World-Class Technology, According to Plan

World-Class Technology, According to Plan

By Ms. Argie Sarantinos-Perrin Information-gathering drones swarm the air as unmanned Army vehicles push just ahead of infantry Soldiers into a mega-city overflowing with people, vehicles and high rises. Army cyber warriors fight a silent battle for the city’s internet of things while an unmanned warship shoots down an aircraft, which explodes in the air, creating a massive fireball and a barrage of fragments that plummet to the ground. Meanwhile, the first artillery crew to the battle is trading targeting and friendly forces information with Air Force bombers and Navy gunners. The technologies in this future multi-domain battle scenario may seem far-reaching, but the Army’s primary science and technology arm, […]

A look at leader development: Grace under pressure

A look at leader development: Grace under pressure

By Tara Clements I remember very clearly answering a phone call from my director late December 2016 and being stunned at the news: I had been selected to represent the Army for the 2018 DOD Executive Leader Development Program (ELDP). Fast forward to October 2017: I found myself in Southbridge, Massachusetts, gaining not only the education needed to continue to grow as a DOD civilian, but the experience, too. Over the next eight months, I’ll share my experiences with ELDP to provide a ‘peek behind the curtain’ in an effort to show others what this leader development program is like. My hope is that by sharing my experience, it answers […]

How many robots does it take?

How many robots does it take?

THEN & NOW 2007 & 2018 Then: a veritable ‘petting zoo’ of 7,000 unique robots, each slightly different to operate and expensive to maintain. Now: the challenge of getting all the functions of those 7,000 on just three main robotic platforms. by Ms. Mary Kate Aylward  It’s an arresting image: A dog—well, a “dog”—loose in the Sonoran Desert moves through a group of empty cars and trucks, sniffing around before halting and signaling to its handlers. Army personnel arrive on scene to dismantle the bomb identified by the “dog,” which is in fact a robot equipped with a powerful sensor that detects vapors or particles emanating from explosive devices. It […]

For new DLA director Williams, it’s all about people

For new DLA director Williams, it’s all about people

Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams was named director of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) in May 2017, replacing Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch. For Williams, who previously served as commanding general of U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command’s Sustainment Center of Excellence at Fort Lee, Virginia, this assignment marks a homecoming of sorts: From September 2010 to July 2012, he served as the commander of DLA Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio. In September, he met with the editors of Loglines to spell out where the agency’s strengths lie, and where improvements will be focused over the next few years. Loglines: This is your second tour with DLA. Does that […]

Homing in on a contracting career

Homing in on a contracting career

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Mission and Installation Contracting Command – Fort Bragg POSITION: Contracting officer YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 9 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in contracting EDUCATION: M.A. in procurement and acquisitions management, Webster University; B.A. in sociology and social work, Fayetteville State University AWARDS: ‘Commander’s Civilian of the Quarter Award; Achievement Award for Civilian Service Homing in on a contracting career Nicole Jones came to the acquisition workforce nine years ago, opting to leave a job in human resources in Northern Virginia for the chance to move back to her hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. She found a position as a contract specialist for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC) […]

Money to burn

Money to burn

Making sure your ‘burn rate’ doesn’t overheat can be the difference between a successful program and toast. by John T. Dillard, Col., USA (Ret.) I still remember how it went that day in November. It was way back in the 1990s, and at the time I was a major serving as the assistant project manager for the development of the Javelin anti-tank missile system. We were right in the middle of our 36-month engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) effort. The boss assembled a few of us in the conference room. He said, “We have to call for a DAB [Defense Acquisition Board]—this program is going to need a formal re-baselining. […]

Start the fire

Start the fire

As it has done in the past, the Army needs to leverage innovation for modernization success. by Col. Joseph Capobianco A spark, fuel and oxygen. As simple as these elements are, if one is missing, fire won’t exist. Similarly, there’s a triad of elements that must come together for innovation to occur. The Army is now trying to leverage this “fire” of innovation to solve the modernization problems of the past two decades. Achieving innovation requires much more than looking at resource use, assigning prioritization or adjusting organizational constructs. It demands addressing the driving force (the spark), building talented teams (the fuel), and fostering a supportive environment (the oxygen). Real […]

Holding all the ‘ACE’s

Holding all the ‘ACE’s

How one Army product office used strategic acquisition to drive competition and improve readiness in a specialized market dominated by two vendors. by Ms. Kimberly Davidson and Mr. James Christophersen Late on a January afternoon in Texas in 2015, gunfire shattered the typical silence and echoed through the halls of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical clinic at Fort Bliss. In a scene too familiar to Americans today, active shooter alarms sounded in the William Beaumont Army Medical Center and two nearby schools—thousands of innocent people were suddenly in danger. Within two minutes of the first shots, a handful of first responders entered the building. Behind the scenes, multiple […]

Making hazard detection safer

Making hazard detection safer

Mr. Phillyp Lawson TITLE: Project Officer ORGANIZATION: Project Manager for Close Combat Systems, Program Executive Office for Ammunition Making hazard detection safer Phillyp Lawson works as project officer on the Standoff Robotic Explosive Hazard Detection (SREHD) System. The program sets out to accomplish three important missions: to detect explosive hazards, mark a clear path for Soldiers to traverse and neutralize a threat when the system identifies unexploded ordnance. “I get to come to work and play with robots,” said Lawson, who has been a project officer/project lead on the SREHD system for about 14 months. “My eight-year-old self is living my dream career, and I get to see the development […]

Harnessing the sun

Harnessing the sun

AMSAA looks at advances in solar energy as a way to maintain the batteries powering infrequently-used Army vehicles. by Mr. Kevin Guite and Mr. Brian Frymiare For those holding onto a restored 1968 Camaro in the garage or that old Ford F100 inherited from your uncle and sitting under the backyard tree, it should not be a shock to find that the batteries in those vehicles exemplify the axiom “use it or lose it.” The Army faces a similar challenge, though one of far greater magnitude, with its vast fleet of tactical wheeled vehicles (TWVs), which make up nearly 65 percent of the Army’s total vehicle inventory. The TWV category—approximately […]