Faces of the Force: Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla

Faces of the Force: Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla

POSITION AND UNIT: Contract specialist, 419th Contracting Support Brigade YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 1 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 10 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II in contracting EDUCATION: B.S. in criminal justice administration, Columbia Southern University AWARDS: Army Commendation Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)); Army Achievement Medal (3 OLCs); Army Good Conduct Medal (3); National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraqi Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; NCO Professional Development Ribbon (2); Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon (4); North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal Year one: lots to learn By Susan L. Follett Looking for a way to support her family, Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla joined the Army […]

Solidifying the base

Solidifying the base

PEO Ammunition creates greater flexibility to procure medium-caliber ammunition with an innovative acquisition strategy to make ‘family buys,’ reducing ammunition costs and keeping its industrial base warm.  By Maj. Edwin Churchill As the pace of combat operations has become widely variable, the Program Executive Office for Ammunition (PEO Ammunition) has created the flexibility to quickly ramp up medium-caliber ammunition production in response to rapidly changing requirements by having multiple manufacturing sources with warm lines. With the Medium Caliber Family acquisition (MCFA) strategy, PEO Ammunition is focusing on key capabilities specific to the production of medium cannon-caliber ammunition, reducing the administrative costs of the contract vehicle and maximizing the buying power […]

Iterative innovation

Iterative innovation

Just as no mission plan survives contact with the enemy, few chalkboard designs survive first contact with the Soldier. Because of that, CERDEC is leveraging its prototyping integration capabilities to prove out engineering and technology designs and put early prototypes into the hands of Soldiers, to obtain invaluable feedback and implement it more cheaply and quickly. By Mr. Christopher P. Manning and Mr. James G. Sroczynski Battle-tested and technologically savvy, today’s young Soldier is the most knowledgeable source available to provide relevant assessments and feedback on emerging Army platform systems. However, typical acquisition processes can delay how quickly Soldiers receive these technologies for testing. To accelerate the process from concept […]

Ground combat system upgrades focus on weight, lethality

Ground combat system upgrades focus on weight, lethality

By Elizabeth M. Collins, Soldiers WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 20, 2015) — Ground combat vehicle modernization efforts are moving forward, on schedule and under budget, the ground combat systems program executive officer told reporters last week. Designs and engineering change proposals for existing vehicles have been largely finished, contracts are being awarded and some vehicles are being delivered and tested, said Ground Combat Systems, or GCS, Program Executive Officer, or PEO, Brig. Gen. David Bassett. “It’s a really exciting time,” he said. There’s “plenty to keep us busy, new requirements emerging, and really great partnerships on how we can tailor the acquisition process, look hard at appropriate requirements, help […]

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 […]