Future [WORK]Force

Future [WORK]Force

Developing the Army’s next generation of scientists and engineers By Dr. Grace M. Bochenek and Ms. Jessica A. Smith   To maintain dominance, the Army must posture itself to proactively innovate, to identify promising technologies, to develop solutions and to deliver capabilities. A key part of delivering future capabilities is the creation of a flexible workforce of engineers and scientists with the right skills to support emerging areas of research and development. To achieve this, the Army must answer some not-so-straightforward questions: Which technical competencies will be required within the workforce in the next 25 years? The next 50? What will maintain the knowledge base and technology overmatch built over […]

Forging new links

Forging new links

With Supply Chain Transformation initiative, Army Materiel Command seeks greater efficiencies, better communication By Mrs. Jamie Miller   It’s a new era for Army supply chain management. We are looking for more efficient ways to improve the end-to-end management of spare parts, from supplier to Soldier, for the Army’s combat systems. The U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) has a challenge to stay relevant and shift from a reactive war environment to a proactive drawdown environment of managing and resolving supply chain issues before they become problems. Starting in 2003, the Army began implementing the Logistics Modernization Program (LMP), an enterprise solution that integrates supply chain, maintenance, repair and overhaul planning […]

25 years and counting

25 years and counting

Army Acquisition Corps coalesces around dedication, professionalism By Hon. Heidi Shyu, Army Acquisition Executive   “We know that the quality of our people is an essential ingredient to our success as an acquisition enterprise.”—Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Ashton B. Carter The Army Acquisition mission is to provide our Soldiers a decisive advantage by developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the best-equipped Army the world has ever known. Accomplishing that feat requires a dedicated workforce of career civilians and military professionals. This year, we celebrate 25 years of acquisition excellence, marking the creation in 1989 of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC), the civilian and military specialists who develop and procure […]

Army Acquisition: A brief history

Army Acquisition: A brief history

Legislation, scandal, regulation, reform By Mr. Steve Stark and Ms. Susan L. Follett   The U.S. Army has been procuring goods and services from the private sector since long before there was a United States. Individual handcrafted rifles and pistols, food and clothing, gunpowder and lead were some of the not particularly sophisticated needs of the nascent republic’s Army. But acquisition today is more than procurement, and today the Army’s needs are very sophisticated indeed. The Hon. Heidi Shyu, the Army acquisition executive, is also the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, and nowadays “acquisition” is an umbrella term that indicates not only procurement, logistics, and […]

Army AL&T magazine celebrates 25 years of Army acquisition

Army AL&T magazine celebrates 25 years of Army acquisition

By Steve Stark FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Oct. 1, 2014)—The new edition of Army AL&T magazine is here and it’s all about people—the 38,000-strong Army Acquisition Workforce with special recognition for the 25th anniversary of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC). The AAC, the core of the workforce, is made up of more than 12,000 men and women, experts in engineering, physics, robotics, mathematics, and other Acquisition fields, serve as an example of the professionalism and excellence of those who dedicate themselves to protect and support Soldiers across the globe. October 13, 1989, marks the date that then Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Carl E. Vuono approved the creation of the AAC, […]

Soldier-based training

Soldier-based training

C4ISR Field Support Vision 2020: Preparing the self-sufficient force By Maj. Robert C. Moyer Since the start of contingency operations, the Army has acquired a variety of urgently needed quick reaction capabilities, such as communications, networking, surveillance and counter-IED solutions, in response to urgent operational needs. In addition to being fast-tracked through the acquisition process to meet critical warfighting demands, these systems, designed to better connect Soldiers and commanders and provide visibility into battlefield threats, represented increasingly complex technology requirements for operators and maintainers alike. To deliver immediate support for these systems to Soldiers in theater, the Army successfully implemented a robust, contractor-based field support model. However, with the drawdown […]

A leg up

A leg up

Wounded warrior develops first-of-a-kind leg prosthesis By Mr. Steve Stark For most people, the 21st birthday is life-changing in one sense only, and a trivial one at that—they can purchase alcohol. For Edward Lychik, who turned 21 on Sept. 30, 2011, while serving as an Army combat engineer in Afghanistan, that birthday was profoundly life-changing in more ways than one. “We always like to say the combat engineers lead the way. We’re out there in the front, leading, driving five miles an hour and looking for bombs. Once I’d find something, we’d dig it up and go blow it up somewhere else,” he said. Lychik’s job as a specialist was […]

Promises to keep

Promises to keep

Lasting bonds based on trust, respect and confidence are the foundation of the future By Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, Director Acquisition Career Management Ninety days have passed since I assumed my duties and responsibilities as the principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)) and the director of acquisition career management. I am humbled by this great honor, and especially appreciate the opportunity to serve again with the Hon. Heidi Shyu. I am also grateful for the ability to work with the first-rate professionals of the Army AL&T Workforce, whose dedication to duty and commitment to excellence are without equal. Most […]

The ‘OTHER’ Acquisition Phase

The ‘OTHER’  Acquisition Phase

Focusing on better buying power and value engineering efforts By Lt. Col. Elliott R. Caggins, Mr. Jason R. Middleton and Maj. Demond J. Merrick The vast majority of the acquisition workforce has a great understanding of the life-cycle management process, including designing, developing, procuring, producing, fielding and sustaining military equipment. The defense acquisition life-cycle model goes into great detail on the operations and support phase, but it barely covers the cycle’s end—divestiture. In fact, the Defense Acquisition University’s life-cycle management chart simply lists divestiture as “disposal,” even though it’s much more than that. With its focus on life-cycle phases from design to sustainment, formal acquisition training often neglects disposal, which […]

Training on the Virtual Net

Training on the Virtual Net

Video game-like approach reduces classroom time, increases engagement By Maj. Naim R. Lee, Ms. Caroline McCarthy and Dr. Samuel Johnson Today’s Soldiers have grown up in the digital age. They play video games that enable friends and even strangers to team up online to slay aliens, combat terrorists and save the world. They take advanced high school and college classes online, and their smartphones are almost an appendage. “Death by PowerPoint” is no longer an effective means of training, especially on the Army’s advanced network and communications equipment. Soldiers are now learning faster and more efficiently, immersed in operational scenarios within virtual training environments and using the power of their […]