An honor and a challenge

An honor and a challenge

CEOs, founders and other entrepreneurs from the small business world sound off about what’s right and what’s wrong with how the Army engages with small business For this issue of Army AL&T, we reached out to small businesses across the spectrum of products and services to find out what matters to them in doing business with the Army. We wanted to know how small businesses handle the ins and outs of working with the government, from dealing with bureaucracy to responding to requests for proposal (RFPs), to their thoughts on set-asides and contracting vehicles, to the surprising Catch-22s they face. Most of our respondents are companies that provide services. Most […]

Army prepares to test enhanced network operation tools at NIE 16.2

Army prepares to test enhanced network operation tools at NIE 16.2

TAUNTON, Mass. (Jan. 19, 2016) — To make it easier for Soldiers to manage the vast tactical communications network, the Army plans to operationally evaluate newly enhanced and simplified network operations, or NetOps, tools during Network Integration Evaluation, or NIE, 16.2 this spring. The NetOps tool suite enables communications officers (S6s and G6s) and staff to provide a second set of eyes on the Army’s tactical communications network, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T, ensuring Soldiers and commanders remain connected, communicating and synchronized. “NetOps provides a picture of actual on-the-move network battlefield conditions at all times, so if there is any break in the communications it is known right away,” said […]

Faces of the Force Profile: Brian Benis

Faces of the Force Profile: Brian Benis

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: PEO Missiles and Space, Lower Tier Project Office (PATRIOT) Title: Hardware engineer DAWIA Certifications: Level III in engineering, production and quality management; Level I in program management Years of Service in Workforce: 29 Education: B.S. in mechanical engineering, University of Arizona Awards: Order of Saint Barbara; Achievement Medal for Civilian Service Sustaining a signature system By Mary Kate Aylward Brian Benis has been taking things apart for as long as he can remember—a clock radio here, a desktop fan there—because he was curious about how they worked. That lifelong fascination earned him his mother’s constant refrain of, “You’d better put that back together before your dad comes home!” but […]

It’s all in the delivery

It’s all in the delivery

Army small business director Tommy Marks seeks to build on a strong foundation with four program pillars—mission, compliance, outreach and training—in line with Better Buying Power principles. The objective: to cultivate and sustain a broad and diverse base of small businesses that can deliver needed capabilities to the warfighter. Since he left college in 1977, Tommy Marks, director of the Army’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), hasn’t had a job that wasn’t related to the Army. “It’s been all Army,” he said, and that includes 24 years on active duty. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2001, and spent time as a defense contractor working for the Army, […]

Honoring a Legacy

Honoring a Legacy

This year’s winners of the Major General Harold J. “Harry” Greene Awards for Acquisition Writing showcase the talent and ­creativity that are the hallmarks of the acquisition community to which MG Greene made considerable and lasting contributions by the Honorable Heidi Shyu Through the Major General Harold J. “Harry” Greene Awards for Acquisition Writing, we remember a leader who left an indelible mark on us all. Over the course of a 34-year career, Harry brought a unique blend of technical expertise, business acumen and decisive leadership to the Army. I could always count on him to make decisions and tackle problems with sound logic and a clear perspective on what […]

The Army’s big business of small business

The Army’s big business of small business

By Steve Stark With billions in contracting dollars going to small businesses for both products and services, there’s no question that small companies are big business for the Army. That’s why the January – March issue of Army AL&T magazine is dedicated to small business, online now. Tommy Marks, director of the Army Office of Small Business Programs, has been in his job for less than a year, but he’s no stranger to the Army or to acquisition, having retired as a lieutenant colonel after 24 years of active duty service. Now he’s employing the expertise he gained to help the Army find the most innovative technology and the best […]

The ABCs of COE

The ABCs of COE

By Claire Heininger ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Jan. 11, 2016) – Own a smartphone that syncs with your tablet? That consistent look and feel—and smooth exchange of information—is finally arriving for Soldiers. As the Army’s Common Operating Environment (COE) progresses from development to the field, it is bringing dramatic changes to the user experience. The COE is not a system or an acquisition program of record. Think of it as a new playbook for how Army IT products are built and deployed. The COE provides standards to unite existing programs and new technologies on a common software foundation, simplifying development, integration, training and sustainment. But what does the COE consist […]

CERDEC will hold two-day TIM with industry

CERDEC will hold two-day TIM with industry

By CERDEC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Jan. 5, 2016) – The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center will hold a two-day technical interchange meeting, or TIM, with industry to identify and align mutually beneficial R&D investments here, March 31 – April 1. The CERDEC TIM is an opportunity for industry to learn about CERDEC’s core mission, research and development plans and strategies. According to the FedBizOps announcement, released Jan. 4, the intent of the sessions will be to enhance government-and-industry communication and enable industry to quickly respond to emerging requirements with innovative technology solutions and partnerships. The CERDEC TIM will provide details that will assist attendees […]

Earth by the numbers

Earth by the numbers

PEO STRI takes a unique approach to tracking modeling and simulation requirements, using Google Earth to communicate visually what a synthetic terrain representation needs to show—clear, detailed requirements generated in a fraction of the time it takes to describe the same needs in a text document. By Mr. Thomas Kehr and Mr. Trey Godwin Each of these entries describes relatively the same location in geographic coordinate space, but without a visual reference or map they can be difficult to decipher. Maps are indispensable tools that help humans understand, in a visual way, important facts about the surface of the Earth. Geographic ­coordinates and maps go hand in hand in establishing […]

Four steps to successful FMS

Four steps to successful FMS

Selling military equipment to allied nations has many benefits—boosting our allies’ capabilities and thereby strengthening U.S. posture; facilitating military cooperation—but it’s a sensitive process that requires careful planning. PM CAS shares its four-step process to successfully handling FMS. By Mr. Peter Burke and Mr. Ted Hom Foreign military sales (FMS) require a tremendous amount of planning, preparation and sensitivity to the customer’s culture, values and needs. But most of all, they require solid communication among all stakeholders. It is easy to identify these tenets, but to execute them is certainly a challenge. The challenge is worth it, though, because FMS build strategic relations, and result in an improved U.S. defense […]