• Education key for contracting certification

    Sgt. 1st Class Oswald Pascal graduated in December 2013 from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio where he received a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences. He is in the process of accomplishing his remaining two classes to achieve his Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level II certification in contracting. (Photo by Daniel P. Elkins)

    By Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office

     

    JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (March 12, 2014) — Entering the Army Acquisition Corps necessitates enlisted Soldiers to meet specific education and certification requirements outlined in federal statutes in order to execute contracts on behalf of the government and maintain readiness.

    Soldiers in the 51C military occupational specialty attached to the Mission and Installation Contracting Command arrive having completed training on the basic fundamentals of contracting before promptly entering a carefully mapped training regimen under the observant direction of a mentor.

    Helping steer their development is the MICC 51C Contingency Contracting Officer Rotational Training Plan and a proficiency guide that outline a structured approach and defines training guidelines and participant responsibilities. The plan charts training, education and experience requirements on a rotational schedule alongside MICC civilian professionals allowing uniformed members to gain experience and certification necessary in performing operational contract support in garrison and during contingency operations.

    “Attaching Soldiers to the MICC was a deliberate decision by the Army Contracting Command to broaden their proficiency in contracting while increasing readiness,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Bowens, the MICC command sergeant major. “Accomplishing the necessary steps in a timely manner to achieve appropriate certification is at the core of readiness. I cannot overstate the importance of this as a critical mission component.”

    The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act, or DAWIA, sets forth core standards in acquisition and functional training as well as education and experience for contracting certification at three levels for both uniformed and civilian members in the workforce.

    Soldiers also have the opportunity to work toward certification by attending several in-resident courses to include the three-week Army Acquisition Foundation Course, four-week Army Basic Contracting Course and four-week Army Acquisition Intermediate Contracting Course in Huntsville, Ala., provided by the Army Acquisition Center of Excellence. The AACoE is a centralized training, education, and career development school for Army acquisition officers, noncommissioned officers, and Department of the Army civilians. The center integrates Army institutional training, education, and career development courses for the acquisition, logistics, and technology workforce.

    Earning certification
    Contracting experience essential for certification ranges from one year for DAWIA Level I certification to two years for Level II and four years for Level III. Eligible Soldiers and civilians may request to substitute a year of education for a year of experience when seeking their Level II and III certifications.

    Donna VanGilder is the chief of training and readiness for MICC Operations. She explained that the requirement for enlisted Soldiers to obtain certification is also coupled with their grade. Staff sergeants are required to obtain a minimum Level I certification; sergeants first class should attain their Level II certification; and those in the grade of master sergeant and above must achieve their Level III certification.

    Acquisition and functional training involve successfully completing multiple online and a few resident DAWIA courses in varied subjects to include contract planning, execution and management, cost and price analysis, contract structure and format, and Federal Acquisition Regulation fundamentals for basic certification. Intermediate courses explore legal considerations, source selection, managing government property, analyzing contract costs and negotiation. Advance certification training focuses on contracting for decision makers, construction contracting, cost accounting standards and acquisition law. Additional developmental training is also needed depending on the type of assignment and activity individuals represent.

    Perhaps proving most demanding for enlisted Soldiers in the 51C MOS is satisfying the education requirement, according to VanGilder.

    “A minimum education requirement of a bachelor’s degree in any field of study with at least 24 hours in business disciplines is required to obtain certification in the contracting career field,” she said.

    A threshold of certification is established by the office of the principle deputy to the Army acquisition executive. Civilian interns and officers enter the acquisition workforce already possessing the necessary education, and approximately 96 percent are certified or within the grace period of accomplishing their appropriate certification. VanGilder said approximately 34 percent of enlisted members have achieved their necessary certification level against a threshold of 94 percent.

    “Much of the delinquency is due to accomplishing the education requirement in time to obtain certification,” she said.

    While she anticipates that enlisted certification percentage to improve significantly in the next few months, is still falls below that necessary to ensure readiness.

    Key discriminator
    The decision to begin assessing uniformed members into the 51C contracting career field came about in late 2006 to meet the Army’s increasing need for contingency contracting officers. The integration of approximately 400 Soldiers to contracting offices throughout the MICC began in March 2013 as a means to streamline the span of control from oversight of uniformed service members stateside while enhancing their professional development.

    As the influx of enlisted Soldiers into the 51C MOS continues, education is becoming more of a discriminator due to certification requirements. This stipulation has become a key element in a competitive selection process to enter into the career field, according to career field officials.

    “NCOs are judged on a ‘total Soldier’ concept, with primary areas of emphasis consisting of completion of a bachelor’s degree and rated leadership time on an NCO evaluation report carrying the most significance,” said Master Sgt. Eric Sears, chief of the 51C Proponent NCO at the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center.

    Sears added other factors influencing selection include total time in service and letters of recommendation. Applications are now being accepted through April 4 for the next 51C selection board with results to be announced in May.

    Demanding duty
    Entering the 51C MOS comes with the recognition that its demands are not limited to civilian education and DAWIA certification as Soldiers also must maintain all aspects of readiness.

    “It can be really difficult since they still have to take into consideration family commitments, soldiering tasks such as weapons qualification and physical training, deployments and contingency training exercises,” VanGilder said.

    Soldiers begin their training with simplified contract actions alongside civilian contracting professionals. Simplified actions include the acquisition of supplies and services, including minor construction, research and development, and commercial items not exceeding a threshold of $150,000. They then move on to more complex contracts until they become proficient in all procedures making up the contracting lifecycle from pre-award and award to administration, including closeout.

    “Technical, hands-on training is a critical component in developing contracting skills,” Bowens said, “but achieving all aspects required of certification is necessary to remain committed to the Army profession.”

    The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter at Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2013, the command executed more than 43,000 contract actions worth more than $5.3 billion across the Army, including more than $2.1 billion to American small businesses. The command has also managed more than 780,000 Government Purchase Card Program transactions this fiscal year valued at an additional $880 million.

    Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles on the certification for contracting Soldiers. Following articles will highlight success stories and developmental benefits of obtaining certification.


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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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  • Guidance clarifies mandatory sources for contracted services

    From left, MICC small business specialists Annette Arkeketa-Rendon, Rosa Elmore and Deborah Word build awareness of policies during a 2012 internal business meeting in San Antonio. MICC small business specialists play a key role as advocates for American small business and nonprofit agencies in the acquisition process. (Photo courtesy of MICC Public Affairs)

    By Daniel Elkins

     

    JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (April 12, 2013) — Acquisition workforce members in the Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC) are following revised procedures aimed at ensuring equitable consideration between small businesses and nonprofit agencies for award of Army contracts.

    The MICC command policy memorandum on the required sources for the acquisition of service published March 18 provides explicit guidance on contracting sources to ensure appropriate acquisition strategy decision-making by MICC contracting officers, according to Lynette Ward, an assistant director for MICC Small Business Programs here.

    The guidance also ensures procurement actions meet statutory requirements established by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Part 8 of the FAR identifies required sources of supplies and services while Part 19 implements the use of small business programs.

    “It clarifies mandatory source procedures, stresses the importance of adequate market research, and provides a standardized decision-making process when developing acquisition strategies,” she said. “This will enable contracting officers to appropriately satisfy their zest for supporting both the AbilityOne program and maximizing opportunities for small business.”

    The policy requires members of the contracting workforce to accomplish necessary planning and market research to provide for the acquisition of commercial items and promote full and open competition to ensure that customer requirements are being met in the most efficient, effective, economical and timely manner. Procurement planning includes a determination of what sources exist to meet the government’s needs. The number and nature of the sources factor into that procurement strategy.

    The Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act requires the government to purchase available supplies or services on a procurement list from participating nonprofit agencies at prices established by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission. Those services may include janitorial and custodial, administrative, document management, call centers, fleet management, warehousing and distribution of federal supplies, full facility management, recycling, food service, laundry, and grounds maintenance.

    The commission sets and approves a fair market price for products and services on the procurement list when purchased from designated nonprofit agencies. For a commodity or service to be added to the procurement list, a set of criteria must be satisfied in accordance with federal codes.

    The FAR allows contracting officers to acquire services not on the procurement list from other sources. AbilityOne nonprofit agencies may continue to compete for such contracts without preference or priority unless a potential agency has its own status under a socioeconomic program.

    Ward said small business specialists located at MICC contracting offices throughout the nation are called upon to engage early in the acquisition process to provide guidance to contracting personnel and customers on the consideration of small business.

    “Supporting both the AbilityOne Program as well as small business programs such as woman-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses assists in strengthening our nation’s economy,” Ward said.

    She added the clarifying policy, available at the MICC SharePoint site, also benefits the command’s mission partners with the timely delivery of customer service.

    “Having clear guidance will expedite the procurement process, allowing contracting officers to engage the most effective strategies to meet customer needs,” Ward said.

    The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter throughout Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. Its primary supported activities include the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, U.S. Army North, U.S. Army Reserve Command and U.S. Army Medical Command.

    In fiscal 2012, the command executed more than 58,000 contract actions worth more than $6.3 billion across the Army, including more than $2.6 billion to small businesses. The command also managed more than 1.2 million Government Purchase Card Program transactions valued at an additional $1.3 billion.


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  • Strategic approach drives MICC realignment

    Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office

     

    JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — Mission and Installation Contracting Command officials realigned six field directorate offices into four Dec. 4 in a strategic effort to bring consistency to its operations and improve contract administration and oversight.

    The four field directorate offices will be located at Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Eustis, Va., Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Knox, Ky.

    Of the two other field directorates, MICC-Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington was realigned under Fort Bragg, and MICC-Fort Sam Houston is serving as the headquarters’ activity responsible for acquisitions not normally provided by other MICC elements as well as specialized contracting assignments for the MICC leadership. The command’s remaining 34 subordinate contracting offices located throughout the country and Puerto Rico will be administratively and operationally realigned under the four directorates.

    “The MICC continues to mature its oversight and responsive capabilities to meet the growing demands of our Soldiers and the acquisition community,” said Brig. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke, the MICC commanding general. “The realignment of contracting offices under field directorate offices restores a command-wide focus that supports our core mission of providing responsive contracting solutions and oversight for our customers.”

    Analysis for the organizational realignment began in mid-2012 and included an assessment of the command’s operational efficiency to determine a structure that would improve contract compliance and oversight of operations, provide strategic support to customers, and effectively utilize existing resources.

    Sarah Corley, a senior contracting professional in the MICC who helped lead the realignment integrated process team, said the selection of locations for field directorate offices came after thorough mission analysis and was based on their link with the command’s major customer groups.

    “The realignment provides a more strategic alignment with the customer base, in order to provide optimum opportunity for standardization of processes and products,” Corley said. “The realignment strikes a core balance between horizontal and vertical spans of control, leverages the strengths of pre-existing organizational components, enhances the ability to streamline and standardize MICC’s processes, achieves consistency of operations, enhances support to core customers, and provides a mechanism to measure results.”

    MICC officials met with field directors and their deputies here in October to conduct roundtable discussions on realignment that included procurement authorities and roles and responsibilities for the four field directorate offices to support their customers.

    The MICC’s major customers include the U.S. Army Forces Command and Reserve Command supported by MICC FDO-Fort Bragg; U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command supported by MICC FDO-Fort Eustis; U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command supported by MICC FDO-Fort Hood; and Department of the Army-level customers in the Military District of Washington supported by MICC FDO-Fort Knox.

    At the same time, the MICC is transferring Fort Wainwright, Alaska, Fort Dix, N.J., and Miami to other areas of the U.S. Army Contracting Command. California’s MICC-Moffett Field will assume oversight of contracting support actions at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.

    For the most part, the realignment should be transparent at the installation contracting officer and customer levels, according to Albert Jacob, the chief of MICC Contract Operations. He added that in the transition, some MICC offices reporting to a different field directorate office should coordinate with the staff at MICC Contract Operations to ensure proper visibility and compliance with acquisition and contracting procedures.

    The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter across Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2012, the command executed more than 58,000 contract actions worth more than $6.3 billion across the Army, including more than $2.6 billion to small businesses. The command also managed more than 1.2 million Government Purchase Card Program transactions valued at an additional $1.3 billion.
     


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  • MICC member earns Army award

    Deborah Ault is a winner of the 2012 Secretary of the Army Award for Excellence in Contracting for her efforts to increase contract opportunities for people with significant disabilities. She is the chief of the contracts division for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Knox, Ky. (Photo Credit: Stephen Moore)

    Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office

     

    JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — The chief of the contracts division for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Knox, Ky., is a winner of the 2012 Secretary of the Army Award for Excellence in Contracting for her efforts to increase contract opportunities for people with significant disabilities.

    Deborah Ault was recognized for her support of the AbilityOne Program, which offers several products and a wide range of services to the federal government. She worked closely with National Industries for the Severely Handicapped, or NISH, managers to identify contract requirements to be added to the procurement list increasing employment opportunities not only for the blind and severely handicapped, but also for wounded veterans.

    “I feel honored and am very pleased to have been selected for this award,” Ault said. “Support of the AbilityOne Program is the easiest part of my job and, in my opinion, one of the most important.”

    Ault, who has more than 30 years of acquisition and leadership experience, is responsible for reviewing incoming contract requirements to identify those that may be suitable for the procurement list. The federal procurement list identifies supplies and services that are required to be purchased from AbilityOne and its participating nonprofit agencies.

    “This is a win win,” she said. “The AbilityOne mission is to provide employment opportunities for people who want to work, are very capable of working, but have difficulty finding or competing for jobs on their own.”

    She was instrumental in the award of two contracts — one to the NISH and one to a NISH nonprofit agency — following a market research and education process between both the requiring activity and NISH managers to add contracted services to the procurement list.

    “The misperception is that work can’t be accomplished, or accomplished well, by people with disabilities. I believe many people assume that individuals with disabilities have limited skills,” Ault said. “Additionally, many people seem to be uncomfortable around individuals with disabilities. Disabilities can be physical or cognitive, and there are not many jobs that these folks can’t do as well as people without disabilities. It is part of my job to help educate our customers and to make them feel more comfortable with this program.”

    A contract for facilities maintenance services was awarded to the NISH that was combined with the Fort Knox custodial services requirement valued at approximately $121 million for the base and four one-year option periods. Award of this contract led the NISH to identify the installation as its center of excellence for total facilities management and begin the standup of a training program at Fort Knox for its nonprofit partners at no cost to the government. The aim of the center of excellence is to expand business opportunities for the NISH and its participating nonprofit agencies across the Department of Defense.

    Additionally, she played a critical role in the award of a contract for Human Resources Command call center services to be awarded to a NISH non-profit agency valued at $17 million for the base and four one-year option periods.

    Ault said both of the contracts provide great potential for employment of people with significant disabilities. The facilities maintenance services contract includes the employment of about 200 people, and the call center services contract employs another 65-70 people.

    The work by Ault also indirectly benefits this nation’s wounded warriors. The NISH works closely with Fort Knox veterans support groups, including the Warrior Transition Unit, to identify potential employees for these and other Ability One contracts at Fort Knox. To date more than 15 service-disabled veterans have been hired and more are being identified, said Ault.

    “A very small percentage of government contracts are in the AbilityOne program. I consider it part of my mission to increase that number,” she said.

    As contracts division chief for MICC-Fort Knox, Ault is responsible for managing the work of her team, which includes 23 civilian employees and 10 contingency contracting Soldiers. She works closely with division team leaders to allocate workload assignments ensuring an opportunity to learn a variety of contracting processes. In support of the MICC’s integration efforts, she helps ensure military members assigned at Fort Knox receive the technical, hands-on training necessary to prepare for their contracting roles during deployment. She is also responsible for providing guidance and advice to co-workers, team members, customers and contractors.

    The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter across Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2012, the command executed more than 58,000 contract actions worth more than $6.3 billion across the Army, including more than $2.6 billion to small businesses. The command also managed more than 1.2 million Government Purchase Card Program transactions valued at an additional $1.3 billion.
     


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