May 2016 Hot Topics

May 2016 Hot Topics

  FROM THE ARMY DACM OFFICE The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology and the Army Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office in the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center are in the final stages of developing and staffing an Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) Human Capital Strategic Plan (HCSP) for approval. When approved, this HCSP will guide the process for anticipating workforce gaps and provide solutions to recruit, develop and retain a highly skilled, engaged AAW over the next five years. As we continue collaboration with HCSP stakeholders, the DACM will host the semiannual State of the Army Acquisition Workforce General Officer/Senior Executive […]

Operation: Procurement Reform

Operation: Procurement Reform

Official corruption has been likened more than once to cancer—it’s a disease that destroys systems from the inside out, betraying everyone—and Afghanistan has one of the worst reputations in the world. But a CSTC-A effort aims to help President Ghani cut out that cancer by taking an operational approach. by Col. Charles Worshim III Establishing a legitimate procurement system for Afghanistan has been a major initiative of President Ashraf Ghani since he took office in 2014. He has taken the reins of a nation where trust in the national unity government remains low because of the volatile security environment across the country, and where the cancer of corruption runs deep […]

AALPC prepares new acquisition leaders for new roles, challenges

AALPC prepares new acquisition leaders for new roles, challenges

By Linda Hanus FORT BELVOIR, Va. (April 28, 2016) – Thirty-one of the Army’s best and brightest new acquisition leaders gathered in Arlington, Virginia, April 17-22 for the third Army Acquisition Leader Preparation Course (AALPC). This intensive four-day course is designed to prepare centrally selected program managers, contracting commanders and product directors to take on new leadership responsibilities and equip them with the knowledge, information and skills necessary to effectively address leadership challenges they are likely to encounter in their new roles. Key leaders from government, industry and academia briefed students and answered questions on topics including leadership, talent and organizational management, risk identification and management, understanding budgets, and effective […]

Faces of the Force: Gloria Atkins

Faces of the Force: Gloria Atkins

Position and Unit: Contracting officer, Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground Years of Service in Workforce: 6 DAWIA Certifications: Level III in contracting Education: M.S. in acquisition and contract management, Florida Institute of Technology; B.S. in accounting, Hawaii Pacific University Awards: Achievement Medal for Civilian Service   Atkins contributes to FMS success By Susan L. Follett Gloria Atkins started in defense contracting a dozen years ago, looking to contribute to the military in the same way as her husband, a Navy officer. She got her start at the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) in 2004, and switched to the U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) in 2010. She currently serves […]

Lateral Collaboration Reduces Costs

Lateral Collaboration Reduces Costs

Project management offices throughout DOD must effectively collaborate with other organizations to facilitate problem-solving and efficiency, and achieve additional savings for the taxpayer. by Lt. Col. Terry G. Crank, Mr. David A. Kondas and Ms. Tereasa M. Ferguson While many DOD organizations have little or no overlap between missions, there may be several organizations that have systems or processes in place that can be leveraged to help address substantial acquisition challenges. In the same way that Soldiers tactically coordinate between adjacent units in war, DOD organizations should apply this same concept throughout the acquisition community. The difficulty lies in determining how to apply this tactical imperative in a stovepiped environment […]

Orchestrating Sustainment

Orchestrating Sustainment

Sustain internally, outsource the whole job—or recognize that, as complex as artillery systems are these days, few organizations have all of the expertise needed to sustain them. So two Army commands, two Marine Corps commands and a major defense contractor collaborate to sustain the U.S. howitzer fleet. by Mr. Christopher Hatch Sustaining towed artillery platforms for the Army, U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and allied customers is one of the challenges the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Ammunition’s Program Management Office for Towed Artillery Systems (PM TAS) faces on a daily basis. As the life-cycle manager for the M777A2 and M119A3 howitzer systems, as well as survey equipment, PM TAS continuously […]

Soldier receives helmet that saved his life in Afghanistan

Soldier receives helmet that saved his life in Afghanistan

By Michael Bold FORT BELVOIR, Va.—Army Staff Sgt. Thalamus Lewis found himself lying in the middle of a road in Afghanistan, a firefight raging around him. He didn’t know what had happened, but his instincts told him to “play like a possum and be still.” Lewis’ instincts probably save his life. “He was smart enough to lay there and not move,” said Capt. Alexander K. Dillon, Lewis’ platoon leader in Afghanistan. Had he moved, he would have surely drawn fire. What Lewis didn’t know was that his life had been saved twice that day, Oct. 4, 2012. Just seconds earlier he had been saved from a bullet—to the head. But […]

Army holds showcase of infrared technology advancements

Army holds showcase of infrared technology advancements

By Allison Barrow, CERDEC Public Affairs FORT BELVOIR, Va. (April 19, 2016) — The Army held a showcase of infrared technology advancements resulting from a five-year collaborative program between industry and the Department of Defense, here, April 12-13. The Vital Infrared Sensor Technology Acceleration, or VISTA, program was a tri-service program to regain the U.S. lead in advanced infrared sensor capabilities, which are the foundation for the Warfighter’s ability to track and sense targets on the battlefield. Infrared sensors are also used in pilotage, maneuver, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. The U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, managed the program through its Night […]

Cyber Innovation Challenge rolls on – but what makes it work?

Cyber Innovation Challenge rolls on – but what makes it work?

By Claire Heininger, ASA(ALT) SoSE&I ABERDEEN, Md. (April 19, 2016)- Although October is Army Cybersecurity Awareness Month, April is shaping up to be the month of the Army Cyber Innovation Challenge. Last week, winning vendors from the Army’s inaugural challenge began delivering the first prototype kits to the Cyber Protection Brigade at Fort Gordon, Georgia. On April 5, the Army released a requirement for its second challenge, drawing such an enthusiastic response that it granted a 10-day deadline extension for more companies to become eligible to respond. For the third challenge, the Army is preparing to release a requirement in the coming days, just a few weeks after it hosted […]

Sharpen your skills and earn continuous learning points at DAU’s symposium

Sharpen your skills and earn continuous learning points at DAU’s symposium

By Mary Kate Aylward FORT BELVOIR, Va. (April 18, 2016) – Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is hosting a one-day training symposium on Wednesday, April 27, at the Fort Belvoir campus. Panel discussions, training sessions, and a keynote speech from Undersecretary of Defense Frank Kendall will focus on three themes: “Strengthening Cost Consciousness, Professionalism, and Technical Excellence.” If you’re in the Washington, D.C. area, it’s not too late to register to attend in person for an $85 fee. Acquisition professionals outside the Washington area can watch a live stream of the symposium at DAU regional campuses or extended learning sites. Registration information, a schedule of events, and a list of places […]