Passing the iPhone test

Passing the iPhone test

Advancing the Common Operating Environment to support current and future Soldiers   By Ms. Portia I. Crowe   Apple’s iPhone took a standard architecture and improved it, then provided a software development kit (SDK) that enabled third-party developers to quickly and inexpensively create applications, or “apps,” that deliver weather, social media, games and more. It worked intuitively, at the touch of a finger and with little or no instruction. By delivering the power of the Internet when and where we wanted it, apps revolutionized information delivery and had us all saying, “There’s an app for that.” That kind of “smart” is the Army’s objective as it moves forward with its […]

A Plan to Make — and Break

A Plan  to Make — and Break

By Mr. Dale A. Ormond, Director, U.S. Army Research, Development And Engineering Command Most planning involves developing a series of concrete steps and conditional decision points that together define a good way ahead, and then—as no plan survives contact—adjusting that. As director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), when I contemplate the Army’s 30-year plan to modernize the force, I see our goal as not only to break that plan, but to break it often and before anyone else does. It is our job to make the Soldier’s kit obsolete. This we must do if we are to help the Army maintain its unparalleled dominance on […]

THE WRITE STUFF: Army AL&T Magazine Announces Annual ALTies Winners

THE WRITE STUFF: Army AL&T Magazine Announces Annual ALTies Winners

  By Steve Stark   FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The award-winning Army AL&T magazine announced the winners of its annual “ALTies” awards, celebrating the best article, commentary, graphic, ad and photograph from 2013. Editor-in-Chief Nelson McCouch III presented the awards here today, following Army AL&T magazine’s second annual writer’s workshop at the U.S. Army Acquisition Service Center (USAASC) headquarters. “Each issue of Army AL&T is a collaborative process, a team effort,” McCouch said. “Without our contributors, who help us continually raise the bar on quality, we would not have a magazine. But we have a great one that gets better with every issue.” Claire Heininger, editor/lead writer for Program Executive […]

‘More’ is Better

‘More’ is Better

At warfighters’ request, Army delivers award-winning ration enhancement to help them in extreme conditions   By Mr. Joseph Zanchi and Ms. Alexandra Foran   Warfighters in extreme, demanding operational environments need additional sustenance to complete their missions successfully—they simply need MORE. In this case, MORE is the Modular Operational Ration Enhancement, developed by the Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) as a direct result of requests from warfighters deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We received feedback from the field that some warfighters were losing weight and they needed extra calories,” said Julie Smith, a CFD senior food technologist. Smith, along […]

New Name, New Efficiencies

New Name, New Efficiencies

Directorates of logistics become logistics readiness centers for more effective access to services and supply   By Col. Dan J. Reilly   When the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) rebranded the installation directorates of logistics (DOLs) as logistics readiness centers (LRCs) on Oct. 1, 2013, the rebranding not only culminated the formal transfer of 73 DOLs worldwide from the U.S. Army Installation Management Command to AMC, but also established a vision to integrate and optimize AMC capabilities on installations. This transformation enables AMC to focus on materiel and services support, allowing installation commanders to focus on managing their installations. It also optimizes the LRCs’ capability and capacity, improves contract management, […]

It Starts Here

It Starts Here

Army educational outreach to build science, technology, engineering and math talent helps grow the workforce of tomorrow   By Mr. Jeffrey D. Singleton and Ms. Andrea Simmons-Worthen   The Army employs more than 800,000 military and civilian personnel, 96,000 of whom occupy science, technology, engineering or mathematic (STEM) positions, according to Defense Manpower Data Center classifications. Of that 96,000, more than 16,000 are world-class scientists and engineers within the Army’s 16 laboratories and research centers. These scientists and engineers develop leading-edge technologies and advanced capabilities that give our Soldiers, the Army’s greatest asset, the decisive advantage in the face of our adversaries and keep them safe from harm. Broadly defined […]

PLANNED EVOLUTION

PLANNED EVOLUTION

How the workforce of Corpus Christi Army Depot repositioned itself for tighter times   By Mr. Curtis Titus and Ms. Brigitte Rox   Since 2011, Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Texas has made sweeping changes to its business culture and practices that not only reduced the depot’s consumption of government funds and material resources, but also positioned CCAD to continue providing top-quality support to the nation as military spending diminishes. The U.S. government cannot afford to purchase new aircraft for each mission. Rather, it must rely on the organic industrial base (OIB) to modify aircraft and components to handle the specific needs of the next mission. As the largest […]

Action Plans

Action Plans

A host of stakeholders speak frankly on what the Army needs to do to preserve its industrial base   By Army AL&T magazine staff   Preserving the unique and often highly specialized skills and capabilities of the Army industrial base is critical to the Army and to the nation. In addition to the organic industrial base, companies both large and small in the commercial base offer critical or hard-to-make products and services that ultimately result in critical systems that help maintain the U.S. military’s superiority. Yet fiscal austerity is likely to constrain U.S. spending on national security even as the Army faces growing complexities and multifaceted dangers. Some of those […]

In Hard Truth, New Opportunity

In Hard Truth, New Opportunity

Changing times call for Army and industrial base to collaborate on solutions   From The Army Acquisition Executive The Honorable Heidi Shyu   As we enter a new calendar year, the Army faces challenges of an evolving fiscal reality and the transition from wartime production to peacetime requirements. The Army and its industrial base must work together to address these issues head-on. The hard truth—sustaining readiness in this fiscally constrained environment—necessarily means fewer investments in the future. Budget uncertainty complicates the procurement landscape, but communication and cooperation will allow the Army and industrial base to meet our respective goals. Defense spending is projected to make up only 12 percent of […]

SPOTLIGHT: MR. JARED HIGGS

SPOTLIGHT: MR. JARED HIGGS

By Ms. Susan L. Follett Some of Jared Higgs’ earliest memories are of time spent with his father in his shop at the Red River Army Depot (RRAD), in Texarkana, Texas. So it’s no surprise that when the time came to determine his own career path, he followed his father and grandfather and became a heavy equipment mechanic. Altogether, three generations of his family have worked at the depot for a total of 60 years. “My dad has always been a mechanic, and since I was little, I was with him, working and watching. I can remember coming out to the depot to see his shop. I’ve always had some […]