• Reuseable Metrics

    Standardized Measures of Performance Framework enables consistent assessment of Army network capability

     

    By Mr. Michael Badger, Dr. Dennis Bushmitch, Mr. Rick Cozby and Mr. Brian Hobson

    “The testing of complex networks and their capabilities can be time- and resource-intensive, with minimal potential to reuse the test event’s capability.”

    The Army’s adoption of the Agile Process to enable rapid technology insertion led the three agencies charged to execute this process—the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Brigade Modernization Command (BMC) and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT))—to organize as the TRIAD and develop the needed measurement framework.

    The TRIAD intended that the measurement framework would establish consistent, reusable, traceable, standardized performance and effectiveness metrics across the Agile Process. More specifically, the TRIAD envisioned that this framework would preserve resources and reduce risk in planning and executing the culminating activity of the Agile Process, a Network Integration Evaluation (NIE).

    The testing of complex networks and their capabilities can be time- and resource-intensive, with minimal potential to reuse the test event’s capability. Testing without well-defined analytic objectives and repeatable measures of performance (MoPs) can waste time and money. Furthermore, without an Armywide objective standard for test and evaluation (T&E) metrics, the results will be less than compelling for senior decision-makers. Different organizations supporting the Agile Process and NIE events often misinterpret, inappropriately apply or reinvent the current set of network-related MoPs for each application (e.g., a T&E event).

    The complex system-of-systems (SoS) solutions that comprise the Army’s network demand a measurement framework with traceable and credible measures, encompassing the interaction among various network layers; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems; and the technical requirements that underpin them. Beginning with the FY12 NIE events, an enduring MoP Framework emerged as a potential solution standard, developed by ASA(ALT), ATEC, BMC, the federally funded research and development center MITRE Corp., and subject-matter experts (SMEs) from the Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T).

    THE FRAMEWORK
    The MoP Framework, which the TRIAD has used successfully and has matured during the planning and/or execution of five NIEs, achieves the following:

    • Standardizes the terms of reference for each individual MoP and its application.
    • Defines instrumentation considerations and practices in support of MoPs.
    • Enables organizations using the MoPs to establish traceability to credible source documentation (operational and analytic requirements).
    • Allows organizations to determine the gap(s) in MoP availability, application maturity and definition in a visual manner through the use of graphics.
    • Allows organizations to re-prioritize the MoPs within each graphical representation according to analytic engineering or T&E requirements.
    • Allows simple, graphical communication of T&E and analytic requirements among organizations from an operational perspective and at multiple levels (system, SoS, mission command tasks and operational effectiveness).
    • Standardizes the units of measurement.
    • Mitigates the errors in interpretation, instrumentation, and data collection, reduction and analysis approaches.

    FIGURE 1: FRAME OF REFERENCE This is a graphic representation of a map for an operational capability category and subcategory. The graphic also illustrates the inclusion and alignment of various reference attributes, such as layers, information exchange requirement (IER), data types and source MoPs. SMEs and organizations create and tailor different MoP maps for different operational capability subcategories, systems and/or SoSs within a subcategory. (See definitions in Figure 2) (SOURCE: Dr. Dennis Bushmitch, ASA(ALT) System of Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate (SoSE&I))

    METHODOLOGY
    The key new concept introduced in the enduring MoP Framework is called a MoP map.

    Figure 1 represents such a map for an operational capability category and subcategory. (See definitions in Figure 2) Figure 1 also illustrates the inclusion and alignment of various reference attributes, such as layers, data types and source MoPs. SMEs and organizations create and tailor different MoP maps for different operational capability subcategories, systems and/or SoSs within a subcategory.

    The vertical axis of the MoP map relates top-level mission effectiveness MoPs to lower-level waveform, spectrum and radio frequency (RF) MoPs. The horizontal axis relates operational mission threads, applications, information exchanges and data types within a given system or SoS operational capability category. The attributes along this horizontal axis allow for MoP alignment to a variety of mission threads (i.e., call for fire); applications and information exchanges (i.e., message type); and data types (i.e., voice and video).

    FIGURE 2: LAYERS OF CAPABILITY The MoP Framework employs several reference attributes to support the standardization and traceability of requirements. These reference attributes correlate to credible operational capability categories and subcategories, align to layers of user application, are traceable to data types, and feature a source reference set of credible and established metrics. This graphic also depicts a unique numbering schema for each subcategory to preserve originality and allow for traceability. (SOURCE: Mr. Brian Hobson, ASA(ALT) SoSE&I)

    The MoP Framework employs several reference attributes to support the standardization and traceability of requirements. These attributes, as Figure 2 shows, correlate to credible operational capability categories and subcategories, align to layers of user application, are traceable to data types, and feature a source reference set of credible and established metrics. The MoP map accomplishes the following functionality:

    • Aligns MoPs to operational capability categories and subcategories, enabling credible application to operational systems.
    • Maps MoPs to user application layers, allowing flexibility.
    • Enables traceability of MoPs to application data types, enabling their reusability and completeness across operational capabilities.
    • Aligns credible, applicable and reusable metrics, increasing efficiency across a user community from multiple organizations
      • Establishes relationships among different MoP maps by cross-referencing graphical tools
      • Provides a powerful graphical representation tool for traceability to the parent operational requirement and MoP
      • Provides a simple reference scheme for easy identification and traceability of MoP types, the MoP system layer and the operational capability type.
    • Establishes and standardizes definitions and units of measurement.

    CAPABILITY CATEGORIZATION
    The MoP Framework developers identified, developed and defined a set of operational capability areas that encompass the potential system—Capability Set (CS), System Under Test, System Under Evaluation and network capabilities envisioned as part of the Agile Process. Figure 2 defines these operational capability areas and categorization, and depicts a unique numbering schema for each subcategory to preserve originality and allow for traceability.

    The intent of these defined operational capability categories is to align operational gaps with projected needs and requirements into operational capability categories, and to establish, define and employ consistent, credible and reusable metrics. These metrics, in turn, inform and characterize the performance and effectiveness of operational capability to satisfy defined requirements. Because these metrics have different attributes that they must align to and support, the MoP maps were developed with three different attribute alignment considerations: network layers, data types and MoP sources, as follows:

    Network layers—Layering is an accepted approach to focusing and constraining the complexity in technical network analysis. The complete set of MoP Framework layers include: mission effectiveness; mission threads; application; Common Operating Environment (COE)/security; network routing/quality of service; network transport; waveform; and spectrum/RF. The vertical axis of “layering” in the MoP Framework in Figure 1 has evolved and matured through application to include high-fidelity measurement needs at the bottom of the axis (i.e., spectrum, RF and waveform), transitioning to lower-fidelity measurement needs at the top of the axis (i.e., mission effectiveness and mission threads).

    FIGURE 3: MOP HEIRARCHY In developing the MoP Framework and the individual MoP maps, the analytic community, led by TRADOC, developed a hierarchy to categorize essential elements of analysis (EEAs) against operational issues for analysis planning. The operational capability and systems categories and the MoPs defined in this standardized framework are aligned against this hierarchy. MoPs maintain mapping to this hierarchy to facilitate relevant and credible analysis planning. (SOURCE: Chris Morey, TRADOC Analysis Center)

    Data types—As depicted in the generic MoP Framework, several data types within each operational capability subcategory could apply to different MoPs. The horizontal axis in Figure 1 relates the various operational mission threads, applications, information exchanges and data types toward one another within a given system or SoS category. The traceability of MoPs within data types between different operational capability subcategories allows analysts to cross-reference MoP maps.

    Measures of performance sources—In developing the MoP Framework and the individual MoP maps, the TRIAD leveraged a body of work led by the TRADOC Analysis Center to identify a framework for Agile Process analytic requirements. (See Figure 3.) This analytic framework established a hierarchy of operational issues and essential elements of analysis, allowing for a credible and traceable source of MoPs.

    FRAMEWORK APPLICATION
    Figure 4 shows the application of the MoP Framework methodology to the Mission Command (MC) Display Hardware operational capability subcategory.

    FIGURE 4: FRAMEWORK This graphic illustrates the application of the MoP Framework methodology to the MC Display Hardware operational capability subcategory, moving hierarchically through mission threads, IERs and data types. (SOURCE: MR. Brian Hobson, ASA(ALT) SoSE&I)

    As depicted in Figure 5, the performance MoPs are predominantly in the area of SoS operational issues. Figure 5 also depicts the evolving and maturing capability of the MoP Framework maps, as the MoPs for the COE/security layer have yet to be developed and coordinated.

    Each MoP has a unique number. This numbering schema allows analysts and evaluators to leverage the MoP Framework for MC Display Hardware and import the information to event- or system-specific data source matrices, while still maintaining the traceability and origin of these MoPs.

    FIGURE 5: PERFORMANCE MOPS Performance MoPs are predominantly in the area of SoS operational issues. Each MoP has a unique number. This numbering schema allows analysts and evaluators to leverage the MoP Framework for MC Display Hardware and import the information to event- or system-specific data source matrices, while still maintaining the traceability and origin of these MoPs. (SOURCE: Mr. Brian Hobson, ASA(ALT) SoSE&I)

    CONCLUSION
    By identifying and aligning MoPs for each operational capability subcategory, the MoP Framework provides credible and traceable metrics for analysts that are reusable across Agile Process activities and between organizations in support of a particular application (i.e., event). This reusability is based on repeated application of operational capability and the repeated need to measure operational performance and utility.

    SUPPORTING THE AGILE PROCESS An NIE is the culminating activity of the Agile Process. Here, SPC Rockne Foster, right, a multichannel transmission systems operator-maintainer assigned to 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 1st Armored Division, inspects the outside of a billeting shelter of the expeditionary combat outpost (ExCOP) May 20 before disassembling it. Soldiers spent three weeks evaluating the durability and energy efficiencies of the ExCOP at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., during NIE 13.2. (Photo by Sgt. Janelle Dean, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

    The standardization of a MoP Framework Armywide will promote cost avoidance by reducing the re-creation of testing objectives and streamlining instrumentation planning. The implementation of a unified MoP Framework will also give greater validity to the operational relevance of testing. Analytic requirements exchanged between organizations using this standardized construct provide for clear cost-evaluation guidelines, prioritization and traceable evaluation.

    For more information, please contact Dr. Dennis Bushmitch (dennis.bushmitch.civ@mail.mil, 410-322-2054) or Mr. Brian Hobson (bhobson@trideum.com, 913-544-5101).


    MR. MICHAEL BADGER is a senior network engineer for PEO C3T. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Rutgers College of Engineering and an MBA from Monmouth University. He was a resident senior executive fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2010. Badger is Level III certified in systems planning, research, development and engineering (SPRDE) – systems engineering and is a member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps (AAC).

    DR. DENNIS BUSHMITCH is an inventor and prolific technical author, and has been a chief analyst for several Army programs. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of the New York University. He is Level III certified in SPRDE – systems engineering and is a member of the AAC.

    MR. RICHARD “RICK” COZBY is the deputy director for SoS engineering and integration within the Office of the ASA(ALT). He holds a B.E. in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University, an M.S. in administration from Central Michigan University, and an M.A. in management and leadership from Webster University. He is Level III certified in program management and in test and evaluation, and is a member of the AAC.

    MR. BRIAN HOBSON is a senior analyst, senior program manager and deputy director for Trideum Corp., Huntsville, Ala.. He holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.S. in operations research from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He is a lifetime member of the International Test and Evaluation Association and the Military Operations Research Society.

    Contributing to this article were Mr. Vince Baxivanos, Ms. Christina L. Bouwens, Dr. Melanie Bragg, Dr. Nancy M. Bucher, Ms. Karen Drude, Ms. Diane Eberly, Mr. Derek Erdley, Mr. Na Gaither, Mr. Omar Gutierrez, Dr. John Harwig, Mr. Anthony W. Harriman, Mr. Michael S. Jessee and Dr. Chris Morey.

     

     
     

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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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  • ATEC shares opportunities, opens dialogue with contract partners

    ATEC Commanding General Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco addresses contract partners during the Team APG Advance Planning Briefing for Industry Dec. 5. (Photo Credit: Mrs. Robin Boggs (ATEC))

    Robin Boggs

     

    ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Senior leaders from across the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command shared opportunities for test and evaluation contracts with members of industry and small business during the ATEC segment of the Advance Planning Briefing for Industry and Small Business Forum at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Dec. 5.

    Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco, commanding general of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, welcomed all contract partners from across the country as part of the three-day event that was the first of its kind at APG. The segment also included a command overview from Brian Simmons, ATEC executive technical director, and all of ATEC’s directors shared opportunities for contracts with the crowd.

    The leaders hoped to not only provide information on contract opportunities, but to open dialogue with potential contract partners. Providing vendors with as much information needed to meet the command’s requirements for contract bids is critical as is understanding vendors and their needs. As ATEC strives to become more affordable and more effective, developing positive partnerships is more critical than ever.

    Dellarocco provided potential vendors with two key takeaways: embracing interdependency and changing the way we do business, both while remaining affordable and effective.

    “We’re looking for ways to become interdependent to be affordable and more effective,” Dellarocco told the members. “Not just more effective, but making testing and evaluation more efficient.” Now that Network Integration Evaluations are a part of Army acquisition, Dellarocco indicated that contract partners would see a change in the way ATEC, and the Army, does business.

    Kelly Hacker, chief of the Small Arms and Head Protection Branch for Aberdeen Test Center, talks with a contract vendor sabout ATC during the Team APG Industry Day Dec. 5. (Photo Credit: Christina Bryant)

    One of those ways is by incorporating Lean Six Sigma, or LSS, practices to create efficiencies and aid in cost avoidance across the command. Efficiencies were not only developed in processes (with total savings to date at approximately $727 million), but ATEC was also able to harness that in human resource areas as well.

    “We invest in our people. We’ve taken LSS and made it as much about taking care of people as finding efficiencies,” said Dellarocco. “We’re looking at how we train them; we send them to school; and we provide them developmental opportunities — all of these things serve to raise their skill levels.”

    Harnessing LSS to create efficiencies and develop personnel provides a more affordable way for the command to do business with customers and potential contract partners.

    Another important part of personnel development is ensuring the workforce, whether military, civilian or contractor, are cared for and free from harassment. “We’re taking harassment of any kind seriously to provide our workforces with a positive environment where they can thrive,” said Dellarocco. He expressed to vendors that the Army and ATEC are committed to a harassment-free environment, and he has an open-door policy for reporting incidents to ensure all are protected.

    Embracing interdependency remains crucial for ATEC. Interdependency is a concept that has become increasingly popular during a time of fiscal austerity for the military.

    “Overseas contingency operations money flowed in, customers came in with buckets of money, and we executed,” Dellarocco said. “It got sloppy sometimes, but we learned things we need not do any longer. We became dependent on each other, and that interdependency helped us structure contracts that would do everything so contracting remains affordable.”

    As ATEC strives to keep things affordable and efficient, it’s the interdependency that has allowed the command to integrate testing to save customers and the Army money while delivering capabilities earlier to the warfighter. “Integrated testing reduces costs even more, reduces test design risk because we learn more earlier in the lifecycle of a system, and it provides more effective means to get the data we are actually seeking,” he said.

    Across the board, ATEC is changing its culture and its thinking, to develop better business practices and relationships with contract partners. “We’re changing up how we manage contracts and providing a framework to help you achieve more successful bids,” said Brian Simmons, executive technical director of ATEC. “It’s a more corporate view.”

    A passerby drives the ATC Roadrunner simulated course, which is designed to showcase the US Army Aberdeen Test Center's ability to test military vehicles. (Photo Credit: Christina Bryant)

    The change up is in part a response to contract partners needing a more user-friendly way to bid on opportunities with the command. Since ATEC touches nearly everything the Army needs to test, vice medical and uniforms, it is critical that discussions in ways to clarify bidding requirements are open and of value.

    Simmons also touched on the importance of interdependency. To support the Army’s new agile process, ATEC’s largest developmental test range now hosts the majority of the command’s operational tests. “It forces us to integrate in a healthy way and changes our interdependency,” he said.

    ATEC has an intense workload conducting nearly 1,100 test events daily — a number that has been constant for nearly 20 years. Those test events correlate to roughly 10 million direct labor hours on ATEC ranges across the country. Those numbers have been decreasing steadily, but none of ATEC’s ranges seem to be adversely affected by the down turn. During a time of fiscal uncertainty, maintaining relevance is critical for business.

    “No range goes out of business; no range falls [in direct labor hours] faster,” he said. The way ATEC manages the ranges is a reason for that stability. ATEC leverages its ranges to avoid duplicity, which has created an interdependency that allows the command to contract and operate like never before.

    All the efficiencies ATEC creates aren’t just benefiting the command, they’re benefiting contract partners too. “Everyone sees big savings in not sending contractors on safari,” Simmons said. “We’re identifying where we already have capabilities on the front end, like during the NIE for example, so we aren’t duplicating efforts in three places.”

    In addition to saving on contractor travel, ATEC is bundling multiple contracts rather than sending contracts piecemeal to the same contractor. It enhances accountability and visibility for ATEC and its contract partners.

    “Bringing costs down while we’re on a mission and organizing contractors to package capabilities, requires interdependency,” said Simmons. “We’re an enterprise and engagement with industry is vital to what we do.”

    It’s evident that ATEC leaders are dedicated to transforming business practices to stay affordable and effective, and contract partner feedback and participation will have an important role in shaping the future.

    “It’s clear that we can’t execute this mission without you,” said David Jimenez, director of the Army Evaluation Center. “You’re integral to our being effective and we want to ensure that what we’re asking for is clear and you know what we’re looking for.

    “Take advantage of the opportunities being presented here at the conference and ask questions — join the team.”

    ATEC is the premier test and evaluation organization in the Department of Defense valued by customers and decision makers for providing essential information that ensures warfighters have the right capabilities for success across the entire spectrum of operations. For briefings of potential contracting opportunities and other APBI Industry Day content visit: http://cecom.army.mil/smallbusiness/teamapgapbi.html.

     
     


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  • Operational Test Command completes Network Integration Evaluation 13.1

    Testers, Soldiers, engineers and combat developers completed the fourth iteration of a series of semi-annual field exercises, called Network Integration Evaluations, at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N. M., just in time to get everyone home for the holidays. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo)

    Eloise Lundgren

     

    ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Dec. 11, 2012) –Testers, Soldiers, engineers and combat developers completed the fourth iteration of a series of semi-annual field exercises, called Network Integration Evaluations, at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N. M., just in time to get everyone home for the holidays.

    Managed by a group known as the Network Integration Evaluation, or NIE, “TRIAD”– Army Test and Evaluation Command, System of Systems Integration Directorate and Brigade Modernization Command — NIE 13.1 included several program tests for record, additional tests for record from distributed sites and less formal assessments called SUEs, which is short for Systems Under Evaluation. NIEs are designed to integrate and mature the Army’s tactical network and accelerate the way network technologies are delivered to soldiers through integrated “capability sets” of communications gear.

    “The pace of NIEs is fast,” said Col. Joseph Martin, commander, U.S. Army Operational Test Command, an ATEC subordinate command. “With one NIE executed every six months and others simultaneously in various stages of planning, the coordination of effort among the multiple Army organizations and industry partners is monumental.”

    “But with this iteration being the fourth in the series,” Martin continued, “we were able to apply lessons learned from the three previous NIE’s and streamline our integration efforts on this one.”

    The Army applied several lessons learned from NIE 12.2, such as system of systems training for Soldiers, streamlined testing, upfront integration of hardware and instrumentation, increased industry participation, and reduced individual system costs, re-engineering costs and infrastructure costs, he explained.

    Testers, Soldiers, engineers and combat developers completed the fourth iteration of a series of semi-annual field exercises, called Network Integration Evaluations, at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N. M., just in time to get everyone home for the holidays. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo)

    With OTC’s Integrated Test and Evaluation Directorate, led by Col. Dave Wellons, taking the lead on NIE 13.1 for ATEC, nearly 5,000 Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilian employees and contractors converged in the desert along the borders of west Texas and eastern New Mexico, joined by the 1st Armored Division’s 2nd Brigade. Soldiers with 2/1 AD, as the test player unit, executed training scenarios that helped determine whether systems and equipment were effective, suitable and survivable, Martin said.

    Some of the equipment, systems and technology operational testers looked at included Nett Warrior (ground soldier communication system), M109 Paladin Integrated Management, or PIM, artillery system, Spider networked munitions system, Joint Battle Command-Platform communication system, and the RAM Warn (counter rocket, artillery, mortar system), Wellons said.

    Col. Quinton Arnold, director, OTC’s Maneuver Test Directorate, led the efforts of managing systems under test.

    “It’s all about the data and operational realism,” Arnold said. “Our test teams, working with BMC and the player unit, did a lot of excellent work to ensure these two elements were maintained, resulting in a successful operational test.”

    The final report by ATEC-AEC will help Army leaders to make acquisition decisions, according to Robin Boggs, ATEC public affairs officer.

    Testers, Soldiers, engineers and combat developers completed the fourth iteration of a series of semi-annual field exercises, called Network Integration Evaluations, at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N. M., just in time to get everyone home for the holidays. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo)

    NIE 13.1 was Martin’s first experience with the semi-annual series since taking command of OTC in July, and it was truly a team effort, he said.

    “Everyone involved in this effort makes each NIE successful because they are willing to put aside their organizational allegiances for the sake of a better-integrated solution for the soldier,” Martin said. “Everyone realizes the importance of remaining flexible as the NIE process continues to evolve.”

    According to Martin, although ATEC was the senior TRIAD partner, ATEC’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco, gave OTC the primary role of executing the NIE mission.

    “I don’t think we could find a more professional group of people than those from the System of Systems Integration Directorate, Brigade Modernization Command and of course the Army Test and Evaluation Command to execute this mission,” Wellons said.

     
     


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