Army PARCA Office

In September 2010, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Plans, Programs, and Resources (DASA PPR) established the Army Performance Assessment and Root Cause Analyses (PARCA) office. The purpose was to realign the mission for program visibility, analysis, and reporting from the DASA for Acquisition and Systems Management and to include the related oversight of programs mission identified by the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act (WSARA) of 2009. The responsibilities of the Army PARCA office are to: Provide program visibility and acquisition reporting for all Major Defense Acquisition Programs, Major Automated Information Systems, and Acquisition Categories (ACAT) I, II, and III programs in accordance with 10 United States Code […]

The Path to a Successful Army Cost Position: Understanding the Process

The Path to a Successful Army Cost Position: Understanding the Process

Tracey Goldstein and Steve Loftus First of two installments For the past few years, DoD budget reductions have been looming just on the edge of the horizon. Now those budget limitations are upon us. As such, costs are at the forefront of the decision-making process. Leaders rely on high-quality cost estimates, based on approved requirement descriptions, to support their decisions on using limited DoD resources. Acquisition program managers need to be prepared to provide cost descriptions and estimates earlier in the life-cycle process, to explain and justify methodologies used, and to prove that the program is resourced in accordance with the estimate. These descriptions are provided to HQDA. Acquisition reform […]

Journey of a Successful CARD

Proper preparation of a Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD) is a vital step in having a successful acquisition program. Here is how the CARD is completed: The Program Management Office (PMO) staff prepares the CARD. The project manager then signs the CARD and submits it to the program executive officer (PEO) for approval. Once signed by the PEO, the CARD is submitted to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Plans, Programs, and Resources (DASA PPR) for staffing to Cost Review Board (CRB) representatives. The representatives review the CARD sections that describe their respective functional areas for completeness, adherence to regulatory guidelines and laws, and mission priorities. Any deficiencies […]

The Cost Review Board Process: Reaching Consensus

The Cost Review Board Process: Reaching Consensus

Tracey Goldstein and Steve Loftus Second of two installments To bring Army agencies together and gain consensus on a single Army position for cost, the Army developed the Cost Review Board (CRB). The end state of the CRB process is a life-cycle cost estimate called an Army Cost Position (ACP). The ACP is used to create a cost basis for Army program baselines, acquisition decisions, programming, and budgeting. The ACP is also the basis for the Army’s submission of the Acquisition Program Baseline submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Congress. The CRB process brings together senior Army leadership from the acquisition, requirements development, financial management, programming, […]

Utility Helicopters Office Reaches Out to Special Needs Students

Utility Helicopters Office Reaches Out to Special Needs Students

Sofia C. Bledsoe For the past two years, the Utility Helicopters Project Office (UHPO) of Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation has taken several opportunities to share its passion and experiences with the Special Education class at Sparkman High School in Harvest, AL. Pilots have visited the students in their classrooms, talked about their work, showed them the gear they wear, and told stories about what it’s like to be a helicopter pilot. This time they partnered with Specialized Education Services Inc. (SESi) and took the community outreach program to another level. Eleven students from the Special Education class had an opportunity May 9 to see what an actual helicopter looks […]

ECBC Engineers Create Tablet Applications for Cost-Effective Training Options

ECBC Engineers Create Tablet Applications for Cost-Effective Training Options

Teachers use it to teach lessons. Football players study their plays on it. Now Soldiers can use the tablet computer as a one-stop device for training refreshers, an easy-to-carry installation manual, and more. “On one small mobile device, a warfighter has a full library of information to support a device or even to support the operation of a full vehicle. If a warfighter is carrying a mobile device, the weight of his or her backpack is significantly less,” said COL Raymond Compton, Military Deputy, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), Edgewood, MD. In addition to being cost-effective, the 21st-century advancements in technology, coupled with a desire to equip the warfighter with […]

Army Seeks Nominations for Greatest Inventions Awards

Army Seeks Nominations for Greatest Inventions Awards

Recognizing the need for new and innovative technologies to empower, unburden, and protect Soldiers around the world, the Army’s Greatest Inventions (AGI) program is now accepting nominations for this year’s awards. Since 2003, the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) has conducted the AGI program annually to encourage and reward those who are fighting the war from research laboratories throughout the Army by developing the best technological solutions for the Soldier. Continuing a tradition established last year, AMC is also proud to support the Soldier Greatest Inventions Awards program, recognizing individual Soldiers for their efforts to enhance their fellow Soldiers’ equipment and/or performance. Nominations are being accepted for inventions initiated both […]

CMA Completes Chemical Stockpile Elimination Mission

CMA Completes Chemical Stockpile Elimination Mission

Three weeks into the new year, the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) achieved a major milestone: safely eliminating more than 27 tons of nerve and blister agents. On Jan. 21, the final mustard agent-filled 155mm projectile was destroyed at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Utah, marking the completion of CMA’s stockpile destruction mission. While the Chemical Stockpile Elimination (CSE) mission eliminated nearly 90 percent of the chemical agent stockpiled in the United States since the 1960s, the remaining 10 percent will be eliminated by a DoD program, the U.S. Army Element Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA). “This is a remarkable feat: the safe elimination of more than […]

New Website Gives Functional Area 51 Officers One-Stop Career Management Tool

New Website Gives Functional Area 51 Officers One-Stop Career Management Tool

The U.S. Army Career Management Office is poised to launch its new Functional Area (FA) 51 Officer Army Career Tracker (ACT) website (https://actnow.army.mil). The website, a personalized professional development application, integrates training, education, and experiential learning into one interface. ACT allows officers to view past accomplishments and potential career development opportunities in a single, easy-to-use interface, allowing them to see key positions in a more interactive format than DA Pamphlet 600-3, Commissioned Officer Professional Development and Career Management. Users can search multiple Army education and training resources to monitor their career development and general career progression efficiently and effectively. “This is an exciting time of change and progress for the […]

Acquisition Education and Training Corner: April 2012

Acquisition Education and Training Corner: April 2012

Training with Industry (TWI) TWI is a 10- to 12-month rotational opportunity for acquisition officers (O-3 to O-5) to work side by side with industry. Current participating companies for Army acquisition in FY12 are: Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Cisco Systems Inc., EADS North America Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Computer Sciences Corp., Intel Corp., General Dynamics Corp., and Boeing Co. The U.S. Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) participates in TWI so that our officers can actively experience best practices through one-year assignments with leading industry partners. As a result, they can apply lessons learned and effect positive change in AAC. Increased leadership focus has led to expanded participation in the […]