Army AL&T magazine is USAASC’s quarterly professional journal, comprising in-depth, analytically focused articles. The magazine’s mission is to instruct members of the Army AL&T community about AL&T processes, procedures, techniques and management philosophy; it is also to disseminate information pertinent to the professional development of workforce members and others engaged in AL&T activities.
Science on the Spot
RDECOM science advisers assigned to commands in the field are poised to respond to capability gaps quickly—often with a prototype produced with 3-D printing. by Ms. Argie Sarantinos-Perrin If Gloria shows any signs of distress, Soldiers know to steer clear. That’s because Gloria, a pig who came to “life” through the magic of additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, makes loud noises and oozes if there are chemical, biological or nuclear threats nearby. Without Gloria, Soldiers could step into a potentially hazardous situation without even realizing it. Gloria is one of the numerous projects that the Field Assistance in Science and Technology (FAST) advisers have developed, along with Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), to keep Soldiers safe. FAST advisers, part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), are positioned with major units around the world and serve as liaisons between the commands and RDECOM. The FAST program gives commanders access to thousands of subject matter experts within RDECOM. As a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, which researches, designs and develops every item that a Soldier wears, drives, flies, communicates with or operates on the battlefield, RDECOM provides commanders with innovative solutions for operational issues, enabling them to focus on their missions. “What RDECOM provides is not just material technology that goes in the hands of the warfighter, but a dynamic and responsive presence to the emerging threats warfighters face,” said Maj. Angela Smoot, RDECOM FAST adviser to U.S. Army Europe. Smoot, who has been a FAST adviser for two years, enjoys seeing Soldiers “light up” when she introduces a new technology to them, and she uses their feedback to further technology development. EXPERTISE AROUND THE WORLD There are currently 28 FAST advisers deployed in major commands around the world, including U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), U.S. Army Pacific, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Garrison Japan. The advisers are mostly scientists and engineers who have experience in one or more fields, including mechanics, electronics, computer science, physics, chemistry, optics and aerospace design. The assignments are two to three years long. CALLING IT INAn AH-64 Apache attack helicopter lands on a road as Soldiers radio reports during an opposing forces “attack” in July 2016 as part of Arctic Anvil 2016, an exercise in Donnelly Training Area near Fort Greely, Alaska. The exercise, the largest held in the interior of Alaska in 15 years, gave FAST advisers the opportunity to see what issues Soldiers experience with equipment and technology. (Photo by Justin Connaher, 673rd Air Base Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska) One of the challenges that Smoot faces is ensuring that equipment and technology are interoperable between countries. That is no small feat since most European countries share multiple borders, and their close proximity may cause spectrum and frequency issues between countries. For instance, bringing new technology, such as a radio that operates on the same frequency as commercial equipment, into a country can cause a conflict, especially if the new equipment uses high power. The conflict may result, for example, in shutting down cellular coverage or ambulatory services. To avoid this situation, the host nation provides the frequency and power that the equipment must operate with to eliminate conflict. Additionally, NATO allies must provide input before a new technology is brought to the European theater. “I worked directly with the staffs at USFK, 8th Army and 2nd Infantry Division, interacting at gunneries and exercises to keep a thumb on the pulse of emerging requirement gaps,” said Lt. Col. Marc Meeker, formerly the FAST advisor to USFK and now director of U.S. Army International Technology Center Germany. Once FAST advisers identify requirements or capability gaps within their commands, they query program management offices, RDECOM’s Research, Development and Engineering Centers (RDECs) and industry partners to expedite potential solutions. The solution is often a prototype that is developed in a Prototype Integration Facility at one of the RDECs. When Soldiers in Germany couldn’t see the brownish-green, donkey-shaped pillow that alerted them of a chemical, biological or nuclear threat, the FAST team worked with ECBC to develop Gloria the pig. While the four by four foot “donkey” blends into the ground terrain, Gloria’s bright color and ability to make loud noises and ooze if there are threats nearby make her a good training tool for Soldiers. Since Gloria can be manufactured quickly via 3-D printing, the wait time is reduced and the cost to ship a similar product is eliminated. PROTECTION PLUSA chemical Soldier from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team “Arctic Wolves” participates in the Arctic Anvil exercise that was held in Alaska in July 2016. FAST advisers are using cutting-edge technology demonstrated at exercises like Arctic Anvil to close capability gaps and keep Soldiers safe. (Photo by Rodney Jackson, 196th Infantry Brigade, Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability) “Getting prototypes into the hands of Soldiers mitigates the gaps that are often the result of long lead times,” said Meeker. “If a program manager says he’ll have a production model in 2022 but I can get a prototype now, the gap has just been lessened. It is even better when there is no financial burden on the command because prototypes or low-rate initial production models are already paid for with research dollars.” FAST advisers also work with outside agencies, including the Army Test and Evaluation Command, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and various program management offices, to field technology. Working with Meeker when he was the FAST adviser in Korea, the program manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems within the Program Executive Office for Ammunition fielded a safer training munition for Soldiers. The new M1020 120 mm training munition, fielded to the 2nd Infantry Division, has a nose that breaks on impact, decreasing fragment size and rapidly dissipating kinetic energy, resulting in less damage at ranges and fewer fragments in the training area. Developed by RDECOM’s Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), the M1020 is fired from the main gun on the M1 Abrams battle tank. SIDE BY SIDE WITH SOLDIERS FAST advisers work closely with Soldiers in the field. By supporting Army exercises and training events, FAST advisers see first-hand what issues Soldiers experience with equipment and technology. Andy Margules, FAST adviser to U.S. Army Alaska, was a part of the Arctic Anvil exercise in July 2016. The exercise, which was supported by more than 8,000 personnel from the Army, National Guard, Air Force, foreign partners, civilians and contractors, was the largest held in the interior of Alaska in 15 years. It was also the first time that the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability, a mobile package of personnel and equipment designed to support training exercises across the Pacific theater, was used outside of Hawaii. “Maintaining a strong relationship with the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard personnel in Alaska is key, and informing them of potential technologies and opportunities to experiment and demonstrate technology is paramount,” said Margules. THE GRAND TOURA Japanese delegation from the Ground Systems Research Center visited the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (TARDEC) Prototype Integration Facility in Warren, Michigan, in March 2016. FAST advisors, who are liaisons between RDECOM and commanders, use prototypes to solve operational issues that Soldiers experience. (Photo by Kimberly Bratic, TARDEC Public Affairs). Margules is currently supporting a project that moved from the beginning stage, where the need for a quicker, safer system was identified, to the testing stage. The Prime Mover Ammunition Carrier (PMAC) is a new system that was designed by 1st Lt. Thomas Prose in the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, was prototyped by ARDEC and is currently being evaluated at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. Prose designed the PMAC with speed, utility and safety in mind. The PMAC, built with M232 propellant canisters, can hold both M107 and M795 series projectiles. Using steel components and bolted directly to the vehicle (unlike the prior system), the PMAC holds the projectiles in place even if the vehicle rolls over. In addition, the PMAC is located at the driver’s end of the vehicle, ensuring easy access to get the gun firing quickly. In February 2015, Margules worked with engineers from RDECOM’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center to test a ground robotic system in Alaska’s diverse, mountainous terrain, extreme cold weather and high altitude. Feedback from those tests was used not only to inform the capability development document, but also for future unmanned ground robotic projects. In addition to their technical knowledge, FAST advisers are often relied on to bridge communication gaps. For instance, Jinwoo Park, a FAST adviser in Korea, is fluent in Korean and English so he can communicate with Korean and U.S. Soldiers who work together on international projects. Park, an electrical engineer, also understands the technical language associated with satellite communications, so he provides the link between engineers and Soldiers. “I am part of an interoperability team that is addressing communication challenges between the U.S. and Korean Soldiers,” said Park. “However, it’s not just a language barrier. We have had problems communicating on a technical level for more than 50 years.” GROWING THE PROGRAM The number of FAST advisers, who are military officers in the Acquisition Corps and senior Army civilians, fluctuates according to need. If a new command is stood up or priorities change, then FAST advisers are added or moved to other areas. Lt. Col. Kevin Finch was recently assigned as the first FAST adviser to U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER). Located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, ARCYBER will direct and conduct cyberspace operations to ensure freedom of action in the cyberspace and information environment and deny access to adversaries. Other FAST advisers are assigned to support more than one command. Maj. Jimmy Harris wears two hats as the FAST advisor to both the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) until a full-time FAST adviser is assigned to FORSCOM. SONG OF THE SOWGloria, manufactured with 3-D printing, is used as a training tool for Soldiers to detect chemical, biological or nuclear threats. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza, U.S. Army National Guard) “To prepare new FAST advisers for their role, RDECOM puts them through an intensive three-week orientation and reachback training program, which exposes them to the total enterprise of RDECOM and its full spectrum of capabilities that support Soldiers,” said Jim Gibson, director of FAST at RDECOM. While training prepares FAST advisers for their role, they need to be well-rounded and adaptable. “There’s a lot that has to happen before we get technology into the warfighter’s hands,” said Smoot. “I strive for quality, not quantity.” CONCLUSION The FAST program began in 1985 and initially covered South Korea and Germany. In 2003, the program expanded to the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters. “The number of FAST advisers has remained around 28 for several years, but the program is evolving and we constantly evaluate our footprint to optimize our support to current Army priorities,” said Gibson. As the program evolves, FAST advisers will continue to reach back to RDECOM’s scientists and engineers to solve commanders’ operational problems. With innovative projects, such as Gloria the pig, FAST advisers are helping to develop cutting-edge technology to close capability gaps and keep Soldiers safe. For more information, visit http://www.rdecom.army.mil/FAST/. MS. ARGIE SARANTINOS-PERRIN, a public affairs specialist with Huntington Ingalls Industries – Technical Solutions Division, provides contract support to RDECOM. She holds an M.S. in professional writing and a B.A. in mass communications from Towson University. She has 11 years of public affairs experience supporting the DOD. This article is scheduled to be published in the April – June issue of Army AL&T Magazine. Subscribe to Army AL&T News, the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. Related posts: Keeping design on target Growing the next generation of Army scientists and engineers through an education and research continuum Innovation Engine It’s About Time—All of It
A Green Machine Success
PM MAS secures ManTech and R&D funds to enable the industrial base to experiment with green machining to produce the next generation small-caliber round. by Mrs. Marta Hess, Mr. Jeremy Lucid and Mr. Joseph Paras Until 2010, ammunition for small arms weapons has not kept up with evolving threats, and the performance of legacy ammunition has remained relatively stagnant since the early 1980s. Developed using Cold War-era technology, legacy ammunition has a number of deficiencies in providing warfighters with a definitive advantage against current and future threats. A large-scale effort to develop and field the next generation of small caliber ammunition—and with it, the overmatch capability legacy ammunition does not provide—is underway at Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS), Product Manager Small Caliber Ammunition, located at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. This next generation of small caliber ammunition includes advanced technologies to improve lethality at greater distances, as well as alternate cartridge case materials to lighten a Soldier’s standard combat ammunition load. PM MAS secured U.S. Army Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program funding to supplement existing research, development, engineering and testing (RDT&E) funds starting in FY15, to mature the manufacturing readiness level of improved material solutions. These additional resources have played an important role in reducing manufacturability and cost risks as products transition to full-rate production, providing the warfighter with improved capability at the quantity needed to conduct training and combat operations. Without this crucial resource to advance manufacturing readiness, it would have been too costly for the ammunition industry to field enhanced capabilities in required quantities of small caliber ammunition. COMPONENT MANUFACTURING AND ASSEMBLY The focus on improving small arms ammunition began in earnest around 2008, when the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCOE), representing the voice of the user, received mixed reviews in post-combat surveys regarding legacy 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm ammunition. This triggered the MCOE to generate small caliber family of ammunition capability development documents for 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm and .50-caliber ammunition. These documents established the Army’s requirements for small caliber ammunition to reduce or eliminate existing operational capability gaps and ensure overmatch in future combat environments through the foreseeable future. These requirements formed the basis for multiple research and development (R&D) programs to improve lethality, survivability, mobility and training flexibility. PRECISELY ASSEMBLEDModified through a ManTech-funded R&D program, this new bullet assembly machine has a higher operational availability and lower scrap rates than predecessor equipment, and it provides more processer feedback while offering the ability for faster tooling changes. Improvements in precision means higher quality ammunition can be fielded faster and cheaper. (Image courtesy of PM MAS) As with many innovative products or systems, advancements can result in price increases. Over the last decade, improvements in small caliber ammunition have required modifying critical projectile components with state-of-the-art designs and complex shapes, such as a modified projectile jacket with an exposed tip to achieve consistent soft-target effects, and advanced materials such as tungsten carbide to achieve enhanced hard-target terminal effects at greater distances. This in turn has required research in advanced manufacturing techniques including machining in a pre-formed state, called “green machining,” advanced grinding and multistage projectile assembly operations that the ammunition industry previously was not required to use. By leveraging $5 million of multiyear RDT&E funding from ManTech, PM MAS, in partnership with the U.S. Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), funded two major initiatives to assist the industrial base in developing and refining advanced manufacturing processes to provide higher-performance ammunition to the warfighter at an affordable cost. For example, PM MAS and ARDEC have been able to drive down the unit cost of tungsten carbide components by using ManTech resources. Because of the hardness of tungsten carbide, manufacturing it has historically involved lengthy grinding operations. Using these labor-intensive operations resulted in one part completed every 15 minutes, and the unit cost exceeded $20 per part, mainly because existing manufacturing methods for tungsten carbide material were not optimal for complex shapes and configurations. Using ManTech funding, the team engaged with several small businesses, via market surveys and competitive bids, to incentivize development and improvements in novel and advanced tungsten carbide manufacturing techniques. This funding allowed the small businesses to invest in developing alternative manufacturing processes that have the potential to be leveraged for other military applications as well as commercial ventures, all while reducing investment risk on their end. Ultimately, PM MAS and ARDEC selected a green machining process as the most viable approach to drive down component costs. The process is a powder metallurgy technique where chalk-like pre-forms of tungsten carbide powder are shaped before sintering, a heat treatment process that binds the powder particles together to produce a hard, dense material. Traditional tungsten carbide manufacturing involves sintering simple stock shapes, such as bars or rods, and then hard-grinding the final shape into the material. GETTING TO THE POINTMore than 30,000 components have been produced to date using the green machining method demonstrated by PM MAS. The resultant reduction in manufacturing time—from 4 parts per hour to 120 parts per hour—reduced the projected unit price to less than 25 percent of the original cost, yielding millions in savings over the life of the program. (Image courtesy of PM MAS) Green-machining decreases the product cost by increasing the efficiency of producing complex shapes and configurations. More than 30,000 components were produced from October 2015 through December 2016 using this method.These improvements reduced manufacturing time from one part every 15 minutes to two parts every minute. It reduced the projected unit price to less than 25 percent of the original cost—resulting in a potential savings of more than $300 million over the expected 20-year life of the program. Following the initial success in developing a more efficient and cost-effective manufacturing process for complex tungsten carbide components, PM MAS and ARDEC again leveraged ManTech resources to implement improvements in 7.62 mm bullet assembly. Typically, small caliber bullets are assembled on a bullet assembly machine (BAM), where a copper cup is drawn into a bullet jacket that encapsulates the other bullet components (penetrator and slug) and ultimately a small caliber projectile is produced. Because the design of small caliber ammunition has not changed since the early 1980s, legacy BAMs also have remained relatively unchanged, resulting in less than optimal operational availability, higher scrap rates and less flexibility in tooling changes for different ammunition types. By leveraging ManTech funding, the team developed a new tooling package that uses a higher-precision BAM to eliminate many of these inefficiencies. This 21st century BAM, with enhanced controls for precise assembly, is anticipated to maintain the existing rate of 60 parts per minute with higher operational availability, lower scrap rates, more process feedback to the operator and the ability to make faster tooling changes. More importantly, as the manufacturing equipment becomes available to the industrial base for full-rate production, the higher precision means better-quality ammunition delivered to the field, more quickly and at a lower cost. LIGHTWEIGHT CARTRIDGE CASES The next endeavor the program office is tackling with ManTech support involves developing manufacturing and loading processes for lightweight cartridge cases. PM MAS, with support from ARDEC, is exploring new manufacturing processes that include injection-molding polymer or metal using multicavity molds; over-molding; thermal bonding; metal laser edging; and rapid propellant loading of lightweight cases. All these process are new to the Army’s small caliber ammunition production base. Lighter-weight cases reduce combat loads, resulting in greater mobility for Soldiers in combat as well as reduced weight for vehicular and aerial platforms. Using nontraditional cartridge case materials is key to realizing weight savings in small caliber ammunition. MAKE IT LIGHTER, FASTERPM MAS is working with a handful of stakeholders to improve the manufacturability of lightweight cases, including the PCP Ammunition case on the left and the USG steel case on the right, while attempting to drive down manufacturing costs. Cutting cartridge weight has the potential to significantly reduce the burden on the Soldier—and on vehicular and aerial platforms as well. (Images courtesy of PCP Ammunition and USG) PM MAS held an industry day on April 19, 2016, to inform industry partners of the desire to reduce the Soldier’s load in small arms ammunition. The Army shared program requirements, industry opportunities and a planned schedule. The event also provided a forum for smaller non-defense businesses to meet with ammunition producers to discuss the challenges in meeting the Army’s needs. During the next five years, the challenge will be designing and delivering the same quantities of current brass-cased 7.62 mm ammunition requirements in a lightweight case that meets the performance requirements of the M240 machine gun. The Army encouraged companies to explore polymer, steel or hybrid metal designs, with the goal of reducing overall weight by 10 to 50 percent over existing brass-cased cartridges while ensuring proper function in weapon systems; the new design also needed to be produced at typical small caliber ammunition production rates of 75 to 125 million cartridges per year and at a comparable price. Several innovative small businesses have developed lightweight case prototypes but have difficulty meeting the above criteria because of their limited manufacturing capability. The team will use ManTech funding to improve the manufacturability of these innovative, lightweight cases while attempting to drive down manufacturing costs. CONCLUSION ManTech funding has enabled the development of a novel manufacturing capability at three companies with the ability to produce next-generation small caliber ammunition. As a result of the R&D effort, the program office has learned the importance of engaging with industry partners early in the RDT&E phase to develop and mature manufacturing processes concurrently with product development. Bringing industry’s expertise in during product development allows program management to build more realistic schedules, reduce costs and field higher performance ammunition that will provide overmatch capability to our warfighters. The ManTech program is instrumental in developing and refining innovative manufacturing technologies that will transition to the industrial base in support of full-rate production—a win-win scenario improving national security while preparing the industrial base for future needs. CLICK BOOMParatroopers from 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade, conduct a qualification range in December with a M240B machine gun during Exercise Castle Warfare at Foce Reno Training Area in Ravenna, Italy. Research efforts, led by PM MAS and ARDEC and supported in part by funding from ManTech, are looking at new manufacturing processes for producing lighter ammunition for the M240 that still meets the weapon’s performance requirements. (U.S. Army photo by Elena Baladelli, Training Support Activity Europe) For more information about the work of ManTech and PM MAS on green machining, go to http://www.armymantech.com/TCPACR.php. MRS. MARTA HESS is a PM MAS project officer for the Lightweight Small Caliber Ammunition program. She holds an M.S in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and B.S. in mechanical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. She has been part of ARDEC’s Quality Engineering and System Assurance Directorate for 13 years and is an Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) member. She is Level III certified in production, quality and manufacturing. MR. JEREMY LUCID is a PM MAS project officer for multiple small caliber ammunition RDT&E initiatives. He holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from The College of New Jersey. He has worked for the federal government for 12 years and is Level III certified in project management as well as systems planning, research, development and engineering. MR. JOSEPH PARAS is ARDEC’s project officer for ManTech’s Tungsten Carbide Penetrator & Assembly Cost Reduction Program. He holds a B.S. in ceramics and materials engineering from Rutgers University. He has been assigned to the Munitions Engineering and Technology Center’s Armaments Engineering Analysis and Manufacturing Directorate for nine years. He is an AAC member and is Level III certified in systems planning, research, development and engineering. This article is scheduled to be published in the April – June issue of Army AL&T Magazine. Subscribe to Army AL&T News, the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. Related posts: A New Way of Thinking Training Boom Solidifying the base DRIVING SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS
Partnering at the Speed of Cyber
Stakeholders broke out of traditional roles while testing and evaluating cybersecurity at NIE 16.2, learning that when red and blue teams talk earlier and more often, cyber systems get stronger. by Lt. Col. Jeff Strauss and Mr. Robert Wedgeworth The ever-increasing complexity and interconnectivity of Army tactical networks and mission command systems, along with the requirement for mission assurance in the contested domain of cyberspace, present a unique challenge to operational testing and evaluation (T&E). The challenges in cyber (T&E) stem from several factors, first among them the sheer number of devices and the amount of data they exchange. These, when coupled with the growing size, evolution and complexity of software and the ever-present human factor risks, can make it seem nearly impossible to assess the true cybersecurity posture of our networks. These challenges call for new and innovative ways to partner for success in cyber T&E, in fact a fundamental change in our traditional approaches. One such successful partnership was evident recently in the teaming of multiple organizations at Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 16.2. During this event in May 2016, the stakeholders charged with developing, testing, fielding and ultimately operating and defending tactical networks and mission command systems took a fresh look at cybersecurity T&E paradigms, including the exchange of information. These stakeholders included program managers (PMs) from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)), along with testers from the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) G-2, and the Threat Systems Management Office (TSMO). Army cyber defenders at the brigade, division and regional cyber center levels completed the team. Cybersecurity T&E requirements are grounded in DOD Instruction 5000.2, “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System,” and other supporting regulations and directives. The primary purpose of cybersecurity T&E is to determine the operational impact of real-world cyber effects on the unit’s mission. The overall evaluation of a system’s cyber posture is a result of testing across the spectrum of developmental and operational environments, which typically follow the test-fix-test model. The operational test (OT) environment is the most complex and involves linking the system under test to the Soldier operators and defenders in an operational environment, including a representative cyber threat force. ONE DEVICE OF MANYA Soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team sets an unmanned observer drone during NIE 16.2 in May 2016 at Fort Bliss, Texas. The huge number of devices and systems in the network—and the volume of their interactions with one another and their human users—make it difficult for Army cyber defenders to get a true picture of the Army’s cybersecurity posture. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Henrique Luiz de Holleben, 55th Combat Camera) CYBER TESTING STEP BY STEP The first step to cyber testing during an OT event is a cooperative vulnerability and penetration assessment (CVPA). Cybersecurity professionals evaluate the system to uncover all potential vulnerabilities and threat vectors. The system technical experts, typically program office or field service representatives, and network defenders cooperate fully and work directly with ARL testers to perform a comprehensive assessment. The CVPA typically occurs weeks or months before the actual OT. The results of the CVPA are shared with defenders and owners of the system under test. Then cooperation begins to attempt to correct any cyber deficiencies before the next phase of testing. The second cybersecurity test event is the adversarial assessment. This “assesses the ability of a unit equipped with a system to support its missions while withstanding validated and representative cyber threat activity.” Additionally, testers are chartered to “evaluate the ability to protect the system, detect threat activity, react to threat activity, and restore mission capability degraded or lost due to threat activity.” In NIE 16.2, cyber operators from the TSMO assumed this adversarial role, attempting to gain access, exploit vulnerabilities and create mission effects on the systems under test. BLUE VS. RED In a traditional OT environment, participants maintain a rigid separation of the test audience, known as the Blue Team, and the opposing threat forces, or the Red Team, to preserve the operational realism of the test event. In the cyber domain, this “firewalling” of the red and blue elements historically has led to disappointing and frustrating cyber assessments. There are several challenges with this traditional model. The primary challenge is a lack of timely detailed feedback on the systems and the efforts to defend them; feedback typically is not available until well after all testing is completed. Without any dialogue among stakeholders, these OT events fail to achieve their full potential in uncovering system vulnerabilities and developing improvement strategies for detection and mitigation. While traditional tests typically achieve the goal of demonstrating the operational risk of cyber vulnerabilities, they fall short of the goal to actually improve prevention, detection and mitigation procedures. Historically, OT cyber testing has revealed a consistent list of problems: default passwords, misconfigured hardware, poor user behavior and unpatched vulnerabilities. While this is important, much more can and should be learned from these rare opportunities to exercise cyber defense in a realistic environment. When cybersecurity OT finds only seemingly simple issues that surface routinely, it leads to frustration for decision-makers at every level. The result of “firewalling” key players during cyber OT often results in the system’s PMs discovering the “bad news” far too late in the system life cycle, when making meaningful changes is more costly and time-consuming. The lack of real-time feedback was also a problem for principal decision-makers throughout the acquisition and T&E communities who desired more comprehensive exploration of cyberattack vectors and methods. ENABLING BETTER MISSION COMMANDA Soldier inspects a mobile Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) network node during NIE 16.2 in May 2016 at Fort Bliss, Texas. WIN-T provides the tactical communications network backbone to enable mission command, network communications and situational awareness across the brigade. The real-time interactions between blue and red teams at NIE 16.2 offered WIN-T’s developers the opportunity to note and fix weaknesses in this critical backbone sooner. (Photo by Amy Walker, PEO C3T Public Affairs) A DIFFERENT APPROACH During NIE16.2, Brig. Gen. Kenneth L. Kamper, then commanding general of ATEC’s U.S. Army Operational Test Command, envisioned a different approach to cyber OT centered on teaming. “We have some very specific goals when it comes to cyber operation testing and protocols that need to be followed for good reasons, but we also ought to be using every opportunity to learn and get better every day,” said Kamper after the event. Striking that balance was the goal of several partner agencies charged with the conduct of cyber OT at NIE 16.2. The central concept involved much more frequent and results-minded interaction between the red and blue elements. The assumption was that if the network defenders (Blue Team) were provided more information about how the cyber threat (Red Team) was behaving, then they would be in a much better position to prevent, detect, react to and ultimately defeat the cyber threat and restore systems. The result would be a more comprehensive assessment of the cybersecurity posture of systems under test during the condensed testing window of the 14-day evaluation. The Blue Team met with the Red Team before the event and at the midpoint to discuss what each was seeing on the network. These formative discussions, while somewhat guarded to maintain a spirit of fair competition, were productive in ensuring that the teams were not overly focused on one aspect of the network and systems. At the end of the event, a much more robust and open technical exchange was conducted. This exchange, labeled the “Tech-on-Tech,” was analogous to the after-action reviews that are a staple of the combined arms training centers. Here, both red and blue teams discussed what their plans and actions were during each phase of the test event. The discussion allowed an immediate, in-depth analysis of the action-to-counteraction maneuvering on the network and resulted in lessons learned for both the defenders and those responsible for system engineering and design. TECH-ON-TECH A special feature of this exchange was the presentation of a codified assessment of defenders’ actions against the threat. This evaluation rubric outlined behaviors and criteria along a continuum of observed indicators from the viewpoint of the adversary. The Red Team essentially told the Blue Team how hard the Blue Team made each phase of the threat presentation based on discrete observations of the network security. The feedback from the event was uniformly positive. One observer from the Blue Team stated that he learned more during this event than from all previous NIEs combined. This positive response has prompted decision-makers to further explore and codify this concept for future NIEs and similar cyber test events. While senior leaders in the test and PM communities push for more opportunities to partner closely in cyber T&E, they are also paying special attention to ensure the integrity and validity of operational realism. In planning future exchanges during OT, caution is warranted in data exchanges among developers, defenders and testers. It is critical that teams not mask system issues, and thus make system performance appear better in a test than it would actually be in a true operational situation, by exchanging too much information. Invalid testing could allow the fielding of substandard equipment, threaten our national security and ultimately cause loss of service members’ lives. BLUE TEAM SEARCHES FOR REDA High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle outfitted with a radar system scans for possible enemy aircraft during a training exercise as part of NIE 16.2 near Fort Bliss, Texas, in May 2016. NIE 16.2 took a new approach to testing and evaluating new cyber capabilities: Instead of keeping the teams that play Army users and opposing forces separate until the event was over, NIE 16.2 allowed them to talk and evaluate during the event, giving stakeholders a better understanding of new systems’ strengths and weaknesses, sooner. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jarred Woods, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) The stakeholders at NIE 16.2 did an excellent job of balancing this need to maintain threat integrity for the system under test with the desire to make systems better through collaboration. While these partnering events were not as robust as exchanges held during training events or Army Warfighting Assessments, they re-established the notion of “one team” and helped break down the “us vs. them” atmosphere that can inhibit positive exchanges and improvement in cybersecurity. Ensuring that systems are ready for Soldier to rely on them on the battlefield remains the focus of operational testing, and these exchanges helped to meet that end. The Tech-on-Tech discussion, observed by PMs and developers, provided great insight into the test and how systems fared against a representative cyber threat. The content was much more technical than at previous events, covering specific software and hardware vulnerabilities and exploitations. During the final exchange, subject matter experts from the blue and red teams participated in focused discussions with system developers on how to thoroughly improve the system under test. CONCLUSION The initial feedback on these discussions has been very positive. Col. Greg Coile, project manager for the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical, praised the continued partnering initiative. “The insights we gained in near-real time of potential vulnerabilities in the network and applications enabled us to make rapid improvements to continue to harden the network,” Coile said after the event. A post-test presentation of NIE 16.2 cyber findings, hosted by the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications –Tactical (PEO C3T) after a more comprehensive analysis of the event results, discussed various source code and software features that could be modified to enhance security. This review looked at network diagrams and screenshots of trouble areas, among other analysis, and reinforced the spirit of partnership as developers, PM system engineers, various software testers, Red and Blue teams, and PM and PEO leadership worked together to better understand the cybersecurity posture and performance of the tested systems. After the event, Nancy Kreidler, the information assurance program manager for PEO C3T, summed it up this way: “The follow-on technical exchange between the Red Team and our larger team of security engineers from the program offices was invaluable. It allowed our folks to look at vulnerabilities in a new light and get after some of these challenges in our labs.” The unassailable truth about cybersecurity is that the discipline is evolving at a rate that challenges our current processes all along the spectrum of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities and policy. If we are to have any chance to surmount this rapidly changing problem, we must be willing to challenge our own culturally entrenched ways of thinking about the problems and refuse to become moored to any idea that limits our overall ability to respond to change and accomplish valid and reliable testing. Partnership among all stakeholders is the key to tackling these difficult problems in a dynamic discipline. For more information on how programs can succeed through increased partnering between the test and acquisition communities, or to request test team support, go to https://www.atec.army.mil/rfts.html. FEEDBACK STRAIGHT FROM THE FIELDDuring NIE 16.2 in May 2016, Soldiers in the Fort Bliss, Texas, desert delivered feedback on the systems under test through the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division’s Main Tactical Operations Center. Culminating this steady feedback was an open, rigorous, highly detailed Tech-on-Tech review at the end of the NIE in which the red and blue teams discussed their plans and actions to attack and defend a cyber system during each phase of the test event. (Photo by Vanessa Flores, ASA(ALT) System of Systems Integration Directorate) LT. COL. JEFF STRAUSS in the senior acquisition adviser in the Survivability Evaluation Directorate of ATEC, with over 10 years of acquisition and T&E experience. He holds a master’s degree in cybersecurity policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a B.S in construction science from Texas A&M University. A member of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC), he is Level II certified in program management and is a certified project management professional. MR. ROBERT WEDGEWORTH is a threat cybersecurity operations test lead with TSMO under the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation. He has over 15 years of experience in the areas of information warfare and cyberspace operations. He has an M.S. in systems engineering (information warfare) from the Naval Postgraduate School and a B.S. in mathematics from Auburn University. He is level III certified in information technology and a member of the AAC. This article is scheduled to be published in the April – June issue of Army AL&T Magazine. Subscribe to Army AL&T News, the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. Related posts: Keeping design on target Extending the Global Information Grid network to the company and below Reuseable Metrics Army improves network build for NIEs, gives Soldiers the power of change
Medical Operations in the Multidomain Battlefield
The battlefield of the future could be exponentially more complex than any the Army has known, and that’s why TATRC is looking forward to novel ways to treat and evacuate casualties. by Mr. Nathan Fisher In a conference room of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) headquarters at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in January 2017, leaders and staffers listened intently as Gen. David Perkins, commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, outlined the future of the Army—the multidomain battlefield. The multidomain battlefield operational concept is built upon the premise that the joint force will not be able to assume uninterrupted superiority in any domain (land, sea, air, space and cyberspace) during future operations. The Army and Marine Corps are developing concepts and strategies for future ground combat operations in the 2025-2040 timeframe that require highly capable and dispersed units to create and exploit temporary windows of advantage. “In future widespread combat operations and in dispersed ‘self-sufficient force icons’ characteristic of the type of multiple-domain battle discussed by Gen. Perkins, and considering the limitations of supplies and equipment, complex acute and critical care, and minimal medical personnel, force health protection and health services support to the warfighter will be challenging,” said Gary R. Gilbert, program manager of the USAMRMC Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center’s (TATRC) Medical Intelligent Systems. The joint force is likely to leverage manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capabilities to penetrate high-risk areas and to provide support in contested environments to increase reach, capacity and protection. In the future, commanders will employ unmanned systems as force multipliers in mobility- or resource-constrained or denied environments. Future multipurpose unmanned system platforms could assist in medical operations in such environments. “The growing planned use of unmanned systems and robotics on the future battlefield affords both great opportunities for medical force multipliers as well as significant operational medicine and medical research challenges,” Gilbert said. Medical support from unmanned systems could provide emergency medical resupply, delivery of blood products, and aid in the delivery of telehealth or teleconsultation to support prolonged field care when evacuation is not possible. Unmanned systems also could offer expedited casualty evacuation when immediate evacuation is not possible with manned assets. TATRC is working to prepare the Army for this uncertain future. TATRC’s Operational Telemedicine Laboratory, which is headed by Gilbert, is a robust group of research scientists and technologists from the fields of artificial intelligence, engineering, computer science, telecommunications and robotics, as well as experienced research managers and field operators in combat health services support and force health protection. The laboratory’s goal is to leverage enabling technologies in diverse scientific domains such as artificial intelligence, robotics, mechanical engineering, linguistics, cognitive psychology, computer science, telecommunications, biomonitors, sensors, medical diagnosis and treatment, in order to enable force health protection mission command and virtual health support for the multidomain battle at the point of injury, during pre-hospital evacuation and at medical treatment facilities in remote locations and in hazardous or denied areas. CASUALTY EVACUATIONRE2 Robotics of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, top, and Vecna Technologies of Cambridge, Massachusetts, are developing electromechanical systems (RE2’s on top, Vecna’s on bottom) that use robotic technologies to enable a single medic to load a casualty on a litter onto a SMET unmanned ground vehicle as quickly as possible near the point of injury, for eventual transport back to a casualty collection or medical evacuation point. (Graphics by RE2 Robotics, top, and Vecna Technologies, bottom) TATRC UNMANNED SYSTEMS TESTS Future operations in megacities and dense urban areas provide an example of an environment that presents significant challenges to freedom of movement and protection. Adversaries in megacities will be able blend in with a dense population of noncombatants and will exploit vertical, surface-level and subterranean spaces to conceal threats. Securing and sustaining safe routes for troop transport, medical evacuation and logistics support will be extremely difficult because of the highly complex threat environment. The future operational environment, which could be anything from a megacity to an austere environment, is likely to cause severe restrictions on the mobility of vehicles used for medical missions, including both air and ground platforms used for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and medical logistics missions resulting from area denial challenges. CASEVAC differs from MEDEVAC in that neither the CASEVAC vehicle nor its operators are necessarily dedicated medical assets. In situations where medical resources are already spread thin, the mobility of medical resources becomes of paramount importance. “Unmanned and autonomous platforms have the potential to completely rewrite the medical doctrine for how we conduct emergency resupply of unmanned and autonomous platforms, including whole blood products delivered directly to the point of need, as well as monitored CASEVAC missions when dedicated medical evacuation assets are unavailable or are otherwise denied entry due to weather, terrain or enemy activity,” said Col. Daniel R. Kral, TATRC commander. To develop medical platforms for the warfighter, TATRC leverages and exploits emerging robotic and unmanned systems from other government laboratories, academic and industry partners. Employing existing systems enables TATRC to save money and resources while developing solutions for service members more quickly. INTEGRATION OF TELEMEDICINE AND UNMANNED SYSTEMS The Army and the other services are currently developing unmanned aerial system (UAS) capabilities for logistics operations. These capabilities probably will be extended to CASEVAC missions in future operational environments where conventional medical assets are denied access or are otherwise unavailable. In order to realize the potential benefits of an unmanned CASEVAC and medical resupply mission capability, a human-computer interface (HCI) and command-and-control (C2) infrastructure needed to be developed for the combat medic to effectively interface with unmanned vehicle platforms. TATRC has used two Small Business and Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts to develop two prototype HCI and C2 applications to enable combat medics to use existing Nett Warrior-type end user devices to interact with emerging UAS logistics platforms assigned to medical resupply and CASEVAC missions. The overall goal of this project was to develop an application on a handheld device that would provide the capability to a medic, with little or no training in a vertical takeoff and landing operation, to interact with UAS to complete unmanned CASEVAC and resupply missions. The application provides the medic in the field situational awareness of the aircraft’s mission status and the ability for the medic to provide high-level commands to the UAS, such as permission to land after arriving at the specified landing zone and permission to take off after the supplies have been unloaded or the casualty has been secured. Because of the high mental demands placed on the medic in the field, the human-computer interface, which is how the user uses the system, needs to be both intuitive and efficient, and require only supervisory-level control from the field medic. TATRC and Neya Systems conducted a successful field demonstration in August 2016 of a casualty evacuation mission using Lockheed Martin’s K-MAX UAS employing the Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Evacuation and Resupply Tactical Interface, or VERTI. During the demonstration, the VERTI application was used to plan and execute a CASEVAC mission using an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) and the KMAX UAS platform. The UGV was utilized to assist in casualty extraction to the UAS evacuation point, where the simulated casualty was secured on the KMAX UAS and evacuated to a medical treatment facility. During casualty transport on both the UGV and UAS, the VERTI application enabled tactical information flow from an operational telemedicine patient monitor to a medical care provider at the receiving medical treatment facility. Telemedicine data was integrated with the existing tactical radio network used for command and control of the unmanned systems through the VERTI application. This capability allows seamless medical data exchange for medical operations using unmanned systems from the point of injury through arrival at the medical training facility, including transmission of an electronic Tactical Combat Casualty Care Card DD Form 1380 as well as live streaming of vital signs while en route. BY LAND Another SBIR program that Gilbert and his team are sponsoring is a robotic technology to assist combat medics in the field when using emerging UGV platforms for casualty transport. Future UGV platforms, like the Army Squad Multi Equipment Transport (SMET) UGV, are designed to support multiple mission payloads and to fill a secondary role for providing CASEVAC. The goal of the SMET program is to develop a UGV that can follow an infantry squad to help carry its equipment and supplies during dismounted operations, enabling the squad to sustain itself over longer intervals of both time and distance. An additional mission of SMET is to transport a casualty from at or near the point of injury back to a safe location for further assessment and treatment. TATRC initiated two SBIR projects aimed at demonstrating an innovative and novel medical module payload for future military UGVs that would provide CASEVAC capability for the SMET and enable patients to be loaded and secured for movement by just one first-responder Soldier instead of the normal two. This would help save lives while minimizing diversion of warfighters from their primary duties. The SMET UGV CASEVAC module prototyping effort is in Phase II of development. Two different companies are prototyping SMET CASEVAC systems, and while the basic SMET vehicle is intended to be the same, these companies are each following different approaches to prototyping the CASEVAC module and loading patients onto the vehicle. BY AIR The TATRC team is developing a UAS research platform that is much smaller than traditionally piloted vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. It has the potential to provide some unique capability for medical logistics compared with larger aircraft. Because of the increased mobility of the smaller aircraft, for example, it requires a much smaller landing zone footprint, which increases the number of available landing zones in difficult terrain. TATRC is currently testing this UAS research platform to address operational gaps in future medical mission areas and to mature the capability of using UAS for emergency medical resupply and CASEVAC. This UAS is intended to be used as a platform to aid in the development and test of innovative methods of providing en route care and limiting patient exposure to harmful environmental conditions during unmanned system CASEVAC. This research project aims to develop technologies and procedures to ensure that unmanned systems can be safely and effectively employed to provide medical logistics support or expedited CASEVAC in future operational environments in which manned assets are not available or are denied access. “We are partnering with the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory and Dragonfly Pictures Inc. to test this system,” said Gilbert. (Dragonfly is a U.S. industry leader in small rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicles). “With funding from the Defense Health Agency Joint Program Committee for Combat Casualty Care, we are currently initiating a research project to provide a cost-effective UAS research platform for the operational testing and evaluation of emerging en route care and medical resupply technologies.” CONCLUSION The medical application of unmanned systems and robotics in future environments has the potential to evolve health support throughout the range of military operations, and this includes peacetime humanitarian support missions. In the not too distant future, according to Gilbert, unmanned aerial systems are likely to be used heavily in combat operations in dense urban environments because of the increased freedom of movement that they afford to a wide range of mission types. These unmanned systems will be multipurpose in nature. They could be called upon in support of critical medical missions if certain medical-specific considerations are addressed as these future unmanned systems platforms are being developed. Support from unmanned systems could become increasingly important in other situations in which mobility is restricted, such as during a natural disaster or other mass casualty event. “We have heard everything that Perkins said, and we are already conducting research in how to use these unmanned systems to support medical missions on the multidomain battlefield,” Gilbert said. “While the formulation of the doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures that would provide these types of capabilities to medics to use in combat are still in their infancy, our research is focused directly on identifying and providing the enabling technologies that will be needed, and that is the primary mission of TATRC.” For more information about the organization, please visit http://www.tatrc.org/www/default.html. MR. NATHAN FISHER has been a project manager, mechanical engineer, and roboticist with TATRC since 2014. Before that, he worked for eight years as a mechanical engineer supporting the design and manufacturing of various vehicle systems, including military combat vehicles and commercial aircraft systems. His current professional focus is in the adaptation of emerging robotics technologies to provide future capabilities for combat medics in far-forward operational environments. He holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland. This article is scheduled to be published in the April – June issue of Army AL&T Magazine. Subscribe to Army AL&T News, the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. Related posts: Keeping design on target It’s About Time—All of It Technically Speaking SREHD Shreds the Handheld Competition
Faces of the Force: Jacki Garner
COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: G-6 Communications, U.S. Army Europe POSITION AND OFFICIAL TITLE: Chief, Information Technology Theater Business Office YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 14 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 2 years, 10 months DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in information technology EDUCATION: M.S. in computer information systems, University of Phoenix; B.S. in computer science, University of Central Texas; associate degree in business programming, Central Texas College AWARDS: Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Award in Information Technology; Commander’s Award for Civilian Service Garner’s efforts streamline IT purchases for USAREUR By Susan Follett U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) has Jacki Garner to thank for a theater information technology (IT) acquisition process and an IT investment governance and management program that have been instrumental in saving her command nearly $6 million in IT procurements. As chief of the Information Technology Theater Buying Office (IT-TBO), Garner manages USAREUR’s procurement of the IT supplies and services needed to support and sustain its mission. She’s been with IT-TBO since its inception in 2008, when USAREUR G-6 created it to focus on controlling IT costs. “The intent is to manage enterprise requirements holistically to ensure standardization and sustainability for the command,” Garner said. “USAREUR’s portfolio management framework aims to eliminate redundant and unnecessary IT spending and gain better pricing through consolidated procurements.” Garner led her staff in redesigning the USAREUR IT portfolio dashboard so that it could provide functional program managers with the necessary tools and data to assist them in effectively managing their programs. She developed a theater IT acquisition process to enable the early identification of IT requirements, giving her staff time to structure IT procurements and identify the acquisition strategy necessary to ensure the most economical purchase. She directed that IT requirements be itemized and disclosed during the USAREUR annual budget laydown, which resulted in IT requirements being “procurement ready” for command approval, and identified opportunities to consolidate requirements for better pricing, thus reducing the total cost of IT. Garner also developed a framework for tracking and disclosing current-year IT investment costs with associated future-year defense program data in accordance with Army regulations that require accountability for all Army service component command IT costs in the Army Portfolio Management System (APMS). This provided planning data for the DA chief information officer (CIO)/G-6 to better inform the program objective memorandum. Garner’s actions captured more than $160 million of USAREUR FY16 IT cost in APMS and ensured that they were properly aligned to the common user infrastructure, data center, system or application records. She also created an IT acquisition working group, which included representatives from the 409th Contracting Support Brigade and USAREUR major subordinate commands. “The intent is to manage overall cost of IT through pre-staged enterprise contracts that provide the warfighter with a streamlined procurement process and ensures that he or she gets the right tool at the right time and at the right price,” Garner said. “Aggregating requirements at the command level gives us better buying power, enforces standardization and enables long-term sustainability. It also simplifies the procurement process, enhances the quality of the procurements and alleviates 90 percent of the workload to build a quality acquisition packet to buy the necessary IT supplies or services.” Standing up a new organization can be daunting under the best of circumstances, but Garner welcomed the challenge. “Establishing the new business processes and framework to manage IT cost collectively from the enterprise level was appealing because it was leading edge and really had not been done before within the Army,” she said. “Carving new ground within USAREUR was exciting, as we had leadership support and drive to establish the mechanism behind IT cost management, and we’ve been able to yield significant savings across the theater.” She and her team encountered a handful of hurdles, including establishing new and effective business processes from the enterprise perspective, ensuring that customers were aware of these new processes and enforcing the necessary participation from a policy and leadership perspective. “We used an iterative process to establish the portfolio management framework and its centralized review and governance of IT spending, incorporating feedback from our customers and making adjustments as we went along,” Garner said. They developed an information campaign and conducted unit-level site visits to educate users on the new policy and business processes. To ensure participation, the IT-TBO established a policy that requires the review of all IT procurements in excess of $25,000 through the USAREUR Requirements Validation System. Garner’s work for the IT-TBO earned her the 2016 Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Award late last year. “The award is reflective of the quality of my team and the leadership support I have received to date,” she said. “It really was a team effort, and I could not have accomplished what I did without the support and the technical expertise of my management and my team.” She’s quick to note that mentors have played an important role in her career development. Chief among them is John J. Gannon, USAREUR’s deputy G-6/chief information officer. “He has always stressed the importance of professional development and involvement in professional forums and communities as a critical aspect of developing,” Garner said. “IT skillsets are perishable, and technology changes every two years. Therefore, it is imperative to embrace continuous learning as a key tenet to ensure that IT professionals remain relevant and capable to perform effectively within the IT career field. This is true of critical acquisition skills as well.” Taking advantage of the courses offered through Defense Acquisition University has also been important. “Using what we’ve learned from those courses and applying it to real-world situations to effectively manage cost and proactively accomplish the mission allows my office to function as a force enabler for USAREUR’s mission,” said Garner. “The broader your background, the more in-depth your experience will be, and that depth of experience is critical to performing strategic IT cost management and acquisition support services for the enterprise at the Army command level.” She’s also glad to be part of “a community that facilitates collaboration to translate new initiatives like Better Buying Power into an actual acquisition strategy that allows us to provide resources to the warfighter while still buying more for less.” For example, she said, USAREUR developed a life cycle replacement functional program, which replaces the office automation equipment for the USAREUR workforce. By consolidating requirements at the enterprise or command level, USAREUR has reduced its cost to purchase automation equipment by more than 35 percent each fiscal year. Garner served in the Army in the mid-1980s and used the funds she received from the Veterans Educational Assistance Program to obtain her college education. “Serving in the military gave me an appreciation and respect for our Soldiers and what they do in support of our great nation,” she said. “Every day, it’s about the bottom line: Are we effectively resourcing our troops for the mission at hand?” GARNER AT WORKGarner with colleagues at USAREUR, from left to right: Col. Matthew J. Holt, Chief Information Officer/Deputy Chief of Staff, G-6; Scott Howard, acquisition lead, IT-TBO; Garner; Felicia Owens, deputy, IT-TBO. (Photo by Anthony Sweeney, Command Information Chief, USAREUR Public Affairs) This article is scheduled to be published in the April – June 2017 issue of Army AL&T Magazine. “Faces of the Force” is an online series highlighting members of the Army Acquisition Workforce through the power of individual stories. Profiles are produced by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Communication and Support Branch, working closely with public affairs officers to feature Soldiers and civilians serving in various AL&T disciplines. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-664-5635. Subscribe to Army AL&T News, the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. Related posts: It’s all in the delivery Army AL&T ready to read New Army AL&T magazine explores partnership of Army, industry What’s Your Problem?
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