Faces of the Force: Brad Costello

Faces of the Force: Brad Costello

POSITION AND UNIT: Operations officer, Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems, Program Executive Office for Ammunition YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 5 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II, program management; Level I, business and financial management EDUCATION: B.A. in business administration, Centenary College AWARDS: Commander’s Award for Civilian Service Never enough time By Susan L. Follett Brad Costello is good at juggling. “I usually have 10 or 15 taskers open at one time, in addition to my usual work. There’s never enough time in my day.” As operations officer for Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems (PM CAS) in the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Ammunition, Costello and his team answer “about 400 to […]

Dogs of War

Dogs of War

Dogs are no strangers to war. Indeed, it’s likely that canine militarization is as old as canine domestication. Historical accounts of dogs participating in warfare date at least as far back as the middle of the seventh century B.C. According to a 1915 article in The New York Times, the Egyptians used dogs in war in the fifth century B.C., and “it is certain that no metaphor was intended by Shakespeare when he made Antony exclaim, ‘Cry “havoc” and let slip the dogs of war.’ ” In the November-December 1970 issue of this magazine’s predecessor publication, Army Research and Development magazine, the article “Canine Caution Warns Troops of Concealed Dangers” […]

History in the Making

History in the Making

By Steve Stark FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Every edition of the U.S. Army Weapon Systems handbook since 1989 is now available in the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center’s new online archive. Since 1989, the U.S. Army Weapon Systems Handbook has served as a critical reference document that informs key stakeholders and audiences—primarily Congress—about high-priority Army acquisition programs in a comprehensive and understandable format, while presenting essential information reflecting the strategic context in which the Army operates. Each handbook provides critical information through visual and written program profiles that describe each system’s purpose, capability, program status, projected activities and interdependencies with other key systems. Many of the systems from the first […]

Faces of the Force: James C. Risner

Faces of the Force: James C. Risner

POSITION: Pentagon Liaison, Program Executive Office for Ammunition TOTAL YEARS OF SERVICE: 31 (3 years in the Marine Corps; 28 years as an Army civilian) AWARDS: Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service (2), Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service (2), 2002 Award for Excellence in Ammunition Management (GS-14/15) EDUCATION: M.S. in management, Florida Institute of Technology; Certificate of Advanced Studies in public administration, Syracuse University; B.S. in criminal justice and B.A. in public administration, Truman State University Opening the Door to Opportunities By Susan L. Follett When opportunity knocks, you have to open the door. Some people, like Jim Risner, just go on out to the front porch and […]

CRL Graduates to Government Work

CRL Graduates to Government Work

A nontraditional defense contractor success story By Michael Klein and James Cummiskey Late last year, the Army Contracting Command–New Jersey (ACC-NJ) awarded the contract for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the Autonomous Mine Detection System (AMDS) to Carnegie Robotics, LLC (CRL). The signing of the contract, awarded on behalf of the Program Executive Officer for Ammunition and the Project Manager for Close Combat Systems (PM CCS), was a proud moment for the entire acquisition team, which had invested months of effort to reach that goal. From a contracting perspective, the award also highlighted a larger success story that began several years earlier, when ACC-NJ awarded a competitive project […]

Kenneth M. Insco

Kenneth M. Insco

UNIT: Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS), PEO Ammunition POSITION: Deputy Product Director AAC MEMBER SINCE: 1999 TOTAL YEARS OF ARMY SERVICE: 33 AWARDS: Army Packard Award, DOD Value Engineering Award, Army’s Greatest Inventions EDUCATION: M.S. in quality systems management, the National Graduate School of Quality Management; B.S. in mechanical engineering technology, University of Tennessee at Martin   What do you do and why is it important to the warfighter? As deputy product director, I lead four NH-IV team leads and six GS project management engineers with responsibility for the development, production and fielding of cannon caliber munitions (20 mm, 25 mm, LW30 mm, 30 mm x 173 mm […]

Training Boom

Training Boom

Suite of trainers for towed artillery systems blends realism, modularity By Maj. Daniel Cowling and Mr. Joshua Zawislak   Engineers from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) and the Army’s project manager for towed artillery systems (PM TAS) have been collaborating on an innovative training package that will take an avatar-based gaming approach to training for the M777A2 and M119A3 towed howitzers. The current overseas conflict has required Soldiers and Marines to deploy for extended periods in nonstandard missions, without their howitzers and performing jobs outside their normal military occupational specialties (MOSs). While this flexibility has been essential to managing a complex conflict, often it has […]

Clause For Effect

Clause For Effect

ARDEC and JMC aim to simplify procurement and reduce cost of conventional ammo with new contract clause   By Mr. Steve Stark   The U.S. Army Armament, Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) and the Joint Munitions Command (JMC) in the next few months will begin a pilot of a contract clause that should allow for a uniform, integrated approach to help conventional ammunition suppliers comply with acceptance inspection equipment (AIE) requirements while encouraging them to follow commercial best practices. “Inspection is essential to any manufacturing system. It’s the means of identifying and rejecting nonconformities, thus ensuring that only conforming product gets to the warfighter,” said Jennifer Herrera, a quality […]

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

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

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

Picatinny scaling up in-house chemicals production to shun higher costs

Picatinny scaling up in-house chemicals production to shun higher costs

By Audra Calloway   ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (March 10, 2014) — Picatinny scientists and engineers have established a pilot production facility to create the Army’s only in-house process for scaling up chemical compounds, a move that could save money by not having to rely on costlier compounds from outside suppliers. The Picatinny engineers are manufacturing tetranitrocarbazole, or TNC, the compound that serves as the “first-fire” composition for pyrotechnics, such as illumination rounds, signal grenades, mortars and artillery rounds. The “first fire” is what starts ignition within the system. “This is the only pilot facility like it in the Army, and ARDEC is trying to leverage its expertise for developing manufacturing […]