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 […]

Army Acquisition FY17 Product and Project Director Slating Results

Army Acquisition FY17 Product and Project Director Slating Results

By Norm Hilton FORT BELVOIR, Va. (March 16, 2017) – A Talent Management Board of Directors convened Feb. 24 to slate 16 positions for the newly selected product and project directors announced in February. Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, Army Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM), presided over the board, which included Craig Spisak, deputy Army DACM, and the 12 program executive officers and deputy program executive officers. This was the third year for the product director centralized selection board and the second year for the project director centralized selection board. The board approved 15 product director positions and one project director position to be filled this summer. The standard tenure […]

Then & Now: Nobody, Take the Wheel!

Then & Now: Nobody, Take the Wheel!

1971, 1988, 2017: Nearly 50 years ago, Army began tinkering with driverless vehicles. By Mr. Robert E. Coultas Almost every day we hear or read about advances in transportation technology—from flying drones delivering packages over long distances, pilotless airplanes buzzing the skies, and driverless vehicles traveling across the country at 60 mph with a human “monitor” to be used only in case of emergency. Vehicle manufacturers and large tech corporations around the globe are researching, developing and testing partially autonomous vehicles arrayed with cameras, lidar [light detection and ranging, a method of navigating by tracking light pulses], radar and GPS that would safely navigate, avoid obstacles and obey traffic signs. […]

Army Selects 15 Acquisition Product and Project Directors

Army Selects 15 Acquisition Product and Project Directors

By Norm Hilton and Tara Clements FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Feb. 16, 2017)  –  Fifteen candidates from the Army Acquisition Corps were selected from the fiscal year 2017 product and project director centralized selection boards held Dec. 1 and Dec. 14, 2016, at Fort Knox, Kentucky. This was the third year for a product director centralized selection board and the second year for the project director board. A talent management board of directors will meet Feb. 24 to approve the positions for those newly-selected and slate 13 product director and one project director positions to be filled this summer. Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM), will preside […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Systemizing COTS IT

Systemizing COTS IT

New initiative leverages the standard Army supply system to support COTS IT within the C4ISR domain. by Mr. Dan J. Quinn, Mr. Allen J. Hardison and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ernest “Joe” Sylvester The Army’s standard supply system is the well­established backbone for requisitioning replacement parts and returning unserviceable items for repair.Yet, for commercial off-the-shelf information technology (COTS IT) Army units are directed to go outside the normal logistics system. This often requires units to contact the original equipment manufacturer or vendor to find out if the COTS IT component, such as a laptop, is still under warranty. In addition, every warranty differs. Units often must pay for add-ons such […]