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 […]

Co-development effort leads to state-of-the-art UH-60M training simulator

Co-development effort leads to state-of-the-art UH-60M training simulator

by Brian Beall Army aviators seeking flight training on the UH-60M Black Hawk have a new, state-of-the-art option at their disposal, thanks to a joint effort of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) and the Program Executive Office for Aviation at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. The Black Hawk Aircrew Trainer (BAT) provides Army UH-60M aviators with a high-fidelity, fully immersive flight training experience. It’s currently in operation at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Des Moines, Iowa. Up to 17 other locations might receive the BAT simulator, as well. AMRDEC is home to the Systems Simulation, Software and Integration (S3I) Directorate, which provides the Army and DOD […]

AMC announces Mission Command alignment

AMC announces Mission Command alignment

By Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC Commanding General To optimize life cycle sustainment, better support the Chief of Staff of the Army’s top priority of readiness, and posture the command for the future, I recently announced a Mission Command alignment for the U.S. Army Materiel Command. Effective in February 2016, the alignment includes two major initiatives: empowering Life Cycle Management Commands (LCMCs) to provide portfolio-based sustainable readiness, and strengthening Army Sustainment Command (ASC) as AMC’s single entry point for synchronizing, integrating, and prioritizing readiness capabilities across our Army at the installation level. To strengthen the portfolio-based approach, three Research, Development and Engineering Centers (RDECs) and three Contracting Centers are realigned […]

‘Should’ Does

‘Should’ Does

Five years after its introduction, will-cost/ should-cost has proved its value as a tool for boosting productivity and affordability in ­acquisition programs—more so in some ­circumstances than others. The question now is how to further that success. by Mr. Michael E. Lebrun and Mr. Dale N. Fletcher The evidence is in: The Better Buying Power (BBP) initiative known as “will-cost/should-cost management” has resulted, as intended, in improving cost and schedule performance of DOD acquisition programs. Because should-cost is a success, it makes sense to ask what parts are working and why, so that the success can be duplicated. Dr. Ashton B. Carter, then the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology […]

Innovative ideas streamline radar power assembly process

Innovative ideas streamline radar power assembly process

by Mrs. Jacqueline Boucher (CECOM) TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. — Employees here introduced several innovative ideas for streamlining assembly processes on the Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar (LCMR) system’s power distribution unit (PDU) saving time and money. Simplified cabling and alternate step-by-step procedures, proposed by subject matter experts in the Systems Integration and Support Directorate’s Tactical Systems Cable Branch, shaved 6.5 hours off the assembly process. The projected savings based on scheduled workload is more than $81,000 over the next 14 months. LCMRs backtrack incoming mortar, rocket and artillery rounds, enabling quick countermeasures “This was accomplished through many internal efficiencies implemented throughout the shop,” said Eugene Golembeski, branch chief. “I can’t […]