Progress Report

Progress Report

Progress Report A Q&A with the Hon. Frank Kendall As the United States winds down its involvement in more than a decade of war, acquisition has been in a nearly constant state of change—from heating up to cooling down, from massive budgets to budget-tightening. Along the way came the Gansler Commission Report and Better Buying Power (BBP) 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. Efforts to carry out the recommendations of those seminal initiatives have shown some progress but continue to be hindered by outdated and often onerous processes and procedures, not to mention unwieldy bureaucracy. The Hon. Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (USD(AT&L)) since May 2012, has […]

Revamping Acquisition

Revamping Acquisition

April – June issue of Army AL&T magazine available online now By Steve Stark Fort Belvoir, VA, March 30, 2015—The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center announced today that the April – June 2015 edition of Army AL&T magazine, themed “revamping acquisition and lessons learned” is now available online now. The facets of acquisition are many, and not all of them are within the Army’s control. Revamping acquisition—the theme of this issue—requires teamwork, professionalism, planning, precision and skill, and in many ways, the Army is doing what it can to accomplish this already. Consider the DODwide Better Buying Power. BBP, begun in 2010, is on version 3.0 and is having the […]

Testing the Waters

Testing the Waters

ATEC, PEO C3T explore new paradigms for testing emerging technologies By MG Peter D. Utley and MG Daniel P. Hughes For as long as there has been a professional Army, there has been testing to make sure Soldiers get weapon systems that work. We are experts at testing tanks and trucks, howitzers and helmets, antennas and ammunition. But what about an Android app, downloaded in the field to a ruggedized smartphone or tablet? Or a commercially developed radio that adds range and drops weight every other year? These are the questions the Army test and acquisition communities are tackling today to align our testing approaches to the innovative and adaptable […]

Tooth to Tail

Tooth to Tail

PEO CS&CSS works to sharpen the Army’s teeth while trimming its tail By Ms. Munira Tourner and Mr. Michael Clow As the Army postures to succeed and win in this complex world, its Force 2025 and beyond campaign plan outlines the need to design and build a force that is more lethal, expeditionary and agile than today’s. At the same time, the new “U.S. Army Operating Concept: Win in a Complex World, 2020-2040,” spearheaded by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (­TRADOC), acknowledges that success in our complex world may well involve more than just firepower. Since Force 2025 emphasizes speed and lethality, significant opportunities exist to shape and […]

The Energy Circuit

The Energy Circuit

A roundup of projects and efforts to power change in Army energy By Army AL&T Staff Energy is one of the most important ways that the Army is going to get anywhere, much less to 2025 and beyond. The Army’s goal to deploy 1 gigawatt of renewable energy projects by 2025 will help ensure that its installations achieve high levels of energy security in the event of conventional grid outages. The military is also congressionally mandated to draw 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025, and the Army is the biggest single user of energy in the United States. Whether it’s through reduction and efficiency or through […]

‘Win in a Complex World’— But How?

‘Win in a Complex World’— But How?

TRADOC CG GEN David G. Perkins discusses meaning and challenges of new Army Operating Concept A generation of Army officers grew up knowing exactly who the enemy was. Clear lines divided the world into enemy and ally, closed and open, communist and free. The United States made a move, and the Soviet Union countered; the Soviets designed one kind of weapon system, and the United States differentiated its systems accordingly, constantly seeking an edge—until the stalemate cracked and the Soviet bloc walls came down, taking with them the assumptions underpinning Army doctrine. A younger generation knew another, more amorphous enemy, harder to pin down on a map: terrorism. The dividing […]

Always Connected

Always Connected

Satellite communications network enables more expeditionary Army to move beyond the FOB By Mr. Darren LeBlanc For the past 13 years, much of the Army fought from forward operating bases (FOBs). The FOBs housed command posts with well-established network infrastructure, which served as an information “home base” for troops between patrols. That approach was well-suited to the operational environment and counterinsurgency mission in Iraq and Afghanistan, but future contingencies and support operations—even the current Ebola response mission in West Africa—demand more flexibility. Command posts must be smaller and more agile to support rapid deployment. Forces must be able to connect to critical information while en route to a developing situation. Network […]

Industry Insight

Industry Insight

Looking beyond the ‘bathtub’ toward 2025 and beyond By Mr. Mark Signorelli Editor’s Note: This is the first in an occasional series of viewpoints from industry on how it can work with the Army and DOD to preserve essential capabilities for the warfighter. As the defense industry experiences the most challenging environment of the past three decades, we are forced to look to the future. We see the bottom of a sizable bathtub directly in front of us. A mere eight years ago, the defense industry was at its peak; today, our combat vehicle industrial base is at its lowest levels in our production history. In 2008, during the war […]

Technically Speaking: Simple is Hard

Technically Speaking: Simple is Hard

Explaining science plainly can lead to new insight—and a challenge By Dr. Roberto Trotta Technically Speaking is a new column for Army AL&T magazine. Its title is frankly ironic, because its aim is to challenge subject-matter experts to explain a highly technical job, a system or a concept in the plainest language possible. The point is that, as Dr. Jacques Gansler and many other former and present defense dignitaries have noted, DOD ­science and technology (S&T) experts often do not do the best job of explaining what they do and why it’s important. Every work specialty—from short-order cooking to high-rise construction to nuclear research—has its own language, which often is […]

Winning in a Complex World

Winning in a Complex World

Jan – March issue of Army AL&T magazine available online now By Steve Stark Fort Belvoir, VA, Jan 6, 2015—The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center announced today that the January – March 2015 edition of Army AL&T magazine is now available online. The magazine, themed “Force 2025 and Beyond,” takes a deep look into the future of the Army out to 2040. It includes a frank conversation with U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Commanding General, Gen. David. G. Perkins, who spearheaded the new “U.S. Army Operating Concept: Win in a Complex World, 2020-2040.” Perkins suggests that defense planning for the future should focus less on exactly what capabilities the […]