A Plan to Make — and Break

A Plan  to Make — and Break

By Mr. Dale A. Ormond, Director, U.S. Army Research, Development And Engineering Command Most planning involves developing a series of concrete steps and conditional decision points that together define a good way ahead, and then—as no plan survives contact—adjusting that. As director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), when I contemplate the Army’s 30-year plan to modernize the force, I see our goal as not only to break that plan, but to break it often and before anyone else does. It is our job to make the Soldier’s kit obsolete. This we must do if we are to help the Army maintain its unparalleled dominance on […]

The 30 Year Plan: Planting the seeds for the U.S. Army’s future and trying to predict the future are two sides of the same coin

The 30 Year Plan: Planting the seeds for the U.S. Army’s future and trying to predict the future are two sides of the same coin

By Steve Stark   FORT BELVOIR, Va. – The theme of newest edition of Army AL&T magazine looks 30 years in the future to develop a plan—albeit one that will have to be broken, changed and modified to meet the operational needs of the future—in the April-June issue, available online now. “As we draw down forces from Afghanistan, today is the best time to plant seeds for the army of the future,” writes the Hon. Heidi Shyu, the Army acquisition executive and assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology. A period of budget austerity may not seem like the best of times—more like the worst—to plant those […]

New deployable kennels for military dogs mitigate temperature extremes

New deployable kennels for military dogs mitigate temperature extremes

By Audra Calloway, Picatinny Public Affairs   PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (April 21, 2014) — In Afghanistan, summer temperatures soar to 120 degrees and winter temperatures dip into the teens. Mix in some blinding sandstorms and one can appreciate the importance of adequate military shelter not only for Soldiers, but also for military working dogs. To keep the working dogs healthier and more comfortable during deployments, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center engineers from Picatinny and Rock Island are developing kennels for environments with temperature extremes, said Project Officer Frank Altamura, who is with the Program Executive Office for Ammunition. The duties of military working dogs include patrolling and searching for […]

ASA(ALT) welcomes new military deputy

ASA(ALT) welcomes new military deputy

  Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson became the principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)) and the director, acquisition career management on April 4, 2014 during his promotion ceremony. The Hon. Heidi Shyu, the Army acquisition executive hosted the event, and was joined by the Hon. Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, in welcoming the new (ASA(ALT)) principal military deputy. (U.S. Army photo by Jerome Howard)                                        

What Does It Mean to Be “a Defense Acquisition Professional”?

What Does It Mean to Be “a Defense Acquisition Professional”?

From the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall   One of the seven goals of Better Buying Power 2.0 is to improve the professionalism of the total acquisition workforce. I thought it might be useful to provide some specificity about what I have in mind when I talk about professionalism. The following is based on various experiences over my career, including some formal education on the nature of professionalism in the military, including at venues like West Point and the Army War College, in my on-the-job training in program management and systems engineering by various Air Force colonels in the Ballistic Missile Office, and by […]

What Really Matters in Defense Acquisition

What Really Matters in Defense Acquisition

From the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall   My first inclination for this issue’s article was to discuss the newly released DoDI 5000.02. We recently implemented this new acquisition policy document as interim guidance. I provided a cover letter explaining why I had done a new version and outlined some of the features of this edition. I do recommend that you look at both the cover letter and the new document, but on reflection I decided to write about something else for this issue. An enormous amount of time and energy goes into designing our processes and implementing them, but at the end of […]

SPOTLIGHT: MR. JARED HIGGS

SPOTLIGHT: MR. JARED HIGGS

By Ms. Susan L. Follett Some of Jared Higgs’ earliest memories are of time spent with his father in his shop at the Red River Army Depot (RRAD), in Texarkana, Texas. So it’s no surprise that when the time came to determine his own career path, he followed his father and grandfather and became a heavy equipment mechanic. Altogether, three generations of his family have worked at the depot for a total of 60 years. “My dad has always been a mechanic, and since I was little, I was with him, working and watching. I can remember coming out to the depot to see his shop. I’ve always had some […]

Army develops lightweight ballistic protection for aircraft

Army develops lightweight ballistic protection for aircraft

By Heather R. Smith   REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Army tactics and training are constantly changing to meet the threat on the battlefield, and one such example is the attack helicopter. Originally the AH-1 Cobras were designed to arrive on station quickly, eliminate the threat, and move on to the next target. But in today’s battlefield, attack helicopters like the AH-64 Apaches are providing air support to ground convoys, and often hovering over convoys to eliminate any sign of threats. These combat operations result in increased exposure to enemy ground fire and increased need for ballistic protection systems, and the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Prototype […]

Army’s manufacturing improvements yield lighter body armor

Army’s manufacturing improvements yield lighter body armor

By Dan Lafontaine   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Soldiers facing rugged terrain and extreme temperatures are continually searching for ways to reduce the weight of their gear. In a search for solutions to this persistent issue, U.S. Army scientists and engineers have preliminarily demonstrated body armor that is 10 percent lighter through new manufacturing processes. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, known as RDECOM, along with its industry partners, has leveraged the Army’s Manufacturing Technology Program to spur the Advanced Body Armor Project. Dr. Shawn Walsh leads the project at RDECOM’s Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, where his team has reduced the weight of a size medium […]

Military, civilian medical experts emphasize investment in acute trauma care

Military, civilian medical experts emphasize investment in acute trauma care

By Ellen Crown   FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — From battlefield blasts to plane crashes, major advancements in acute trauma care are being seen in both the military and civilian health sectors, agreed experts during roundtable discussion at the 2013 Military Health System Research Symposium, Aug. 13, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Funding in research and rapid implementation of best practices are paying off, and people with serious injuries are surviving and rehabilitating, said director of the U.S. Army’s Combat Casualty Care Research Program, or CCCRP, Col. Dallas Hack. Joining him was Air Force Col. Todd Rasmussen, CCCRP deputy director. “It’s not an overstatement to say that trauma care has been transformed […]