Army researchers demonstrate 3-D printed drones

Army researchers demonstrate 3-D printed drones

By David McNally, ARL Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Dec. 28, 2016) — Soldiers witnessed the innovation of Army researchers recently during flight testing of 3-D printed unmanned aircraft systems that were created on-demand for specific missions. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command invited engineers from the Army Research Laboratory to Fort Benning, Georgia Dec. 1-3, to showcase new technology at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments, or AEWE. “We’ve created a process for converting Soldier mission needs into a 3-D printed On-Demand Small Unmanned Aircraft System, or ODSUAS, as we’ve been calling it,” said Eric Spero, team leader and project manager. With this concept, once a patrol requires […]

Unintended Benefits

Unintended Benefits

USASAC’s FMS efforts around the world benefit warfighters, industry and the defense acquisition community closer to home. Ms. Adriane Elliot, USASAC Public Affairs Like its embattled cousin acquisition reform, strategic acquisition faces long-standing challenges, among them navigating a complex, billion-dollar bureaucracy. As experts debate ways to perfect the defense acquisition process, one Alabama-based command is making an impact close to home with an international approach. The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, manages security assistance programs and $176 billion in foreign military sales (FMS) cases. With support from DOD agencies, American industry and its higher headquarters, the U.S. Army Materiel Command, USASAC provides materiel, training and […]

Big ‘A’ Acquisition

Big ‘A’ Acquisition

From the Director, Acquisition Career Management Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson Achieving dominance starts early, at weapon system design, and continues to procurement, testing and deployment all the way to sustainment and disposal. In a global security environment that is increasingly uncertain and complex, the threats and challenges of tomorrow will be overcome with the weapon systems and equipment we develop, modernize and procure today. To maintain land force dominance, we must view acquisition as a comprehensive process that takes us from the design of weapon systems to procurement, testing, deployment, sustainment and disposal. Known as “big ‘A’ acquisition,” this process involves many stakeholders, including Congress, the industrial base, the […]

Reuse, Refine, Resolve

Reuse, Refine, Resolve

The Joint Tactical Networking Center shares lessons learned in providing software-defined radio products to enable strategic acquisition. by Lt. Col. Matthew A. “Matt” Jury It is much easier to define the concepts of strategic acquisition—making it more efficient, more economical and more sensible throughout the life cycle—than to put them into practice for any given program. While the concepts make sense, executing truly strategic acquisition requires process improvements, culture changes, modifications to DOD issuances and reinforcement of strategic guidance, such as that in Better Buying Power (BBP) 3.0. Since its establishment in 2012 to offer technical expertise on wireless communications, the Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC) has assisted program management […]

Hockey and the USO: USAASC closes the year with special activities

Hockey and the USO: USAASC closes the year with special activities

Kristine Faria As 2016 came to a close, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) personnel came together for two activities that brought special meaning to a long-standing sports rivalry and helped out those in need this holiday season. On Dec. 5, USAASC’s very own Lt. Col. Alex Babington took to the ice at Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Center as part of an Army-Navy hockey game that featured local military players. The result of coordination between Gen. Mark Milley, U.S. Army chief of staff (COS), and the Washington Capitals professional hockey organization, the game ramped up excitement for the year’s Army-Navy football game and kicked off a week of spirited rivalry between […]

Hacking for defense

Hacking for defense

Started at Stanford and soon to be nationwide, this class turns college students loose on national security problems, and expects results. by Mr. William Treseder and Mr. Darren Halford Team AquaLink started off in the wrong direction. The team, part of a class at Stanford University called Hacking for Defense, was working on a problem for U.S. Navy divers, who work for sometimes 12 or more hours at depths of 60 to 200 feet. Currently divers have no way to monitor their core temperature, maximum dive pressure, blood pressure or pulse, which would provide early warnings of hypothermia or decompression sickness (the bends). The goal was to provide a wearable […]

JUST CAALL

JUST CAALL

A suite of changes to the acquisition lessons learned portal makes it easier to learn from others who’ve fought similar battles. by Mr. Steve Stark and Mr. Robert E. Coultas In April 2016, Karen Price needed guidance on an acquisition procedure that her office had encountered for the first time. Price is a senior logistics management specialist for the Joint Product Office for Elimination, part of the Joint Project Manager Guardian within the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. Her office was brand new at the time, and she reached out to the Center for Army Acquisition Lessons Learned (CAALL), within the U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis […]

Speed and Urgency in Silicon Valley

Speed and Urgency in Silicon Valley

With a startup mindset, military know-how and a wide-ranging network of technology partners, Peter Newell, the former head of the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, and Jackie Space, a former Air Force officer and space systems program manager, work to construct a bridge between DOD and the high-tech innovators of Silicon Valley through BMNT Partners. By Army AL&T Magazine To get lifesaving technologies to the battlefield, BMNT brings together defense officials, warfighters and experts in computing, big data, cybersecurity, energy, robotics and other areas that have military applications—and which are now dominated by tech companies, not traditional defense contractors. Using cutting-edge methodologies developed in Silicon Valley, BMNT gets a diverse roomful […]

Faces of the Force: Catherine J. “Jainie” Bell

Faces of the Force: Catherine J. “Jainie” Bell

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command – Fort Knox POSITION AND TITLE: Procurement Analyst, Government Purchase Card Program Manager DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in contracting YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 14 years AWARDS: Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, Recognition Letter from the Office of the Secretary of Defense EDUCATION: Bachelor of General Studies, Western Kentucky University ‘I thought I had died and gone to heaven’ By Susan L. Follett Although she has been in acquisition for just 14 years, Catherine J. “Jainie” Bell’s federal civilian career dates back to the mid-1980s, when she left the banking industry for better-paying opportunities in the Army. “Banks were notorious for low […]

Contract Optimization in Afghanistan Pays Big Dividends

Contract Optimization in Afghanistan Pays Big Dividends

Being a good steward of taxpayer dollars means thinking and acting decisively. That’s just what CCAS and ECC-A did—examining and consolidating the contracts under its purview to make it easier and cheaper for to operational commanders to obtain services for their troops. by Mr. Gordon Jones Sustaining joint forces to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army requires the efficient use of contract resources. Within 30 days of standing up the Contingency Contract Administration Service (CCAS) team’s mission in Afghanistan, senior staff elements of United Stated Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) approached the Expeditionary Contracting Command – Afghanistan (ECC-A) for assistance in evaluating a recommendation to […]