Faces of the Force: Lt. Col. Brian Watson

Faces of the Force: Lt. Col. Brian Watson

POSITION AND UNIT: Chief of Platform Integration, Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 8 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 18 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in program management; Level I in contracting EDUCATION: MBA, Colorado State University; B.S. in geology, Washington State University AWARDS: Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal (4 Oak Leaf Clusters); Parachutist Badge; Department of the Army Staff Badge Leveraging TARDEC’s ‘50-Pound Brains’ By Susan L. Follett Lt. Col. Brian Watson admits that, early in his development as a program manager, he didn’t devote a lot of attention to systems engineering. But that changed two years ago, […]

Customer contact

Customer  contact

Responding to unique contracting challenges, DOD has made a major strategic change in contingency contracting administration services to support U.S. forces in Africa—from the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army and Joseph Kony to the Ebola outbreak—that makes it easier to get needed services and supplies to the customer, much more rapidly. By Maj. Justin L. De Armond Africa is an extremely challenging environment that requires contracting officials know their craft and be able to understand and adapt to each customer’s requirements. This is especially true for those in the noncommissioned officer (NCO) 51C acquisition military occupational specialty. The 51C’s roles and responsibilities encompass contract administration, employing different contracting actions […]

Keeping design on target

Keeping design on target

PM Soldier Weapons teams with ARL’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate and the Maneuver CoE to incorporate human systems integration early in weapon system development, to ensure that weapons are designed to work in harmony with other systems and equipment. By Dr. Gabriella Brick Larkin, Mr. Joshua Charm, Maj. Aron Hauquitz and Maj. Adam Patten Technology may advance in leaps and bounds, but the physical and cognitive abilities of people who use technology stay much the same. History tells us the performance of new products is better when human performance is among the factors considered during the design and development process. What does this mean to the military materiel developer? […]

Partner nations evaluate digital call-for-fires at Bold Quest

Partner nations evaluate digital call-for-fires at Bold Quest

By Mrs. Nancy Jones-Bonbrest FORT BLISS, Texas (Oct. 13, 2015) — The thunder of artillery echoed across the New Mexico desert, but this was not a normal Army training mission. Instead artillery units representing seven countries were participating in a live-fire event. For the first time, multinational coalition partners passed calls for artillery fire support digitally between nations, resulting in U.S. and Norwegian howitzers and U.S. High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, being fired on target. Part of Bold Quest 15.2, the live fire event, which took place Oct. 2-3, included seven nations with seven different fire support command and control systems. Yet a language barrier didn’t exist, thanks […]

Col. Michael Thurston, Project Manager for Mission Command, lays out the essentials

Col. Michael Thurston, Project Manager for Mission Command, lays out the essentials

By Ms. Nancy Jones-Bonbrest There’s a fundamental rule on the battlefield: To command effectively, you must be able to communicate. The Army continues its push to modernize mission command capabilities and embrace rapidly emerging technology against a backdrop of fiscal constraints and a volatile global security environment. At the same time, it remains focused on delivering to commanders and Soldiers the information they need to execute decisive actions anytime, anywhere and on any device. To implement this vision, the Army’s Project Manager for Mission Command (PM MC), assigned to the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T), is working aggressively to transition stand-alone mission command […]

Hot Topics 2.0

Hot Topics 2.0

Army DACM Office introduces Hot Topics 2.0 By Tara Clements and Marti Giella FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Oct. 6, 2015) – Hot Topics is back, providing a monthly breakdown of current news, important dates and updates affecting the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW). Developed by the Office of the Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM), Hot Topics 2.0 is designed to provide the AAW an overview of what’s new related to acquisition careers, current training opportunities and changes, as well as a look at new opportunities on the horizon. “We understand how challenging it is to stay on track with all of the opening and closing dates for career opportunities—especially given our […]

Lessons learned in FMS

Lessons learned in FMS

By Col. Michael E. Sloane and Mr. Charles Meixner Foreign military sales (FMS) are a team sport. Success requires a great deal of coordination and contributions from the Army acquisition enterprise and other Army-specific agencies that participate in the FMS process with partner nations, including the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and the U.S. Department of State, among others. FMS cases require the support of life-cycle management commands; research, development and engineering commands; and program executive offices (PEOs). One of the primary reasons that FMS is a team sport, and a vigorous one at that, is […]

Innovation to win in a complex world

Innovation to win in a complex world

FROM THE ARMY ACQUISITION EXECUTIVE THE HONORABLE HEIDI SHYU Investing in S&T to confront the future threat In October 2014, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command rolled out the latest Army Operating Concept (AOC), titled “Win in a Complex World.” This AOC details how the Army of the future will strengthen capabilities across multiple domains as part of a joint partnership to ensure dominance against “determined, elusive, and increasingly capable enemies.” Simultaneously, it challenges our forces to “conduct expeditionary maneuver through rapid deployment and transition to operations.” The increasing proliferation of technologies to diverse and capable enemies means the Army must be prepared for a wider and more varied threat […]

Faces of the Force: Brad Costello

Faces of the Force: Brad Costello

POSITION AND UNIT: Operations officer, Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems, Program Executive Office for Ammunition YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 5 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II, program management; Level I, business and financial management EDUCATION: B.A. in business administration, Centenary College AWARDS: Commander’s Award for Civilian Service Never enough time By Susan L. Follett Brad Costello is good at juggling. “I usually have 10 or 15 taskers open at one time, in addition to my usual work. There’s never enough time in my day.” As operations officer for Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems (PM CAS) in the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Ammunition, Costello and his team answer “about 400 to […]

Army AL&T magazine explores innovation

Army AL&T magazine explores innovation

By Steve Stark FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Sept. 28, 2015) – Innovation is often assumed to be the next big thing, but more often, it’s incremental upgrades to the way things are done, built or contracted. That’s why Army AL&T’s Editorial Advisory Board wanted us to focus on innovative approaches to acquisition. We made it the theme for the October – December edition of Army AL&T, which is online now and will be available in hard copy at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting & Exposition. This newest edition of Army AL&T is packed with ways that organizations have innovated to make processes work more smoothly, from acquiring […]