Faces of the Force: Product Manager Waveforms

Faces of the Force: Product Manager Waveforms

BICOASTAL TEAM PROVIDES KEY WAVEFORMS FOR RADIOS by Ms. Argie Sarantinos-Perrin When a Soldier needs to communicate, he picks up his radio and starts talking. He doesn’t think about how his radio works. When Soldiers rely on their radios to talk, send texts and share data, it is the networking waveforms that connect the radio “box” and enable the radio to function and perform different tasks. For instance, some waveforms provide network connectivity between Soldiers on the ground and in the air, and other waveforms provide connectivity between Soldiers who are spread across large distances or in mountainous areas. The Product Manager (PM) Waveforms team, which comprises a staff in […]

Affordable, not cheap

Affordable, not cheap

Overcoming acquisition reform challenges with cost-saving solutions From The Army Acquisition Executive The Honorable Katrina McFarland Following his confirmation as secretary of the Army in May 2016, the Hon. Eric Fanning listed acquisition reform as one of his top priorities for enhancing the Army’s force readiness. Acquisition reform has been of particular focus in the Army acquisition community as we face the challenges of continued budgetary instability. Against that backdrop of a constrained fiscal environment, and as part of a larger movement toward enhancing readiness across the force, this endeavor calls for a whole-Army approach to rethinking how we conduct acquisition. Acquisition reform does not rest solely in the hands […]

October 2016 Hot Topics

October 2016 Hot Topics

FROM THE ARMY DACM OFFICE ANNUAL ETHICS TRAINING REQUIREMENT There are fewer than 90 calendar days for you to complete the annual ethics requirement mandated for the Defense Acquisition Workforce. There are a few ways to complete this training: 1. Take one of the two online courses available through the iCatalog. The available courses are CLM 003 (Overview of Acquisition Ethics) and HBS 415 (Ethics at Work). Important note: You can get credit for CLM 003 only once in a two-year CLP CLP cycle; the new cycle began Oct. 1, 2016. 2. Take the course in person when your command or garrison offers it locally. Contact your training coordinator or […]

New Army AL&T magazine targets defense acquisition reform

New Army AL&T magazine targets defense acquisition reform

By Michael Bold FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Oct. 3, 2016)—From our country’s earliest days, dissatisfaction with the defense acquisition system has been a recurring theme. Commission after commission and study after study found the same problems: burdensome regulations, cost overruns, slipping schedules, poor management or performance and a lack of incentives for success. The solutions? Professionalize the workforce. Buy commercial. Increase competition. Centralize. Decentralize. Reorganize. And yet the problems persist. Now, however, there’s a growing groundswell for real acquisition reform—the theme of the October-December 2016 issue of Army AL&T magazine. Read about: Acquisition ‘reform’ is on the table again, as it has been at least once in each decade since the […]

Small change, big difference

Small change, big difference

One-size-fits-all spending rules don’t always serve the unpredictable needs of contingency contracting. Here’s one simple fix. by Lt. Col. William C. Latham Jr. (USA, Ret.) “You may ask me for anything you like except time.” Napoleon Bonaparte With more than half a trillion dollars in defense spending at stake each year within the U.S. government’s budget, defense acquisition policy receives enormous attention in our nation’s capital, from Capitol Hill to the Pentagon to the lobbyists, scholars, think tanks and publications (including this one) devoted to national security. This attention is well-deserved, given the stakes. Better equipment provides American military forces with a critical technological edge while giving pause to would-be […]

Army R&D, test and evaluation communities ‘green’ civilian employees

Army R&D, test and evaluation communities ‘green’ civilian employees

by Dan Baldwin, CERDEC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — For one week, civilian engineers, scientists and business support staff left their labs and cubicles to live the life of a U.S. Army Solider and gain a deeper appreciation for the Army mission Sept. 12-16. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command is promoting an Army civilian acculturation program across all installations to better integrate civilian employees into the military. To align with this effort, the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center and the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command have partnered to create an Aberdeen Proving Ground’s inaugural collaborative greening program. Seventy-two ATEC and […]

Faces of the Force: Susan Hamilton

Faces of the Force: Susan Hamilton

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center TITLE: Civil engineer YEARS IN THE WORKFORCE: 10 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II in facilities engineering EDUCATION: B.S. in civil engineering, Auburn University   Preventing the boom By Susan L. Follett Sure, your job might be difficult at times. But Susan Hamilton, a civil engineer for the U.S Army Engineering and Support Center, might have you beat: One of the biggest challenges she faces is reminding Soldiers and civilians that explosives can—and do—blow up. And there’s more to her work than just keeping people safe. “Sometimes, people working on a project fail to recognize that there are explosives safety requirements or they fail to […]

Think, Execute, Improve

Think, Execute, Improve

For the Hon. Frank Kendall, there is no magic called ‘acquisition reform.’ His objective is ‘acquisition improvement,’ and it starts with hard work and critical thinking about Better Buying Power. by Mr. Steve Stark The Hon. Frank Kendall isn’t especially fond of the term “acquisition reform.” He thinks it “conveys the impression there’s some dramatic shift that’s going to make things fundamentally different. I don’t think there’s any such thing.” Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (USD(AT&L)), vastly prefers “acquisition improvement,” he said during an Aug. 16 interview with Army AL&T following his keynote address at the third U.S. Army Innovation Summit, at the College of William […]

Advocate for Innovation

Advocate for Innovation

Ordered to attend the yearlong resident course at CGSC, an acquisition officer thought his career advancement was totally derailed. Instead, the course was life-altering, providing unexpected insight—and a determination to change the status quo in acquisition. by Maj. Andrew Miller My first reaction, when I saw that I’d been selected to attend the yearlong resident course of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in 2015-16, was that it made absolutely no sense to send me. I was one month into my first acquisition assignment and would have to leave my project office after a year. Additionally, I was living on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and could have attended […]

DoD, users, industry collaborate on PNT technology development

DoD, users, industry collaborate on PNT technology development

Caitlin O’Neill, PM PNT ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (September 22, 2016) — Charged with delivering next-generation positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) technologies, the Direct Reporting Program Manager Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PM PNT) has taken the lead in providing interoperable and secure PNT services to the Army. In order to support Soldiers in the field, PM PNT needs to understand their PNT environment, including factors such as disruptions in service, system requirements, capability needs, logistical use and others. Through partnership and collaboration with system users, other Department of Defense (DoD) Services, and industry partners, PM PNT uses a whole community approach in developing trusted PNT technologies that ensure the warfighter’s […]