Export Control Reform: an Overview of President Obama’s Initiative

Export Control Reform: an Overview of President Obama’s Initiative

Charles Wray First of three installments from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C)) In August 2009, President Obama initiated a comprehensive review of the United States’ export control system to identify possible reforms. Although the United States has one of the most robust export control systems in the world, it is rooted in the Cold War era and must be updated to address the threats we face today and the changing economic and technological landscape. The assessment, conducted by an interagency task force created at the direction of the President, included all departments and agencies with roles in export control. The task […]

Proposed Changes to Export Control of Certain Categories of the U.S. Munitions List

Proposed Changes to Export Control of Certain Categories  of the U.S. Munitions List

As part of Phase II of the export control reform (ECR) initiative, the various categories of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) are being reviewed for possible revision, including transfer from Department of State to more relaxed Department of Commerce export rules. This process involves several steps: consideration by subject-matter experts of those items currently being controlled; identification of proposed changes; notification in the Federal Register; and a period for public comment. Each category review is proceeding at a slightly different pace, and not all categories have undergone the same segments of review. The following summaries present details from a representative sample of USML categories. Category I: Firearms Firearms with a […]

Army Retires Last ‘A’ Model Apache Helicopter

Army Retires Last ‘A’ Model Apache Helicopter

Sofia Bledsoe It was a proud, historic, and emotional moment for the Army—especially for the Soldiers in the 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack/Reconnaissance) (1/149 ARB). The last AH-64A Apache helicopter, Aircraft 451, was retired from the Army and handed over to the Project Office for Apache Helicopters during a ceremony July 15 at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, TX. The event was hosted by the Texas Army National Guard’s 1/149 ARB, the 36th Infantry Division unit that had the last A-model Apache in its fleet. The aircraft was flown to San Angelo, TX, by CW5 Jim Sandberg, 1/149 ARB Standardization Pilot, and CW2 Adrian Domonoski, Maintenance Test […]

S&T Notebook: Strengthening Communication between S&T and Acquisition

S&T Notebook: Strengthening Communication between S&T and Acquisition

Dr. Scott Fish This is a regular column by Dr. Scott Fish, Army Chief Scientist, on activities in the Army science and technology (S&T) community and their potential impact on Army acquisition programs. On May 21, I gave the keynote address to the 18th Annual Automotive Research Center Conference, a cooperative effort hosted by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Increasingly, S&T development is done with cooperation with academia, government research centers, industry partnerships, and centers like these, showcasing the best of these efforts. I toured TARDEC’s recently updated facilities and participated in discussions on the current development and state of the art of ground […]

Office of the Chief Systems Engineer: Integrating Capabilities Efficiently

Office of the Chief Systems Engineer: Integrating Capabilities Efficiently

Terence M. Edwards Traditional systems engineering is necessary for developing individual systems. However, system-of-systems engineering (SoSE) at the system level makes a significant positive difference in integrating the many existing and new programs into a required overall capability. The Defense Acquisition Guidebook, published by the Defense Acquisition University, states: “A SoS is defined as a set or arrangement of systems that results from independent systems integrated into a larger system that delivers unique capabilities. … SoS engineering deals with planning, analyzing, organizing, and integrating the capabilities of a mix of existing and new systems into a SoS capability greater than the sum of the capabilities of the constituent parts. SoS […]

Missions and Key Initiatives of New OCSE Directorates

Missions and Key Initiatives of New OCSE Directorates

At a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Summit held April 2, 2008, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA) directed the establishment of a system-of-systems engineering (SoSE) organization in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)). To implement this directive, the ASA(ALT) directed the establishment of this organization in a memorandum dated May 27, 2008. The organization was established to serve as the lead for executing SoSE systems engineering functions for the enterprise of Army programs, to ensure that the respective overall desired capabilities are achieved. It has since been reorganized as the Office of the Chief […]

Medical Prototype Development Laboratory Gives MEDEVAC Device a New Look

Medical Prototype Development Laboratory Gives MEDEVAC Device a New Look

Carey Phillips The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) is home to a unique service within DoD: the Medical Prototype Development Laboratory (MPDL). Under the direction of the Medical Support Systems Project Management Office (MSS PMO), USAMMDA employs a small team of engineers and engineering technicians who work to design and build prototypes, laboratory testing equipment, and other devices designed to get products to the field. We are able to get the products to the field to support the U.S. Forces. We work to build solutions, whether it be medical materiel or aiding a researcher with unique laboratory testing devices,” said Mark Brown, chief of the MPDL. “Clearly we […]

Army’s Second Increment of Tactical Communications Network: Better, Stronger, Faster

Army’s Second Increment of Tactical Communications Network:  Better, Stronger, Faster

Amy Walker From division headquarters 1,300 miles away to the company commander crossing the white desert sand in his vehicle, Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 provided the on-the-move situational awareness and exchange of critical information needed in the heat of battle during its major operational test. “This mobile network is a transformational step forward in Army modernization,” said LTC Robert Collins, Product Manager for WIN-T Increment 2. “It will dramatically increase the pace at which the Army can prosecute combat operations and significantly decrease the time required for the military decision-making cycle.” [quote align="right"]“This mobile network is a transformational step forward in Army modernization. It will dramatically […]

Warfighter Information Network – Tactical Increment 2 Promotes Critical Information Exchange

Warfighter Information Network – Tactical Increment 2 Promotes Critical Information Exchange

Amy Walker As they tested the second generation of the Army’s tactical communications network, Soldiers like SFC Michael Rayfield discovered firsthand the operational impacts that an on-the-move network reaching down to the company level will bring to the battlefield. “Company and below is usually where the greatest amount of continuity loss occurs, but now, with WIN-T [Warfighter Information Network – Tactical] Increment 2, the company commander has more command and control, essentially what a brigade commander would have,” said Rayfield, a Brigade Senior Signal NCO for 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division (2/1 AD), the maneuver element for the operational test. “And the company commander can now provide the brigade commander […]

The ‘New’ Acquisition Workforce

The ‘New’ Acquisition Workforce

COL Gail Washington When you think of Army acquisition, you might picture PowerPoint briefings, memos for signature, Pentagon strategy sessions, or testimony on Capitol Hill. You probably don’t think of innovation in the desert. But during the past year, a team of military, civilian, and contractor personnel from across the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology community has expanded what it means to work in acquisition. As the Army executes Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) as a key component of the Agile Process, these individuals—engineers, technicians, planners, operations experts, and other staffers of all stripes—are working constantly behind the scenes to ensure a successful transformative process. The […]