo courtesy of MC4)

    Army medical logistics processes are receiving long-awaited improvements with the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support (DMLSS) 3.1.2 Prime Vendor Generation IV (GEN IV) application upgrade. The new software will reduce errors, improve customer service, and make processing, ordering, and delivery of supplies more efficient through enhanced capabilities for medical logisticians. The upgrades will affect all echelons, to include Army medical treatment facilities, medical logistics companies, and combat support hospitals.

    “We are on the cusp of achieving an Army Medical Department [AMEDD] strategic goal of a joint medical logistics enterprise solution from foxhole to sustaining base,” said Dana Baker, Chief of the Medical Logistics Informatics Division in the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG)/Medical Command, who assisted with the DMLSS upgrade. “Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine units in theater and medical treatment facilities will now share the same automated medical system.”

    DMLSS is an automated information system enabling the management of inventory, ordering of supplies, and the tracking and maintenance of medical equipment. Army medical personnel using the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) system to electronically manage medical supplies (class VIII) will soon experience new DMLSS capabilities that include price validation and catalog management.

    The DMLSS upgrades will be fielded to 61 Army units and more than 5,000 users in eight countries: the United States, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea, and Japan. About 150 MC4 users in five locations will gain use of the new medical supply interface this fall.

    Universal Training
    Training for DMLSS and other U.S. Army Medical Logistics tools will be made universal. A similar design framework was used for DMLSS and the DMLSS Customer Assistance Module, another application for managing class VIII supplies, for which MC4 users are set to receive updates later this year. Using this similar look and feel reduces the learning curve and streamlines crossover among applications, among other enhancements.

    “Improved catalog data, synchronized to an authoritative data source and providing one-stop shopping for complete, accurate, and up-to-date vendor catalog data is the major enhancement for GEN IV users,” Baker said. “The ultimate goal is to reduce pricing errors. These enhancements are a result of feedback from users, inefficiencies, and corrupted data that we [OTSG] identified.”

    Moving forward, the catalog will look the same on every computer and will connect to a medical master catalog authoritative source. This improvement will reduce the cost of goods, improve the identity and accessibility of items, and facilitate medical-surgical standardization efforts.

    “We are on the cusp of achieving an Army Medical Department [AMEDD] strategic goal of a joint medical logistics enterprise solution from foxhole to sustaining base. Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine units in theater and medical treatment facilities will now share the same automated medical system.”

    The three-year project to upgrade DMLSS to 3.1.2 will be implemented by August 2013; at that time, the Army will turn off a legacy system, the Theater Army Medical Materiel Information System, a medical supply app dating to the 1990s. No longer will Soldiers have to work with green screens and function keys to manage medical supply orders, because DMLSS has a graphic user interface that provides a modern look and feel.

    “Migrating to a joint medical logistics enterprise system positions us to embrace shared services and data,” Baker said. “The Army won’t have to support and resource an AMEDD-unique medical logistics system anymore.”

    About MC4
    MC4 integrates, fields, and supports a comprehensive medical information system, enabling lifelong electronic medical records, streamlined medical logistics, and enhanced situational awareness for Army operational forces. The Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, Fort Belvoir, VA, oversees the MC4 Product Management Office at Fort Detrick, MD.

    Since 2003, MC4 has enabled the capture of more than 17 million electronic patient encounters in the combat zone. MC4 has also trained 64,000 medical staff and commanders, and fielded 51,000 systems to 2,400 units with medical personnel, to include Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and active units in 15 countries.

    For more information on MC4, visit www.mc4.army.mil.


    • —MC4 Public Affairs

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  • Enterprise Information Award Submissions Due Sept. 14

    Submissions for the Association for Enterprise Information (AFEI) 2012 Excellence in Enterprise Information Awards are due by the close of business Sept. 14. The awards are given to government and industry project teams that display excellence, innovation, and best practices in information management and information technology.

    The award winners are selected based on the following criteria: innovation; financial impact; operational consequence; and cultural change.

    Nominations opened July 16 and will close Sept. 14. Winners will be notified the week of Oct. 15. Nomination forms are available by sending an email request to Betsy Lauer (blauer@afei.org). Please include the name and organization of the person(s) requesting the nomination.

    For more information on the award program, go to www.afei.org and click on “About” then “AFEI Awards.”

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  • Acquisition Education and Training Corner

    Education and Training Opportunities

    The Competitive Development Group – Army Acquisition Fellows (CDG/AAF) announcement will be open from Aug. 27 to Nov. 15 to all eligible personnel in grades GS-12 through GS-13 or broadband/pay equivalent positions who are Level III certified in any career field. The CDG/AAF Program is a three-year developmental program that offers assignments in program executive offices and offices of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology; Headquarters, U.S. Army Materiel Command; and functional organizations. In addition, the program provides expanded training, leadership, experiential, and other career development opportunities. For more information, visit http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/competitive-development-group-army-acquisition-fellowship/announcements/.

    The Acquisition Leadership Challenge Program (ALCP) is the newest program in the Army’s Acquisition Education and Training Portfolio. Based upon the huge success that our sister service, the U.S. Air Force, has had with ALCP, we piloted multiple offerings of the 2.5-day course in FY12. For FY13, we are bringing the course to you. ALCP teaches that self-awareness is the key to both leadership and diversity development, and helps people to create an innovative culture through understanding each individual’s preferences and behaviors, paying close attention not only to how they interact with co-workers, but also to how others view them. This approach includes addressing people’s unconscious biases to help them discover new approaches to doing things, and emphasizes the strength and power in accepting individual differences to produce a stronger “whole.” The ALCP training will ensure that people can communicate with their supervisors through a common language and will help develop leaders who value individual styles and behaviors, creating a leadership corps that is more capable of critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.

    ALCP is broken into two separate, 2.5-day courses. ALCP I, for grades GS-12/13, focuses on the following areas:

    • Personal leadership strengths and weaknesses.
    • Preferred leadership styles.
    • Modeling leadership challenges.
    • Using power to increase productivity.
    • Cultural traits that affect organizational performance.
    • Practical solutions to personnel issues.
    • Setting and achieving goals.

    ALCP II, for GS-14/15, focuses on:

    • A comprehensive look at personal leadership strengths, weaknesses, preferences, styles, and behaviors.
    • Leadership styles and their effects on individual and team performance.
    • Dynamics of conflict: its sources, nature, and techniques to influence outcomes.
    • Improving group communication.
    • Collaborative teamwork.
    • Effective enterprise leadership.
    • Supports and barriers to success in the acquisition environment.
    • Setting goals and developing practical strategies to reach them.

    For more information, visit http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/acquisition-leadership-challenge-program/.

    Look for announcements coming out shortly for early FY13 offerings.

    FY13 ALCP Plan
    Oct. 29 – Nov. 2 Level I & Level II Atlanta, GA
    Nov. 5-9 Level I & Level II Alexandria, VA
    Dec. 3-7 Level I & Level II Huntsville, AL
    Jan. 14-18, 2013 Level I & Level II Atlanta, GA
    Feb. 25-March 1 Back-to-back Level I offerings Huntsville, AL
    March 11-15 Level I & Level II Huntsville, AL
    April 29 -May 3 Level I & Level II Aberdeen, MD
    May 20-24 Level I & Level II Atlanta, GA
    June 10-14 Back-to-back Level I offerings Warren, MI
    July 29 – Aug. 2 Level I & Level II Huntsville, AL
    Aug. 19-23 Back-to-back Level I offerings Aberdeen, MD


    Defense Acquisition University Training

    The FY13 Defense Acquisition University (DAU) class schedule has been available for registration since May 17. Students should continue to apply for courses available in FY12 and on the FY13 schedule. Planning and applying early will afford students a better chance of obtaining a class in the timeframe requested. Encourage your supervisor to approve your training request as soon as you apply. Students should view the DAU iCatalog at http://icatalog.dau.mil/onlinecatalog/AllPredecessor.aspx to ensure that they meet the prerequisite(s) before applying to a DAU course. Applications cannot be processed by the Army registrar’s office until the supervisor has approved the training.

    Apply through the Army Training Requirements (ATRRS) and Resources Internet Training Application System (AITAS) at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/aitas. For more information on DAU training, including systematic instructions, training priority definition, and frequently asked questions, visit http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/defense-acquisition-university-training/. Once you receive a confirmed reservation in the requested class, ensure that you attend the class as scheduled. 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, to avoid a “no show.”

    DAU revised its student academic and administrative policies and procedures (Directive 704). The document supersedes and consolidates previous DAU student academic policies and procedures. You can view the revised directive at https://myclass.dau.mil/bbcswebdav/institution/Courses/Deployed/01_CurriculumDocumentation/Student%20Info%20and%20Policy/DIR%20704%20Student%20Academic%20Policies.pdf.

    The AITAS help inquiry system stood down on June 4. Any workforce-related inquires, such as on DAU training, Individual Development Plans, and Acquisition Career Record Brief issues, should be submitted through the Workforce Management Inquiry system within CAMP/CAPPMIS (https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/). If you are logged into CAMP, click on “Help Request” for assistance. Otherwise, you may open a ticket without logging into CAMP at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/index.cfm?fuseaction=support.helpRequest.

    DAU provides a list of equivalencies for all courses it delivers 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 Acquisition Career Record Brief be updated to reflect completion of DAU equivalent courses.

    The end of FY12 is fast approaching. Acquisition workforce members who have not met their Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act position requirements should apply for certification through the Certification Management System at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/. Certification requirements can change each fiscal year; changes normally are effective on Oct. 1. For certification requirements, facts, and frequently asked questions, visit http://icatalog.dau.mil/onlinecatalog/CareerLvl.aspx.

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  • PM TRADE Takes Aim at Training with Indirect Fire

    The mortar collar holds a simulated round during a training exercise. These add-ons for the mortar allow Soldiers to operate their equipment and provide an opportunity to join in FOF training. (U.S. Army photos courtesy of PM TRADE)

    Todd Kosis

    Historically, more combat casualties have been attributed to indirect fire weapons than any other means. Today, in the live force-on-force (FOF) training environment, the indirect fire weapon systems and the Soldiers who use them have no way to be included.

    That is about to change.

    For the first time, we can put the indirect fire teams directly in the middle of the live FOF training environment, at both their home stations and the Combat Training Centers. In the past, indirect fire teams have been left on the sidelines because they didn’t have a training device to perform their crew duties on indirect fire weapon systems. This new training system fills the gap, training Soldiers effectively on individual and collective tasks.

    The indirect fire training system relies on an instrumentation system that provides the means to send the indirect fire shot messages against existing Instrumentable – Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System targets.

    Brigade combat team (BCT) fire support (FS) includes Army indirect fires, joint fires, and offensive information operations (IO). The success of this support depends on effective interaction among the BCT fires, BCT staff, S-7, and supporting IO units. The fires section’s primary functions include, but are not limited to, planning, coordinating, synchronizing, and executing Army indirect FS and joint fires in BCT operations.

    The indirect fire training device will allow the fire support elements to be active participants in the live FOF training events. No fire support element can be complete without having eyes on target. The forward observer (FO) will now be incorporated into the live FOF training event to provide the closed-loop training solution.

    This indirect fire training capability brings together the three key elements that form the basis of indirect fire in a closed-loop approach: the FO kit, which provides eyes on the target; the fire detection center, which calculates the angle of fire, distance, type of mortar, etc.; and the mortar element, where the Soldiers hang and fire the mortars.

    “You can’t shoot real targets unless you’re at war. This system replicates the entire fire mission process,” said Armour Brown, a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Capabilities Manager Fires representative, who tested the new system. “The only thing you can’t do is smell the gunpowder.”

    The indirect fire training system relies on an instrumentation system that provides the means to send the indirect fire shot messages against existing Instrumentable – Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES) targets. The indirect fire support system comprises three separate kits—a dismount kit, a mortar kit, and an FO kit.

    The dismount kit consists of an instrumented radio system and a player unit the Soldier wears that interfaces with the MILES. The mortar kit consists of the mortar simulator round, collar insert, optical sensor, and weapons orientation modular processing unit. The FO kit consists of a tablet and player unit. These components communicate wirelessly through a personal area network.

    A Soldier views information on his FO tablet during a training exercise. Using the tablet, Soldiers can view the field for targets and provide data back to the fire direction center in a manner similar to live exercises, allowing for a better training experience.

    When employing a mortar weapon system, the first thing the crew does is establish the grid position for each weapon and a direction that the crew will use to make fire adjustments. The mortar kit is attached to the weapon system, capturing azimuth and elevation adjustments made by the crew in real time. It also captures the type of round, fuze settings, number of charges, and the arming of the round. All of this information passes to the instrumentation system, where flight characteristics are applied and the impact point is determined.

    The FO kit consists of a player unit and an FO tablet. With the tablet, the FO has full view of the battlefield, allowing him or her to locate and identify targets, visualize round impacts, and apply the appropriate fire adjustments to effectively deliver indirect fires. “We have successfully demonstrated that an FO with a tablet can accurately call for fire and adjust onto target in a field environment by virtual means,” said SFC Roger Wilson, a 13F (fire support specialist) representative from Fort Sill, OK, who is familiar with the new training device.

    This new indirect fire training capability is a huge advancement for the FOs and the artillery and mortar crews. Not only will it fill a critical training gap, but it comes at a good time. With all DoD agencies looking at their budgets, the Army now can evaluate the training effectiveness of indirect fires without expending live munitions. This training system will provide Soldiers and crews the ability to exercise the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver effective indirect fires on targets in combat.


    • TODD KOSIS is Project Director for the One Tactical Engagement Simulation System program, where he develops Weapon Orientation Modules for Program Manager Training Devices (PM TRADE) Live Training Systems within Program Executive Office Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). He has more than 20 years’ experience as a Lead Engineer and Project Director in the development of combat systems and Tactical Engagement Simulation Systems in the U.S. Military. He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Auburn University.

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  • GFEBS Completes Final Step to Full Deployment

    After working for 24 years in legacy systems, Budget Analyst Cheryl Brophy now processes actions in the GFEBS system. (Photo by Pamella B. Gray, PM GFEBS).

    Pamella B. Gray

    At a time of increased scrutiny of government spending, the General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) is moving forward to transform the way Army manages its finance and real property accounting. On July 1, GFEBS completed the final wave for full deployment to support more than 50,000 customers worldwide by facilitating the management of nearly $140 billion in the General Fund and an additional $80 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funds.

    Previously, the Army’s finances were tracked by multiple systems that were increasingly inefficient, costly, and outdated, some more than 30 years old. To gain visibility over finances and inventories, many Army commands established their own methods and internal systems. With no clear and complete picture of resources, these antiquated and fragmented systems affected military leaders’ ability to make informed decisions. This ultimately affected the Soldier.

    GFEBS transformed this situation. The GFEBS solution will subsume 107 legacy systems into an enterprise-wide system integrating financial, real property, cost management, and performance data. Leaders now have visibility of data not previously available through a single access point, taking into account the true costs of operations, functions, and organizations when making budget decisions to support warfighting capabilities. GFEBS allows leadership to make smarter, faster decisions, whether provisioning troops in the midst of battle to budget planning.

    The GFEBS solution will subsume 107 legacy systems into an enterprise-wide system integrating financial, real property, cost management, and performance data.

    “GFEBS has enabled new financial management capabilities to more than 52,000 end users at 227 locations in 71 countries,” said COL Patrick Burden, the Project Manager for GFEBS. “We have standardized business processes across the active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve.”

    GFEBS is not an update of existing legacy systems, but an integrated, web-based solution replacing outdated systems used across the Army and by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

    GFEBS has enabled new financial management capabilities to more than 52,000 end users at 227 locations in 71 countries.

    “GFEBS is an unprecedented leap forward in Army financial management,” said Edward Quick, Deputy Project Manager for GFEBS. “It will fulfill the mandates for audit readiness and fiscal responsibility.”

    GFEBS is the Army’s response to the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, which requires federal agencies to centralize their finance systems to better account for spending, and the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996, requiring that federal financial management systems provide accurate, reliable, and timely information to the government’s managers.

    As the largest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Army has more than 550,000 Soldiers on active duty. With the more than half-million members of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, as well as more than 279,000 civilians, “GFEBS touches everyone in the Department of the Army,” Burden said.

    In the past three years, GFEBS grew from 1 million transactions and $1.2 billion in obligations in FY09 to 20 million transactions and $30.8 billion in obligations in FY11. GFEBS currently processes approximately 1 million transactions a day and $140 billion of the general fund annually.

    “Reaching the full deployment in only seven years places GFEBS as the Army’s flagship Enterprise Resource Planning system,” Burden said. “This initiative is unmatched in the Army and has come to fruition through the efforts of many dedicated personnel.”

    GFEBS focuses on simplicity and efficiency for the end user. A member of the Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) family of systems, GFEBS reduces financial complexity and promotes standardization, driving improved end-to-end processes, improved compliance with congressional directives, audit-ready financial information, increased internal and management controls, and, most important, timely and accurate data to make informed business and mission decisions that support Soldiers.

    “GFEBS’ achievement of the full deployment milestone will be an excellent example of how the Army is providing cutting-edge infrastructure and information management system solutions to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges,” said Doug Wiltsie, the Program Executive Officer EIS. “The GFEBS team and our strategic partners throughout the Army and DoD have worked tirelessly as a team to mark an important advancement in the Army’s technology evolution.”

    System users will realize these benefits, explained MAJ Scott Geary, National Guard Bureau Resource Oversight Branch Chief, because “GFEBS has allowed us to better manage how we execute [these] funds by providing better interoperability with contracting systems, clearer visibility of fund status, and reporting tools that allow improved data analysis from previous systems.”


    • PAMELLA B. GRAY is the Communications Specialist for PM GFEBS. She holds a B.A. in secondary English education from the University of Northern Iowa.

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