FY17 budget provides raise for Soldiers but focuses on readiness

FY17 budget provides raise for Soldiers but focuses on readiness

By Todd Lopez WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 10, 2016) — In its fiscal year 2017 budget request, the Army – similar to its sister services – has requested for Soldiers a 1.6 percent pay raise, the largest increase in four years. “The 2017 request for a 1.6 percent pay raise for our service members … recognizes the unique demands and sacrifices of our service members,” said Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Ierardi, director of force structure, resources and assessment with the J-8 directorate, part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “It buys down that gap between where we want to be and where we are. The increase in that pay […]

Engineering Connections

Engineering Connections

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offers five lessons learned for building relationships with and between small businesses. by Ms. Crystal E. Teed At its core, running a successful small business program for a federal agency is about connecting people and business organizations that want to do business with each other. It makes sense for the government to contract with responsible small businesses. According to a study by the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, the top predictors of a person’s ability to run a successful small business are four personality traits: work drive, emotional resilience, social networking and goal-setting. Each of those traits is conducive […]

Network interoperability key to Common Operating Picture

Network interoperability key to Common Operating Picture

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (January 22, 2016) –Working to address aspects of coalition mission command interoperability, senior Army leaders recently participated in an executive level site visit at Joint Multi-National Readiness Center (JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany. JMRC is the training environment for leaders, staffs and partners and serves as the proving ground for multinational Command and Control (C2) interoperability. Driving the discussion, Lt. Gen. Frederick Hodges, commanding general, U.S. Army Europe, identified the need to deliver a Common Operating Picture (COP) as a way forward in order to increase interoperability between allies and partners. Army network program managers, working with the requirements community and Army Research and Development Centers, are […]

Army prepares to test enhanced network operation tools at NIE 16.2

Army prepares to test enhanced network operation tools at NIE 16.2

TAUNTON, Mass. (Jan. 19, 2016) — To make it easier for Soldiers to manage the vast tactical communications network, the Army plans to operationally evaluate newly enhanced and simplified network operations, or NetOps, tools during Network Integration Evaluation, or NIE, 16.2 this spring. The NetOps tool suite enables communications officers (S6s and G6s) and staff to provide a second set of eyes on the Army’s tactical communications network, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T, ensuring Soldiers and commanders remain connected, communicating and synchronized. “NetOps provides a picture of actual on-the-move network battlefield conditions at all times, so if there is any break in the communications it is known right away,” said […]

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 […]