Getting Requirements Right

Getting Requirements Right

QRCs were quick fixes to save lives and ensure mission success, but backfilling requirements to sustain the capabilities sounds easier than it is By MAJ Timothy J. Bracken Acquisition professionals are tasked to manage their program’s cost, schedule and performance. In many cases, managing performance can be the most challenging. This is because the program office not only manages the specifics that determine and define their capability’s requirements, but also maintains a relationship with the organization that manages and “owns” the capability’s requirement documents. That organization is the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Capability Manager (TCM). These requirement documents, the initial capabilities document (ICD), capability development document (CDD) […]

An Assistant Secretary of the Army, R&D center discuss C4ISR system modernization

An Assistant Secretary of the Army, R&D center discuss C4ISR system modernization

By Kristen Kushiyama, CERDEC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) received an update on the Army’s latest work in creating modular, customizable systems for various Army platforms during a visit here June 16. The Hon. Heidi Shyu toured the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center to gain a deeper understanding of CERDEC’s Hardware/Software Convergence initiative. CERDEC is working to modernize and modularize Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or C4ISR, and Electronic Warfare components so that there is a standard interface to better and more quickly facilitate the integration, compatibility and interoperability of new capabilities. Shyu said […]

Faces of the Force: Chenxi Dong-O’Malley

Faces of the Force: Chenxi Dong-O’Malley

POSITION AND UNIT: Force Project and Sustainment Portfolio Lead; Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center YEARS OF SERVICE: 12 AWARDS: 2014 Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene Award for Acquisition Writing; Honorable Mention, Lessons Learned EDUCATION: M.S. in systems engineering in material science; Worcester Polytechnic Institute; M.S. in chemical engineering and B.S. in chemical engineering, Tufts University Swapping a lab coat for a spreadsheet By Susan L. Follett Chenxi Dong-O’Malley began her Army civilian career a dozen years ago, working on protective clothing and equipment for Soldiers at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC). “Most people are unaware of the amount of technology development that’s behind the […]

NPI Lifesaving Possibilities

NPI Lifesaving  Possibilities

USAMRMC’s NPI website has encouraged innovative products for nine years, and a major upgrade will improve on that By LTC Felicia D. Langel, Ms. Amanda Cecil and Ms. Jean M. Shinbur Some of the best product ideas originate outside the government, which is why acquisition personnel at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) stood up the New Products and Ideas (NPI) website at http://mrmc-npi.amedd.army.mil to learn about innovations developed by commercial vendors that the Army could adopt to assist the warfighter. Since 2006, this website has collected and channeled more than 1,250 fresh ideas in areas as wide-ranging as combat casualty care, military operational medicine, medical chemical […]

Looking Back to Move Ahead

Looking Back to Move Ahead

Leveraging a decade of hard lessons, CERDEC’s NVESD looks to bolster the Army’s technology investments by embracing change By Dr. Richard Nabors and Mr. Nathan Burkholder Science and technology (S&T) initiatives historically have been seen as a primary support mechanism in helping to address long-term challenges that the U.S. Army will face from conventional military threats. However, as demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan, unconventional (asymmetric) threats, defined as those strategies and tactics employed by an often inferior force to offset their deficiencies and exploit weaknesses, continue to impact Army strategic land power, significantly raising the sustainment and life-cycle costs for military equipment. The dynamic evolution of threats necessitates that conventional S&T […]

CERDEC improves training for Vigilant Pursuit

CERDEC improves training for Vigilant Pursuit

By Kristen Kushiyama, RDECOM CERDEC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (January 26, 2015) – U.S. Army researchers have improved training for Soldiers on a quick-reaction intelligence capability to better support the system in the field and potentially reduce reliance on reach-back and in-field contractor support. NCOs from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Communications-Electronics Center (RDECOM CERDEC) have expanded the training that Soldiers receive on Vigilant Pursuit, a multi-intelligence system designed to reduce the time it takes to properly identify and take down a high-value target. Vigilant Pursuit combines human intelligence and signals intelligence capabilities, or respectively, HUMINT and SIGINT, to provide Soldiers with information to identify […]

Beyond the Borders of ‘Possible’

Beyond the Borders of ‘Possible’

ACCESS AL&T talks to DARPA about standing conventional wisdom on its head As the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) communications staff was exploring the issues surrounding Force 2025 and Beyond, we wanted input from that most futuristic part of DOD, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is renowned for its many breakthroughs and technological disruptions. ACCESS AL&T spoke to Dr. Bradford Tousley, who has been director of the Tactical Technology Office (TTO) at DARPA since January 2013. He holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester. After a distinguished military […]

Picatinny engineers use advanced sensor technologies

Picatinny engineers use advanced sensor technologies

By Eric Kowal, ARDEC Public Affairs PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Jan. 21, 2015) — By integrating many small sensors into light mortar systems, Picatinny engineers are developing a technology for use on all U.S. military mortar systems to give Soldiers faster, more accurate mortar fire. The Weaponized Universal Lightweight Fire-Control, known as WULF, couples many small sensors together to create a robust, lightweight pointing device that will increase mortar fire. How much faster? An average gun crew is expected to have the 81mm system aimed on target from a dismantled state in four minutes 30 seconds. With WULF, the setup time for the 81mm mortar systems is cut to one minute. […]

Technically Speaking: Simple is Hard

Technically Speaking: Simple is Hard

Explaining science plainly can lead to new insight—and a challenge By Dr. Roberto Trotta Technically Speaking is a new column for Army AL&T magazine. Its title is frankly ironic, because its aim is to challenge subject-matter experts to explain a highly technical job, a system or a concept in the plainest language possible. The point is that, as Dr. Jacques Gansler and many other former and present defense dignitaries have noted, DOD ­science and technology (S&T) experts often do not do the best job of explaining what they do and why it’s important. Every work specialty—from short-order cooking to high-rise construction to nuclear research—has its own language, which often is […]

In the ‘Golden Hour’

In the ‘Golden Hour’

Combat Casualty Care Research drives innovation to improve survivability and reimagine future combat care By Col Todd E. Rasmussen, Dr. David G. Baer, RADM Bruce A. Doll and MG Joseph Caravalho Jr. The burden of injury among U.S. service personnel during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq confirmed the benefit of requirements-driven medical research aimed at reducing combat-related mortality and improving survival. While elements of trauma research existed before these wars, they were small, service-focused and not fully coordinated. The wars also exposed the often overlooked fact that, unlike research in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease and behavioral health, the nation has no federal institutes or private foundations dedicated to […]