Army engineers enhance EOD Soldiers’ safety with ‘batwings’

Army engineers enhance EOD Soldiers’ safety with ‘batwings’

By Daniel Lafontaine   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army engineers in Afghanistan recently designed and fabricated a tool to help Soldiers investigate possible improvised explosive devices from a safer distance. Capt. Chad M. Juhlin, commander of the 53rd Ordnance Company (EOD), said his Soldiers needed an attachment for use with the iRobot 310-SUGV when searching for IEDs. The iRobot’s explosive ordnance disposal capabilities were limited, requiring Soldiers to operate close to the potential hazards. The forward deployed engineering cell from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, took on the challenge. The RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center developed the first iteration […]

The evolution of Trail Bosses, a one-stop shop for acquisition enterprise integration into the NIE

The evolution of Trail Bosses, a one-stop shop for acquisition enterprise integration into the NIE

By Lt. Col. Keith Taylor   One of the things that makes the Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) so valuable is that the Soldiers judging equipment are not part of a so-called “test unit,” but an operational brigade combat team, but that’s also one of the things that makes the NIEs so difficult. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 1st Armored Division (2/1 AD) still has all of the responsibilities of a typical BCT: arms proficiency, physical training tests, developing the junior enlisted into noncommissioned officers and carrying out all of their standard training. At the same time, the Army requires them to learn and evaluate dozens of sophisticated communications systems, […]

Transforming military operations by advancing communications

Transforming military operations by advancing communications

Faces of the Force: Lt. Col. (P) Robert M. Collins     POSITION: Product Manager, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 UNIT: Program Executive Office (PEO) for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical TOTAL YEARS OF SERVICE: 20 DEPLOYMENTS: Bosnia and Kosovo, 2000; Iraq, 2005 AWARDS: Overseas Service Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Superior Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, and the Army Service Ribbon EDUCATION: B.A. Criminal Justice, Shippensburg University; M.S. Human Resource Management, Oklahoma University; M.A. Information Systems, Webster University   By […]

Army wins top award for innovation

Army wins top award for innovation

By Claire Heininger   ARLINGTON, Va. (April 30, 2013) — The U.S. Army has been named one of the world’s most innovative research organizations, after earning more than 300 patents for new technologies in a three-year period. The Army joins the ranks of private companies such as 3M, Apple, AT&T, Dow Chemical, DuPont and General Electric as one of the 2012 Top100 Global Innovators named by Thomson Reuters, the multimedia and information conglomerate. The U.S. Navy was also named, making the two service branches the first government agencies to make the list. “This recognition is shared with the members of our Army Science and Technology community who perform research relevant […]

AcqBusiness rolls out the Army Acquisition Dashboard

AcqBusiness rolls out the Army Acquisition Dashboard

By Carla Faison   FORT BELVOIR, Va. – For the last year and a half, the AcqBusiness program office has been hard at work prototyping, developing and piloting an executive dashboard to support the Army acquisition community. The Army Acquisition Dashboard (AAD) provides Army acquisition leaders with critical data from the program executive office level down to the program level including associated assessments, contracts, funding, risks, and schedules. The goal is to leverage outputs from existing authoritative data sources to allow for consistent views across programs to Acquisition community senior leadership. “The Army Acquisition Dashboard introduces a fundamental change to how Army Acquisition Leaders manage and convey information,” said Mr. […]

From Smartphones to satellites: Soldiers use new network preparing for advise and assist mission

From Smartphones to satellites: Soldiers use new network preparing for advise and assist mission

By Claire Heininger   FORT DRUM, N.Y. (April 22, 2013) — For Staff Sgt. Stephen Kovac, getting important information and instructions to the rest of his platoon was a struggle. He could radio back to higher headquarters and wait for the calls to filter back down, losing precious seconds during an operation. Or, he said, he could “yell and scream back to the rear, use hand and arm signals, anything possible to get it across.” That was before Kovac began training with Capability Set (CS) 13, an integrated tactical network that extends digital communications down to the lowest echelons. “Using CS 13, you can send reports and you can see […]

Acquisition Education and Training Corner

Acquisition Education and Training Corner

Defense Acquisition University – Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF) Congratulations to DAU, as well as the Army Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM) staff, for recently having our fellowship awarded Senior Service College equivalency by the Army G-3. Our fellowship is the first civilian fellowship to be granted equivalency. DAU-SSCF is now an official Military Education Level 1 (MEL-1) training program. Our goal for the past three years while working toward this was to be able to have DAU-SSCF recognized on the same level as the U.S. Army War College and the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy (formally ICAF). School of Choice We will not be […]

Project officer manages ‘everything explosive’

Project officer manages ‘everything explosive’

Faces of the Force: Patrick Scheerer     POSITION: Project Manager UNIT: Office of the Project Manager for Close Combat Systems, Program Executive Office Ammunition LOCATION: Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. EDUCATION: B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University   By Teresa Mikulsky Purcell   Project Officer Patrick Scheerer’s job is a blast—literally. One of the projects he manages, the Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS), was originally designed to allow Soldiers to conduct safe breaching through enemy antipersonnel minefields and multistrand wire obstacles, and later repurposed to defeat improvised explosive devices. All of that makes APOBS a popular tool with Soldiers and other warfighters in Afghanistan. But the program, as Scheerer explains below, ran […]

Guidance clarifies mandatory sources for contracted services

Guidance clarifies mandatory sources for contracted services

By Daniel Elkins   JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (April 12, 2013) — Acquisition workforce members in the Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC) are following revised procedures aimed at ensuring equitable consideration between small businesses and nonprofit agencies for award of Army contracts. The MICC command policy memorandum on the required sources for the acquisition of service published March 18 provides explicit guidance on contracting sources to ensure appropriate acquisition strategy decision-making by MICC contracting officers, according to Lynette Ward, an assistant director for MICC Small Business Programs here. The guidance also ensures procurement actions meet statutory requirements established by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Part 8 […]

10th Mountain Division unit marches forward with network training

10th Mountain Division unit marches forward with network training

By Claire Heininger   FORT DRUM, N.Y. (April 8, 2013) — As the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) prepares for potential deployment with the Army’s new tactical communications network, a recent training exercise marked a key step in increasing unit proficiency and network performance, leaders said. Built around battalion operations and platoon-level live fire scenarios, the Spartan Peak event used the Capability Set (CS) 13 network to connect dismounted infantry Soldiers with the rest of the brigade more than 25 kilometers away. On the move inside tactical vehicles, leaders used voice and digital connections to exchange information and collaborate on a common operational picture as they […]