Layers of Concern

Layers of Concern

Assessing the health of the Army’s industrial base is a complex task   By Mr. Juan L. Millan   The Army industrial base of today is more global, commercial and financially complex than that of 10 or 15 years ago. Prime suppliers have increased their role as integrators and delegated key innovation and development roles to a vast and complex network of sub-tier suppliers. Sub-tier suppliers have responded with their own complex network of suppliers, some of which are small, highly skilled and defense-dependent firms. These small, specialized firms serve as the warning indicator for the health of the overall industrial base. The Army understands that the industry supporting defense […]

PLANNED EVOLUTION

PLANNED EVOLUTION

How the workforce of Corpus Christi Army Depot repositioned itself for tighter times   By Mr. Curtis Titus and Ms. Brigitte Rox   Since 2011, Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Texas has made sweeping changes to its business culture and practices that not only reduced the depot’s consumption of government funds and material resources, but also positioned CCAD to continue providing top-quality support to the nation as military spending diminishes. The U.S. government cannot afford to purchase new aircraft for each mission. Rather, it must rely on the organic industrial base (OIB) to modify aircraft and components to handle the specific needs of the next mission. As the largest […]

Acquisition Education and Training Corner

Acquisition Education and Training Corner

Education and training opportunities   By USAASC Acquisition, Education and Training Branch   Defense Acquisition University-Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF): The DAU-SSCF Announcement opened Jan. 29 and closes April 2, 2014. This Military Education Level One (MEL-1) Army approved Senior Service College Fellowship provides SSC equivalency at your local commuting area if you live in Maryland (Aberdeen Proving Ground), Alabama (Huntsville), or Michigan (Warren). The purpose of the SSCF Program is to provide leadership and acquisition training to prepare senior level civilians for senior leadership roles such as Product and Project Managers, Program Executive Officers and other key acquisition leadership positions. Participants not only graduate from a SSC, they will […]

What Really Matters in Defense Acquisition

What Really Matters in Defense Acquisition

From the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall   My first inclination for this issue’s article was to discuss the newly released DoDI 5000.02. We recently implemented this new acquisition policy document as interim guidance. I provided a cover letter explaining why I had done a new version and outlined some of the features of this edition. I do recommend that you look at both the cover letter and the new document, but on reflection I decided to write about something else for this issue. An enormous amount of time and energy goes into designing our processes and implementing them, but at the end of […]

Knowledge of Power Is More Power

Knowledge of Power Is More Power

Assessments enable commanders to optimize energy, operational effectiveness   By Edric Thompson   When it comes to power and energy, Army research and development (R&D) continually seeks to develop solutions to increase performance, reduce consumption, increase efficiency and ensure power availability. However, the benefits of innovation cannot be leveraged to their fullest potential if the power grid is not set up properly, which may lead to redundancies, waste and safety issues. Unfortunately, in theater, this is the case more often than not. In August 2012, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (CERDEC) electrical engineers Noel Pleta and Jennifer Whitmore deployed to Afghanistan in support of Project Manager Mobile […]

Large scale radio technology demonstration at the Army’s Electronic Proving Ground

Large scale radio technology demonstration at the Army’s Electronic Proving Ground

By Ray K. Ragan   FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (Jan. 30, 2014) – The Army’s Electronic Proving Ground (EPG) recently conducted a large scale technology demonstration of a new radio waveform here. “We wanted to conduct a full scale, by that I mean an Army brigade’s worth, [demonstration] of radios exercising [and] characterizing the performance of the wideband networking waveform,” said, Joe Sweeney, test engineer for the Army’s Product Manager, Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radios (PdM MNVR). MNVR is a radio system that provides a robust, large-scale networking capability within a large unit, like an Army brigade, from the Soldier to the senior leaders. During the demonstration, a new radio waveform was […]

The Promise of Partnerships

The Promise of Partnerships

AMC works to preserve OIB capabilities through cooperative arrangements with industry and others   By Mr. Mark L. Morrison   Among the challenges faced by the Army’s organic industrial base (OIB), as it transitions from combat to sustainment, is allocating diminishing workload within the depots and arsenals of the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC). Capitalizing on private-sector capabilities through public-private partnerships (P3), such as work share, teaming, direct sales, facility use and leasing, is one key way to preserve the OIB’s unique capabilities while ensuring its viability as an enterprise in the near term and its long-term ability to meet surge requirements. To support the warfighter during the past 12 […]

Army researchers inspire commercial rifle fire control systems

Army researchers inspire commercial rifle fire control systems

By Joyce M. Conant, ARL Public Affairs   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Jan. 28, 2014) — Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory go about their business every day working on projects to help better serve the military and its members who protect our country. Sometimes the research inspires commercial companies to do additional research and expand on certain aspects to develop products of their own. That is what happened with ARL’s research called “Inertial Reticle Technology” where researchers who were then in the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate developed a concept to apply advanced fire control technology to sniper weapons. As a result of this concept, a modern fire […]

Action Plans

Action Plans

A host of stakeholders speak frankly on what the Army needs to do to preserve its industrial base   By Army AL&T magazine staff   Preserving the unique and often highly specialized skills and capabilities of the Army industrial base is critical to the Army and to the nation. In addition to the organic industrial base, companies both large and small in the commercial base offer critical or hard-to-make products and services that ultimately result in critical systems that help maintain the U.S. military’s superiority. Yet fiscal austerity is likely to constrain U.S. spending on national security even as the Army faces growing complexities and multifaceted dangers. Some of those […]

Army improves network build for NIEs, gives Soldiers the power of change

Army improves network build for NIEs, gives Soldiers the power of change

By Claire Heininger   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The Army is introducing a more efficient process to produce the digital “glue” that ties together the network architecture for the Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs). The new method is not only faster, but also provides greater flexibility as the Army adds industry systems to the network baseline for evaluation and incorporates capability improvements for each NIE event. By automating key parts of the process used to create the data products that enable communications across the tactical network, the Army is also setting the stage to simplify network start-up procedures for users and give operational units more control over their networks. “We […]