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” […]

Army DACM Office hosts Army acquisition career development summit

Army DACM Office hosts Army acquisition career development summit

By Tara Clements FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Sept. 14, 2015) – More than 30 Army acquisition career development leaders representing 24 agencies and all 14 acquisition career fields met Sept. 9 to discuss key issues affecting the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) and share best practices. Attendees from across the 37,000-strong AAW represented the acquisition career fields, from contracting to small business to engineering, known as Army Acquisition Functional Advisors, or AAFAs; as well as key career advocates within major command and organizations, known as Acquisition Career Management Advocates, or ACMAs. “This community of practice is here today to help communicate with the workforce,” said Craig Spisak, director of the U.S. Army […]

US Army contracting team trains local institutions in Kosovo

US Army contracting team trains local institutions in Kosovo

By Mr. David Chace U.S. Army Soldiers with the 1960th Contingency Contracting Team out of Huntsville Ala., and currently assigned to Area Support Team-Balkans in Kosovo, marked the completion of a five-day training series on market management and technical specifications, for approximately 20 members and officials from Ministry of Kosovo Security Force and their Land Forces Command, during a ceremony Aug. 14 in Pristina, Kosovo. U.S. Army Master Sgt. Lesly Richardson, one of the instructors of the training, said the training’s value exceeded her expectations. “They had a lot of questions, and that made the training much more energetic,” Richardson said. “There was a good exchange of information.” AST-Balkans serves […]