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 […]

Army scouts latest drone technology at SOCOM ThunderDrone event

Army scouts latest drone technology at SOCOM ThunderDrone event

YBOR CITY, Fla. (November 6, 2017) — Enter the unassuming brick building in historic Ybor City, Fl. and there’s the buzz of drones in the air and sound of robots on the ground. There’s an autonomous drone that launches from a moving truck or boat to support a convoy on the move, then tracks the vehicle while orbiting around and monitoring nearby threats. There’s a pistol-packing robot that can sneak into buildings, climb stairs, send 360-degree views of the site and then lock on a target and shoot. And there are drones that work together in a swarm to relay information and then autonomously reconfigure their position to reestablish communications […]

Sign me up, Coach!

Sign me up, Coach!

by Joyce Junior Eighteen colleagues from the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) recently completed the first ever Coaching Pilot Program, offered by the Army Director of Career Management (DACM) Office and launched in June 2017. The participants were partnered with experienced and certified executive coaches and met regularly through the end of September. This pilot and talent management initiative is in accord with the AAW Human Capital Strategic Plan (HCSP), and participants included AAW members from the Army DACM Office, the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Soldier and the PEO for Enterprise Information Systems. The pilot included both group and individual sessions. Eighteen people participated in individual coaching and 15 participated […]

Changing network, new name

Changing network, new name

In continuing evolution of its network, Army renames WIN-T program office PM Tactical Network by Ms. Amy Walker As the Army continues to modernize its network in today’s complex world, it has renamed its tactical communications network transport program office from the Project Manager for Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (PM WIN-T) to PM Tactical Network. The new name, which the Army initiated over a year ago, more accurately reflects the numerous programs within the PM’s portfolio, not just the core at-the-halt WIN-T Increment 1 and on-the-move WIN-T Increment 2. PM Tactical Network still manages WIN-T Increment 1 and WIN-T Increment 2, and those names will remain the same. But […]

November Hot Topics

November Hot Topics

Army DACM Office Updates The money is in! The Army received its FY18 Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund (DAWDF) allocation on Oct. 23, 2017. Work with your DAWDF Program Analyst, adjust those spend plans and begin immediate execution of any pre-approved training initiatives! Ethics Training, this is not a drill! Get that requirement knocked out. The 2017 Annual ethics training requirement is due Dec. 31. Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) members are required to complete some form of ethics training every calendar year. Here are your options: Attend any installation or organizational judge advocate general-sponsored ethics training (ETH 004). Overview of Acquisition Ethics (CLM 003) – DAU Continuous Learning Module. Ethics […]