Army Services Acquisition: Who Runs It and How

Army Services Acquisition: Who Runs It and How

This is the second in a series of articles from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (DASA) for Services.  On Sept. 28, the Secretary of the Army approved the “Optimization of Army Services Acquisition Implementation Plan.” The plan describes the roles and responsibilities of HQDA and subordinate organization leaders, the processes they will use to acquire services, and the governance and review mechanisms to improve visibility and accountability of the requiring activities. Most important is that the plan launches a new way of doing business in services acquisition. Integral to the approach is a new governance structure that includes portfolio management and processes designed to identify, track, and monitor projected […]

New DASA Sets Framework to Improve Army Services Acquisition

New DASA Sets Framework to Improve Army Services Acquisition

This is the first in a series of articles from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (DASA) for Services.  The Army spends more than $50 billion annually to buy essential services for Soldiers and their families, an amount equating to more than half of the Army’s yearly acquisition spending. The Army and the rest of DOD procure a wide variety of services through contracts with commercial vendors—services as simple as printing, as complex as combat vehicle repair, and as technically sophisticated as helicopter pilot training and medical treatment of Soldiers. Federal acquisition regulations define services as procurements that directly engage the time and effort of a contractor whose primary […]

Smartphone Application Simplifies Field Data Collection and Analysis

Smartphone Application Simplifies Field Data Collection and Analysis

[author type="author"]Megan Holland[/author] Researchers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS, have created a faster, more efficient way to collect and manage field data, using one of the most common technologies in today’s market: smartphones. With the ERDC-developed Mobile Information Collection Application (MICA) software, data can be captured digitally, saving hours of writing forms and inputting data into spreadsheets. Thanks to the progress of technology, today’s phones do much more than make calls. Most come equipped with cameras, GPS, compasses, wireless capability, and computer processing. ERDC researchers began investigating the use of smartphones as data collection devices in 2009, in […]

Army Developing New Self-Propelled Howitzer

Army Developing New Self-Propelled Howitzer

[author type="author"]Kris Osborn[/author] The Army is developing a next-generation, 40-ton 155mm howitzer artillery cannon called the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM), with the capability to fire precision rounds, accommodate additional armor protections, and power up more onboard electrical systems. The new vehicle, slated to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP) by 2013, features a 600-volt onboard power system designed to accommodate emerging networking technologies as they become available. “The PIM is the Army’s modernization program for the 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer fleet. The SWAP [space, weight, and power] buyback that the PIM will provide is huge. It allows us to add additional armor to the platform, and it allows us to add additional […]

Modular Protective System Proves Effective for Remote Bases

Modular Protective System Proves Effective for Remote Bases

[author type="author"]Sara Leach[/author] A series of recent demonstrations conducted by the Geotechnical and Structure Laboratory in the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers validated the protective performance of an overhead cover structure, built with no equipment, using ERDC’s Modular Protective System (MPS). The MPS is a rapidly deployable, recoverable system that consists of a lightweight space frame and composite armor panels validated for protection against a wide range of threat munitions. “The MPS was originally designed for use as a protective wall system but was recently adapted to also provide overhead protection from indirect fire threats,” said Nick Boone, Research Mechanical Engineer and […]

U.S. Army Acquisition Corps Honors Annual Award Winners

U.S. Army Acquisition Corps Honors Annual Award Winners

ALEXANDRIA, VA—The acquisition community paid tribute to uniformed and civilian acquisition workforce professionals Oct. 9 at the 2011 U.S. Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) Annual Awards Ceremony. The AAC awards recognize those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide combatant commanders and their Soldiers the weapons and equipment they need to execute decisive, full-spectrum operations in support of the global contingency operations. The categories and winners of the 2011 AAC awards are: 2011 Army Life Cycle Logistician of the Year Award — Jeffrey Forgach, Program Executive Office (PEO) for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical 2011 ASA(ALT) Contracting Noncommissioned Officer Award for Contracting Excellence — MSG Sandra Williams, 409th Contracting Support Brigade […]

New CREW Maintenance University Eliminates Need for Additional Training

New CREW Maintenance University Eliminates Need for Additional Training

By Brandon Pollachek The mission to defeat one of the enemy’s number one threats—improvised explosive devices (IEDs)—recently received a big boost in terms of the knowledge and capabilities of those assigned to operate and maintain Counter-Radio-Controlled IED Warfare (CREW) devices. Designed to offer maintainers and operators more realistic training, the new CREW Maintenance University opened its doors to students this spring at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. The course is a five-day, intensive, hands-on program that provides Soldiers, civilians, and contractors who are responsible for CREW systems the opportunity to troubleshoot and actually handle  the multiple variations of fielded devices. The CREW Family of Systems, managed by Program Executive Office Intelligence, […]

Agile Acquisition: Army Demonstrates New Business Model at Industry Day

Agile Acquisition: Army Demonstrates New Business Model at Industry Day

By Katie Cain To orient industry partners with the Army’s new agile acquisition process and how the Network Integrated Evaluation (NIE) supports it, the Army hosted an Industry Day Sept. 8 in El Paso, TX, and at White Sands Missile Range, NM, for defense contractors interested in participating in future NIEs. More than 150 representatives of 60 companies—both large defense corporations and small businesses—attended to learn more about the Army’s NIE test and evaluation process. The NIEs, semiannual evaluations designed to integrate and mature the Army’s tactical network, are a key element of the Army’s emerging Network Strategy. The full-day event familiarized industry partners with the NIE process, introduced the […]

White Paper Lays Out Modernization Path Forward

White Paper Lays Out Modernization Path Forward

The Affordable and Integrated Army Equipment Modernization White Paper describes how the Army will provide relevant capabilities for today’s operations and develop capabilities for the future at best value, given available resources. As an end state, the Army must develop, field, and sustain the right equipment in an incremental and iterative manner to ensure that Soldiers and units have the capabilities they need to achieve success across the full range of military operations today and into the future. The Army must change the way it develops and delivers capabilities. This change in approach is necessary to provide the flexibility needed in a rapidly changing operational environment, by embracing ideas that […]

The Army Modernization Plan 2012

The Army Modernization Plan 2012

The Army’s modernization plan establishes a blueprint to develop and field a versatile and affordable mix of equipment that will allow Soldiers and units to succeed in full-spectrum operations today and to maintain their decisive advantage over any enemy. The Army has evaluated its modernization program portfolios, set priorities within them, and continually improves its acquisition program. In improving the programs and processes, the Army has four major lines of effort: Develop and acquire new capabilities to meet capability gaps through traditional and rapid acquisition processes. Sustain existing equipment to extend its useful life. Procure unique equipment for immediate capability needs. Field and distribute capabilities in accordance with Army priorities […]