Growing the next generation of Army scientists and engineers through an education and research continuum

Growing the next generation of Army scientists and engineers through an education and research continuum

The Army Operating Concept dictates that “future forces conduct operations consistent with the tenet of adaptability, anticipating dangers and opportunities and adjusting operations to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative.” The Army is arguably the nation’s foremost leadership training institution, and one of the roles of the research, development and acquisition communities is to develop leaders who can innovate and adapt on the science and technology fronts so that we can deliver the capabilities Army leaders need on the battlefield. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), on behalf of the Army, is committed to growing the next generation of scientists and engineers to deliver the decisive overmatch […]

Getting out of the box: New prep course offers insight for Army acquisition leaders

Getting out of the box: New prep course offers insight for Army acquisition leaders

By Ashley Tolbert FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Nov. 24, 2015) – Last week, 29 current and future managers from across the Army acquisition workforce attended the second Army Acquisition Leader Preparation Course (AALPC) in Arlington, Virginia. The course is designed to generate thought and discussion about a host of challenges that future acquisition leaders will likely face when they get into their new jobs, and learn from accomplished leaders and seasoned practitioners who have faced similar challenges. Lt. Gen. Michael Williamson, the Army director, acquisition career management (DACM) developed the course and launched the pilot earlier this year. Early on in his role as the director of career management for the […]

More bang for government bucks

More bang for government bucks

With CMMI Level 5 processes, RDECOM’s ARDEC pursues reuse of government-owned IP and hardware to drive down the costs and shorten schedules for software-intensive weapon systems to more quickly field systems to Soldiers. By Mr. David R. Castellano and Mr. Michael A. Zecca The basic components of armament systems—weapon, ammunition and fire control—are essentially the same, but vary in how they are implemented and their degree of automation. However, as simple as the basic components are, several factors create the potential for complication. Different system contractors, the increased use of electronics in armament systems and implementation of functions through software—these factors can lead to a proliferation of unique armament systems. […]

What kind of innovation do you want?

What kind of innovation do you want?

Corporate strategist, defense investor and student of complex systems Pierre Chao understands the many shades of innovation, particularly how it differs—widely—from the government to the commercial sector. And he has specific ideas on what makes innovation happen, what impedes it and where innovation should not take place. Army AL&T most often looks outside the realm of defense for the Critical Thinking column, but for this issue on innovation, we thought it important to stay closer to home. That’s because innovation in government and defense, and innovation in private industry—while not completely different—have significantly different incentive structures, an issue that’s important to Pierre Chao, who has been involved with the topic […]

Prototyping the future

Prototyping the future

Better Buying Power emphasizes the value of prototyping capabilities to prove them out, and the annual TRADOC-sponsored Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment is a model for the kind of venue that industry, organic developers and Soldiers need to come together to put capabilities through their paces and find the best solutions for the Soldier. By Col. F. Wayne Brewster II Rarely is an idea perfect the first time it is assessed. New technologies, training strategies and force redesign concepts need to be evaluated and improved. That’s why experimentation with prototypes is a critical tool for modernization and innovation for the Army. The Army Operating Concept’s vision for Force 2025 and Beyond […]

A case study in acquisition centralization

A case study in acquisition centralization

PM P2E supports a globally connected Army—and the “global” part can be a real challenge, as requests for IT acquisition support flow in from around the world, including many urgent requests from Soldiers in theater. To respond, PM P2E had to revamp to meet the demand, and an organization that had used a traditional, decentralized approach to developing requirements created a one-stop shop for acquisition, which yields better buying power efficiencies and alignment with JIE objectives. By Mr. James “Chris” Christopher Woodis Product Manager Power Projection Enablers (PM P2E) is one of the Army’s top-tier information technology (IT) product offices. It acquires and implements enterprise IT capabilities for a globally […]

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 […]

Faces of the Force: Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla

Faces of the Force: Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla

POSITION AND UNIT: Contract specialist, 419th Contracting Support Brigade YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 1 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 10 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II in contracting EDUCATION: B.S. in criminal justice administration, Columbia Southern University AWARDS: Army Commendation Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)); Army Achievement Medal (3 OLCs); Army Good Conduct Medal (3); National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraqi Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; NCO Professional Development Ribbon (2); Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon (4); North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal Year one: lots to learn By Susan L. Follett Looking for a way to support her family, Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla joined the Army […]

Army AL&T magazine explores innovation

Army AL&T magazine explores innovation

By Steve Stark FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Sept. 28, 2015) – Innovation is often assumed to be the next big thing, but more often, it’s incremental upgrades to the way things are done, built or contracted. That’s why Army AL&T’s Editorial Advisory Board wanted us to focus on innovative approaches to acquisition. We made it the theme for the October – December edition of Army AL&T, which is online now and will be available in hard copy at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting & Exposition. This newest edition of Army AL&T is packed with ways that organizations have innovated to make processes work more smoothly, from acquiring […]

Dogs of War

Dogs of War

Dogs are no strangers to war. Indeed, it’s likely that canine militarization is as old as canine domestication. Historical accounts of dogs participating in warfare date at least as far back as the middle of the seventh century B.C. According to a 1915 article in The New York Times, the Egyptians used dogs in war in the fifth century B.C., and “it is certain that no metaphor was intended by Shakespeare when he made Antony exclaim, ‘Cry “havoc” and let slip the dogs of war.’ ” In the November-December 1970 issue of this magazine’s predecessor publication, Army Research and Development magazine, the article “Canine Caution Warns Troops of Concealed Dangers” […]