The Challenges of Change

The Challenges of Change

Army acquisition is advancing from reform to strategic thinking From the Army Acquisition Executive Ms. Steffanie B. Easter The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote that the “only constant is change,” a phrase that resonates with me today as our Army navigates ongoing changes to meet future challenges. The most visible changes are generally the most superficial, while it takes time for the effects of longer-term, more impactful changes to become apparent. As the senior official performing the duties of the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, I reflect upon the more sustained, underlying changes that face Army acquisition. More than new leadership and strategies, the emerging […]

Faces of the Force: Mr. James Terhune

Faces of the Force: Mr. James Terhune

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Product Director Medium Caliber, Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems, Program Executive Office for Ammunition TITLE: 40 mm research, development, testing and engineering lead; project management officer YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 15 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in program management; engineering; and business – cost estimating and business – financial management EDUCATION: M.S. in technology management, Stevens Institute of Technology; B.S. in industrial engineering, Lehigh University AWARDS: Achievement Medal for Civilian Service; Commander’s Award for Civilian Service Acquisition career yields better tools for Soldiers By Susan L. Follett 2016 was a good year for the Program Executive Office for Ammunition: its Program Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS) won […]

Strategic acquisition front and center in new Army AL&T magazine

Strategic acquisition front and center in new Army AL&T magazine

By Michael Bold FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Jan. 4, 2016)—Just what is strategic acquisition? It’s a holistic, cradle-to-grave view of acquisition, from design to procurement to testing to deployment to sustainment to disposal. Strategic acquisition is about finding ways to get better capabilities to warfighters faster, and it’s the theme of the January-March 2017 issue of Army AL&T magazine. Read about: The Army Capabilities Integration Center, with groundbreaking efforts by its professional combat developers, requirements writers and program managers, 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 […]

Army researchers demonstrate 3-D printed drones

Army researchers demonstrate 3-D printed drones

By David McNally, ARL Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Dec. 28, 2016) — Soldiers witnessed the innovation of Army researchers recently during flight testing of 3-D printed unmanned aircraft systems that were created on-demand for specific missions. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command invited engineers from the Army Research Laboratory to Fort Benning, Georgia Dec. 1-3, to showcase new technology at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments, or AEWE. “We’ve created a process for converting Soldier mission needs into a 3-D printed On-Demand Small Unmanned Aircraft System, or ODSUAS, as we’ve been calling it,” said Eric Spero, team leader and project manager. With this concept, once a patrol requires […]

Unintended Benefits

Unintended Benefits

USASAC’s FMS efforts around the world benefit warfighters, industry and the defense acquisition community closer to home. Ms. Adriane Elliot, USASAC Public Affairs Like its embattled cousin acquisition reform, strategic acquisition faces long-standing challenges, among them navigating a complex, billion-dollar bureaucracy. As experts debate ways to perfect the defense acquisition process, one Alabama-based command is making an impact close to home with an international approach. The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, manages security assistance programs and $176 billion in foreign military sales (FMS) cases. With support from DOD agencies, American industry and its higher headquarters, the U.S. Army Materiel Command, USASAC provides materiel, training and […]

Big ‘A’ Acquisition

Big ‘A’ Acquisition

From the Director, Acquisition Career Management Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson Achieving dominance starts early, at weapon system design, and continues to procurement, testing and deployment all the way to sustainment and disposal. In a global security environment that is increasingly uncertain and complex, the threats and challenges of tomorrow will be overcome with the weapon systems and equipment we develop, modernize and procure today. To maintain land force dominance, we must view acquisition as a comprehensive process that takes us from the design of weapon systems to procurement, testing, deployment, sustainment and disposal. Known as “big ‘A’ acquisition,” this process involves many stakeholders, including Congress, the industrial base, the […]

Reuse, Refine, Resolve

Reuse, Refine, Resolve

The Joint Tactical Networking Center shares lessons learned in providing software-defined radio products to enable strategic acquisition. by Lt. Col. Matthew A. “Matt” Jury It is much easier to define the concepts of strategic acquisition—making it more efficient, more economical and more sensible throughout the life cycle—than to put them into practice for any given program. While the concepts make sense, executing truly strategic acquisition requires process improvements, culture changes, modifications to DOD issuances and reinforcement of strategic guidance, such as that in Better Buying Power (BBP) 3.0. Since its establishment in 2012 to offer technical expertise on wireless communications, the Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC) has assisted program management […]

Hockey and the USO: USAASC closes the year with special activities

Hockey and the USO: USAASC closes the year with special activities

Kristine Faria As 2016 came to a close, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) personnel came together for two activities that brought special meaning to a long-standing sports rivalry and helped out those in need this holiday season. On Dec. 5, USAASC’s very own Lt. Col. Alex Babington took to the ice at Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Center as part of an Army-Navy hockey game that featured local military players. The result of coordination between Gen. Mark Milley, U.S. Army chief of staff (COS), and the Washington Capitals professional hockey organization, the game ramped up excitement for the year’s Army-Navy football game and kicked off a week of spirited rivalry between […]

Hacking for defense

Hacking for defense

Started at Stanford and soon to be nationwide, this class turns college students loose on national security problems, and expects results. by Mr. William Treseder and Mr. Darren Halford Team AquaLink started off in the wrong direction. The team, part of a class at Stanford University called Hacking for Defense, was working on a problem for U.S. Navy divers, who work for sometimes 12 or more hours at depths of 60 to 200 feet. Currently divers have no way to monitor their core temperature, maximum dive pressure, blood pressure or pulse, which would provide early warnings of hypothermia or decompression sickness (the bends). The goal was to provide a wearable […]

JUST CAALL

JUST CAALL

A suite of changes to the acquisition lessons learned portal makes it easier to learn from others who’ve fought similar battles. by Mr. Steve Stark and Mr. Robert E. Coultas In April 2016, Karen Price needed guidance on an acquisition procedure that her office had encountered for the first time. Price is a senior logistics management specialist for the Joint Product Office for Elimination, part of the Joint Project Manager Guardian within the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. Her office was brand new at the time, and she reached out to the Center for Army Acquisition Lessons Learned (CAALL), within the U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis […]