Weight Kills Programs, Too

Weight Kills Programs, Too

John T. Dillard, Col., USA (Ret.) In the famous Boeing 777 development program of the 1990s, United Airlines was contractually permitted to penalize Boeing at $500 per pound, per airplane, per year for the revenue-producing life of the airliner if Boeing exceeded its weight goal of about 297,000 pounds. For the 777, almost 0.25 of 1 percent of a 297,000-pound airplane can be the “stack-up variance”—caused by the randomness of small weight differences across 3 million or so parts in the airplane (over 740 pounds!). In 1999, the U.S. Army’s Crusader advanced field artillery program’s design-to-weight requirement was halved by then-Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki as the program was […]

Been there, done that

Been there, done that

Been there, done that: The weight thing Those ugly extra pounds—or even grams—can derail your program or product. by John T. Dillard, Col., USA (Ret.) I can honestly say that just about everyone wants to lose weight. A multimillion-dollar weight loss industry attests to this. It’s no different in the armed forces. All defense products typically have that one thing in common: They’re too heavy. From missiles to radios, satellites to submarines, aircraft to land vehicles, heavy weapons to small arms—not just the man-portable items—they all need to weigh less. Over the decades, I’ve seen many system development efforts struggle to attain their weight goals. Often they have weight as […]

From idea to front line in record time

From idea to front line in record time

How to speed acquisition timelines through the power of innovative thinking. by Lt. Col. Mark P. Henderson Through innovative thinking and process improvement, the Army Acquisition Corps successfully transformed airborne operations in just two short years, culminating on Sept. 30, 2017, with the fielding completion of the full Ku-band operational capability of Enroute Mission Command (EMC). Mounted on Air Force C-17s, this revolutionary capability turns aircraft into flying command posts, enabling the Global Response Force to conduct real-time continuous mission command from home station to the drop zone. Other network communications solutions making rapid debuts in 2017 included low-rate initial production for terrestrial radios that provide information superhighways; coalition enclaves […]

Advancing acquisition

Advancing acquisition

FROM THE ARMY ACQUISITION EXECUTIVE BRUCE D. JETTE As the Army focuses on modernizing without delay in its six priority areas, the acquisition culture must change by embracing certain key principles Gen. Mark A. Milley, Army chief of staff, made clear the reason why there is urgency in modernizing America’s Army, stating, “We know over time that our competitive advantage has eroded and that our overmatch is being challenged in all domains. In today’s increasingly contested domains, the supremacy of our Army is being tested like never before.” It is for this reason that increasing the resources toward modernizing our Army is a necessity, along with changing the way we […]

Modernization issue of Army AL&T online now

Modernization issue of Army AL&T online now

By Mary Kate Aylward Fort Belvoir, Va. (April 17, 2018)—Modernization is the talk of the Army. The latest issue of Army AL&T magazine will catch you up on the details of the conversation. We hope it will also provoke thought about how each member of the acquisition workforce can strive to meet the challenge. Our April – June issue brings you more than 20 articles exploring critical aspects of Army modernization. We know you have questions about this huge undertaking. So we took them straight to the source: one of the architects of the Army’s modernization plan, Undersecretary Ryan D. McCarthy. Read what he had to say in “One Roof.” […]

All together, now!

All together, now!

The Manned Mounted Platform Radiological Detection System represents an alternative acquisition approach with uncommon collaboration across stakeholders, early and often. by Mr. Valentin Novikov and Lt. Col. Kelley Litzner Army logistics has long been burdened with supporting radiological and nuclear sensing equipment that dates back to the Cold War. It is no longer feasible to continue supporting these systems in the field, given the negative balance of spare systems and repair parts in Army depots. Two teams within the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) are resolving these obsolescence issues by providing Army units with new systems that are […]

Listen closely

Listen closely

Can the Army transition to an IP-based voice architecture? Lessons learned when Fort Leonard Wood went to an all-IP phone system will help. by Mr. Alberto Dominguez, Mr. Willie Matthews and Mr. Joseph Casazza In a complex world, sometimes old questions require new answers. With the changing nature of work and the mission requirement to boost the Army’s agility, modernizing the voice architecture at Army installations supports the Soldiers’ need to collaborate from anywhere, at any time and from any device. Advancing Internet Protocol  (IP)-based technology, which transmits all data traffic via Ethernet cables, can now deliver a reliable voice service that competes with legacy  technology, known as time-division multiplexing […]

Then and Now: Long-range for the modern age

Then and Now: Long-range for the modern age

Then & Now 1991 & 2018 Ms. Mary Kate Aylward With ATACMS having been surpassed by Russia and China, the U.S. doesn’t just want to catch up, it wants to dominate. Restoring the United States’ dominance in long-range precision fires tops the list of six modernization priorities released by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and then-acting Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy in October. If you could go back in time and tell readers of this magazine’s predecessor in the early 1990s that this would be the case—that, 20 years later, the Army had lost its edge in long-range missiles, and to Russia, no less—they probably would have been […]

The art and science of getting people paid

The art and science of getting people paid

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army, Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems TITLE: Project manager YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 15 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 28 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in program management EDUCATION: M.S., Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management; B.S. in operations research, United States Military Academy at West Point AWARDS: Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four oak leaf clusters (OLCs)), Army Commendation Medal (four OLCs), Army Achievement Medal (three OLCs), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, two National Defense Service Medals, two Southwest Asia Service Medals, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service […]

Formula 809

Formula 809

Ms. Margaret C. Roth Development of the futures command and cross-functional teams is taking place against the backdrop of a sweeping, independent, congressionally mandated review of how to speed up DOD acquisition and a major push within Army acquisition to streamline processes using authorities already available through recent legislation. The “Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations,” known as the Section 809 Panel from the FY16 authorizing legislation, envisions an acquisition system built around positive outcomes—the timely delivery of warfighting capabilities—not perfect adherence to processes. In January, the 17-member panel released the first of three volumes of observations and recommendations based on its discussions with hundreds […]