Acquisition Reform Baked-In

Acquisition Reform Baked-In

Army PNT program uses open systems architecture, competitive prototyping to spur continuous innovation. by Mr. Kevin Coggins While acquisition reformers debate changes intended to put programs on the path to success earlier in their life cycle, one critical Army program is already living that goal. That would be the program management office for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PM PNT), which reports directly to the Army acquisition executive. PM PNT is charged with delivering next-generation positioning and timing technologies and has embraced key elements of acquisition reform and Better Buying Power (BBP) 3.0. In partnership with industry and government organizations, the PNT program office is using open systems architecture and competitive […]

Developing Afghan Force Managers

Developing Afghan Force Managers

CSTC-A’s Capabilities Development Directorate helps Afghan officers learn how to build, employ and resource units. by Col. Garrett D. Heath and Lt. Stephen E. Webber On Camp Resolute Support in Kabul, Afghanistan, officers from the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) gathered from April to June to hash out the fundamentals of what, until recently, was a foreign concept to most if not all of them: force management. Through open-ended brainstorming exercises in which there were no wrong answers, just learning opportunities, the students created hypothetical units, such as a new Kandak (an ANA battalion). In the process, they addressed the unit’s structure, manning, equipping, training and […]

Yoga for Data

Yoga for Data

The path to enlightenment is not a straightforward one, for people or for data. That’s why flexibility is key when reaching for answers, and why it’s necessary to stretch data so that it can lead to more, better knowledge. by Mr. Thom Hawkins and Mr. Matt Choinski As acquisition professionals, with the hindsight of five, 10 or 20 years’ experience, we can move from blindly populating templates to an intuitive understanding of the connections between schedules and risk management, between our strategic plan and our daily operations. But even with experience, none of us has reached the pinnacle of perfect execution. There’s always more to learn, and the worst thing […]

Been There, Done That: Acquisition Reform

Been There, Done That: Acquisition Reform

With all due respect, you don’t know jack: A former program manager offers his idea for effective acquisition reform – giving MDA to PEOs by Dr. Robert F. Mortlock, Col., USA (Ret.) Attention, senior defense officials, senior service officers and congressional leaders: With all due respect, in most cases you are not the most qualified to make defense acquisition decisions. There are simply too many competing priorities and, frankly, you probably don’t know jack about most program specifics. The root causes of the program failures within DOD are not hard to identify: changing requirements or “requirements creep;” military-unique, stringent ruggedization requirements; unstable budgets and limited resources; immature technology and integration […]

Let the ‘Total Force’ be with you

Let the ‘Total Force’ be with you

By Ashley Tolbert NORMAN, Okla. – Soldiers from the U.S. Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve gathered on July 21-23 for the Reserve Component Acquisition Training Summit, spending time in workshops and presentations from senior leadership from the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard that stressed the importance of integrating the reserve component and the active component and reinforcing the Total Force Policy within the Army Acquisition Workforce. The Total Force Policy—an ongoing effort to integrate active-duty Soldiers, the Army Reserve and the National Guard into one operational force governed by the same policies and procedures—was originally introduced in 1973 and was most recently revamped in 2012 by […]

Calibrating collaboration with industry

Calibrating collaboration with industry

Tasked with delivering ammunition for weapons ranging from handguns to tanks, PM MAS customizes strategies and partnerships with the private sector to develop the best solutions for the warfighter. by Col. Moises M. Gutierrez, Lt. Col. John Todd Masternak, Mr. Christopher R. Seacord and Lt. Col. Kyle A. McFarland From the handgun ammo supplier who straddles the commercial demand-driven market to the unique, military-only tank ammunition supplier who must rely on foreign military sales to retain market competitiveness, each segment of the DOD direct fire ammunition portfolio demands different, multiprong, process-driven strategies to gain the best value and profit while maintaining product overmatch. The project manager for maneuver ammunition systems […]

Network Marketplace: Open for Business and Growing

Network Marketplace: Open for Business and Growing

PEO C3T keeps up with rapid technological changes by taking a competitive approach to buying the latest commercial products so that it can get the best to Soldiers faster. by Mr. Joe Welch, Lt. Col. Jack “Shane” Taylor and Mr. Michael Beery For years, the Army pursued communication systems the same way it developed tanks—fielding a “big bang” capability intended to last for decades. But with today’s exponential progress in information technology, the Army’s network strategy has shifted from revolutionary to evolutionary—continuously building on the latest models with faster, stronger and more powerful capabilities. Think of the latest version of a smartphone, or the most recent model year of a […]

High Stakes, High Reward

High Stakes, High Reward

Strong partnerships with industry are more important than ever as R&D funding declines and need for innovation grows From the Honorable Katrina McFarland  In recent years, Army AL&T magazine has covered various facets of the Better Buying Power program that provide a framework to help us improve how we conduct business, including leveraging small business innovations, revamping acquisition and strengthening tradecraft of the acquisition workforce. This issue highlights another aspect of the program that remains integral to our mission: effective partnerships with industry. While the dynamics of our relationship with industry may evolve with the changing acquisition landscape, the fundamental need for a collaborative exchange of ideas with industry remains […]

Area Denial

Area Denial

Winning in a complex world means that the Army must prepare for combined arms maneuver and wide area security, and that means area denial. However, systems like FASCAM have significant problems, including age and policy restrictions, so it falls to PM CCS, TACOM and ARDEC to sustain an aging stockpile and design successors. by Mr. Edward Chin, Mr. Christopher E. Kramer (Lt. Col., USA, Ret.) and Mr. Ken R. Schulters The Army has significantly increased its emphasis on training for combined arms maneuver (CAM) and wide area security (WAS) operations in contemporary and future operational environments. This increased emphasis has led to a dramatic resurgence in the demand for and […]

DRIVING SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS

DRIVING SMALL BUSINESS  SUCCESS

With AMC accounting for more than half of the Army’s total small business awards, its Offices of Small Business Programs use numerous approaches to set the stage for success in changing—and challenging—times. by Ms. Beth Scherr The numbers may not tell the whole story, but they do say a lot. In FY15, for the second consecutive year, the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) surpassed all its assigned goals for total contract awards to small businesses and to the various socioeconomic small business programs. AMC’s accomplishments in FY14 allowed both DA and DOD to exceed their goals for the first time. In FY15, AMC awarded over $9.2 billion in 63,039 contract […]