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 […]

Parallel Equations

Parallel Equations

The Army has a lot of stuff to move. Amazon moves a lot of stuff.   Nearly everyone knows who Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is. Less well known is the other Jeff—Jeffrey A. Wilke, senior vice president of the consumer business at Amazon.com Inc. Having joined Amazon in 1999, Wilke has been in a leadership position at the company from the time it was a small startup to the present day, when it is the top U.S. company in e-commerce and one of the world’s largest retailers, with more than $60 billion in sales per year. But Amazon also provides a host of online services, including Web hosting, cloud storage, […]

Common Hardware Systems: one stop for total lifecycle management

Common Hardware Systems: one stop for total lifecycle management

By Amy Walker   The Army’s Common Hardware Systems (CHS) program takes a holistic approach to contracting by providing a one-stop-shop across a system’s lifecycle, supporting it from cradle to grave. “Because CHS is a consolidated acquisition source that can provide total lifecycle systems management, it allows the Army and Department of Defense (DoD) to reduce inefficient single-point solution procurement, lifecycle sustainment costs and field support manpower requirements,” said Danielle Kays, product director (PD) for CHS. The CHS program provides a rapid and proven means to deliver modified commercial-off-the-shelf information technology (COTS IT) solutions to its DoD customers, primarily the Army’s operational force. Its consolidated acquisition approach can design, develop, […]

PEO-C3T technologies support 8th Army tactical network and mission command modernization – “A journey to full operational capability”

PEO-C3T technologies support 8th Army tactical network and mission command modernization – “A journey to full operational capability”

By Anton Antomattei and Michael W. Parker   The 8th Army has been on a journey to achieve full operational capability, which required the ability to communicate with coalition partners anywhere on the Korean peninsula. That meant enhancements to the Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System Korea (CENTRIXS-K or CX-K), a network for multinational information sharing. Project Manager Mission Command (PM MC) and the PM for Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) have addressed these requirements by inserting robust mission command and network technologies into the CX-K. An enhanced CX-K network augments the 8th Army’s resources to carry out its overall field Army mission, to deter aggression against the Republic of Korea […]

MilUniversity adds to Army online learning opportunities

MilUniversity adds to Army online learning opportunities

By Argie Sarantinos-Perrin   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A new learning portal provides enhanced training and access to Department of Defense professional networking tools. Developed by the Army’s Military Technical (MilTech) Solutions Office, milUniversity bridges the gap between how people prefer to learn — those who enjoy attending training classes, but may have questions afterward, and those who prefer to learn at their own pace by reading text and viewing videos. “At the end of the day, people want to learn how to use each of these tools to make their jobs easier and better,” said Claudia DeCarlo, deputy director of MilTech, which is assigned to the Program Executive […]