It’s all in the delivery

It’s all in the delivery

Army small business director Tommy Marks seeks to build on a strong foundation with four program pillars—mission, compliance, outreach and training—in line with Better Buying Power principles. The objective: to cultivate and sustain a broad and diverse base of small businesses that can deliver needed capabilities to the warfighter. Since he left college in 1977, Tommy Marks, director of the Army’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), hasn’t had a job that wasn’t related to the Army. “It’s been all Army,” he said, and that includes 24 years on active duty. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2001, and spent time as a defense contractor working for the Army, […]

The ABCs of COE

The ABCs of COE

By Claire Heininger ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Jan. 11, 2016) – Own a smartphone that syncs with your tablet? That consistent look and feel—and smooth exchange of information—is finally arriving for Soldiers. As the Army’s Common Operating Environment (COE) progresses from development to the field, it is bringing dramatic changes to the user experience. The COE is not a system or an acquisition program of record. Think of it as a new playbook for how Army IT products are built and deployed. The COE provides standards to unite existing programs and new technologies on a common software foundation, simplifying development, integration, training and sustainment. But what does the COE consist […]

Army contracting specialists, systems engineers contribute to network upgrades

Army contracting specialists, systems engineers contribute to network upgrades

By Amy Walker, PEO C3T Public Affairs FORT EUSTIS, Va. (Dec. 22, 2015) – The Army is fielding upgrades for its at-the-halt tactical communications network backbone, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 1 (WIN-T Inc 1), that will increase capability while reducing equipment by a third for a more mobile expeditionary force. In support of the effort, Army contracting specialists serve as the middlemen between the program office that procures the new commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology and services and the industry contractors who supply it. “Technology changes by the minute, and it’s very important to keep up with that technology to ensure that our Soldiers in theater have the very best that we […]

Divest and prosper

Divest and prosper

USASAC streamlines the Excess Defense Articles process, speeding up sales of excess materiel and cutting down on expensive mothballing to save millions, reduce excess inventory and keep the organic industrial base warm by offering not just materiel but an array of services. By Mr. Tommy L. Lancaster (Col., USA, Ret.) The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) role in the divestiture of the military’s equipment through the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program continues to grow, with EDA divestiture activity reaching $2.5 billion this year. USASAC, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, AL, develops and manages all foreign military sales (FMS) and security assistance programs for the Army. Security assistance provides defense articles, […]

Early wins for Army’s commercial hardware strategy

Early wins for Army’s commercial hardware strategy

By Bridget Bernard ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Nov. 3, 2015) — As the one-stop-shop for the Army’s tactical commercial off-the-shelf information technology (COTS IT) hardware, the Common Hardware Systems (CHS) program is taking a holistic, innovative approach that is getting noticed. Recent undertakings resulted in increased efficiencies, significant cost avoidance and official designation as the primary organization to oversee tactical COTS IT hardware procurement for the Army. CHS provides state-of-the-art computing and networking equipment that improves connectivity, interoperability, logistics and maintenance support to Soldiers, and is available for use by all DOD and federal agencies. “We’ve always got to be looking ahead to understand where technology is going, how we […]

Improving Process Improvement

Improving Process Improvement

The Army Office of Business Transformation aims to improve CPI to make sure the Army uses the right methodology for the right job, potentially saving billions By MG Camille M. Nichols and LTC Jeremy Gwinn The Army has employed a variety of techniques for continuous process improvement (CPI) for many years. Some have resulted in projects that saved the Army millions of dollars, while other efforts have not yielded the expected results. Improving the business processes of the Army is, in part, why the secretary of the Army established the Office of Business Transformation (OBT) in April 2009. By applying rigorous analytics and data mining and exploring the appropriate type […]

The ‘OTHER’ Acquisition Phase

The ‘OTHER’  Acquisition Phase

Focusing on better buying power and value engineering efforts By Lt. Col. Elliott R. Caggins, Mr. Jason R. Middleton and Maj. Demond J. Merrick The vast majority of the acquisition workforce has a great understanding of the life-cycle management process, including designing, developing, procuring, producing, fielding and sustaining military equipment. The defense acquisition life-cycle model goes into great detail on the operations and support phase, but it barely covers the cycle’s end—divestiture. In fact, the Defense Acquisition University’s life-cycle management chart simply lists divestiture as “disposal,” even though it’s much more than that. With its focus on life-cycle phases from design to sustainment, formal acquisition training often neglects disposal, which […]

Picatinny scaling up in-house chemicals production to shun higher costs

Picatinny scaling up in-house chemicals production to shun higher costs

By Audra Calloway   ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (March 10, 2014) — Picatinny scientists and engineers have established a pilot production facility to create the Army’s only in-house process for scaling up chemical compounds, a move that could save money by not having to rely on costlier compounds from outside suppliers. The Picatinny engineers are manufacturing tetranitrocarbazole, or TNC, the compound that serves as the “first-fire” composition for pyrotechnics, such as illumination rounds, signal grenades, mortars and artillery rounds. The “first fire” is what starts ignition within the system. “This is the only pilot facility like it in the Army, and ARDEC is trying to leverage its expertise for developing manufacturing […]

PLANNED EVOLUTION

PLANNED EVOLUTION

How the workforce of Corpus Christi Army Depot repositioned itself for tighter times   By Mr. Curtis Titus and Ms. Brigitte Rox   Since 2011, Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Texas has made sweeping changes to its business culture and practices that not only reduced the depot’s consumption of government funds and material resources, but also positioned CCAD to continue providing top-quality support to the nation as military spending diminishes. The U.S. government cannot afford to purchase new aircraft for each mission. Rather, it must rely on the organic industrial base (OIB) to modify aircraft and components to handle the specific needs of the next mission. As the largest […]

Action Plans

Action Plans

A host of stakeholders speak frankly on what the Army needs to do to preserve its industrial base   By Army AL&T magazine staff   Preserving the unique and often highly specialized skills and capabilities of the Army industrial base is critical to the Army and to the nation. In addition to the organic industrial base, companies both large and small in the commercial base offer critical or hard-to-make products and services that ultimately result in critical systems that help maintain the U.S. military’s superiority. Yet fiscal austerity is likely to constrain U.S. spending on national security even as the Army faces growing complexities and multifaceted dangers. Some of those […]