Decades to ‘ZAP’

Decades to ‘ZAP’

Everybody—at least, every branch of the military—wants a laser gun. The theoretical possibility of a silent beam of energy that turns enemy weapons to toast has been explored in the pages of AL&T magazine for decades. With high-energy lasers on Stryker combat vehicles and an Apache helicopter downing drones in tests, it now seems a matter of time before lasers are in use on the battlefield. by MS. Mary Kate Aylward Lasers, synonymous with precision from eye surgery to targeting, have long held out the possibility of an elegant and cheap solution to some of the messier, more expensive problems of war. A bomb is a single-use weapon; a laser […]

A test of medical readiness

A test of medical readiness

U.S. military efforts in biological warfare defense readiness prove themselves with Ebola response. by Dr. George W. Christopher, Lt. Col., USAF, MC (Ret) The 2014-2016 outbreak of Ebola virus disease triggered an unprecedented public health disaster. For the first time since its discovery in 1976, Ebola struck large, crowded and mobile urban populations. It was the largest Ebola outbreak in both numbers of cases and geographic distribution, with more than 28,000 cases, 11,000 deaths, and 10 times the number of all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. The virus spread rapidly through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, striking Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States as well. In […]

Two contracting NCOs selected to earn advanced degrees

Two contracting NCOs selected to earn advanced degrees

By Tristin Maximilian FORT BELVOIR, Va.—Two noncommissioned officers (NCOs) have been selected for the Army’s Advanced Civil Schooling (ACS) program, offering the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees in acquisition and business disciplines at civilian universities. “The Army offers so many untapped opportunities to service members. There truly is no other program for enlisted service members like ACS,” said Staff. Sgt. Kailey Good-Hallahan, one of the selectees. She will pursue an MBA with a focus on supply chain and operations at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in the next year. Good-Hallahan  serves as a contracting NCO for the 715th Senior Contingency Contracting Team at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. “Being able to […]

Managing the frontiers of military medical research

Managing the frontiers of military medical research

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command POSITION AND OFFICIAL TITLE: Principal assistant for research and technology YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 23 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in science and technology management and engineering; Level I in program management EDUCATION: Ph.D. in veterinary science, University of Wisconsin; M.S. in wildlife biology, Colorado State University; B.S. in zoology, University of Maryland AWARDS: Superior Civilian Service Medal, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command; Civilian Employee of the Year, Category III, U.S. Army Medical Command; Superior Civilian Service Medal, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases; Achievement Medal for Civilian Service; U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Commissioner’s Special Citation; Certificate […]

Design and engineering sleuths uncover time, cost savings

Design and engineering sleuths uncover time, cost savings

By Daniel Smith and Kathryn Bailey It’s possible that this is the most expensive phrase in the English language: “We have always done it this way.” For Army programs of record (PORs), “this way” may be to contract exclusively with industry partners to refresh, upgrade or redesign their systems rather than turning to the government organic base. However, keeping that work in-house can yield substantial cost and time-to-field savings—important drivers for Army force modernization and readiness—often because the government explores commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) options before diving into a custom design. The government’s prototype integration facilities (PIFs) are positioned to help PORs determine the most cost-effective, streamlined solution available. PIFs perform […]

HIGH-EXPLOSIVE VERSATILITY

HIGH-EXPLOSIVE VERSATILITY

The AMP tank round would give M1A2 Abrams tanks more lethality while combining the functions of four existing rounds—anti-armor, breaching and anti-personnel capabilities—in a single piece of ammunition. by Mr. Corey D. Hall The M1A2 Abrams main battle tank and its current suite of ammunition exist to defeat the hardest targets on the battlefield, normally enemy armored vehicles. The Army’s focus on counterinsurgency operations over the past decade presented mainly softer targets. In response, the Army developed and fielded the M1028 canister round, providing some increased short-range capability against enemy personnel. Still, the nature of operations did not provide significant opportunities to bring the Abrams’ lethality to bear in combined […]

Civilian contracting professional development symposium

Civilian contracting professional development symposium

By Giselle Whitfield Acquisition Proponent for Program Management, Contracting, Information Technology, Facilities Engineering and Small Business The director for procurement policy for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement) (DASA-P) hosted a Civilian Professional Development Symposium June 22 at the Defense Acquisition University. Speakers included Brig. Gen. Michael Hoskin, acting director of DASA-P, with an overview of civilian contracting professional and leader development, including lessons learned for success, benefits of counseling, and the importance of work-life balance. Ms. Steffanie Easter, the Army acquisition executive, provided the audience with the four C’s of contracting: commitment, communication, collaboration and courage. She stated that a contracting professional should be […]

Just in time doesn’t always work with training and jobs

Just in time doesn’t always work with training and jobs

  By Scott Greene Chief, Leader Development Branch While instant gratification is what people often seek, if you look for that with regard to certain education, training and high-level jobs within the acquisition community, you’ll surely be left behind. Most advanced training comes with prerequisite training, while most jobs come with a long list of implied previous types of positions and responsibilities. The key is to recognize this seemingly obvious fact as early in your acquisition career as possible and PLAN AHEAD. Training It might be hard to do, but try to think of what advanced training you might want to take further along in your acquisition career. Just as […]

Pentagon unveils plan to restructure USD(AT&L)

Pentagon unveils plan to restructure USD(AT&L)

By Michael Bold FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Aug. 3, 2017) — DOD on Tuesday released its plan for restructuring the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L), envisioning two smaller organizations—an undersecretary of defense for research and engineering (USD(R&E)) “to drive innovation and accelerate the advancement of our warfighting capability” and an undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment (USD(A&S)) “to deliver proven technology into the hands of the warfighter more quickly and affordably.” The reorganization, part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, must be implemented by Feb. 1, 2018. However, the plan could be changed by Congress. The restructuring also […]

I2WD’s Blohm to serve as CERDEC’s acting director

I2WD’s Blohm to serve as CERDEC’s acting director

   Edric Thompson, CERDEC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The U.S. Army has selected Gary W. Blohm to serve as acting director of its Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) as the search continues to fill the position left open in the wake of Henry J. Muller Jr.’s retirement on March 31. “Within RDECOM, Gary Blohm has demonstrated his leadership in many ways. As a former director at CERDEC, he is a long-time member of the communication-electronics family and has the trust and support of many peers and associates,” said Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, commanding general of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM). […]