Think, Execute, Improve

Think, Execute, Improve

For the Hon. Frank Kendall, there is no magic called ‘acquisition reform.’ His objective is ‘acquisition improvement,’ and it starts with hard work and critical thinking about Better Buying Power. by Mr. Steve Stark The Hon. Frank Kendall isn’t especially fond of the term “acquisition reform.” He thinks it “conveys the impression there’s some dramatic shift that’s going to make things fundamentally different. I don’t think there’s any such thing.” Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (USD(AT&L)), vastly prefers “acquisition improvement,” he said during an Aug. 16 interview with Army AL&T following his keynote address at the third U.S. Army Innovation Summit, at the College of William […]

Bolstering the Base

Bolstering the Base

The Army and General Dynamics collaborate to help sustain the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant against market and fiscal pressures. by Ms. Melissa Markos Much has changed since the 15-acre Scranton Army Ammunition Plant (SCAAP) opened in 1951 to manufacture large quantities of artillery and mortar shell bodies, ranging from 105 mm to 8 inches in caliber on high-capacity production lines. Increasing costs from government regulations for antiterrorism and security, environmental protection and emergency management, along with decreased demand for ammunition, have brought the financial viability of the Pennsylvania plant into question. But SCAAP, the youngest of the six government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) plants producing ammunition for the U.S. military, remains a […]

A Big Lift

A Big Lift

Partnering with industry early in a program life cycle can highlight new and unexpected ways to act on Better Buying Power principles. One industry-academia consortium offers research and development, facilitates study groups and provides input on draft requirements for the next generation of vertical lift aircraft. by Mr. Richard Kretzschmar As stewards of constrained and precious resources, Army project managers are continuously challenged to think strategically to provide the most affordable, value-added military capability to the warfighter. In 2010, Ash Carter, then undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, codified a set of fundamental acquisition principles, titled “Better Buying Power,” intended to achieve greater efficiencies through affordability, cost control, […]

Let the ‘Total Force’ be with you

Let the ‘Total Force’ be with you

By Ashley Tolbert NORMAN, Okla. – Soldiers from the U.S. Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve gathered on July 21-23 for the Reserve Component Acquisition Training Summit, spending time in workshops and presentations from senior leadership from the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard that stressed the importance of integrating the reserve component and the active component and reinforcing the Total Force Policy within the Army Acquisition Workforce. The Total Force Policy—an ongoing effort to integrate active-duty Soldiers, the Army Reserve and the National Guard into one operational force governed by the same policies and procedures—was originally introduced in 1973 and was most recently revamped in 2012 by […]

Better to Best

Better to Best

Six Army programs arrived at a single enterprise resource planning solution independently, then turned better buying power into best buying power by working together to bring the licensing costs down for the unexpectedly popular software. by Col. Harry Culclasure and Mr. Thomas Neff Category management is a growing trend in today’s marketplace that focuses on the way companies and organizations consolidate contracts, leverage buying power and drive consistent purchasing practices. For a private company with one mission and one pool of money, category management seems straightforward enough; however, for DOD, specialized requirements and initiatives funded with different types of money (for example, procurement, research and development (R&D) and operations and […]

PEO STRI Focuses On Frequent, Open Communication with Industry

PEO STRI Focuses On Frequent, Open Communication with Industry

By Rick Gregory, PEO STRI Strategic Communications Support Staff It has often been said that “the biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” The Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) and its contracting arm, the Army Contracting Command – Orlando (ACC-Orlando) have gone to great lengths to ensure that they have an open line of communication with industry—not an illusion thereof. Besides ongoing daily individual engagements with industry representatives, regularly scheduled face-to-face group sessions keep everyone apprised of the status of PEO STRI programs, procurements and opportunities for industry to request updates on future requirements. Industry communication outreach includes the Training […]

Army ManTech program helps pave way for industry innovation

Army ManTech program helps pave way for industry innovation

By Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton and Andrew Davis In a continuing effort to close capability gaps more affordably while spurring advanced manufacturing capabilities in the United States, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on April 1 inaugurated the new Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In December 2014, President Barack Obama identified advanced manufacturing as a key initiative for the future of the American economy by signing the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act into law, thereby formalizing the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), a multiagency initiative with a core focus on a series of MIIs. Carter is a strong advocate for the president’s […]

OCS effects go beyond individual contract actions

OCS effects go beyond individual contract actions

By Daniel P. Elkins EL PASO, Texas — A joint, cross-functional team of subject matter experts took a deliberate approach to building awareness of the far-reaching impact of operational contract support (OCS) as part of the Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise 2016 (OCSJX-16), which took place here March 21-April 8. A team of policy, contracting, program management and logistics experts representing the military services and coalition partners made up the operational contract support capabilities analysis cell at OCSJX-16. Sponsored by the Director for Logistics, Joint Staff J-4, OCSJX-16 exercised the full spectrum of contract support, from operational through tactical levels. J-4 works across numerous logistics organizations, including DOD, combatant commands […]

Hallock hosts senior leader contracting workshop

Hallock hosts senior leader contracting workshop

By Amanda Jordan KANSAS CITY, Missouri – More than 45 senior leaders and others from across the Army contracting enterprise gathered April 19-21 to attend the Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting (PARC) Leadership Workshop hosted by Harry P. Hallock, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for procurement (DASA(P)). The workshop gave Army PARCs the chance to meet with the DASA(P) to address enterprise-wide issues and tackle challenges facing Army contracting. The three-day event also afforded unlimited opportunities for collaboration and training, including an informative dialogue with Claire Grady, director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Other […]

Army AL&T magazine leads fourth annual writers workshop and ALTies awards ceremony

Army AL&T magazine leads fourth annual writers workshop and ALTies awards ceremony

By Ashley Tolbert FORT BELVOIR, Va.—The Army AL&T magazine editorial team held its fourth annual writers workshop May 11 here including interactive forums and guest speakers—all focused on helping magazine contributors develop and share impactful articles, photos, ads and graphics. Afterward, the award-winning magazine announced the winners of its annual “ALTies” awards, celebrating the best article, commentary, graphic, ad and photograph published in the magazine in 2015. The awards were presented by Editor-in-Chief Nelson McCouch III. “In a way, we’re like PBS,” McCouch said. “The magazine is made possible by contributions from supporters like you. Without you, I’d have a staff of writers, but not the access to the content […]