Army Acquisition Center of Excellence (AACoE)
The Army Acquisition Center of Excellence is a centralized training, education, and career development school for Army acquisition officers, noncommissioned officers, and Department of the Army civilians. This facility centralizes Army institutional training, education, and career development courses for the acquisition, logistics, and technology workforce and improves the effectiveness of leader development efforts while increasing acquisition synergy.
Where is the facility located?
Madison Hall, University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).
What was the reasoning behind partnering with UAH?
In 2005, a survey was taken of various locations in Huntsville. The courses were originally collocated with DAU; however, DAU quickly outgrew their space which created the need for new space for ALMC courses. The US Army Corps of Engineers Learning Center at UAH was underutilized as well as the UAH Bevill Center. This served a dual purpose for us. We were able to move our training to the Bevill Center as well as use the MTSS funding for lodging and per diem. This resulted in significant savings to the Army and a solid working relationship with the UAH staff.
Why was this school established? Where were the acquisition training facilities located before?
The school was originally opened at Ft. Lee and entitled the Material Acquisition Management Course (MAM). As certification requirements grew and the acquisition workforce was reformed, there was a need for an expanded curriculum.
2002-2003 Relocated the MAM course to Huntsville, DAU South Campus. Developed and taught the first U.S. Army Acquisition Basic Course and provided equivalency to 10 acquisition courses vice the 2 offered with MAM.
2005 Moved the AABC to the University of Alabama, Huntsville Campus, Tom Bevill Center, and supported senior leadership’s guidance to develop pentahletes; LCMC commanders of the future; and support goal of certification in multiple AOCs. At this time there was an emphasis on Contracting, Logistics and Program Management and the courses were designed to support these goals.
2009 (Post-Gansler) The Proponent Office recognized a need to add a Contracting Lab to the current curriculum. As more emphasis on contracting emerged from the Gansler Report so did the need for a more robust Contracting Curriculum for the Department of Defense. The Gansler Report also introduced NCOs into the Contracting Career Field. As a result, ALU reformatted their curriculum to meet the immediate needs of the Army and the current course structure was developed. The overarching school was named the Acquisition Basic Qualification Course (BQC) with a curriculum that includes AABC, AIPM, AAICC, AICL, COR-TT and ANLC. This also led to the creation of the Army Acquisition Center of Excellence to oversee all acquisition training to ensure that it meets the needs of the Army.
2011 Created the Army Acquisition Center of Excellence (AACoE) and relocated to Madison Hall at the University of Alabama, Huntsville where we stand today to officially open its doors. The FA51 Intermediate Qualification Course (IQC) relocated from the University of Texas to the AACoE in Huntsville.
Establishment of an AACoE was directed by LTG N. Ross Thompson III, former Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, in January 2010. By establishing this consolidated training center, the Army saves taxpayer money while providing better education and career development opportunities to the AL&T Workforce. In turn, the AL&T Workforce will be better equipped to bring Soldiers the warfighting capabilities they need, when they need them.
How much will this facility save and how?
Approximately $1M annually through the Army MTSS program, FA51 IQC relocation, and improved processes and procedures.
Who will this affect?
Primarily, this will affect the Army acquisition workforce by providing greater training and education opportunities and allowing these professionals to learn from and interact with senior leaders. This school will also affect the Huntsville and university communities, since it is on university property, giving the Army Acquisition Corps a greater presence there.
In what way does this impact UAH and Huntsville?
UAH is deeply involved in Research and Development which has a direct impact on the Arsenal and acquisition. This partnership provides us space in a college environment that will enhance the learning experience for the soldier. UAH has the lodging and dining facilities which allows students to be centrally located and gives them the opportunities to set up study groups and help each other complete their group assignments.
Did this partnership create jobs for UAH or Huntsville? If so, how many?
Cannot answer for the University; however, our staff has been reorganized and was increased by two people for the military program and an additional 8 for the DA civilian contracting internship program.
How many students do you anticipate in the program? How does this compare to the previous training scenario with multiple locations?
An annual throughput of over 500 students. We average 240 a year for the FA51BQC which has steadily increased over the years. IQC will bring another 140 students a year to the campus and the DA civilian contracting internship program will host 120-150 students on site.
What courses are offered?
1. Army Acquisition Foundation Course (AAFC), 3 weeks
How does establishing this school relate to the Army’s mission?
The AACoE supports the Chief of Staff of the Army’s objective to transform the Army to meet the needs of the 21st century by providing an ideal training set to build and transform the AL&T Workforce. The AACoE will provide the learning environment on which Soldiers depend to provide a decisive advantage in any mission by developing, acquiring, fielding, and sustaining the world’s best equipment and services and leveraging technologies and capabilities to meet current and future Army need.