• U.S. Army Intelligence Flexes New Software Capabilities During Enterprise Challenge

    Students and instructors from the U.S. Army Geospatial Intelligence Analyst Course at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence get a close look at the ground terminal station of the DCGS-A Aug. 30 during EC 12 at Fort Huachuca. (Photo by Ray K. Ragan)

    Ray K. Ragan

    The primary U.S. Army intelligence system demonstrated some of its capabilities for program managers and military intelligence students alike during Exercise Enterprise Challenge 2012 (EC12), which concluded Sept. 7 at Fort Huachuca, AZ.

    EC12 allowed agencies within DOD, including coalition partners, to test new and existing technologies in an operationally realistic environment. The exercise was executed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency under the authority of the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Programs, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)). Several locations hosted this year’s exercise, including the Fort Huachuca test site of the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC).

    One of this year’s featured systems was the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System – Army (DCGS-A). This system allows Soldiers and intelligence analysts to share information across a broader intelligence network that integrates with other services for real-time information and intelligence sharing.

    Intelligence on the move enables commanders to make combat decisions as DCGS-A provides information and intelligence from multiple sources, along with full-motion video and maps of the battlespace.

    For MAJ Shermoan Daiyaan, participation in EC12 was a welcome opportunity. Daiyaan is the Assistant Product Manager for the DCGS-A Tactical Intelligence Ground Station within the Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors. He is the Army’s Lead for EC12.

    “There’s basically a DCGS for each of the services, including SOF [Special Operations Forces],” said Daiyaan. Enterprise Challenge “is an opportunity and venue for all of us [in the DCGS family] to start sharing data, to work together toward being more interoperable.”

    During this year’s exercise, Daiyaan said, DCGS-A had four major objectives to accomplish: to document feedback from Soldiers on the ease of use of the system; mitigate risk on a test cloud network; work with JITC for information exchange and interoperability capabilities; and develop tactics, techniques, and procedures on how to perform intelligence on the move.

    Gary C. Wang (left), Director, ISR Programs within the USD(I), receives a briefing Aug. 28 from SPC Marquis D. Lane, Tactical Intelligence Ground Station Operator with the Development, Test, and Training Detachment, HHC, USAIC and Fort Huachuca, before a nighttime demonstration of DCGS-A’s intelligence-on-the-move capability. (Photo courtesy of Michael Gaun, 2nd Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment)

    Intelligence on the Move
    During the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army adopted a counterinsurgency strategy to combat the realities of those battlespaces. At the core of this strategy is the ability to share information and to use that information to develop intelligence that directs operations.

    While the strategy was developed and refined along with the information-sharing capabilities, some were less-practiced capabilities, such as intelligence on the move, said LTC Derrick C. Smits, Commander, Development, Test, and Training Detachment, Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), U.S. Army Intelligence Center (USAIC) and Fort Huachuca.

    Intelligence on the move enables a combat unit commander to understand what both enemy and friendly units are doing in the battlespace as the combat units advance. As seen in these recent conflicts, friendly units now include other services, as well as ally and coalition units. Intelligence on the move enables commanders to make combat decisions as DCGS-A provides information and intelligence from multiple sources, along with full-motion video and maps of the battlespace.

    “For the last 10 years, this has been a lost skill, because we just haven’t practiced it,” Smits said. “You have a whole generation of lieutenants and captains who haven’t done this type of fight.”

    Testing DCGS-A
    During EC12, DCGS-A was able to collect electronic intelligence, report Moving Tracking Indicator, and integrate full-motion video, all while on the move. The test also included a demonstration of nighttime intelligence-on-the-move capability, to create a challenging environment. “We were able to meet our time standards for being able to set up antennas in 10 minutes,” said Smits.

    In the last days of EC12, approximately 40 students and instructors from the U.S. Army Geospatial Intelligence Analyst Course at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence saw a demonstration of this newest version of DCGS-A as well as the terminal station, which provides data connectivity.

    This was the first time that SFC Anthony E. Beck, Phase 1 Lead for the two-phase course, saw DCGS-A in action.

    “The updated tracking capability it has, the tracking mechanism for Moving Target Indicator, the user interface for that has changed so much now [that] when they showed it to me today, it just about blew my mind,” said Beck, a 16-year veteran of Army Intelligence.

    This was also the first time to see DCGS-A for student PFC Zachary T. Ossman. “A lot of the new programs make it [intelligence analysis] a lot easier,” Ossman said.

     


    • RAY K. RAGAN is the contract Public Affairs Officer for JITC. He holds a B.S. in information technology from the University of Phoenix (traditional campus at Phoenix), a master of administration with a concentration in project management from Northern Arizona University, and the Project Management Professional credential from the Project Management Institute. Ragan is a Civil Affairs and Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and formerly an Information Management and Signal Officer in the Army National Guard.

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  • CHESS Adds Tablets and Slates for Consolidated Buy

    Leveraging the Army’s buying power, CHESS, the Army's designated primary source for procurement of commercial off-the-shelf information technology (IT) products, now makes tablets and slates available through its online ordering system, IT e-mart. (Image by David Baker, PEO EIS)

    Michael Dorsey

    The Project Director Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software, and Solutions (CHESS) opened the 15th Consolidated Buy (CB) for ordering June 18 with the announcement that tablets and slates are now available to all government organizations purchasing desktops, notebooks, and printers during CB-15. The ordering period runs through Sept. 30.

    Tablets offer a highly mobile platform that performs similar to laptops but weighs less and has touch-screen capability. Slates—smaller tablets with touch-screen imprint—are also being offered. Customers can choose from eight tablets and slates.

    Tablets offer a highly mobile platform that performs similar to laptops but weighs less and ha touch-screen capability. Slates—smaller tablets with touch-screen imprint—will also be offered. Customers can choose from eight tablets and slates.

    What distinguishes the tablets and slates offered in CB-15 is their ability to meet network standards and run the Microsoft Windows-based Army Golden Master. This means they can connect to the Army network, process For Official Use Only documents, and obtain standard security patches.

    The CB-15 is open to all government agencies and employees eligible to buy from CHESS, the Army-mandated purchasing program.

    For more information on the tablets and slates, go to https://CHESS.army.mil. For information on purchases by individual government employees through the Government Employees Purchase Program, click on “Resources.”

    CHESS has also established an Army Knowledge Online page where customers can review
    benchmark information for CB desktops and notebooks.

    The CB program offers substantial savings regardless of the quantities procured. CB products and prices are available on the CHESS website in the online comparison tool and in a downloadable spreadsheet file, making it easy for customers to compare products and prices by category and assess all eight Army Desktop and Mobile Computing 2 vendor product offerings.

     


    • MICHAEL DORSEY is the Strategic Communications Officer for CHESS within Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) at Fort Belvoir, VA. He holds a B.A. in communication studies from the University of Maryland. Dorsey is also a graduate of the U.S. Defense Information School. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran with more than 20 years’ experience in military public affairs.

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  • OSD Unmanned Warfare Directorate Develops Online Unmanned Catalog Database

    An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crew with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team wheels out a Shadow 200 UAV for a June 7 flight at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Ghazni province, Afghanistan. The crew is assigned to 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion. (Photo by SGT Mike MacLeod)

    Since 2000, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has been publishing a 25-year road map for unmanned systems (UMS) on a regular basis. Inclusive of the 2009 edition, these road maps evolved to include an ever-growing list of DOD UMS.

    With the rapid development and increased acquisition of UMS over the last decade, these road map catalogs provided a useful but quickly outdated snapshot of DOD UMS, encompassing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned ground vehicles, and unmanned maritime systems.

    “This new catalog is a great resource for providing detailed system capabilities to the broader defense community, all at a single location.”

    The Unmanned Warfare directorate in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD (AT&L)) recognized the need for timely updates to the UMS database and modified the road map format by extracting the UMS catalog portion into an easily accessible database.

    This new online catalog database, launched in conjunction with the 2011 Unmanned System Integrated Roadmap, is now part of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center Unmanned Warfare Information Repository (UWIR).

    The UWIR, which is accessible using a Common Access Card, is at https://extranet.acq.osd.mil/uwir. It is a one-stop shop for all things unmanned, including UAS Task Force information, road maps, references, and summary charts. The site allows for quick and easy comparisons, analysis, and reporting on many variables across all of the systems of an unmanned domain. For example, a user can quickly review engine performance and manufacturer information for all UAS. The individual system pages are extensive, including system information, background, design parameters, performance, attributes, and images.

    “This new catalog is a great resource for providing detailed system capabilities to the broader defense community, all at a single location,” said David Ahern, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategic and Tactical Systems. The catalog, maintained by the OSD Unmanned Warfare directorate, is slated to become the authoritative source for unmanned system data.

    For more information, send an email to UWcatalog@osd.mil or go to https://extranet.acq.osd.mil/uwir/.

     


    • —USD (AT&L) Staff

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  • PM TRADE Takes Aim at Training with Indirect Fire

    The mortar collar holds a simulated round during a training exercise. These add-ons for the mortar allow Soldiers to operate their equipment and provide an opportunity to join in FOF training. (U.S. Army photos courtesy of PM TRADE)

    Todd Kosis

    Historically, more combat casualties have been attributed to indirect fire weapons than any other means. Today, in the live force-on-force (FOF) training environment, the indirect fire weapon systems and the Soldiers who use them have no way to be included.

    That is about to change.

    For the first time, we can put the indirect fire teams directly in the middle of the live FOF training environment, at both their home stations and the Combat Training Centers. In the past, indirect fire teams have been left on the sidelines because they didn’t have a training device to perform their crew duties on indirect fire weapon systems. This new training system fills the gap, training Soldiers effectively on individual and collective tasks.

    The indirect fire training system relies on an instrumentation system that provides the means to send the indirect fire shot messages against existing Instrumentable – Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System targets.

    Brigade combat team (BCT) fire support (FS) includes Army indirect fires, joint fires, and offensive information operations (IO). The success of this support depends on effective interaction among the BCT fires, BCT staff, S-7, and supporting IO units. The fires section’s primary functions include, but are not limited to, planning, coordinating, synchronizing, and executing Army indirect FS and joint fires in BCT operations.

    The indirect fire training device will allow the fire support elements to be active participants in the live FOF training events. No fire support element can be complete without having eyes on target. The forward observer (FO) will now be incorporated into the live FOF training event to provide the closed-loop training solution.

    This indirect fire training capability brings together the three key elements that form the basis of indirect fire in a closed-loop approach: the FO kit, which provides eyes on the target; the fire detection center, which calculates the angle of fire, distance, type of mortar, etc.; and the mortar element, where the Soldiers hang and fire the mortars.

    “You can’t shoot real targets unless you’re at war. This system replicates the entire fire mission process,” said Armour Brown, a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Capabilities Manager Fires representative, who tested the new system. “The only thing you can’t do is smell the gunpowder.”

    The indirect fire training system relies on an instrumentation system that provides the means to send the indirect fire shot messages against existing Instrumentable – Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES) targets. The indirect fire support system comprises three separate kits—a dismount kit, a mortar kit, and an FO kit.

    The dismount kit consists of an instrumented radio system and a player unit the Soldier wears that interfaces with the MILES. The mortar kit consists of the mortar simulator round, collar insert, optical sensor, and weapons orientation modular processing unit. The FO kit consists of a tablet and player unit. These components communicate wirelessly through a personal area network.

    A Soldier views information on his FO tablet during a training exercise. Using the tablet, Soldiers can view the field for targets and provide data back to the fire direction center in a manner similar to live exercises, allowing for a better training experience.

    When employing a mortar weapon system, the first thing the crew does is establish the grid position for each weapon and a direction that the crew will use to make fire adjustments. The mortar kit is attached to the weapon system, capturing azimuth and elevation adjustments made by the crew in real time. It also captures the type of round, fuze settings, number of charges, and the arming of the round. All of this information passes to the instrumentation system, where flight characteristics are applied and the impact point is determined.

    The FO kit consists of a player unit and an FO tablet. With the tablet, the FO has full view of the battlefield, allowing him or her to locate and identify targets, visualize round impacts, and apply the appropriate fire adjustments to effectively deliver indirect fires. “We have successfully demonstrated that an FO with a tablet can accurately call for fire and adjust onto target in a field environment by virtual means,” said SFC Roger Wilson, a 13F (fire support specialist) representative from Fort Sill, OK, who is familiar with the new training device.

    This new indirect fire training capability is a huge advancement for the FOs and the artillery and mortar crews. Not only will it fill a critical training gap, but it comes at a good time. With all DoD agencies looking at their budgets, the Army now can evaluate the training effectiveness of indirect fires without expending live munitions. This training system will provide Soldiers and crews the ability to exercise the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver effective indirect fires on targets in combat.

     


    • TODD KOSIS is Project Director for the One Tactical Engagement Simulation System program, where he develops Weapon Orientation Modules for Program Manager Training Devices (PM TRADE) Live Training Systems within Program Executive Office Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). He has more than 20 years’ experience as a Lead Engineer and Project Director in the development of combat systems and Tactical Engagement Simulation Systems in the U.S. Military. He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Auburn University.

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  • New Product Office Focuses on Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle

    LTC Doug Miller, Product Manager for the newly created AMPV program, cuts the cake during the June 14 ceremony marking his assumption of charter. Alongside Miller are COL William Sheehy, Project Manager HBCT, and Deputy Program Executive Officer Ground Combat Systems Dr. Paul Rogers. (U.S. Army photo)

    Bill Good

    “The AMPV will provide the Army heavy brigade combat team with improved maneuverability, force protection, and networking capability. We have recently brought together a fantastic group of individuals to stand up this office, and we are ready to move out and start working with industry to develop this capability for our Soldiers in the HBCTs.”

    The U.S. Army, in its continued dedication to modernizing its heavy brigade combat team (HBCT) vehicle fleet, has stood up a new product management office dedicated to fielding the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV).

    At a ceremony in Warren, MI, June 14, LTC Doug Miller assumed the charter of Product Manager for the AMPV program within Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS). The AMPV will be a new family of vehicles designed to replace a portion of the Army’s M113 fleet.

    “The AMPV will provide the Army heavy brigade combat team with improved maneuverability, force protection, and networking capability. We have recently brought together a fantastic group of individuals to stand up this office, and we are ready to move out and start working with industry to develop this capability for our Soldiers in the HBCTs,” Miller said.

    Under the current plan, the AMPV will replace all M113s in formations at brigade level and below. A decision on the remaining M113s, in units above the brigade level, will be made at a later date. The AMPV family of vehicles will have five variants: general purpose, mortar carrier, medical evacuation, medical treatment, and mission command.

    The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Analysis Center at Fort Leavenworth, KS, (TRAC Leavenworth) recently conducted an analysis of alternatives (AoA) for the M113 vehicle. After the AoA report is approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, the Army will release to industry a request for proposal outlining the specific capabilities it is looking for. An industry day has been tentatively scheduled for September.

    “The M113 has been and will be a longstanding member of our formations. However, as we look to the future and see the types of systems that will need to be incorporated on our vehicles, it has become evident that certain variants of the M113 needed more SWaP-C [size, weight, power, and cooling]. The AMPV program will address those needs and provide our Soldiers with a modern platform,” said COL William Sheehy, Project Manager HBCT.

    The key premise for the Army’s AMPV revolves around additional SWaP-C. The current M113 has been in service for almost five decades and, although it has been upgraded over the years, it has reached its full potential on the modern battlefield. The new AMPV will not only incorporate all of the Army’s current systems but also additional SWaP-C to allow for future growth.

     


    • BILL GOOD is a Public Affairs Specialist for PEO GCS. He holds a B.S. in broadcasting from Siena Heights University and an M.A in public relations and organizational communication from Wayne State University.

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  • Bradley Urban Survivability Kits Installed Early and Under Budget

    COL Ross Davidson, Commander, 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 2nd Infantry Division, with BAE Systems’ BUSK III Modification Team. The team was able to complete the mission of enhancing the Bradley Fighting Vehicles of the 1st BCT and the U.S. Army Materiel Command prepositioned stock a month ahead of time and 20 percent under budget. (U.S. Army photo)

    Bill Good

    In mid-June, the Bradley A3 Fighting Vehicles assigned to units stationed in the Republic of Korea became the latest in the fleet to receive the Bradley Urban Survivability Kit III (BUSK III) upgrades.

    The BUSK III Modification Work Order (MWO) application began for the 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (ID) and U.S. Army Materiel Command prepositioned stocks in January and concluded on June 4, a month ahead of schedule.

    The BUSKs allow the Army’s infantry fighting vehicle to better adapt to the rigors of urban combat. BUSK III incorporates four modifications, including a blast-proof fuel cell, a blast-resistant driver seat, a turret survivability system, and an emergency ramp release.

    “The team involved did an amazing job, when you consider the statistics,” said LTC Glenn Dean, Product Manager for Bradley within Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS). “Our BUSK III installation team applied approximately 2,400 total MWOs and repairs on 236 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, finishing a month earlier than projected and 20 percent under budget. That constitutes roughly $700,000 in savings.”

    The BUSKs allow the Army’s infantry fighting vehicle to better adapt to the rigors of urban combat. BUSK III incorporates four modifications, including a blast-proof fuel cell, a blast-resistant driver seat, a turret survivability system, and an emergency ramp release.

    The team was able to save time and money by bundling other pending MWOs while installing BUSK III on the vehicles. Modifications applied in addition to the four BUSK III MWOs were electrical ground improvements, a fire suppression guard improvement, an automatic fire suppression system control panel switch guard, and a hotbox protection system enhancement. The installation team also conducted check and repair activities to address the control panel retrofit, track adjuster, driver’s hatch bearings, and generator re-torque.

    “Events like this demonstrate the best of both worlds. Operationally, our teams installed critical force protection enhancements to the Bradley A3, which will allow our forces to maintain battlefield dominance well into the future. Simultaneously, we did it ahead of schedule and well below cost. The BUSK III team did a marvelous job,” said COL William Sheehy, PEO GCS’ Project Manager Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT).

    After finishing work in Korea, the BUSK III installation team’s next stop was Fort Carson, CO, to begin servicing the 4th ID’s Bradleys.

     


    • BILL GOOD is a Public Affairs Specialist for PEO GCS. He holds a B.S. in broadcasting from Siena Heights University and an M.A in public relations and organizational communication from Wayne State University.

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  • Army Retires Last ‘A’ Model Apache Helicopter

    COL Shane Openshaw (right), Project Manager for Apache Attack Helicopters, accepts the logbook and keys of Apache aircraft 451 from LTC Derrek Hryhorchuk, 1/149 ARB Commander, during the July 15 ceremony in Houston commemorating the retirement of the last A model. (Photos by Sofia Bledsoe, Program Executive Office Aviation Public Affairs)

    Sofia Bledsoe

    It was a proud, historic, and emotional moment for the Army—especially for the Soldiers in the 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack/Reconnaissance) (1/149 ARB).

    The last AH-64A Apache helicopter, Aircraft 451, was retired from the Army and handed over to the Project Office for Apache Helicopters during a ceremony July 15 at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, TX. The event was hosted by the Texas Army National Guard’s 1/149 ARB, the 36th Infantry Division unit that had the last A-model Apache in its fleet.

    The aircraft was flown to San Angelo, TX, by CW5 Jim Sandberg, 1/149 ARB Standardization Pilot, and CW2 Adrian Domonoski, Maintenance Test Officer. There, it is being disassembled, to be taken to the Boeing facility in Mesa, AZ, and reconfigured into the next generation AH-64D Apache Longbow.

    “As the Project Manager for the Apache attack helicopter, I’m really proud to take custody of the 451,” said COL Shane Openshaw. “In about a year from now, you’ll see 451 come out of the production line as the latest and last AH-64D.”

    Aircraft 451 has a long and proud history with the 1/149 ARB, which was nominated recently for the Valorous Unit Award. Four of its aviators were recognized with the Distinguished Flying Cross for their heroism and extraordinary achievements in Ramadi, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Aircraft 451 took heavy ballistic damage, but the aircraft, crew, and the Soldiers they protected always came home safely.

    “It’s like losing an old friend,” said CPT Stacy James Rostorfer, Bravo Company Commander. “That aircraft has saved my life; it has saved many lives. It’s armored in all the right places, so you can go in, protect others, and protect yourself. We always brought everybody home.” Rostorfer, a longtime fan of the Apache, recalled playing with Apache models when he was 10 years old. “They’re still in the basement of my parents’ house. I’ll never part with it.”

    During the ceremony, LTC Derrek Hryhorchuk, 1/149 ARB Commander, recounted the unit’s heroism, remembering that Aircraft 451 kept them safe and alive. “We’re going to make sure that aircraft goes out in style,” he said. Hryhorchuk had flown the Apache’s predecessor, the AH-1 Cobra, and noted that things needing improvement in the Cobra were improved in the A-model Apache. “I’m looking forward to the capabilities that needed to be improved in the A model that are now in the D-model Longbow.”

    CW5 Jim Sandberg, 1/149 ARB Standardization Pilot, who flew the very first
    A-model Apache, holds a photo of himself
    as a young pilot. Sandberg is obtaining his
    certification as an instructor pilot for the
    AH-64D Apache Longbow.

    MG William “Tim” Crosby, Program Executive Officer Aviation, said during his ceremonial remarks that “these types of ceremonies, and in the company of Soldiers, are the constant reminders of why we do what we do, and why we strive to do it better every day. To all the Soldiers, God bless you.”

    Although the spotlight was on the aircraft, Crosby said, “I’m not here to talk about the aircraft. I’m here to talk about you—you, the Soldiers of the Texas National Guard, who have stood up and said, ‘I want to make a difference, I want to give back to my country.’ ” And it’s your pride, your courage, your passion that make that aircraft special. Because aircraft don’t fly—aviators fly. And they fly because of the mechanics and the crew chiefs who make them ready to fly.”

    “It’s like losing an old friend. That aircraft has saved my life; it has saved many lives. It’s armored in all the right places, so you can go in, protect others, and protect yourself. We always brought everybody home.”

    MG James K. “Red” Brown, Commanding General of the 36th Infantry Division, echoed Crosby’s remarks. “Never in the history of the United States has there been a better integration between the active component and the reserve component,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what uniform you put on. You add concrete to the foundation that this Nation was built upon—our volunteer Soldiers. Apaches give us the capability to prevent those who wish to harm us, and enable us to protect the values and freedoms that make this country great.”

    Remarking on the “end of an era,” David Koopersmith, Vice President of Boeing’s Attack Helicopter Programs, said, “It’s the Soldiers that inspire the Apache team. We’re fortunate to have the honor of providing Apache helicopters to help ensure that no fight is ever a fair fight.”

    Based on combat reports, the 1/149 ARB was responsible for 26 enemy killed in action and two enemy wounded in action in Ramadi. During one mission while providing a local area orientation of Ramadi at night with the 2/159 ARB, the 1/149 was called to support. Due to “danger close” proximity with friendly units in the area, one of the 1/149 aircrews slowed to 30 knots airspeed to engage the enemy position. The aircraft received battle damage, but the crew was able to hit the tractor-trailers, resulting in a massive explosion. The aircrew was awarded the Air Medal with “V” Device for Valor.

    Later in the firefight, a Soldier from 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment was seriously wounded, and traditional MEDEVAC assets were not able to respond. The 1/149 ARB aircrew in Apache 451 decided to extract this wounded Soldier. They landed, and the wounded Soldier was placed in the front seat; the co-pilot gunner attached himself to the aircraft by the wing and fuselage holds. The wounded Soldier was quickly treated and received the advanced care he needed. In the end, he recovered fully from his wounds. For this action, the crew was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    “After you get through a couple of weeks in combat, you strap yourself into an Apache, you feel a sense of invincibility,” said COL Richard Adams, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade Commander. “There are a lot of sons and daughters in America who are alive because of that aircraft.”

    Because situational awareness is always key in combat, “the ground guys always requested us,” said Adams. “When Apache flies, nobody dies. I’m very privileged to lead these bunch of guys.”

     


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  • Office of the Chief Systems Engineer: Integrating Capabilities Efficiently

    Figure 1 The OCSE and SoSI Directorate are aligned under the Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management, combining to form the systems engineering “V.” OCSE efforts are primarily on the left side, performing project definition, and SoSI efforts are on the right, performing project test and integration. (SOURCE: ASA(ALT) OCSE)

    Terence M. Edwards

    Traditional systems engineering is necessary for developing individual systems. However, system-of-systems engineering (SoSE) at the system level makes a significant positive difference in integrating the many existing and new programs into a required overall capability.

    The Defense Acquisition Guidebook, published by the Defense Acquisition University, states:
    “A SoS is defined as a set or arrangement of systems that results from independent systems integrated into a larger system that delivers unique capabilities. … SoS engineering deals with planning, analyzing, organizing, and integrating the capabilities of a mix of existing and new systems into a SoS capability greater than the sum of the capabilities of the constituent parts. SoS engineering is an activity that spans the entire system’s life cycle; from pre-Milestone A through Disposal.”

    Management and oversight of this highly technical and complex process of SoSE is extremely difficult. It is also starting to be recognized across DoD as crucial to developing the required capabilities for the warfighter as well as providing prudent management of scarce resources.

    The mission of ASA(ALT) OCSE is to provide the Army’s leadership and materiel developers with the necessary system-of-systems analysis, defining engineering and architectural products to manage and shape the Army’s materiel portfolio; to ensure systems engineering discipline across the materiel developer community throughout the acquisition life cycle; and to grow the systems engineering capability within the Army through education, engineering policy, guidelines, and adoption of best industry practices.

    At a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Summit held April 2, 2008, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army directed the establishment of a SoSE organization in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)). To implement this directive, the ASA(ALT) directed the establishment of this organization in a memorandum dated May 27, 2008.

    The organization was established to serve as the lead for executing SoSE systems engineering functions for the enterprise of Army programs, to ensure that the respective overall desired capabilities are achieved. It has since been reorganized as the Office of the Chief Systems Engineer (OCSE), serving as the only organization within ASA(ALT) headquarters to provide analytical support to the ASA(ALT) leadership on critical SoS trade-space issues. The OCSE also conducts studies, establishes vision, designs baselines, and maintains vigilance of affordability, interoperability, and relevance.

    In support of these goals and as part of a broader review of ASA(ALT), the SoSE mission and function within ASA(ALT) were realigned to the Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management (DASM). On June 30, 2011, the SoSE Directorate in ASA(ALT) stood down, and on July 1, 2011, the OCSE was established provisionally. In October 2011, the function of the ASA(ALT) Chief Information Officer (CIO) was transferred from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Plans, Programs, and Resources to the OCSE.

    Additionally, the Program Executive Office (PEO) Integration stood down, and the System of Systems Integration (SoSI) Directorate was established provisionally on October 1, 2011. The SoSI Directorate is also aligned under the DASM (see Figure 1). OCSE and SoSI missions combine to form the systems engineering “V” depicted in Figure 1. OCSE efforts are primarily on the left side of the V, performing project definition, and SoSI efforts are on the right, performing project test and integration. These organizations are currently developing their concept plans for formal approval.

    The mission of ASA(ALT) OCSE is to provide the Army’s leadership and materiel developers with the necessary system-of-systems analysis, defining engineering and architectural products to manage and shape the Army’s materiel portfolio; to ensure systems engineering discipline across the materiel developer community throughout the acquisition life cycle; and to grow the systems engineering capability within the Army through education, engineering policy, guidelines, and adoption of best industry practices.

    As the ASA(ALT) CIO, the OCSE leads ASA(ALT) transformation to deliver timely, trusted, and shared information, And to create an environment that empowers the acquisition community through an unsurpassed agile, collaborative, productive, lean, and trusted information enterprise.

    OCSE’s focus is on:
    • Delivering strategic-level SoSE and architectural analysis for current and future force capabilities.
    • Common Operating Environment orchestration, and validation and verification.
    • Identifying science and technology opportunities that will enhance the SoS capability.
    • Fostering the environment for information transparency and collaboration for all architectural and engineering data.
    • Conducting program reviews to ensure compliance with established architectures and standards.
    • Shaping SoS engineering organizational structure and processes across the PEOs to ensure consistency in implementation.
    • Establishing engineering policy, guides, best practices templates, and metrics to insure SoS discipline across ASA(ALT).
    • Promoting education and personnel development model to cultivate the SoSE capability across the ASA(ALT) and the Army.
    • Orchestrating the domain management of its portfolio of existing Information Technology (IT) systems so as to inform investment in those systems, eliminate unnecessary redundant capability, and retire existing systems as their capabilities are transitioned into the evolving suite of enterprise IT systems.

    Conclusion
    The OCSE mission is critical to executing SoS engineering functions for Army programs, ensuring that desired capabilities are achieved in an integrated and efficient manner. As the ASAALT CIO, OCSE’s efforts are critical to developing a coherent approach to IT resource management across the acquisition enterprise. The establishment of OCSE is a major step toward more efficiently achieving an integrated capability among Army programs that is greater than the sum of the capabilities of its parts, in an increasingly resource-constrained environment.

     


    • TERENCE M. (TERRY) EDWARDS is the Director, OCSE. Previously, Edwards was the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s CIO/Chief Technology Officer/G-6. He has also served on the Army Staff, as Director of the Army Architecture Integration Cell in the Office of the CIO/G-6. Edwards holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama; an M.S. in computer science from Fairleigh Dickinson University; and an M.S. in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

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  • Missions and Key Initiatives of New OCSE Directorates

    OCSE’s PoR Engineering Support Directorate is forming a Reliability Working Group that will assess current reliability efforts across Army programs and recommend improvements.

    At a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Summit held April 2, 2008, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA) directed the establishment of a system-of-systems engineering (SoSE) organization in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)). To implement this directive, the ASA(ALT) directed the establishment of this organization in a memorandum dated May 27, 2008.

    The organization was established to serve as the lead for executing SoSE systems engineering functions for the enterprise of Army programs, to ensure that the respective overall desired capabilities are achieved. It has since been reorganized as the Office of the Chief Systems Engineer (OCSE), serving as the only organization within ASA(ALT) headquarters to provide analytical support to the ASA(ALT) leadership on critical SoS trade-space issues. The OCSE also conducts studies, establishes vision, designs baselines, and maintains vigilance of affordability, interoperability, and relevance.

    In support of these goals and as part of a broader review of ASA(ALT), the SoSE mission and function within ASA(ALT) were realigned to the Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management. The SoSE Directorate in ASA(ALT) stood down, and the OCSE was established provisionally. In addition, the function of the ASA(ALT) Chief Information Officer (CIO) was transferred to the OCSE. This article explores the missions and key initiatives of the newly created OCSE directorates.

    The Program of Record (PoR) Engineering Support Directorate supports Army systems for which the Milestone Decision Authority resides with the Army or Defense Acquisition Authority. It also works with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Systems Engineering to provide support for Army systems seeking a milestone decision by working through the Defense Acquisition Board. Initiatives include army development planning, value engineering, product data, open systems architecture, requirements management, defense exportability features, and reliability and maintainability efforts.

    On June 4, the VCSA endorsed the Army’s strategy to converge network operations (NetOps) capabilities as presented by the ASA(ALT) OCSE. The effort will increase ease of use and reduce sustainment support requirements by simplifying and reducing the number of NetOps tools in the current tool set.

    OCSE’s PoR Engineering Support Directorate is forming a Reliability Working Group that will assess current reliability efforts across Army programs and recommend improvements. OCSE is focusing on a few key areas: policies and guidance; training; validation of reliability requirements; fault definition; scoring criteria; early design-for-reliability activities; and competent reliability management and oversight across the acquisition life cycle. OCSE realizes that the Army needs systems that are effective when needed, not just effective when available.

    The Architecture and Analysis Directorate establishes the capability to develop and deliver the architecture products that facilitate analysis and trades, providing timely, relevant information to inform decision makers and guide the Army’s efforts. The directorate serves as a single responsible agent within ASA(ALT) that provides:

    • Management oversight for all systems architecture in the Army.
    • A point of contact for all system architecture deliverables and data.
    • Strategy and organization to execute the system architecture mission.
    • Integration of system architecture efforts.
    • Manpower and oversight for planning and executing architecture resources.

    On June 4, the VCSA endorsed the Army’s strategy to converge network operations (NetOps) capabilities as presented by the ASA(ALT) OCSE. The effort will increase ease of use and reduce sustainment support requirements by simplifying and reducing the number of NetOps tools in the current tool set.

    The SoS Directorate synchronizes ongoing system-of-systems (SoS) engineering and architecture data integration efforts with related HQDA initiatives to yield a data-driven modeling and analysis environment that encompasses the Acquisition and Programming capability portfolios.

    A key SoS Directorate initiative is implementation of the Common Operating Environment (COE). This will help increase competition and help lower software and hardware integration burdens and costs. The implementation plan will remain flexible as the Army continues to evolve its network standards and fielding methods. The Army will continuously seek industry and service input as it transitions to the COE.

    The ASA(ALT) CIO has significantly shaped the Army approach to DCC by recognizing that it is not an efficiency drill that saves on real estate, power, and heating costs, but more a portfolio management drill, driving significant savings through the rationalization of applications, their consolidation, and then virtualization.

    The mission of the ASA(ALT) Chief Information Officer (CIO) encompasses the 12 information technology (IT) core competencies from Army Regulation 25-1, Army Knowledge Management and Information Technology, as they apply within the ASA(ALT) community. Fundamental to this mission are the direction to, and coordination among, the program executive office CIOs so that the community at large is following a coherent approach to IT resource management.

    The mission of the ASA(ALT) CIO specifically includes responsibility as agency:
    • ASA(ALT) CIO.
    Chief Financial Officers Act Implementation Manager.
    • Acquisition Business Enterprise Architect.
    • Acquisition Data Steward.
    • ASA(ALT) Chief Knowledge Officer.

    Achievement of the ASA(ALT) Strategic Objectives is shaped by the demands of existing statutory requirements (for example, the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, National Defense Authorization Acts of 2005, 2007, 2009, etc.) and by events in an evolving environment, such as data center consolidation (DCC) and the Secretary of the Army’s IT management reform efforts.

    The ASA(ALT) CIO has significantly shaped the Army approach to DCC by recognizing that it is not an efficiency drill that saves on real estate, power, and heating costs, but more a portfolio management drill, driving significant savings through the rationalization of applications, their consolidation, and then virtualization. At that point, the applications can go wherever we get the best business deal for service and cost.

    The Army Acquisition plans to follow DCC by integrating the remaining applications into an enterprise environment and enabling the retirement of eight of the nine data centers currently operated by ASA(ALT). Thus, the DCC is aligned with the domain portfolio management mission and is a key enabler of the ongoing transition to enterprise systems.

    Conclusion
    Based on the missions and progress of key SoS and CIO initiatives within the OCSE directorates, OCSE is well on its way of transforming and institutionalizing SoS and IT management processes into Army programs that will achieve a capability greater than the sum of its parts.

     


    • —ASA(ALT) OCSE Staff

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  • The ‘New’ Acquisition Workforce

    Dismounted Soldiers meet 'insurgents' in a training village near Oro Grande, NM, June 4, during NIE 12.2’s Capstone event to evaluate Tempus Pro medical monitoring equipment. Army medical personnel used the physiological monitoring and communication system during a mass-casualty training scenario. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Barry St. Clair.)

    COL Gail Washington

    When you think of Army acquisition, you might picture PowerPoint briefings, memos for signature, Pentagon strategy sessions, or testimony on Capitol Hill.

    You probably don’t think of innovation in the desert.

    But during the past year, a team of military, civilian, and contractor personnel from across the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology community has expanded what it means to work in acquisition. As the Army executes Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) as a key component of the Agile Process, these individuals—engineers, technicians, planners, operations experts, and other staffers of all stripes—are working constantly behind the scenes to ensure a successful transformative process.

    The NIE environment—encompassing Fort Bliss, TX, White Sands Missile Range, NM, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, and other sites across the country—poses unique challenges. The sheer number of Army organizations, industry partners, and Soldiers involved makes coordination a monumental task. The pace of the events is brisk, with one NIE executed every six months and others simultaneously in various stages of planning, risk reduction, and follow-up. Add to that the personal sacrifices that our employees make in support of the NIE mission, and it’s clear that this job is not for everyone.

    The ability to work within the team is paramount out at the NIEs, and the ability to form personal relationships and leverage people’s expertise is the only way to get things done.

    Here’s what it means to be part of the agile acquisition workforce: Put aside your organizational allegiances for the sake of a better-integrated solution for the Soldier; stay flexible and accept that the process will continue to evolve with each NIE cycle; be willing to learn not just in a classroom or from a policy manual, but from those around you and through your own hands-on experience; and even when the work is mundane or complex, keep in mind the big picture—because in the big picture, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

    The goal of the Agile Process and NIEs is to field integrated capability sets that deliver unprecedented network connectivity to Soldiers for a decisive operational advantage. Starting this fall, the first of these capability sets will be fielded to brigade combat teams bound for Afghanistan. Our work to build, integrate, and validate these capability sets through the NIEs will pay huge dividends when Soldiers downrange receive game-changing gear that has been tested and is ready for the fight.

    As the NIE and Agile Process have matured from a new concept to the Army’s official way of doing business, we are standardizing and refining the supporting policies and procedures. These improvements include additional upfront integration before each NIE, a well-trained and multidisciplinary NIE “trail boss” team, and better-defined roles for each member of the NIE triad: the Brigade Modernization Command, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, and System of Systems Integration (SoSI) Directorate.

    The NIE process still isn’t perfect. Like any major change, it is taking time to realize the Army’s ultimate vision. But we are making progress, thanks in large part to the individuals of the “new” acquisition workforce. Here are some of their stories.

     

    Clif Basnight

    Role and organization: DA civilian, Program Executive Office Command, Control, and Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T)

    NIEs participated in: 3

    For Clif Basnight, the clock started ticking in April 2011.

    That’s when the Army first launched the NIE concept, with the first exercise planned for June—leaving a very small window for engineers like Basnight to grasp and integrate dozens of tactical communication systems that had never been forced to work together.

    “That entire two to three months that we had, I spent in the lab learning the different technologies, trying to decompose and trying to understand,” said Basnight, a retired Army staff sergeant who specialized in computer intelligence.

    The process allowed the Army to dig deeper into claims made on paper and “come to that ground-truth understanding of a system or a technology,” he said. “And from there is the only place that you can springboard into a solution.”

    It was meticulous work. Every application, network device, radio frequency signal, and other network component had to be boiled down to its actual performance. Then came gluing the pieces together.

    “It was fun. It was a geek’s fantasy,” Basnight said. “But it’s so intense.”

    Building a functioning network in time for the first NIE also required technical experts from various Army organizations and industry to look beyond their own systems and join forces for a common goal.

    “It was a leveling ground,” Basnight said. “For the first time since Force XXI, you had an activity with the right people on the ground, the actual experts, the people who could actually see beyond what somebody wrote down.”

    Together, the engineers produced an end-to-end network design that for the first time would deliver an integrated voice and data capability throughout the brigade combat team formation. That baseline has continued to evolve through subsequent NIEs.

    After running network operations for NIEs 11.2 and 12.1, Basnight has turned his focus to tactical radios, serving as the Technical Management Division Chief for PEO C3T’s Product Manager Network Systems. There, he is attacking a challenge similar to what he faced before the first NIE: evaluating numerous technologies from government and industry to ensure that they meet expectations and, if they don’t, figuring out a solution that does.

    “We’re trying to be on the edge of the Agile Process, and the only way that I know to do that is to continuously do discovery learning,” Basnight said. “We’re asking these guys with new technologies to come in, get us smart, and help us make informed decisions. [That way] we can provide our leadership with intelligence versus information. Information is just what it is. Intelligence actually leads to something accomplishable.”

    MAJ Naim Lee (center), Trail Boss for 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment, confers with other trail bosses during an NIE at Fort Bliss in September 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Travis McNeil.)

     

    MAJ Naim Lee

    Role and organization: Trail Boss for 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment, SOSI Directorate

    NIEs participated in: 3

    As the Army built its integration team for the NIEs, it faced something of a cultural divide between newly hired civilian engineers and the Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division (2/1 AD).

    Lee helped bridge that gap.

    As a trail boss, Lee serves as the liaison between the acquisition and technical communities and the Soldiers who evaluate their equipment. He leads a group of engineers focused on the systems used by the 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment within 2/1 AD.

    “No one on my team had any military prior experience, so it’s like every day they learn something new about the military,” Lee said. “I try to get them a lot of face time with the unit so the Soldiers know who to go to as far as support.”

    Through three NIE cycles, Lee has had the satisfaction of watching his team members mature, not only in their understanding of military operations but also in their technical savvy about the network.

    “The knowledge base is definitely growing and getting a lot better,” he said. “A lot of them came in lacking knowledge, and when you’re lacking knowledge, you’re going to lack confidence. Now that they have the knowledge, now they have the confidence.”

    Before joining the acquisition workforce, Lee served as an infantry company commander in Iraq, where he deployed a total of four times.

    “We were a lot less blessed with equipment than what I’m seeing out there on the ground now,” at the NIEs, Lee said.

    That experience also influenced Lee’s leadership approach, ensuring that his team looks beyond individual systems to understand the big picture of how integrated communications gear will make a difference on the battlefield.

    “Although a lot of my team aren’t military, they do understand the importance of what they’re doing,” he said. “They come in motivated and give 100 percent effort every day to actually provide these Soldiers with the best equipment they can. That is definitely something I applaud them for.”

    The Prototype Integration Facility and other Army laboratories at Aberdeen Proving Ground support the NIE, Agile Process, and capability set development. The labs provide assessments that both inform the Army’s technology candidate selections and allow for necessary integration work to take place before insertion into the NIEs. (U.S. Army photo by Katie Cain.)

     

    Tim Selph

    Role and organization: DA civilian, PEO C3T

    NIEs participated in: 3

    Tim Selph knows how to juggle.

    As the NIE Operations and Integration Lead for PEO C3T, which supplies many of the core systems comprising the Army’s tactical communications network, Selph facilitates everything from training to system safety certification, to fielding and technical integration.

    With PEO C3T located at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Selph at Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range, he serves as a critical link to daily activities on the ground. Selph ensures that the right people are involved in the extensive and complex number of working groups and integrated product teams involved with NIE—several of which he leads himself—and pushes and pulls information to where it needs to go.

    “The ability to work within the team is paramount out at the NIEs, and the ability to form personal relationships and leverage people’s expertise is the only way to get things done,” said Selph, who has been working for PEO C3T since 2005 in various military, contractor, and now government civilian roles.

    Selph was drawn to military service in part by his father, who served in the U.S. Air Force. The younger Selph traveled around the world for roughly 10 years as an armor officer, serving along the demarcation line between East and West Germany, in the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm, and in Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti. He understands Soldiers’ frustration with military technology lagging behind commercial industry.

    “I’m a big fan of the NIE objective of getting technology into the hands of the Soldier sooner,” Selph said. “The NIE is a great venue to test and turn things around, to see if certain technologies are of value to the military.”

    When Soldiers obtain their own commercial-off-the-shelf solutions in theater, multiple issues often arise with network interoperability and the ability to make efficient network upgrades, he said.

    “It behooves everybody to let the experts in procurement provide new technologies quickly through the NIE and get inside the unit’s decision cycle, so we’re fielding them viable equipment before they go out and look for it on their own,” Selph said. “That requires more of an Agile Process than we have used in the past.”

    Additional profiles appear in the July-September 2012 edition of Army AL&T Magazine, in the article “The New Acquisition Workforce – Getting Dirty and Making It Work,” starting on Page 42.

     


    • COL GAIL WASHINGTON is Project Manager Current for the SoSI Directorate. She holds a B.S. with a concentration in marketing from East Carolina University and an M.S. in information and resource management from Webster University. Washington is Level 3 certified in program management.

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