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 […]

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 […]