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 […]

May the Force Be Ready

May the Force Be Ready

By Steve Stark   FORT BELVOIR, Va. – The July – September electronic edition of Army AL&T magazine is now online at http://usaasc.armyalt.com/, with the print edition coming to you shortly. The theme of this issue is training and force readiness, and it’s packed with must-read material, from how the Army trains and “grows” contracting professionals, to a deep dive into the Training with Industry program to how a Soldier amputee invented his own prosthesis so he could run again. As the on-the-job training in the “schoolhouses” of Southwest Asia ends, the Army must find other ways to keep the force trained and ready. The magazine will take you into […]

Managing the Talent of Army Acquisition’s Finest

Managing the Talent  of Army Acquisition’s Finest

Talent management is more than human resources (HR); it’s a set of integrated HR processes with the ultimate and ongoing goal of creating and sustaining an inclusive, diverse and high-performing organization. Talent management (TM) thus prepares that organization to meet strategic and operational organizational goals and objectives. That’s precisely why the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Army Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office maintains a philosophy of putting people first to ensure that Army acquisition TM provides the workforce with the best opportunities, education and leadership development to build a successful career “from hire to retire.” Enhancing civilian and military TM is one of the initiatives that LTG […]

The Academic Angle

The Academic Angle

Leveraging students’ engineering expertise to bridge the gap between Soldier and system By Col. Michael E. Sloane, MAJ Toby Birdsell and Capt.(P) Tom Beyerl   Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers (PM SSL) is in the business of developing the most advanced maneuver and targeting sensors ever fielded. A sometimes unwanted adjunct to advancement, however, is complexity, one of the greatest enemies of usability. Recognizing this critical relationship, the PM SSL team continuously seeks opportunities, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Maneuver and Fires Centers of Excellence, to connect with current and prospective warfighters through “touch points,” warfighter juries that enable the PM SSL team to tailor equipment designs to […]

Evolving Innovation

Evolving Innovation

A new look at fostering cutting-edge thinking in Army science and technology   By Lt. Col. Joel Dillon, Dr. Jason Augustyn, Ms. Julia Kim and Mr. Dominic Ju   Science and technology (S&T) innovation is an uncertain road, with “failure” often a step on the path to a breakthrough. However, in a resource-constrained environment, planners must make the smartest possible investments of taxpayer money in S&T programs, balancing risk with the potential for transformational new capabilities. A good place to start striking this balance is at the “fuzzy front end” of innovation, the initial period of exploration preceding the development of new materiel solutions. For many years, the acquisition community […]