A forcing function for integration

A forcing function for integration

A look at the systems, participants and firsts from more than a dozen NIEs. by Ms. Nancy Jones-Bonbrest The Army rolled out its new network modernization strategy with a flourish. On a Monday in May 2011, no fewer than 12 stars assembled for a news conference with the Pentagon press corps. Led by Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, then the vice chief of staff of the Army, the generals made the case for a new paradigm called the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE), described by Chiarelli as “a revolutionary new approach.” Because of wartime necessity and the culture of the acquisition system, the Army had been developing and delivering individual components of […]

Tailored training

Tailored training

USAMMDA’s highly specialized workforce needs training to match its mission. It’s getting it, thanks to DAWDF funding. by Ms. Kathleen L. Berst and Ms. Judy L. Holian As the premier developer of world-class military medical capabilities, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is responsible for developing and delivering critical products for the nation’s military forces. USAMMDA requires a particular type of workforce to accomplish this mission, with skills not only in acquisition but also in very specialized areas of medical product development. These highly skilled personnel enable USAMMDA to supply products that protect and preserve the lives of warfighters worldwide. The products include drugs, […]

Zero to full manpower in 8 hours

Zero to full manpower in 8 hours

Predictive Resource Staffing Models make staffing a program office easier and faster. A model for the program management community is available now; models for contracting, R&D, T&E and logistics are in development. by Ms. Rebecca Meyer You’ve just been selected as the program manager for an up-and-coming system. Congratulations! Its capability promises to revolutionize the way the Soldier operates on the battlefield. It checks all the buzzwords: Lean Six Sigma, cost efficient, auditable. There’s just one problem—a program management office (PMO) has not yet been established to carry out the mission, and you’ve been charged with developing the workforce requirement. Where do you start? How many people will you need? […]

Center of the storm

Center of the storm

‘Trail bosses’ in evolving NIE, JWA seize the chance to grow professionally as their roles expand in planning and executing the large-scale exercises. by Ms. Nancy Jones-Bonbrest The Army’s Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) and Joint Warfighting Assessments (JWAs) were meant to be fluid and flexible, adaptable to current demands. In keeping with that design, both events are undergoing sweeping changes that will improve the integration of emerging technologies and meet the call for readiness in an ever-changing global threat environment. As the Army shakes up the process, the people who conduct the NIEs and JWAs are also adapting their roles and responsibilities—and making the most of the opportunity to burnish […]

Then and Now: Not Your Daddy’s (or Granddaddy’s) Tactical Vehicle

Then and Now: Not Your Daddy’s (or Granddaddy’s) Tactical Vehicle

JLTV, Army’s and Marines’ newest wheeled asset, follows in the venerable tracks of Jeep, HMMWV Mr. Robert Coultas Over the past few decades, the character of military conflict has changed substantially as “front lines” and “rear areas” have blurred into a single, full-spectrum operational environment. That increasing complexity is reflected in the tactical vehicles that commanders need to address that spectrum of operations. When the Army looked to replace the venerable Jeep, the July-August 1981 issue of RD&A magazine, Army AL&T’s predecessor, described the new vehicle it sought to acquire, the High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), this way: “The HMMWV will be diesel powered and have an automatic transmission. It […]

Riding the Experience Curve

Riding the Experience Curve

There’s a proven way to drive down defense acquisition costs, and it works especially well for the complex, high-tech platforms prone to big cost overruns. You’ve heard of it: the learning curve. It drives down defense acquisition costs the old-fashioned way. by Mr. Sudhakar Arepally Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs waited 108 years to finally win the World Series championship in 2016. It has not been that long—30 years or so—since the Army launched a major combat ground vehicle program, but the drought is conspicuous and frustrating nonetheless. The Army’s “Big 5”—the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Bradley fighting vehicle, the UH-60 Black Hawk, the AH-64 Apache and the […]

Simplifying SATCOM

Simplifying SATCOM

T2C2: Reducing complexity and providing proper training enable unit-sustained systems. by Maj. Jonathan Lipscomb Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Adequately training units to operate, maintain and sustain their own systems is the cornerstone of the Army’s push to reduce its heavy reliance on contracted field service representative (FSR) support and to improve unit readiness. The sustainment strategy for the Army’s new early entry tactical network capability, Transportable Tactical Command Communications (T2C2), takes this saying to heart, and calls for this new program of record (POR) to be fully operated, supported and […]

Meeting Global Demand

Meeting Global Demand

The Army’s new director of operations at the Rapid Capabilities Office arrived at his post from the Army’s Talent Management Task Force. He discusses how the Army views, gets and keeps the talent it needs. by Ms. Nancy Jones-Bonbrest After spearheading the Army’s Talent Management Task Force since May 2016, Maj. Gen. Wilson “Al” Shoffner Jr. joined the Army Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) as director of operations in April. At first glance, there may not seem to be an obvious link between his former assignment and his new one. After all, one is focused on maximizing individual capability to meet Army personnel needs, while the other is focused on expediting […]

Ground Truth: Talent Management in Lean Times

Ground Truth: Talent Management in Lean Times

Lessons in working with what you have and building what you don’t by Kevin Guite The past several years have been a tricky time for hiring, developing and retaining good people. With less money to spend, less leeway to hire and yet urgent needs for specific knowledge, Army acquisition program managers have had to think creatively to train their workforces, leverage existing expertise across organizations and compete for the brightest young minds. It is those bright minds, after all, who keep the programs running effectively and on schedule to deliver products on time and within budget to the Soldiers who need them as fast as possible. The Army Acquisition Lessons […]

A Green Machine Success

A Green Machine Success

PM MAS secures ManTech and R&D funds to enable the industrial base to experiment with green machining to produce the next generation small-caliber round. by Mrs. Marta Hess, Mr. Jeremy Lucid and Mr. Joseph Paras Until 2010, ammunition for small arms weapons has not kept up with evolving threats, and the performance of legacy ammunition has remained relatively stagnant since the early 1980s. Developed using Cold War-era technology, legacy ammunition has a number of deficiencies in providing warfighters with a definitive advantage against current and future threats. A large-scale effort to develop and field the next generation of small caliber ammunition—and with it, the overmatch capability legacy ammunition does not […]