Acquisition Reform Baked-In

Acquisition Reform Baked-In

Army PNT program uses open systems architecture, competitive prototyping to spur continuous innovation. by Mr. Kevin Coggins While acquisition reformers debate changes intended to put programs on the path to success earlier in their life cycle, one critical Army program is already living that goal. That would be the program management office for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PM PNT), which reports directly to the Army acquisition executive. PM PNT is charged with delivering next-generation positioning and timing technologies and has embraced key elements of acquisition reform and Better Buying Power (BBP) 3.0. In partnership with industry and government organizations, the PNT program office is using open systems architecture and competitive […]

Reforming Motivation

Reforming Motivation

Army acquisition reform starts with inspiring the workforce. A deep dive into a handful of surveys sheds light on how to do that. by Mr. Nicholaus Saacks As dialogue intensifies around the best ways to reform the acquisition system, many proposals will offer new processes and realigned responsibilities to improve efficiency and effectiveness. However, no matter what changes may come, the Army acquisition system will continue to be reliant upon and driven by people. The system can only be successful through the performance, commitment and motivation of the acquisition workforce. With so much at stake, how can leaders be certain they are using the motivators that match the preferences of […]

Faces of the Force: Orlando “Fritz” Gordon

Faces of the Force: Orlando “Fritz” Gordon

Position and Unit: Deputy product director, Javelin Missile System, Close Combat Weapon Systems Project Office Years of Service: 23 DAWIA Certification: Level III in engineering Awards: AMRDEC Laboratory Demonstration Extraordinary Performance Pay Increases; Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award Education: M.S. in management and management of technology, University of Alabama in Huntsville; B.S. in electrical engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville   The man behind the HELLFIRE Romeo By Mary Kate Aylward Fritz Gordon spent the early part of his career working with various missiles (PATRIOT, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, Multiple Launch Rocket System, HELLFIRE). Then, with guidance from mentors, he transitioned into a program management role, […]

Army War Plans for its New Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

Army War Plans for its New Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

The JLTV is engineered with additional armor, speed, suspension, blast-protection and ground-clearance in order to withstand enemy fire from major-power enemies along with mines, IEDs and roadside bombs often associated with counterinsurgency. By Kris Osborn, Scout Warrior As the Army gets ready to begin accepting deliveries of its new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, a new fast-moving armored vehicle engineered to take bullets, drive over roadside bombs and withstand major enemy attacks, the service is solidifying plans to incorporate the vehicle into its preparations for massive great power conflict. While the Army remains focused on being needed for counterinsurgency possibilities across the globe and hybrid-type wars involving groups of terrorists armed […]

Integrating Army Medicine

Integrating Army Medicine

USAMMA finds efficiencies in medical materiel procurement, fielding and sustainment to reduce the logistical footprint and optimize readiness with limited resources. by Col. David R. Gibson In the Army, we often refer to combat and support capabilities as “the tooth” and “the tail.” We are constantly seeking ways to improve the ratio between the war­fighter and support elements, to maximize the amount of combat power we can project while minimizing the logistics tail. Fielding equipment and materiel that minimize the support and sustainment tail while increasing critical space required for early-entry combat operations increases force agility, adaptability and even lethality. Although we talk about tooth-to-tail to describe the ratio of […]

Developing Afghan Force Managers

Developing Afghan Force Managers

CSTC-A’s Capabilities Development Directorate helps Afghan officers learn how to build, employ and resource units. by Col. Garrett D. Heath and Lt. Stephen E. Webber On Camp Resolute Support in Kabul, Afghanistan, officers from the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) gathered from April to June to hash out the fundamentals of what, until recently, was a foreign concept to most if not all of them: force management. Through open-ended brainstorming exercises in which there were no wrong answers, just learning opportunities, the students created hypothetical units, such as a new Kandak (an ANA battalion). In the process, they addressed the unit’s structure, manning, equipping, training and […]

DOD supercomputing inspires interns, helps Army researchers

DOD supercomputing inspires interns, helps Army researchers

By David McNally, ARL Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Six graduate students recently concluded the DOD High Performance Computing Internship Program, or HIP, at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. “The intern’s summer projects were highly relevant and critical to our mission,” said Dr. Luis Bravo, Vehicle Technology Directorate. “They really took the lead in creating complex models that push the boundaries of engine combustion and turbomachinery sciences and have exploited the use of DOD’s Supercomputing platforms.” The annual HIP program funds interns to enhance computational skills and experience in order to support the DOD’s future warfighter needs. “I used computer codes to look at the smallest scale of […]

Yoga for Data

Yoga for Data

The path to enlightenment is not a straightforward one, for people or for data. That’s why flexibility is key when reaching for answers, and why it’s necessary to stretch data so that it can lead to more, better knowledge. by Mr. Thom Hawkins and Mr. Matt Choinski As acquisition professionals, with the hindsight of five, 10 or 20 years’ experience, we can move from blindly populating templates to an intuitive understanding of the connections between schedules and risk management, between our strategic plan and our daily operations. But even with experience, none of us has reached the pinnacle of perfect execution. There’s always more to learn, and the worst thing […]

Making Innovation Happen

Making Innovation Happen

The U.S. military is at a historic crossroads, as DOD acknowledges that indisputable U.S. military dominance is a thing of the past. As DOD and the Army seek to marshal all possible resources to drive innovation and provide the latest capabilities, a picture of collaboration emerges, but it’s far from complete. by Ms. Margaret C. Roth After 40 years of unquestionable U.S. military dominance over its adversaries, Pentagon officials say that our decisive advantage is gone. Defense research and development (R&D), an indisputably powerful engine of innovation, has taken a sizable hit in the past decade. That is also true of industry’s own, invaluable independent R&D (IR&D), but for different […]

Technically Speaking

Technically Speaking

An atomic engine that has all of the power but none of the moving parts by Dr. Brendan Hanrahan What if atomic crystals could send pulse power to light up a room? Back in 314 B.C., a student of Socrates described bits of sawdust that gravitated to a stone thrown into a camp fire. What was an oddity then might be a solution as technology comes of age. In 1946, more than 17,000 vacuum tubes clicked away in a crowded room and 20 seconds later, ENIAC—the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer—had calculated the trajectory of an artillery shell for the Ballistics Research Laboratory. Attendees got to keep a printout as […]