May 2016 Hot Topics

May 2016 Hot Topics

  FROM THE ARMY DACM OFFICE The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology and the Army Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office in the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center are in the final stages of developing and staffing an Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) Human Capital Strategic Plan (HCSP) for approval. When approved, this HCSP will guide the process for anticipating workforce gaps and provide solutions to recruit, develop and retain a highly skilled, engaged AAW over the next five years. As we continue collaboration with HCSP stakeholders, the DACM will host the semiannual State of the Army Acquisition Workforce General Officer/Senior Executive […]

Orchestrating Sustainment

Orchestrating Sustainment

Sustain internally, outsource the whole job—or recognize that, as complex as artillery systems are these days, few organizations have all of the expertise needed to sustain them. So two Army commands, two Marine Corps commands and a major defense contractor collaborate to sustain the U.S. howitzer fleet. by Mr. Christopher Hatch Sustaining towed artillery platforms for the Army, U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and allied customers is one of the challenges the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Ammunition’s Program Management Office for Towed Artillery Systems (PM TAS) faces on a daily basis. As the life-cycle manager for the M777A2 and M119A3 howitzer systems, as well as survey equipment, PM TAS continuously […]

Partnering Up

Partnering Up

When the 82nd Airborne Division deployed to take command of training, advising and assisting Iraqi security forces, its partnership with the 900th Contracting Battalion was already solid. by Maj. Timothy G. Godwin The key to successful operational contracting support (OCS) in complex environments is a partnership between the supported headquarters and the contracting unit—a partnership that should begin months before both units board a plane to deploy. The future joint task force (JTF) and the aligned contracting unit must work together, plan together, train together and deploy together. Only through an established and codified relationship can the two units navigate environments in which contracting increasingly has become a critical element […]

Assessing radios that serve as ‘mid-tier’ in the tactical network at NIE 16.2

Assessing radios that serve as ‘mid-tier’ in the tactical network at NIE 16.2

By Argie Sarantinos-Perrin, PEO C3T ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (March 29, 2016) — For military operations, getting information quickly and analyzing it in real time is critical. Each minute counts as Soldiers wait for their orders. Using radios, associated waveforms and applications that serve as a “mid-tier” in the tactical network, Soldiers at the company level can talk and chat, collaborate and share reports and send data to battalion and brigade, linking the Lower Tactical Internet with the Upper Tactical Internet. The Army plans to assess the capabilities of the mid-tier at Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 16.2, which runs from May 2-14. Held at Fort Bliss, Texas, NIEs enable the […]

Letterkenny Munitions Center Named Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Missile Maintenance

Letterkenny Munitions Center Named Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Missile Maintenance

by Justine Barati CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — On March 7, 2015, the Acting Secretary of the Army, Patrick J. Murphy, designated Letterkenny Munitions Center, on Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pa., as the Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Army Tactical Missile Systems; Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems; and Low-Cost, Reduced-Range, Practice-Rocket Missile Maintenance. This designation identifies LEMC as the Army’s premier center for missile maintenance. Through this designation, LEMC will now be able to enter into public-private partnerships to perform additional missile maintenance work. In the memo authorizing the CITE designation for LEMC, Murphy states that “LEMC possesses the subject matter expertise in missile maintenance for the… Army missile […]

FY16 MOS 51C reclassification board results; USAASC announces changes for future boards

FY16 MOS 51C reclassification board results; USAASC announces changes for future boards

By Ashley Tolbert FORT BELVOIR, Va. (March 10, 2016) – The 51C noncommissioned officer (NCO) reclassification board concluded here last month and selected a total of eight candidates for reclassification. USAASC congratulates the following Soldiers for their selection: Staff Sgt. Charles Prihoda Staff Sgt. Tyshaun Carter Staff Sgt. Frances Gaskins Sgt. Dawn Johnson Staff Sgt. William Greenier Sgt. Tianna Proctor Sgt. Krystal Frank Sgt. Debra Stokes This was the only board of the fiscal year convened by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) and administered by the 51C Proponent Office. “This was by far our most competitive board to date, making the decision tough for the board members to […]

‘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 […]

Operational test looks to reduce satellite lease costs with channel sharing

Operational test looks to reduce satellite lease costs with channel sharing

By Sgt. Devon Bistarkey (PEO C3T) JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – The Army’s predominate friendly-force tracking tool known as Blue Force Tracker (BFT), used by nearly every ground and aviation vehicle across the fleet, could soon be part of a satellite channel sharing initiative. Currently, BFT-1 and BFT-2 systems utilize unique satellite channels to send and receive Position Location Information (PLI) and Command and Control (C2) data which allows commanders to visualize assets within the operational sphere. While this is operationally effective, it comes with significant costs. Validation from single beam testing offers a forward-thinking solution. On Jan 27, the Army conducted a channel sharing aviation mobility operational test at […]

DLA launches new website used to identify companies doing business with U.S. government

DLA launches new website used to identify companies doing business with U.S. government

By Sara Moore, Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations FORT BELVOIR, Va. – The Defense Logistics Agency launched a newly consolidated website Feb. 26 used to find and request Commercial and Government Entity codes, the five-digit identifiers required for all commercial companies that wish to do business with the U.S. government. The “CAGE Public” website, https://cage.dla.mil, provides a unified solution for searching CAGE codes, requesting a new or updating an existing code, and finding required forms, news, training and frequently asked questions. The new website also includes CAGE Search and Inquiry, dubbed CSI, which replaces the Business Identification Number Cross-Referencing System website. This represents a big shift from the past, when […]

Strength in (small) numbers

Strength in (small) numbers

The high-tech Army is creating opportunities as small businesses play an increasingly pivotal role in the evolution of the tactical network, and sensible use of the SBIR program is a strong reason why. by Ms. Nancy Jones-Bonbrest It’s no secret that big business dominates the battlefield. Yet, as the Army turns its focus to an agile force, able to deploy on short notice to locations anywhere in the world—all while staying connected with uninterrupted mission command and situational awareness—small businesses are playing a pivotal role in the evolution of the tactical network. They may not be as big as some of today’s industry giants, but in an ever-evolving high-tech Army, […]