Ground Truth

Ground Truth

Avoiding pitfalls when acquiring systems for unmanned and cyber warfare. by Ms. Jill Iracki Today’s ever-changing battlefield and rapid advances in technology call for systems that are more intelligent, independent and robust than ever. From robotics and manned-unmanned teaming to artificial intelligence to cyber and electromagnetic warfare, it is vital that the Army acquisition process effectively deliver technologically sophisticated systems to meet the threat. Equally important, however, is an acquisition workforce that is fully aware of how to develop these systems for success—for example, by applying the necessary cyber protections and understanding the system’s complexities before testing and training, and then providing the right training to the Soldier-user. The Acquisition […]

February 2017 Hot Topics

February 2017 Hot Topics

FROM THE ARMY DACM OFFICE CONGRATULATIONS! Six Army acquisition professionals were deemed “pre-qualified” for chief developmental tester key leadership positions (KLPs) during the December DOD Joint KLP Test and Evaluation Qualification Board. Learn more about how the Army is identifying KLPs. Roger Breece, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Christopher Jais, Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors Megan Jais, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command Melanie Loncarich, Office of the Secretary of the Army Joseph Parrish, RDECOM Jeannie Sommer, RDECOM UPDATES Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP) Check out the new enhancements to CAMP that make it easier to map your acquisition goals and objectives. Click […]

Army acquisition says goodbye to a leader, champion of people

Army acquisition says goodbye to a leader, champion of people

By Tara Clements WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2017) – Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson was honored Feb. 9 by peers, staff and family for his 34 years of service in the U.S. Army at a farewell ceremony at the Pentagon. The event started off with a bit of comedy that continued throughout—an endearing, personal sendoff to a champion of Soldiers and people after a lifetime of service—in the Pentagon auditorium among an army of acquisition professionals. “He’s bigger than life,” said Steffanie Easter, host of the event and the acting assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)). “He taught me so much about the Army. … I […]

Army Announces Excellence in Contracting Awards

Army Announces Excellence in Contracting Awards

By Susan L. Follett FORT BELVOIR, Va.—The Secretary of the Army has announced its FY16 Awards for Excellence in Contracting, honoring Army contracting organizations and individuals who’ve exemplified excellence in productivity, process improvement and quality enhancement. The U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) – Rock Island, Illinois, netted three awards: an individual honor for outstanding contract specialist and group awards for contingency contracting and systems, research and development, logistics support (sustainment) contracting. More than 60 nominations were received for the FY16 awards, which span 13 honors in three categories. Mary P. Hernandez, ACC-Warren, Michigan, was named Contracting Professional of the Year, and Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Girard was named Contracting Noncommissioned […]

Been There, Done That: Strategic Acquisition

Been There, Done That: Strategic Acquisition

Does DOD set PMs up for failure with impossibly complex mega-programs built on immature technology? After a career in uniform supporting Army acquisition followed by a second career teaching acquisition, a former PM takes a final pulse check and outlines four best practices for keeping programs big and small on track. (The fourth in a series of commentaries by former program managers on the faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School) by Michael W. Boudreau, Col., USA (Ret.) I am recently retired from government service, after 28 years in the Army and then 20 years of teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). I have been fortunate to see acquisition from […]

A New Way of Thinking

A New Way of Thinking

The Ottawa Treaty banning ‘dumb’ landmines caused a major capability gap in terrain shaping, area access and area denial, but it also created a massive possibility for innovation—and teamwork between government and industry. Now, ARCIC, PEO Ammunition and industry are working together to develop a capability that will go far beyond dumb. by Mr. Steve Stark The Gator Landmine Replacement (GLMR) program is, in many ways, emblematic of the kinds of tough but necessary technical challenges that the Army and DOD need to tackle in the coming years as they develop requirements for innovative new battlefield capabilities with strategic consideration for their long-term use and ultimate disposal—in short, the entire […]

Army researcher shares international partnership experiences

Army researcher shares international partnership experiences

by Joyce M. Conant, ARL Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Dr. Mark Griep, a materials engineer working in the nano/bionano materials field at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, recently returned from a one-year tour working at the Agency for Defense Development in Daejeon, Republic of Korea. The assignment was part of the Department of Defense’s Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program or ESEP. The program promotes international cooperation through the exchange of defense scientists and engineers and affords opportunities for U.S. military and civilian engineer and scientist personnel to work on-site in allied and friendly countries. Currently, DOD has signed ESEP agreements with Australia, Canada, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, […]

Vehicular Visions

Vehicular Visions

by Ms. Margaret C. Roth Time was, not long ago, that the only vision for a new Army combat vehicle was the Army’s. The service would develop a requirement detailing, down to thread size, the precise design and parts that should go into the vehicle. Industry had a choice: Take it or leave it. Invest and engage in building the vehicle, or don’t. In his 14 years at General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), “I saw requirements that were so specific that if you had three people with that requirements document in front of them and they built three vehicles, all three vehicles looked exactly alike,” said Mike Peck, GDLS’ director of […]

A Rare FIND

A Rare FIND

by Mr. Steve Stark and Ms. Margaret C. Roth With the establishment of the Forum for Innovative Novel Discovery (FIND) and the Capabilities Information Exchange (CIE), TRADOC has broken new ground, involving industry in creating innovative warfighting capabilities with a clear focus on future force development that will help both ARCIC and industry prioritize their efforts. “We do have an opportunity to engage industry partners earlier in the requirements process, and we’re moving to do that through the CIE and also through the FIND process,” said Maj. Gen. Robert M. “Bo” Dyess, ARCIC deputy director. The initial pilot for FIND brought six companies, chosen from 28 submissions responding to the […]

Recalibrating Requirements

Recalibrating Requirements

With the help of groundbreaking efforts by professional combat developers, requirements writers and program managers, ARCIC is looking to thaw the glacial pace of acquisition and speed capabilities to the warfighter as the Army warms to new ways of doing business, welcoming innovation and involving industry early and often. by Mr. Steve Stark and Ms. Margaret C. Roth The bad news is that the Army has a big problem: an entrenched process that cannot generate capability requirements fast enough to get the capability into Soldiers’ hands when they need it. The good news is that the Army is taking very seriously its efforts on innovation—innovation in the systems it procures […]