S&T Notebook: Strengthening Communication between S&T and Acquisition

S&T Notebook: Strengthening Communication between S&T and Acquisition

Dr. Scott Fish This is a regular column by Dr. Scott Fish, Army Chief Scientist, on activities in the Army science and technology (S&T) community and their potential impact on Army acquisition programs. On May 21, I gave the keynote address to the 18th Annual Automotive Research Center Conference, a cooperative effort hosted by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Increasingly, S&T development is done with cooperation with academia, government research centers, industry partnerships, and centers like these, showcasing the best of these efforts. I toured TARDEC’s recently updated facilities and participated in discussions on the current development and state of the art of ground […]

Office of the Chief Systems Engineer: Integrating Capabilities Efficiently

Office of the Chief Systems Engineer: Integrating Capabilities Efficiently

Terence M. Edwards Traditional systems engineering is necessary for developing individual systems. However, system-of-systems engineering (SoSE) at the system level makes a significant positive difference in integrating the many existing and new programs into a required overall capability. The Defense Acquisition Guidebook, published by the Defense Acquisition University, states: “A SoS is defined as a set or arrangement of systems that results from independent systems integrated into a larger system that delivers unique capabilities. … SoS engineering deals with planning, analyzing, organizing, and integrating the capabilities of a mix of existing and new systems into a SoS capability greater than the sum of the capabilities of the constituent parts. SoS […]

Missions and Key Initiatives of New OCSE Directorates

Missions and Key Initiatives of New OCSE Directorates

At a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Summit held April 2, 2008, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA) directed the establishment of a system-of-systems engineering (SoSE) organization in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)). To implement this directive, the ASA(ALT) directed the establishment of this organization in a memorandum dated May 27, 2008. The organization was established to serve as the lead for executing SoSE systems engineering functions for the enterprise of Army programs, to ensure that the respective overall desired capabilities are achieved. It has since been reorganized as the Office of the Chief […]

Medical Prototype Development Laboratory Gives MEDEVAC Device a New Look

Medical Prototype Development Laboratory Gives MEDEVAC Device a New Look

Carey Phillips The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) is home to a unique service within DoD: the Medical Prototype Development Laboratory (MPDL). Under the direction of the Medical Support Systems Project Management Office (MSS PMO), USAMMDA employs a small team of engineers and engineering technicians who work to design and build prototypes, laboratory testing equipment, and other devices designed to get products to the field. We are able to get the products to the field to support the U.S. Forces. We work to build solutions, whether it be medical materiel or aiding a researcher with unique laboratory testing devices,” said Mark Brown, chief of the MPDL. “Clearly we […]

Army’s Second Increment of Tactical Communications Network: Better, Stronger, Faster

Army’s Second Increment of Tactical Communications Network:  Better, Stronger, Faster

Amy Walker From division headquarters 1,300 miles away to the company commander crossing the white desert sand in his vehicle, Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 provided the on-the-move situational awareness and exchange of critical information needed in the heat of battle during its major operational test. “This mobile network is a transformational step forward in Army modernization,” said LTC Robert Collins, Product Manager for WIN-T Increment 2. “It will dramatically increase the pace at which the Army can prosecute combat operations and significantly decrease the time required for the military decision-making cycle.” [quote align="right"]“This mobile network is a transformational step forward in Army modernization. It will dramatically […]

Warfighter Information Network – Tactical Increment 2 Promotes Critical Information Exchange

Warfighter Information Network – Tactical Increment 2 Promotes Critical Information Exchange

Amy Walker As they tested the second generation of the Army’s tactical communications network, Soldiers like SFC Michael Rayfield discovered firsthand the operational impacts that an on-the-move network reaching down to the company level will bring to the battlefield. “Company and below is usually where the greatest amount of continuity loss occurs, but now, with WIN-T [Warfighter Information Network – Tactical] Increment 2, the company commander has more command and control, essentially what a brigade commander would have,” said Rayfield, a Brigade Senior Signal NCO for 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division (2/1 AD), the maneuver element for the operational test. “And the company commander can now provide the brigade commander […]

The ‘New’ Acquisition Workforce

The ‘New’ Acquisition Workforce

COL Gail Washington When you think of Army acquisition, you might picture PowerPoint briefings, memos for signature, Pentagon strategy sessions, or testimony on Capitol Hill. You probably don’t think of innovation in the desert. But during the past year, a team of military, civilian, and contractor personnel from across the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology community has expanded what it means to work in acquisition. As the Army executes Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) as a key component of the Agile Process, these individuals—engineers, technicians, planners, operations experts, and other staffers of all stripes—are working constantly behind the scenes to ensure a successful transformative process. The […]

Acquisition Education and Training Corner

Acquisition Education and Training Corner

Education and Training Opportunities   The Acquisition Tuition Assistance Program (ATAP) announcement is open until July 31 to all eligible personnel in grades GS-11 through GS-15 or broadband/pay band equivalent positions who have met their current position certification requirement. ATAP is an amazing opportunity to complete either your bachelor’s or master’s degree during off-duty time and have the Army pay for it. For more information, visit http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/acquisition-tuition-assistance-program/. The Excellence in Government Fellowship (EIGF) announcement is open through Aug. 13 to all eligible personnel in grades GS-14 through GS-15 or broadband/pay band equivalent positions who have met their current position certification requirement. EIGF offers our senior acquisition workforce members the opportunity […]

FAA Revises Rules Governing Unmanned Aircraft Systems in National Airspace

FAA Revises Rules Governing Unmanned Aircraft Systems in National Airspace

Michael P. Truman Revised rules from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in national airspace streamline the approval process and thereby expand opportunities for the Army to fly UAS. Federal, state, and local government entities must obtain an FAA Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) before flying UAS in national airspace. In a Jan. 13 memorandum accompanying Army Directive 2012-02, Supplemental Policy for Operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the National Airspace System (http://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/pdf/ad2012_02.pdf), Secretary of the Army John McHugh stated, “The Army’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) represent emerging technology that requires access to the National Airspace System. The Army intends to use […]

Army Medical Agency, VA Sign Agreement on PTSD Studies

Army Medical Agency, VA Sign Agreement on PTSD Studies

Carey Phillips Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common anxiety that can stem from any traumatic event. While there are medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat PTSD, they are not sufficiently effective in treating the combat-related PTSD commonly seen in service members and veterans. The Neurotrauma and Psychological Health Project Management Office (PMO) of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) signed an interagency agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program (VACSP) to jointly conduct and support clinical studies of pharmacotherapeutics for the treatment of combat-related PTSD. “The interagency agreement between USAMMDA and VACSP structures how the agencies will collaborate,” […]