• Continuous process improvement coming to your nearest ACC field office

    A.D. Barksdale (left) and J.R. Richardson, Army Contracting Command Operations Group, discuss the continuous process improvement methodology with Steven Bryant and Maggi Combs, ACC – Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. (Photo by Betsy Kozak)

    By Ms. Dawn M. Scott

     

    The Army Contracting Command (ACC) has established a continuous process improvement (CPI) team in its Operations Group that will assist with the implementation of initiatives throughout the command.

    “The goal of the CPI program is to document, analyze and improve all of our processes, measure our success along the way and to take the organization to increasingly higher levels of performance. High-performing organizations improve employee morale and customer satisfaction,” said J.R. Richardson, ACC Operations Group director. “I have established very effective Lean Six Sigma programs at other organizations, and I can attest to the great things that CPI programs can do for organizations.”

    Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a managerial concept focused on eliminating sources of waste and activities that do not add value to create maximum productivity in an organization.

    ACC’s CPI team is led by A.D. Barksdale, CPI deployment director. Barksdale and the CPI team are helping ACC executive directors and commanders prepare strategic plans that will improve areas within their organizations.

    “The CPI tool sets, combined with proper formalized training, will help commands achieve their strategic goals and enable auditable, repeatable and agile contracting business processes,” Barksdale said.

    Barksdale is a Department of the Army-certified LSS Master Black Belt. The belts—green, black and master black belts—represent the level of training and experience a candidate has.

    According to Barksdale, Rebecca Weirick, executive director, ACC – Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is already using the CPI methodology to develop and implement her own strategic plan.

    “The ACC headquarters, in conjunction with Aviation and Missile Command CPI teams, are assisting Weirick in identifying potential LSS green belt and black belt candidates as well as securing spaces in the approved training for those candidates. The teams are also helping her identify potential CPI projects imbedded within her strategic plan,” Barksdale said.

    LEADERSHIP KEYS SUCCESS
    Training a LSS belt candidate takes time and commitment, but the benefits greatly outweigh the costs, Richardson said.

    “Commanders and center directors should consider employees who are already reviewing contracting packages and work products, conducting and leading peer reviews or writing and implementing policy within your organizations,” Richardson said. “These are people who already know and understand existing processes, therefore they will be most effective when you are trying to implement CPI.”

    Ultimately, said Richardson, success of the CPI program lies with each organization’s leadership.

    “This is their program. The success it will bring to their organizations, and to ACC as a whole, is contingent on leadership. Our role at the headquarters is to assist them in implementing an effective CPI program in their respective organizations,” Richardson said.

    ACC’s CPI team is working with the centers and subordinate commands to identify points of contact to help administer the CPI program at the local level. The team is also trying to provide the necessary resources to train personnel at each location so each organization can become self-sufficient in process improvement, Richardson said.

    He said the ACC CPI team will be conducting staff assistance visits during fiscal year 2014 to help executive directors and commanders develop opportunities via project identification and selection workshops. Also during these visits, the team will conduct CPI executive leadership training that outlines the ways in which management can encourage and support Lean Six Sigma candidates who are executing projects on their behalf.

    “Many of the centers and field offices are already doing fantastic work on process improvements, but not necessarily in a standardized, repeatable way,” Richardson said. “Our goal is to provide information and assistance to center directors and commanders regarding LSS belt candidates and project selection, training opportunities, process mapping and other LSS tools so that they can implement successful programs at the local level.”

    NEW CLASSES PLANNED
    This fiscal year the ACC team is developing an “Introduction to Lean” course that will be incorporated into the Contracting Officer Refresher Course and the Contracting Intern Boot Camp, Richardson said.

    “Exposure to CPI principles in the early phase of contracting training will enable the junior workforce to embrace methodologies that will assist them throughout their careers, and in the drive to meet the 2020 strategic goals,” Barksdale said.

    For more information regarding the CPI program, go to the CPI page on the ACC SharePoint portal.

     


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  • ‘FOCUSING ON SOLUTIONS’

    A COMMON GOAL
    DOD and industry share the goal of supporting the warfighter and work together to accomplish it. SGT Sharmella Andrews discusses the status of shipments of crates and containers off Kandahar Air Field with a civilian contractor. Soldiers and civilian contractors are working together conducting retrograde operations as the drawdown in Afghanistan continues. (U.S. Army photo by CPL Clay Beyersdorfer)

    An interview with Mr. Charlie E. Williams Jr., outgoing director, Defense Contract Management Agency

     

    Mr. Charlie E. Williams Jr. was director of the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) from May 2008 until his retirement on Dec. 3, 2013. In that capacity, he led a DOD agency of more than 10,600 civilians and military personnel who execute worldwide contract management responsibilities, covering more than 19,800 contractors and more than $236 billion in unliquidated obligations. This Q&A was originally published in the Fall 2013 edition of ACC Today magazine (http://www.acc.army.mil/news/today/).

    Q. How does the Defense Contract Management Agency mission support the Soldier in the field?

    A. Our mission is to ensure the delivery of quality products and services to the warfighter on time and on cost. This includes providing products that range from boots to weapon systems, and most everything in between. Today’s operational forces rely on contractors for much of the support they receive on the battlefield. DCMA delivers on-the-ground contingency contract administration services in support of those contracts.

    “I believe the relationship is strong. Both DOD and industry have a common goal of supporting our warfighter, and I don’t think anyone would question the sincere desire to do so in a very big way.”

    Q. What is the relationship between U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) and DCMA?

    A. DCMA supports the Department of Defense acquisition enterprise. As a part of the DOD acquisition enterprise, ACC is a primary customer for DCMA. The agency supports ACC in a variety of ways: providing insight through our integrated cost analysis teams [ICATs], up-to-date information on contractors with the consolidated business analysis repository, and other contract administration services for a wide variety of Army contracts.

    DCMA has customer liaison representatives [CLRs] located at each of the Army Contracting Command centers. Having the CLRs at the various ACC locations allows them the ability to provide real-time support when a real-time need arises. Our CLRs provide feedback to our agency on initiatives, goals and objectives. We can then adjust as necessary.

    Additionally, DCMA interacts with ACC at the most senior levels. I have met with MG Camille Nichols [ACC commanding general until October 2013] and her senior leaders on two separate occasions to discuss common challenges. Together, we identify opportunities that enable mission success. Our most recent discussions have been focused on topics such as enduring contingency contracting support in a post-overseas contingency operations environment, DCMA’s ICATs, support to the Army’s should-cost initiatives, financial improvement audit readiness and other critical DCMA pricing efforts. As we continue these meetings, we will be focusing on solutions for the challenges that we collectively face.

    CLOSER INSPECTION
    DCMA constantly evaluates requirements and balances them against resources. PFC Dewayne M. Johnson, a fuel noncommissioned officer with the 1438th Transportation Company in support of Task Force Lifeliner, conducts a visual inspection of a fuel distribution point during their monthly fuel audit, Sept. 17, 2013, at Forward Operating Base Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan. The purpose of this audit is to ensure gain and losses are being tracked. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Sinthia Rosario, Task Force Lifeliner Public Affairs)

    Q. What is an integrated cost analysis team?

    A. As a contribution to DOD’s Better Buying Power initiative aimed at driving affordability and achieving program cost objectives, DCMA has instituted ICATs. The teams are comprised of both business and technical personnel dedicated to all facets of proposal pricing engagement and continuous evaluation of the contractor’s proposal pricing process, with the goal of providing timely support and comprehensive analysis of proposals. The teams are located on-site at specified contractor facilities and are actively engaged with, and knowledgeable of, contractors’ systems. DCMA ICAT assistance ranges from a top-to-bottom proposal pricing report to a specifically tailored pricing product that covers only certain requested evaluation elements.

    Q. What is the contract business analysis repository [CBAR], and how is DCMA training ACC personnel on CBAR?

    A. DCMA established CBAR to assist procurement contracting officers with contracting efforts, primarily negotiations, through controlled access to timely and comprehensive contractor information to support effective price negotiation prior to contract award. It provides the latest contractor business systems status, and the latest forward pricing rate recommendations and agreements. It also has the most current contractor disclosure statements on file. DCMA has offered CBAR training to ACC contracting personnel. We have provided this training in person and online. We are in the process of scheduling more of these training sessions with each ACC location.

    Q. How is DCMA working with ACC in the development of the virtual contracting enterprise (VCE)?

    A. DCMA is providing support to ACC as the VCE is under development. The DCMA Information Technology Directorate is sharing some lessons learned and source code for our DCMA property administration eTool with the ACC. Working together like this will enable ACC to build a similar tool in VCE. The long-term vision of the project is to create a data exchange capability that allows information to flow freely between our eTool applications and the ACC’s VCE tools.

    Q. How do you think the budget cuts and furloughs will affect the growth of the contracting community?

    SKYFALL
    Looking for better ways to do things is just good business. For example, using air rather than ground transportation for supply delivery in Afghanistan increased efficiency and kept Soldiers off the road and out of harm’s way. U.S. Army SGT Justin Allen, left, a wheeled vehicle mechanic and SPC Ariel Napoles, an artillery mechanic, both assigned to the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, tighten parachute cord around a cargo bundle used in low-cost, low-altitude aerial resupply missions, at Fort Hood, TX, July 15, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by SSG John Couffer)

    A. While it is likely that undetermined budget cuts will impact workforce growth in the coming years, substantial progress has already been achieved in areas that provide value-added results to the department’s acquisition enterprise. The work we have done to enrich our overall contracting, pricing and quality assurance workforce is indeed paying dividends. Depending on the size of the yet-to-be-determined budget reductions, we will make appropriate course corrections that seek to first protect the services we deliver that provide the biggest return on investments to the department. When you add planned business efficiencies and other operational improvements, I think we will get through the coming challenges.

    Q. How do you view the relationship between DOD and defense suppliers in providing the nation’s warfighters with the services and products they need?

    A. I believe the relationship is strong. Both DOD and industry have a common goal of supporting our warfighter, and I don’t think anyone would question the sincere desire to do so in a very big way. That said, as it should be, there is always a healthy set of debate about how best to achieve the national defense capability we need. This tension is necessary to ensure that we strike a healthy balance between many competing priorities.

    Q. How is DCMA responding to the automatic budget cuts?

    A. As stewards of taxpayers’ dollars, we all must evaluate the requirements and balance them with available resources. The challenge is to provide the goods and services the warfighter needs within the available budget. We must look for ways to meet those needs with fewer dollars. The agency is proactively analyzing and evaluating all services we provide and products we support in the DOD acquisition enterprise. We are being challenged at every level to reduce costs as we look for efficiencies. As we consider the portfolio of services the agency provides, our objective will be to deliver those services in the most efficient manner possible and to deliver value for the DOD dollars invested in the agency.

    Q. What changes are ahead for DCMA?

    A. While we are planning for and adjusting to future financial pressures, we are also proactively looking for cost-effective solutions and efficiencies to continue the mission with as little disruption as possible. DCMA will continue working through the challenges of consolidating our headquarters functions into the Fort Lee [VA] footprint. Our role in Iraq and Afghanistan will adjust to support the changing DOD requirements in that area of responsibility. Our duties will evolve as the global acquisition enterprise evolves. Lastly, information technology advances will promote effectiveness and productivity within DCMA and for the DOD acquisition workforce.


    • MR. CHARLIE E. WILLIAMS JR. entered federal service in 1982 through the Air Force Logistics Command’s Mid-Level Management Training Program and from there served in a variety of contracting and procurement roles for the Air Force, culminating in his assignment as deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for contracting in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, prior to being named DCMA director. A member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, he earned Level III certification in contracting. He holds a B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University, a master of public administration from Tennessee State University and a master of public administration in national resource management from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Williams’ awards and recognitions include a Special Service Award, Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Exceptional Civilian Service Award and Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award.

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  • Army honors acquisition and contracting award winners

    Members of the PEO STRI team are recognized at the 2013 Acquisition Award Ceremony on Nov. 13, 2013 at the Pentagon. From left: Lt. Col. Paul Weizer, Mr. Joe Giunta, Lt. Col. Richard Haggerty, Ms. Lovisa Parks, Dr. James Blake and Maj. Tom Monaghan. (Photo by Robert Coultas, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center)

    By Steve Stark

     

    FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Twenty-five winners of the 2013 Army Acquisition Awards and the Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting were honored Nov. 13 by the Hon. Heidi Shyu, the assistant secretary of the Army (acquisition, logistics and technology) (ASA(AL&T) and Army acquisition executive, Lt. Gen. William Phillips, principal military deputy to the ASA(AL&T), Harry Hallock, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (DASA) for procurement, and Wimpy Pybus, DASA for Acquisition Policy and Logistics at a small ceremony November 13 at the Pentagon.

    “These awards recognize our very best and acknowledge our superior, dynamic and dedicated professionals. Our central mission is to equip Soldiers so they can execute their mission quickly and successfully and return home safe. That’s our priority,” said Shyu of the acquisition awards.

    “It is a privilege to witness the outstanding work of our acquisition and contracting professionals and the work they do to support our warfighters. Today, we celebrate the achievements of our most outstanding employees and recognize them for their hard work,” she added.

    This is the 37th year for the Army Acquisition Awards, which recognize individuals and teams within the U.S. Army acquisition community as “exceptional” among their peers for their skill, efficiency, and dedication. The Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting are presented annually to recognize individuals, teams, and organizations for their outstanding performance, dedication and professionalism in executing the contracting mission worldwide. This was the first year both the acquisition and contracting awards were presented together.

    For the 23 award categories, 228 nominations were considered and a total of 25 U.S. Army awards were presented. Winners were tied in two categories.
    Also new this year was the presentation of the first-ever Secretary of Defense Product Support Manager award honoring Army civilian, Brian Sharkey, Project Manager of Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS).

    “Much of the work that the Acquisition Workforce does goes under the radar. These awards give us a chance to shine a bright light on the excellence, professionalism and ingenuity that we all know happens every day in Army Acquisition,” said Col. Wil Riggins, deputy director of the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center and master of ceremonies for the event.

    U.S. ARMY ACQUISITION AWARD WINNERS

     

    Continuous Performance Improvement

    Winner: Streamlining Special Operations Forces Program Management, Lean Six Sigma Project Team, Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI)

    Team Members:
    Lt. Col. Richard Haggerty, Black Belt Candidate
    John Kirch, PEO STRI Deployment Director
    Christopher Rozycki, PEO STRI Master Black Belt
    Fran Fierko, Project Sponsor
    James Golden, Resource Manager
    Maj. Thomas Monaghan, Black Belt Candidate
    Brian Serra, Contracting
    Sam Walsh, Finance
    Jennifer Schneider, Logistics

    The Black Belt project “Streamlining Special Operations Forces” (SOF) addressed the challenges and inefficiencies within the Product Manager for SOF Training Systems (PM STS), PEO STRI. The approach to improving this process was to use the principles and practices of Lean Six Sigma, as learned in the Army Black Belt program of instruction, and to apply this knowledge to streamline the acquisition process within PM STS.

    Through the identification of non-value added activities within the STS process and the implementation of multiple indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracting vehicles, PM STS was able to reduce the average contracting cycle time from the 102 day standard to 52 days. This process efficiency also allows PM STS to attract an additional $15 million per year in customer-funded requirements, resulting in nearly $83 million in additional capacity, while providing $820,000 in cost avoidance over the course of FY13-FY18.

    Noncommissioned Officer Award for Contracting Excellence (Tie)

    Winners: Sgt. 1st Class Tracy A. Drowne, PEO STRI, and Master Sgt. Andrea Dailey, Mission & Installation Contracting Command-Fort Hood

    Sgt. 1st Class Tracy A. Drowne excelled as the only contracting NCO in the U.S. Army to issue and negotiate modifications to Warfighter FOCUS, a performance-based contract valued at more than $11.2 billion, the largest ever at PEO STRI. She was directly responsible for 17 actions under this contract, valued at more than $111.4 million. Sgt. 1st Class Drowne directly supported multinational training objectives in Afghanistan where she assisted with the fulfillment of the Afghanistan National Security Force training, consisting of 175,000 Afghan soldiers. During FY13, she obtained her Level III certification in contracting. In addition, she is enrolled in an MBA program and maintaining a 3.5 grade point average.

    “Today, we celebrate the achievements of our most outstanding employees and recognize them for their hard work.”

    Master Sgt. Andrea Dailey’s actions led directly to the success of the Joint Contracting Readiness Exercise(JCRX) – 13; the establishment of a Contracting Ready Team to support Army North; pre-deployment training of warfighters; and the enhancement of the Army Contracting Command’s Proficiency Guide for Contracting Leaders. During JCRX 13, the largest joint contracting pre-deployment exercise, Dailey ensured that more than 1,200 contracting master scenario exercise lists were injected to more than 18 regional contracting centers with a total of 198 Army, Marine, National Guard and Reserve contracting officers and NCOs from more than 50 U.S. and overseas locations. She single-handedly prepared more than 90 contracting packets and developed, managed and executed over 100 scripted scenarios for a multitude of role players to ensure a consistent, realistic, and challenging exercise.

    Director, Acquisition Career Management Award

    Winner: Mr. Robert T. Kowalski, PEO Ammunition, Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS)

    Throughout his 32 years of Army service, Kowalski led the program management and engineering teams that fielded the Army’s top tank and artillery munitions. As an acquisition manager, he has consistently delivered solutions and crafted portfolio strategies that balance program risk, cost, contractor performance and industrial base considerations. In 2005, Kowalski created the pathway and was the first to use Small Business Authority (SBA) teaming to consolidate 28 40mm contracts into two, creating the largest SBA award in Army history. Another achievement was his initiation and leadership of the program that resulted in fielding a new general purpose bullet, the 5.56mm M855A 1 Enhanced Performance Round, the first significant improvement to this key munition in 30 years, which eliminated 2000 tons of lead per year from Army ranges.

    In FY13, in support of Better Buying Power 2.0, Kowalski identified over $233 million in funds captured from lower costs for the Lake City Army Ammo Plant competition that the Army is now considering how to use for higher priority needs. He did this while carefully balancing operational requirements, industrial base needs and inventories. Kowalski’s steady, commonsense application of proven management and problem-solving tools resulted in the reliable delivery of up to 2.1 billion rounds of ammunition per year to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and coalition forces while achieving remarkable results in maturing the capabilities of suppliers, crafting smart acquisition initiatives and solving tough issues.

    Project Manager of the Year

    Winner: Col. Patrick Mason, Technology Applications Program Office, U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command

    Col. Patrick Mason has delivered results across the spectrum of acquisition—from technology development through sustainment and divestiture. He has demonstrated the ability of small dedicated teams to execute rapidly, with precision, and provide innovative capability, novel sustainment support, and critical services to our combat forces. His team rapidly accelerated a flight controls modification for the MH-47G that has undoubtedly saved the lives of crews operating in degraded environments. In addition, he also achieved initial operational capability for the MH-60M, on schedule.

    Acquisition Director of the Year at the Colonel level

    Winner: Col. James Winbush Jr., White Sands Test Center, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC)

    Col. James Winbush Jr.’s performance leading the White Sands Test Center (WSTC) has been exemplary during one of the most demanding and fiscally challenging times the Army has faced. WSTC provides Army, Navy, Air Force, DOD, allied nations, and other customers with high quality services for test, research, assessment, development, training and experimentation in support of the Nation at war and many high profile major defense acquisition programs.

    Winbush is an exceptional leader who led the White Sands Test Center with distinction, providing high quality services for test, research, assessment, development, training and experimentation. Some 1,500 engineers, scientists, technicians and information technologists support his operations. To unify these operations, Colonel Winbush established the “Army Profession” program. This program established the standard for Army Test and Evaluation Command and has been touted as one of the top two implementation programs in the Army.

    Product Manager of the Year

    Winner: Lt. Col. Steven Clark, Product Manager, MH-60 SOF Aircraft, U.S. Special Operations Aviation Command

    Tasked with fielding the MH-60M to a force that has remained constantly deployed since 2001, Lt. Col. Steven Clark had to precisely execute a complex test, production, fielding, turn-in and harvest program to ensure the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) could continue to deploy combat power worldwide in support of high priority missions.

    Clark was further challenged by having no operational replacement aircraft; therefore, combat capability would be standing down as new MH-60M aircraft were fielded. Additionally, for legacy aircraft, he was responsible for turn-in and harvesting of special operations unique equipment. This equipment would then be used in the production line to reduce cost. Finally, the transition of legacy special operations flight training courses was tied to the block fielding schedule. Given manpower limitations, the old courses would terminate and switch to the MH-60M in a very short period. Faced with engineering, production and funding issues, he demonstrated an unparalleled ability to solve complex problems, innovate and bring unique solutions.

    Acquisition Director of the Year at the Lieutenant Colonel Level

    Winner: Lt. Col. Maria Schneider, Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC)

    Lt. Col. Maria Schneider commands the MICC Fort Belvoir contracting office, a workforce of more than 100 acquisition personnel (military, civilian and contractors). Serving as the overall acquisition integration officer for the Arlington National Cemetery, Schneider identified and negotiated savings in excess of $16.5 million. Additionally, she is recognized for her leadership and team-building in a large and geographically dispersed workforce including Fort Belvoir, Fort AP Hill, and Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall; where the contracting missions are both high visibility and of the highest priority.

    Logistician of the Year

    Winner: Kenneth W. Virgil, U.S. Army Materiel Command Logistics Support Activity

    Kenneith Virgil is recognized for leading the development and publication of the industry standards for product support analysis that provides a single, uniform, systems engineering approach to conducting the activities required to perform product support analysis throughout the materiel life cycle, resulting in large scale life-cycle cost savings to the government. He is a member of the Army Acquisition Corps and is credentialed in multiple acquisition areas to include Level III in life cycle logistics. The lasting impact of Virgil’s accomplishments are that the DoD and services now have a standard approach and implementation guidance to identify and tailor the analysis tasks, and contract for product support analysis and its resultant logistics product data required to develop and sustain all weapon systems throughout their materiel life cycle in a uniform manner. Materiel developers no longer need to develop different processes and procedures for each contract.

    Acquisition Excellence Awards

     

    Transforming the Way We Do Business Award

    Winner: The CH47 Chinook Multiyear II (MY II) Evaluation Team, U.S. Army Contracting Command-Redstone

    Team Members:
    Lt. Col. Jeffrey Caldwell, Contracting Officer
    Robin Hadlock, Senior Contract Specialist
    Michael Allison, Contract Specialist
    Georgia Walker, Contract Specialist
    Jonathan Hitt, Contract Specialist

    The team is recognized for their significant contributions that led to the successful negotiation of the Multiyear 2 program requirements for up to 215 CH-47F cargo helicopters, including advance procurement of required long lead items, implementation of engineering change proposals, and recapitalization of CH-47D aircraft components, all resulting in $810 million of cost savings.

    Equipping and Sustaining Our Soldier’s Systems

    Winner: Stryker Double-V Hull Army Test and Evaluation Integrated Program Team, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Capability Manager, Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Program Manager Stryker Brigade Combat Team, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center

    Team Members:
    LTC John K. Wilwerding, ATEC, initial ATEC System Team Chair
    Robert E. McCown, ATEC, ATEC System Team Chair and Lead Evaluator
    Angelo Christino, ATEC, Reliability and Maintainability Evaluator
    David T. Zebron, ATEC, Ballistic Survivability Evaluator
    Robert Thomas Harman, ATEC, Automotive Performance and Mobility Evaluator
    Robert Barnas, ATEC, Nonballistic Survivability Evaluator
    Grace Deng, ATEC Methodology and Analysis Evaluator
    Casey Turner, ATEC Methodology and Analysis Evaluator
    Paul Wallace, ATEC, Mortar Systems Evaluator
    Shepherd “Kermit” Okamura, ATEC, Developmental Test Officer, Yuma Test Center
    Wade Harvey, ATEC, Developmental Test Officer, Aberdeen Test Center
    Kevin M. Mintzer, ATEC, Developmental Test Officer (Live Fire), Aberdeen Test Center
    Michelle Hicks, ATEC, Developmental Test Officer (Live Fire), Aberdeen Test Center
    Jim Smith, ATEC, Developmental Test Officer, Electronic Proving Ground
    Alfredo Perez, ATEC, Developmental Test Officer, White Sands Missile Range
    George Edward Knotts, ATEC, Developmental Test Manager
    Charles Braungart, ATEC, Developmental Test Manager
    Paula Hoak, ATEC, Developmental Test Manager
    Jim Robinson, ATEC, Developmental Test Manager
    Patty Jonez, ATEC, Mortars Test Officer, Yuma Test Center
    Matt Reiss, ATEC, Instrumentation Engineer, Aberdeen Test Center
    Tim Mallen, ATEC, Instrumentation Engineer, Aberdeen Test Center
    Kevin L. Betz, ATEC, Live Fire Test Manager
    Neil C. Jorgenson, ATEC, Operational Test Officer
    Bruce F. Portz, ATEC, Operational Research Systems Analyst for Operational Testing
    Cathy Miller, ATEC, Operational Research Systems Analyst for Operational Testing
    Clifford Kummer, ATEC, Operational Research Systems Analyst for Operational Testing
    Ryan Sunderman, ATEC, Operational Test Officer
    George McNees3, ATEC, Operational Test Officer
    George Schurr, TCM SBCT, TRADOC Capabilities Manager
    Shelton Raine, PM SBCT, Program Manager Test and Evaluation Lead
    Mark Reiter, AMSAA, Modeling and Simulation Engineer, Aberdeen Test Center
    Peter Melick, AMSAA, Modeling and Simulation Officer, Aberdeen Test Center
    Brian Narizzano, Analyst, ARDEC Firing Tables Division
    Matt Schaffer, Analyst, ARDEC Firing Tables Division
    Richard zum Brunnen, ARL-SLAD, Ballistic Survivability Analyst
    David Hendrickson, ARL-HRED, Human Factors Engineering Analyst

    The members of the Stryker Double-V Hull (DVH) Army Test and Evaluation (T&E) Integrated Product Team (IPT) demonstrated great initiative, creativity, and skill in designing and conducting streamlined test and evaluation efforts in support of rapid fielding of eight improved survivability Stryker combat vehicle variants to our Soldiers in Afghanistan. The T&E team successfully balanced the need to validate the capabilities and limitations of the new design with the demand to provide increased protection to our deployed Soldiers. They ensured the proposed double-V hull solution provided increased protection without sacrificing tactical mobility or the effectiveness of the equipment packages that enable the crews of each Stryker variant to accomplish their role on the battlefield.

    Their rapid, focused test and evaluation program resulted in Soldiers receiving increased protection many months earlier than traditional test programs would have allowed, significantly reducing casualties from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

    Individual Sustained Achievement

    Winner: Lt. Col. Raymond Morgan III, DCMA Lockheed Martin Sunnyvale Contract Management Office

    Lt. Col. Raymond Morgan III led an organization of 125 personnel and was responsible for the administration of 168 contracts, valued at $63.5 billion. He consistently performed and delivered extraordinary results in support of the warfighter as a program integrator for the acquisition category (ACAT) I Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program, as well as director of operations. Morgan directs the delivery of weapons systems and oversees the contractor performance, with a workforce of more than 7,000 personnel, to ensure the quality systems make it to the warfighters’ hands. As the THAAD program integrator, Morgan was responsible for the $9.6 billion ACAT I program. He led government team across 19 critical suppliers driving the on-time delivery of the two most advanced interceptors in the Army arsenal to maintain the perfect 14-in-a-row test record, making THAAD the most successful ballistic missile defense system produced by the MDA.

    Information Enabled Army

    Winner: USSOCOM Global Video Surveillance Activity (GVSA) Team, Program Executive Office-Special Operations Forces Warrior

    Team Members:
    David O’Nan, Project Manager, Global Video Surveillance Activity (Team Leader)
    Lt. Col. Frank Moore, Asst. Program Mgr., Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance
    Lt. Col. (S) Domenic Smeraglia, USAF, Asst. Project Manager, Global Video Surveillance Activity
    Tyle Kanazawa, Assistant Project Manager, Global Video Surveillance Activity
    Eugene Rooker, Assistant Project Manager, Global Video Surveillance Activity
    James Powell, Assistant Project Manager, Global Video Surveillance Activity
    Joyce Sawyer, Contractor, Science & Technology Project Support
    Kris Tobin, Contractor, Science & Technology Project Support
    Sonia Cervantes, Contracting Officer
    James Goodwin, Contracting Specialist
    Jane Pellegrino, Budget & Financial Manager
    Allison Hutchens, Contracting Officer
    Israel Reyes, Security Specialist
    Jennifer Williams, Contracting Officer
    Elizabeth Holland, Contracting Officer
    Greg Metty, Contracting Specialist
    Tony Anderson, Deputy Asst. Program Mgr., Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance
    Sherry Balderson, Resource Manager
    Lamar Jones, Security Manager
    Gwen McBride, Contracting Officer

    The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Global Video Surveillance Activity (GVSA) program established a chartered joint integrated product team (IPT) to manage a family of interrelated systems enabling enterprise information technology capabilities for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and National Mission Force’s Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, and Analyze mission. The products fielded by the GVSA team supported overseas contingency operations that directly contributed to the capture and kill of numerous high value individuals and targets by Army Special Operations units in Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and current ongoing missions abroad.

    This team was responsible for the development of a family of systems that was enabled by a net-centric enterprise communications architecture. This development approach ensured operators received actionable information in a timely manner, and it allowed users the ability to operate worldwide in all environments. The architecture leveraged proven commercial and government infrastructures to reduce project schedule and cost and to support the rapid kit delivery to fulfill critical solutions. Several innovative acquisition approaches, including project management, agile contracting support and adept financial management enabled operators to stay ahead of ever-changing adversary tactics, techniques, and procedures while integrating to maximum extent possible advances in commercial off-the-shelf communications technologies and other government agency efforts.

    During the award period, the GVSA team, in close collaboration with the Special Operations Research Development Acquisition Center’s Science & Technology Directorate, multiple government agencies, and two national labs, successfully transitioned five basic and applied research efforts valued at over $25 million into the GVSA program of record. In three cases, prototypes were successfully operationally employed in sensitive missions. The delivery of these operationally suitable prototypes allowed the resource sponsors to re-prioritize $12 million to address other critical priorities in fiscal year 2013 and beyond.

    SECRETARY OF THE ARMY AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN CONTRACTING

     

    The Barbara C. Heald Award

    Barbara C. Heald retired after 27 years of service, but came out of retirement to volunteer to deploy overseas. She was killed on her third tour of duty during a rocket attack on the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad. The award is presented to the DA civilian who clearly demonstrates selfless service, extraordinary and uncompromising professionalism in contracting and true commitment to the personal and professional growth of others.

    Irvin G. Bonus, 413th Contracting Support Brigade, Regional Contracting Office – Hawaii, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Wheeler Army Airfield.

    As a warranted contracting officer, Bonus was instrumental in the successful transition of the division from purely contract administration to service and contract administration, handling nonpersonal service type requirements. He also led the implementation of Paperless Contract Files; the conversion from Standard Finance System to the General Fund Enterprise Business System; and transition from paying offices in Rome, NY, to Vendor Pay Kuwait.

    AbilityOne

    New England Soldier Systems and Individual Equipment (NESSIE) Team, U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division

    Team Members:
    Sean Murphy, Branch Chief
    Roberta Boswell, Contracting Officer
    Mark Marchioli, Contracting Officer
    Matthew Buchanan, Contract Specialist

    The New England Soldier Systems and Individual Equipment (NESSIE) team maintains a Total Army Quality acquisition program that selects the best sources and ensures best value for the government. The NESSIE team has continually demonstrated commitment to the AbilityOne Program and throughout FY13 they increased the job opportunities for individuals who are blind or have other severe disabilities Americans, including disabled veterans returning home from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

    In FY13 they increased the job opportunities for individuals who are blind or have other severe disabilities. Overall, the Team processed 120 contracting actions and obligated over $57 million to AbilityOne and its agencies.

    Outstanding Contract Specialist/Procurement Analyst

    Linda M. Finan, 409th Contracting Support Brigade, U.S. Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command

    Finan is honored for exceptional performance as procurement analyst during the period July 2012 to June 2013. She displayed the highest level of contracting expertise and provided unparalleled support. Finan has demonstrated the ability to overcome challenges by becoming the “go to” professional for brigade personnel on alternative acquisition strategies and contract structures. Her innovative efforts led to a reduction in time and material/labor hour contract line items with an increase in firm-fixed-price actions. Forward thinking in long-term mission achievement, Ms. Finan meticulously prepared the ECC Monthly Procurement Report for procurements greater than $5 million and expiring within 12 months. She coordinated with each regional contracting office to ensure accuracy of information; and to stimulate early procurement planning, she proactively increased the scope of the report to procurements greater than $1.5 million expiring within 15 months.

    Outstanding Contracting Officer Installation Level – Directorate of Contracting

    Thomas R. Guyer, 409th Contracting Support Brigade, U.S. Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Theater Contracting Center

    Having only been assigned to the 409th Contracting Support Brigade since June 2012, Thomas R. Guyer, has proven to be a powerhouse contracting officer, leader and masterful strategic thinker. He has significantly improved customer service responsiveness resulting in multiple large dollar actions being brought back in-house, which had been previously off-loaded to other contracting activities.

    A life-long learner, Guyer brings a robust academic atmosphere to the Theater Contracting Center, IT Contracting Division. A prior Defense Acquisition University Adjunct, at Bellevue University College of Business in contract management and a well studied Level III contracting professional, he drives weekly training events into the IT Division with a passion and has increased the magnitude of his training program by including all prospective contracting officers into a warrant board preparatory program. He is currently attending the Air Command and Staff College via correspondence.

    Outstanding Contracting Officer Systems, R&D, Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting

    Lovisa D. Parks, PEO STRI, Program Executive Office

    Parks’ extensive contracting knowledge and leadership was instrumental in the expeditious assessment of 27 acquisition packages, 50 determination and findings and 17 justifications and approvals with an estimated value of over $305 million. She also chaired the Price Evaluation Team conducting a comprehensive analysis of offers and preparing a critical pricing report to support the Source Selection Authority’s decision for the more than $40 million U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern Total Maintenance Contract.

    Outstanding Contracting Officer Specialized Services & Construction Contracting

    Sonya DeLucia, U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Huachuca Contracting Division

    In support of Operations, Maintenance and Defense of Army Communications Systems in Southwest and Central Asia, Ms. DEL-U-SHA provided support to more than 40 sites in several countries with more than 1,700 contractor personnel. She awarded the contract, without protest, for an estimated total contract value of $788 million, a decrease from the previous contract valued in excess of $1 billion.

    Outstanding Contracting Officer Contingency Contracting

    Maj. William J. Griffin, 413th Contracting Support Brigade, Regional Contracting Office – Hawaii, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Wheeler Army Airfield

    Accepting a mission in Micronesia, Major Griffin conducted arduous negotiations with suppliers, across 18 time zones, saving the government of Micronesia $600,000. Immediately upon his return, he was hand-selected to be the senior contingency contracting officer in support of Cobra Gold. During that exercise, his team supported more than 13,000 multinational combined task force participants, and was responsible for $3.6 million in contract actions spanning across 10 different exercise locations.

    Outstanding Unit/Team Awards

     

    Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Systems, R&D, Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting (Tie)

    Winner: Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTV) Evaluation Team, U.S. Army Contracting Command, Army Contracting Command-Warren, TACOM LCMC and CH47 Multi Year II Contract Team, U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation and Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal

    FHTV Team Members:
    Jennifer Meyer, Procuring Contracting Officer (PCO)
    Sally Petrous, Chief, MTV/HTV Pricing Team
    Lennie Schwerdtfeger, Contract Price/Cost Analyst
    Scott Nyboer, Contract Specialist
    Jason Miller, Contract Price/Cost Analyst
    Angel Estep, Contract Price Cost Analyst
    John Wagner, Legal Advisor

    The Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTV) Evaluation Team demonstrated outstanding efforts to analyze and negotiate the FHTV proposal. The team quickly implemented a highly effective strategy that successfully leveraged both Defense Contract Audit Agency and Defense Contract Management Agency assets to evaluate and negotiate the FHTV Phase Ill Extension. These efforts established FY13 and FY14 vehicle prices and allowed for a timely award to preserve the customer’s funding. Of special note, 15 of the 23 variant prices were negotiated lower than FY12 prices.

    CH47 Chinook Multiyear II Evaluation Team Members:
    Lt. Col. Jeffrey Caldwell, Contracting Officer
    Robin Hadlock, Senior Contract Specialist
    Michael Allison, Contract Specialist
    Georgia Walker, Contract Specialist
    Jonathan Hitt, Contract Specialist

    The CH-47F Multiyear Two Contract procures up to 215 CH-47F aircraft over five production years, with a potential value of $4.9 billion. The team successfully negotiated the base award, for 155 CH-47F aircraft, from $4.2 billion down to $3.4 billion, saving an estimated $810 million.

    Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Contingency Contracting

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division, Super Storm Sandy Immediate Response Team, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Directorate of Contracting, North Atlantic Division

    The USACE North Atlantic Division Super Storm Sandy Immediate Response Team worked tirelessly and rapidly to conduct response and recovery contracting operations in support of the Department of Homeland Security-FEMA under the National Response Framework, DoD, and USACE authorities. The team is commended for tireless and rapid response and recovery contracting operations to provide lifesaving and life-sustaining relief support to disaster survivors. Contracts, worth more than $200 million, included task orders for trucks, barges, and other heavy equipment used to swiftly remove debris from the hurricane location. The team also contracted for generators, sewage pumps, sandbags, portable toilets and much more, all within the first 21 days following hurricane landfall.

    Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Installation Level – Directorate of Contracting

    Virtual Procurement Management Review (PMR) Team FY 13, U.S. Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command

    The team developed and implemented a new streamlined approach and processes that resulted in increased performance of the team, as well as the program. Through the use of virtual PMRs, they reduced travel costs by $250,000.

    Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Specialized Services & Construction Contracting

    Supply, Expeditionary, and Construction Team, 414th Contracting Support Brigade, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command

    The Supply, Expeditionary, and Construction Team provided outstanding contracting support to United States Army Africa (USARAF) and United States Army Garrison (USAG) Vicenza across two continents. These actions allowed for the successful execution of multiple exercises in Africa. In addition, the team was responsible for procuring supplies, services, and construction supporting the build-out of Caserma Del Din in Vicenza, Italy totaling more than $328 million.

    Photos from the ceremony are now available on the USAASC Flickr page.

     


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  • Coming Soon: New application designed to assist military contracting professionals

    The new site will consolidate multiple contracting resources into one. Photo courtesy of Larry McCaskill.

    By Larry McCaskill

     

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — According to Army Contracting Command officials, a new “go to” site will essentially eliminate the need to consult multiple resources on the web for contracting tools and information.

    “The Mapping Acquisition and Procurement Process (MAP) application is web-enabled with a stand-alone capability,” said Lisle Lennon, Policy Division ACC Operations Group. “This initiative maps the entire contracting process while managing team expectations of all stakeholders.

    “The application will provide a structured roadmap of the contracting process enabling inexperienced practitioners to access information on their own. It will be a collaboration site for the centralized dissemination and storage of regulations, policies, tools, and templates, and contain links for training materials and other resources such as news articles.”

    “It will be a collaboration site for the centralized dissemination and storage of regulations, policies, tools, and templates, and contain links for training materials and other resources such as news articles.”

    Lennon said the application’s primary purpose is to be a ready resource for the total acquisition team and its stakeholders.

    “There is consistent focus on moving this forward with the first modules into production to go live in early fiscal year 2014,” Lennon said.

    An around-the-clock source, the application is designed to assist the user by blending the “how to do it” with the “have to do it and here is how.”

    Lennon said the MAP application is regulation-reinforced, outcome-oriented, and process-based with a robust search/research tool. It will reside on the operations group SharePoint site and provide end-to-end contracting solutions for the entire acquisition team. SharePoint is accessible to those with a Department of Defense common access card and user privilege is determined by authorized permissions.

    In addition, Lennon said the application will capture lessons learned and best practices across the entire command and leverage current resources and information-sharing efforts, to include forums to connect with seasoned contracting professionals on questions and issues.

    Access AL&T Editor’s note: Army Contracting Command officials expect the application to launch early next year.

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  • Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting Winners Announced

    On behalf of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement) (DASA(P)), the Acquisition Support Center is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting. Please join the DASA(P) in congratulating the award winners.

    The Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting are presented annually to recognize individuals, teams, and organizations for their outstanding performance, dedication and professionalism in executing the contracting mission worldwide. We would like to thank each nominating official for the submission of your 2013 award nominations. We also want to thank each board member for your participation in evaluating the award nominations. We appreciate all of your dedication and support for the Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting Program to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and services provided by your civilian and military contracting workforce.

    The winners of the 2013 Secretary of the Army Excellence in Contracting Awards are as follows:

    Special Awards

    Barbara C. Heald
    Irvin G. Bonus, 413th Contracting Support Brigade, Regional Contracting Office – Hawaii, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Wheeler Army Airfield

    AbilityOne
    New England Soldier Systems and Individual Equipment (NESSIE) Team, United States Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division, Natick

    Outstanding Contract Specialist/Procurement Analyst
    Linda M. Finan, 409th Contracting Support Brigade, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, APO AE

    Outstanding Contracting Officer Awards

    Outstanding Contracting Officer Installation Level – Directorate of Contracting
    Thomas R. Guyer, 409th Contracting Support Brigade, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Theater Contracting Center APO AE

    Outstanding Contracting Officer Systems, R&D, Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting
    Lovisa D. Parks, Program Executive Office – Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command, Program Executive Office, Orlando, FL

    Outstanding Contracting Officer Specialized Services & Construction Contracting
    Sonya DeLucia, United States Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Huachuca Contracting Division, Fort Huachuca

    Outstanding Contracting Officer Contingency Contracting
    MAJ William J. Griffin, 413th Contracting Support Brigade, Regional Contracting Office – Hawaii, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Wheeler Army Airfield

    Outstanding Unit/Team Awards

    Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Systems, R&D, Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting
    Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTV) Evaluation Team, United States Army Contracting Command, Army Contracting Command-Warren, TACOM LCMC

    CH47 Multi Year II (MY II) Contract Team, United States Army Contracting Command, Aviation and Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal

    Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Contingency Contracting
    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division, Super Storm Sandy Immediate Response Team, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Directorate of Contracting, North Atlantic Division

    Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Installation Level – Directorate of Contracting
    ECC FY 13 Virtual PMR Team, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Huntsville

    Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Specialized Services & Construction Contracting
    Supply, Expeditionary, and Construction Team, 414th Contracting Support Brigade, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, APO AE

     


     

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  • Army Announces ACC Senior Leadership Changes

    REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.—Two of U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC’s) senior leaders have been selected for reassignment, the Army announced June 28.

    Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols, ACC commanding general (CG), has been selected for assignment as deputy CG for support and chief of staff, Installation Management Command (IMCOM), San Antonio, Texas.

    Brig. Gen. Theodore “Ted” C. Harrison, CG, U.S. Army Expeditionary Contracting Command (ECC) has been selected to succeed Nichols as the ACC CG. The change of command date has not been set. ACC and ECC are both headquartered on Redstone Arsenal.

    “It has been an honor to serve in the ACC,” Nichols said. “The Soldiers and civilians are inspirational in their total commitment in support of our Army. I thank them all for their unconditional support and know they will give Brig. Gen. Harrison the same. There is no better choice to replace me than Ted!

    “I have been blessed in my career to be able to serve our Soldiers and their families and look forward to joining the great IMCOM team so I can continue to serve our Army and this great nation,” she said.

    Nichols became ACC’s first CG on May 17, 2012. She previously served as program executive officer, PEO Soldier, at Fort Belvoir, Va. She enlisted in the Army in 1975 in her home town of Niagara Falls, N.Y. She was commissioned as an engineer officer upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1981.

    Harrison assumed command of ECC in April, 2012.

    “I am deeply honored to have been considered for this critical position,” Harrison said. “I’m very humbled and excited by the opportunity and look forward to helping the command continue its growth and development. Contracting is a key enabler and extremely important to every single warfighting mission.

    “At the same time, it is with a heavy heart that I depart ECC,” he added. “The ECC team is in a great place with very talented and dedicated people. I know it will continue to succeed. I will not be far away and will continue to assist in ECC’s success.”

    Before assuming command of ECC, he was the deputy director, National Contracting Organization, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He entered the Army in 1980 as a distinguished military graduate through the ROTC program at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., and was commissioned in the Air Defense Artillery.

    Harrison’s successor has not been announced.


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  • Faces of the Force

    Template for Faces of the Force

    Working to ensure mission readiness

     

    By Susan L. Follett and Tara A. Clements

     

    From logistician to contracting officer, Master Sgt. Perryman’s drive is fueled by her passion to take care of Soldiers—providing them what they need, when they need it to accomplish the mission at hand. With more than 23 years of service and experience with multiple deployments, this decorated senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) is now responsible for preparing the next generation of contracting officers to adapt to any mission they’re faced with at home and abroad. According to the Army Contracting Command senior enlisted advisor, Command Sergeant Major John L. Murray, “Perryman is a shining example of the caliber of professionals we have in the Army Acquisition Corps. She is deeply respected and a valued member of the team who always takes a personal interest to ensure Soldiers and Army civilians are prepared and resourced to do their job.”

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    PERRYMAN: I am an acquisition, logistics and technology contracting noncommissioned officer (NCO (51C)) and senior enlisted advisor for the 918th CCB. As a contracting NCO, my work is important because I play a huge role in ensuring that warfighters receive the supplies and services they need to accomplish their missions. As the senior enlisted advisor, my duty is to train, coach, and mentor my NCOs and officers to ensure they are prepared physically and mentally for any mission.

    FOTF: What has your experience been like? What has surprised you the most?

    PERRYMAN: I reclassified from the logistics branch four years ago. While I was making great progress in my military career, I wanted more, and 51C offers great opportunities for advancement and good possibilities for a career as a civilian. My experience has been very challenging, especially the task of ensuring that Soldiers remain battle-ready while they settle into the 51C military occupational specialty (MOS).

    What surprised me the most is how much Soldiers rely on their leaders. They get their energy from us, and we need to keep that in mind as we train and mentor them. Knowing that their desire to be the best-of-the-best comes from us is surprising and humbling to me, and motivates me to give my all every day.

    FOTF: What is most rewarding about your job?

    PERRYMAN: Knowing that I’m taking care of my Soldiers. Even if it’s a little thing like getting new chairs for a conference room, I like seeing my work come to fruition, and I like hearing their feedback – even if it’s not always positive.

    FOTF: From your experience, what are the differences serving as a contracting NCO during deployment and non-deployment status?

    During a deployment, the workload is like a revolving door—it never stops, which is a great thing because the more you do, the better you get at it.

    In a non-deployment status, the workload does not compare to being deployed and there is an adjustment period from having a military supervisor to a civilian supervisor, but you’re still able to gain great experience if you want to learn and prepare yourself for life after the military—if contracting is part of your career path.

    FOTF: What was the most memorable item or service you contracted for during your time in Afghanistan?

    Master Sgt. Perryman congratulates Staff Sgt. Mansfield, one of her Soldiers, for earning the title of ‘NCO of the Year’ for the 918th Contingency Contracting Battalion’s first competition this March. Photo courtesy of Army Contracting Command Public Affairs.

    My most memorable item was the furniture I procured for the Camp Marmal dining facility during my deployment to Afghanistan. I remember walking in for breakfast and saw the new set- up for the first time; it was like being in a really nice restaurant. I was elated! Despite the situation we all were in at that moment, the dining facility was a place where Soldiers could take a minute to have conversations with others, watch AFN [Armed Forces Network], laugh out loud and feel a sense of peace for the thirty minutes that most spent during chow time. In my opinion, moments like that are priceless.

    FOTF: What would you say to a Soldier considering this MOS?

    If you are looking for a challenging and exciting MOS, reclassify to 51C. Be prepared to be open-minded, learn at a fast pace, work with civilians and set yourself up for a successful and bright future.

    FOTF: What do you do when you’re not at work?

    PERRYMAN: I enjoy spending time with my husband and my two daughters, and I really enjoy fishing. It’s very relaxing, one thing that this job is not. While I really love my work, the operational tempo is pretty high and the hours are long. I appreciate the opportunity to relax when I can.

    FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

    PERRYMAN: I wanted to join the Army ever since I was a child. I loved the sense of safety it projected and the pride of the people who were affiliated with it. My mother encouraged me to pursue my dreams of joining the military, and she thought the Army would be good for me—she often mentioned that under different circumstances she would have joined herself.

    My greatest satisfaction is taking care of Soldiers. The Army gives me the unique opportunity to mentor and counsel Soldiers in all types of settings, those on my team as well as those who just need someone to listen or a word of encouragement. In addition to helping, at that moment I’m also setting an example for my family and Soldiers to follow.

    Links:
    • ACC website: www.acc.army.mil
    • Interested in 51C reclassification? Visit http://asc.army.mil. Two reclassification boards remain for FY13.


    • “Faces of the Force” is an online feature highlighting members of the Army Acquisition Workforce. Produced by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Communication Division, and working closely with public affairs officers, Soldiers and Civilians currently serving in a variety of AL&T disciplines are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

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  • NCOs, Meet Charlie, the MOS with the Most

    MOS 51C offers NCOs what may just be the best opportunity in the Army

     

    By Steve Stark

     

    There’s more than meets the eye in the world of contracting and “Charlie” has a lot to offer. The Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) 51C classification trains noncommissioned officers (NCOs) to be contracting professionals, provides significant career and educational opportunities, and is one of the few areas of the Army that is expected to grow in the near term. But for Master Sgt. Jason Pitts, the thing that really caught his eye was a map.

    Specifically, it was the chart of all the missions that 51C supported. The chart, he said, showed “where contracting guys were, whether it was Australia, Japan, Mongolia—and to me that was like, ‘Wow, that’s awesome. I can go see all these cool places and still support the warfighter and make an impact?’ That was the ‘aha moment,’ ” said Pitts, chief proponent NCO for MOS 51C at the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC), the proponent for 51C reclassification and the agency responsible for ensuring a trained and ready contracting NCO corps.

    Pitts said that the variety of things a contracting NCO could do, and the variety of places the NCO could go to do them, piqued his interest because “a lot of guys get stuck in the same experiences over and over again. You go to unit, you go to the National Training Center [Fort Irwin, Calif.] or the Joint Readiness Training Center [Fort Polk, La.] and you prepare. You go to gunnery, you prepare. You go to Afghanistan. You come back a year later, and you start it all again.” For Pitts, the option of doing something that was vital to Soldiers, but that also got him out of that routine, looked like a winner. “The contracting command was in 49 different countries last year, doing 86 different missions supporting the warfighter,” he said.

    “The NCOs in this MOS come from all branches of the Army which enables them to understand the unique requirements of a specific unit.”

    WORLDWIDE ASSIGNMENTS
    The NCO contracting corps offers a promising career path and is ripe with opportunity to serve in a variety of locations.

    “Opportunities are endless,” said Command Sgt. Maj. John L. Murray of U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC). “After completing the basic contracting course, NCOs are assigned to a contracting office where they first focus on becoming proficient in simplified acquisitions and are then able to progress and hold positions starting as a contingency contracting NCO all the way to the rank of command sergeant major.” Murray is the ACC command sergeant major and advises the ACC commanding general on all enlisted‐related matters, particularly in areas affecting Soldier training and quality of life.
    And those positions are in a variety of locations worldwide.

    “NCOs can get assigned across the globe supporting contingency, humanitarian, and disaster relief operations. Today we have NCOs assigned and deployed to locations such as Italy, Germany, Korea, South America, Africa, Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Korea, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and every installation in the continental United States,” said Murray.

    MOS 51C NCOs have the vital job of not only providing procurement support for anything a unit might need; but also serving the commander as a business advisor—ensuring they get what’s needed, on time, to support the mission.

    “The NCOs in this MOS come from all branches of the Army which enables them to understand the unique requirements of a specific unit,” said Murray. “They are never at rest, they are always supporting real-world, real-time operational and installation support; where if they don’t get it right the mission fails. It is a great MOS to be in if you are a high energy, multifunctional, adaptive, and the utmost Army professional.”

    Sometimes it’s not only the big ticket items that really add value. “A road construction contract to add IED [improvised explosive device] training lanes to a downrange installation,” would not be a large dollar-value contract, Pitts said. But it could enable units to “go through these really high-speed IED training lanes so that they were better prepared for their mission when they deployed.” Not a lot of money in the big picture, but such a contract “really improves the entire brigade’s training before they prepare for combat. That’s a good example of things a contracting guy can do to help support a brigade.”

    ‘CHARLIE’ SENDS YOU TO SCHOOL
    While the “aha” moment for Pitts was travel and variety, for other NCOs, Pitts said, it’s the educational opportunities offered by a 51C MOS. “They say, ‘Wow, in my current MOS, the push for education isn’t there,’ ” and when they learn that, in the 51C MOS, their officers are going to expect them to get a bachelor’s and become a certified professional, that excites them.”

    “The contracting command was in 49 different countries last year, doing 86 different missions supporting the warfighter.”

    MOS 51C is a career field established in December 2006 to meet the Army’s continuously increasing need for contingency contracting officers, and is viewed as a critical asset. The Army is currently recruiting NCOs, in both the active and reserve components, who are interested in reclassifying to MOS 51C and meet the requirements. Candidates selected for reclassification not only learn a new craft, but also, through the training, education, and professional development aspects of the MOS, gain valuable transferrable skills.

    “Soldiers want to be valued,” he continued. “They want to feel like they’re doing something important.” The 51C MOS enables that.

    The education benefits are excellent, but the expectations are also high—by law, the NCO must earn a B.A. in 24 months—and the workload can be demanding, but there is support from the USAASC 51C MOS Proponent Office.

    “The majority of our NCOs work in the daytime, learning contracting, writing contracts with the government—that’s their craft—and at night they have to go to school online,” Pitts said.

    Murray agreed that the potential for training is significant. “Training opportunities for a 51C NCO exceed those of other military occupational specialties in the Army,” he said. “The norm is for 51C NCOs to complete college courses and mandated contracting courses through the Defense Acquisition University as part of their daily battle rhythm.”

    “Thirty percent of the NCOs we select already have their degree,” Pitts added. “The remaining 70 percent are required to get their degree—either a bachelor’s in business or a degree that affords them 24 hours in business. We have degree completion programs to help them do it. We send some NCOs to school full-time for 12 months to finish their bachelor’s degree. That way they can achieve contracting certification and then come back to the workforce.”

    Generally, the most competitive candidates selected for reclassification have at least 60 hours of college credit.

    USAASC also has an acquisition tuition assistance program that pays an additional $7,750 a year for our NCOs to go to school, Pitts said. That additional $7,750 is exclusive to the 51C program.

    Editor’s Note: The tuition assistance program is temporarily on hold due to current budget constraints.

    In addition to a bachelor’s degree, MOS 51C NCOs will receive the same training opportunities in the contracting field that are available to the Army’s acquisition officers and civilians. Active component Soldiers will attend the Mission Ready Airman Contracting Apprentice Course, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, or the Army Acquisition Basic Course, Army Acquisition Center of Excellence, Huntsville, Ala. Reserve component Soldiers will take courses through Defense Acquisition University distance learning.

    GROWTH POTENTIAL
    The 51C MOS is one of the few in the Army that’s projected to grow over the next few years, with the USAASC looking to add approximately 150 new NCOs to its workforce by October.“One thing a decade of war has taught the Army,” Pitts said, “is that contracting is a vital skill, and you cannot conduct anything in the Army without it.”

    Murray agreed. “It is one of the few military occupational specialties that is still growing to fill its authorizations as the rest of the Army is downsizing.”

    For the Army, it’s crucial to have NCOs as a part of its acquisition workforce, because the NCO adds another dimension, another perspective to the workforce. Part of that is the credibility that NCOs have with Soldiers. “Because I knew the business,” Pitts said, “I found it easier to help support them. I found the warfighter identified with me because I shared their experiences. I wasn’t just some guy.”

    “NCOs can get assigned across the globe supporting contingency, humanitarian, and disaster relief operations.”

    WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AND DO
    The accession process is competitive but rewarding. Applicants must be in the ranks of sergeant, staff sergeant, or sergeant first class with less than 10 years of service. Those with 10-13 years of service may request waivers.

    “Soldiers must be deployable worldwide, able to operate in a deployed environment wearing a full complement of personal protective equipment, have no financial hardships or indicators of insolvency, and have no record of information which might adversely reflect against the character, honesty, or integrity of the Soldier,” said Murray.

    Soldiers selected for the 51C MOS may qualify for a $2,000 transfer bonus. “NCOs already in the 51C MOS are being offered a reenlistment bonus up to $22,500 because contracting is so important to the Army’s mission,” Pitts said. Except it’s not really necessary. “Right now our people are staying in. It’s a great job.”

    There are two more boards of selection this year, in May and July. Packets received now through April 26, 2013 are eligible for the May selection board. Those packets received April 27 – July 19, 2013 will be reviewed during the late July board. All board results are generally released 30 days following the board and are posted to the USAASC Web site and emailed individually.

    For specific deadlines, dates and packet submission instructions, visit http://asc.army.mil.



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  • JCRX-13 expected to draw more than 200 contracting professionals

    ACC public affairs

     

    REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Contracting professionals will begin to converge onto Fort Bliss, Texas, starting Jan. 15 to participate in what military officials are calling the premiere Department of Defense contracting readiness exercise.

    For the fourth consecutive year, the Army Contracting Command is conducting a contracting readiness exercise for military and civilian personnel. Formerly called Joint Dawn, the Joint Contracting Readiness Exercise or JCRX-13 will be conducted at Fort Bliss Jan. 15-31.

    “We’re expanding the scope of this year’s training,” said Col. Timothy Strange, commander, 412th Contracting Support Brigade, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. “Participants can look forward to working on more than 100 contracting actions, not to mention some hard-to-handle injects.”

    The 412th is the lead organizer for the exercise.

    The number of exercise participants has increased each year. In 2010, 34 contingency contracting officers attended the training held at Fort Riley, Kan.; in 2011, training at Fort Campbell, Ky., included 115 participants; and the 2012 training at Fort Bliss had 159 military and civilian trainees. Exercise coordinators expect more than 200 participants at this year’s exercise.

    “We’re anticipating visits from a lot of senior leaders,” said Lt. Col. Joshua R. Burris, commander, 905th Contingency Contracting Battalion, and JCRX-13 officer-in-charge.

    “We’re set up to handle visits from senior DOD and DA officials. Last year, Mr. (Kim) Denver, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (procurement); and Rear Adm. Allie Coetzee, executive director, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy (acquisition and procurement), came by. This year we’re planning visits from the Hon. Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army acquisition, logistics and technology and Army acquisition executive; the Hon. Dr. Sally Matiella, assistant secretary of the Army financial management and comptroller; and Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, deputy commanding general, Army Materiel Command.”

     
     


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  • ACC integrates contracting Soldiers into stateside operations

    Valerie Tipton provides Staff Sgt. Wallace Newton some advice on a contract. Newton is a member of the 626th Contingency Contracting Team, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and has been a contracting specialist for four months. Tipton is a contracting officer in the Base Operations Division, Army Contracting Command-Redstone Arsenal. (Photo by U.S. Army)

    Edward G Worley

     
    REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.–In an effort to streamline command and control of its military contracting Soldiers, the Army Contracting Command is attaching portions of its Expeditionary Contracting Command forces to several of ACC’s stateside organizations.

    The action reduces the ECC span of control from the day-to-day oversight of Soldiers executing their stateside contracting mission, allowing the ECC commander to focus on overseas installation and contingency support, explained Lt. Col. Kevin Nash, ACC Integration project officer.

    It also gives the Mission and Installation Contracting Command and ACC contracting centers direct supervision of Soldiers supporting stateside operations within their organizations, he said.

    Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols, ACC commanding general, said her intent is to “streamline mission command, better manage our military contracting Soldiers’ workloads and enhance contracting Soldier professional development.

    “This action provides greater predictability for our civilian contracting leaders in assigning work to Soldiers in their offices,” she said. “It also provides greater professional development opportunities for contracting Soldiers as they are offered increased contracting experiences.”

    Nichols said it also allows ECC to focus on the day-to-day overseas contracting mission and operational contract support tasks associated with Army Service Component Commands.

    Brig. Gen. Ted Harrison, ECC commanding general, said the realignment will help 51C contingency contracting Soldiers develop their contracting skills.

    “Future military operations will continue to demand expeditionary contracting Soldiers who are trained and ready to meet Army Service Component Command needs,” Harrison said.

    “ACC integration allows the Expeditionary Contracting Command’s 51Cs to hone their skills in day-to-day contracting missions in Mission and Installation Contracting Command installation contracting offices as they support the Army’s generating force. This ‘work as they fight’ strategy will prepare them to deploy and support Army operational forces anywhere in the world. ECC is confident that the MICC civilian contracting experts will equip our contracting Soldiers with technical knowledge and provide hands-on experience through coaching, teaching and mentoring.”

    Brig. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke, MICC commanding general, said the integration improves both the civilian and military contracting workforce.

    “The synchronization and integration of uniformed members across the Mission and Installation Contracting Command provides indispensable technical, hands-on contracting training and experience for Army contingency contracting Soldiers,” Vollmecke said.

    “Soldiers and contracting civilians working alongside one another drives positive change and brings balance, skill and depth to the acquisition workforce. This unified teamwork and collaboration with ACC and our Army customers is a key to continued success.”

    Nash said the operation will occur in four phases. It began in December with the realignment of MICC contracting offices under four field directorate offices. MICC FDOs are aligned at sites with their major customers, and the 34 MICC subordinate contracting offices are grouped by customer to bring consistency to operations and improve contract administration and oversight.

    Phase 2 begins in February, Nash said, attaching MICC-associated contingency contracting battalions, senior contingency contracting teams and contingency contracting teams to the MICC. ACC contracting center-associated contingency contracting teams will also be attached to their corresponding contracting centers during Phase 2.

    “Attaching a unit to another unit means that, while the attached unit still ‘belongs’ to its higher headquarters, it takes its daily taskings from the unit to which it is attached,” Nash explained. “The units we’re attaching still ‘belong’ to ECC, but they are working directly for the organizations they are attached to.”

    Phase 3 begins in April, he said. ECC will add two contracting support brigades that will be attached to the MICC headquarters. The 418th CSB will be headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas, and the 419th CSB will be headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.

    The final phase calls for the 412th CSB, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to be attached to the MICC headquarters on Oct. 1.

    Nash said ECC will retain assignment of the CONUS-based CSBs and continue to be the ACC lead for operational contract support activities.

    In the event of a mission requiring CONUS-based ACC units attached to the MICC or centers, Nash said ACC will publish an operation order that detaches those selected units back to the ECC for execution of the required mission. Upon completion of the mission, units would redeploy and be re-attached to the MICC or centers as required, he explained.

    ECC will continue to be the ACC lead for all contingency contracting Soldier individual and unit training functions, he said.

     
     


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