Competitive Development Group welcomes 2014 fellows

    The Director, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC), Craig Spisak, welcomes seven new Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) fellows during an orientation meeting at Defense Acquisition University on April 1, 2014. The three-year fellowship program offers developmental assignments in program executive offices, assistant secretary of the army for acquisition, logistics and technology offices, U.S. Army Materiel Command Headquarters and functional organizations providing expanded training and leadership development for future Army acquisition leaders.

    From the left: Walter Hamm, U.S. Army Contracting Command; Maurice Stephens, Engineering Center and Communications Electronics Command; Kyle Bruner, Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T); Monica Clemons, U.S. Army Contracting Command, Chandra Evansmitchell, CDG/AFF program manager; Craig Spisak, USAASC director, Lauren McNew, PEO C3T; Kelly Courtney, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support and David Oatley, PEO Ammunition. (Photo by Bob Coultas)

    For more information on the CDG/AAF program go to http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/competitive-development-group-army-acquisition-fellowship/

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

    Army AL&T magazine Senior Editor Peggy Roth talks about working with contributors to shape their stories to fit an issue’s theme at the magazine’s second annual writer’s workshop. At right is Claire Heininger, editor/lead writer for PEO C3T, who was guest speaker at the workshop. (Photo by Catherine DeRan, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center)


    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 Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), and a regular Army AL&T contributor, was guest speaker at the workshop.

    McCouch also announced the new online version of Army AL&T, available at http://usaasc.armyalt.com/. The new online version of the magazine offers a significantly improved interface, simpler navigation, and enables users to share stories with friends and colleagues and through social media.

    This year’s ALTies went to:

    Writers workshop guest speaker, Claire Heininger, receives her ALTies runner-up award for best photograph from Editor-in-Chief Nelson McCouch III at the second annual Army AL&T writer’s workshop, March 27. (Photo by Uri Bombasi, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center)

    BEST ARTICLE (tie)
    Wired for Success, by Lt. Col. Jeffery T. Yon and Mr. Jeffrey C. Faulkner, Reserve Component Automation Systems, Program Executive Office (PEO) Enterprise Information Systems, October–December 2013 issue.

    Path to Success, by Ms. Kelly Courtney, PM Force Projection, PEO Combat Support and Combat Service Support, January–March 2013 issue.

    First Runner-up
    It Takes a Team, by Col. (now Brig. Gen.) William E. Cole, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (OASA(ALT)), July–September 2013 issue

    Speaking of Savings, by Mr. Thom Hawkins, PEO Command, Control and Communications – Tactical, and Mr. Vince Dahmen, PEO Ammunition, October–December 2013 issue

    First Runner-up
    Driving Competition, by Lt. Col. T.J. Wright, Product Manager for Precision-Guided Missiles and Rockets, PEO Missiles and Space, April–June 2013 issue

    Total Logistics Integration, Product Director, U.S. Army Logistics Modernization Program, January–March 2013 issue

    First Runner-up
    Introducing Capability Set 13, by Ms. Claire Heininger, OASA(ALT), January–March 2013 issue

    The Five Phases of the Unit Set Fielding Process, PEO Command, Control and Communications – Tactical, April–June 2013 issue

    First Runner-up
    Tiered Technical Knowledge, C4ISR Integrated Process Team, July–September 2013 issue

    U.S. Army Logistics Modernization Program, PEO Enterprise Information Systems, October–December 2013 issue

    First Runner-up
    Connecting Tomorrow’s Warriors, PEO Command, Control and Communications – Tactical, October–December 2013 issue

    Army AL&T Magazine Writers Workshop Slide Presentation

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  • Joint Light Tactical Vehicle team wins Packard Award for acquisition excellence

    Full-pace, full-scope testing of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle prototypes began Sept. 3 and will last for 14 months. Photo by U.S. Army

    By Michael Clow


    WARREN, Mich. — Marking another sign of strength for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, joint program office leaders celebrated being named one of the four 2013 recipients of the Department of Defense (DOD) David Packard Award in Acquisition Excellence.

    The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, an Army-led effort partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps, is working to close a capability gap in existing light tactical vehicle fleets and give commanders a flexible, transportable, protected, networked, and reliable expeditionary vehicle capability.

    “I couldn’t be prouder of our teams and their tremendous efforts to keep JLTV on budget, on schedule, and with stable requirements despite tremendous uncertainty.”

    “The days of front lines and rear areas are gone,” said JLTV Project Manager Col. John R. Cavedo, U.S. Army. “Our objective is to eliminate the tradeoffs commanders have to make today between Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles and the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, and to give them a flexible, expeditionary, and networked vehicle able to handle tomorrow’s diverse challenges.”

    The David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award recognizes DOD civilian and/or military organizations, groups, or teams, whose significant contributions demonstrate exemplary innovation and best acquisition practices. The award recognizes achievements that exemplify the goals and objectives established for furthering life cycle cost reduction and acquisition excellence in DOD.

    “I couldn’t be prouder of our teams and their tremendous efforts to keep JLTV on budget, on schedule, and with stable requirements despite tremendous uncertainty. That speaks volumes about this team’s dedication and character,” said Mr. William Taylor, U.S. Marine Corps program executive officer for land systems.

    Commitment to the program, which has been identified with the defense strategic guidance, runs deep.

    “I’m fully committed to JLTV, and it’s absolutely what our Soldiers need. The JLTV program is tremendously well structured, affordable, and-most importantly-effectively addresses the warfighter’s real needs. My most sincere congratulations to the team for their great work thus far,” said Lt. Gen. William Phillips, principal military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology.

    “This award is a tremendous honor and recognition of the great teamwork between the Army and Marine Corps on this program,” said Kevin Fahey, the Army’s program executive officer for combat support & combat service support. “A collaborative, joint approach is essential to how we fight, and so it’s equally important to how we acquire interoperable future systems.”

    The JLTV program is currently in the testing portion of its 33-month engineering and manufacturing development phase, leading to an acquisition milestone and low rate initial production decisions in fiscal year 2015. The program has already been cited as a leader in implementing DOD’s Better Buying Power practices, and its innovative efforts substantially reduced costs, emphasized the benefits of competition in all phases, and shortened the acquisition timeline.

    Intended to replace a portion of the Army’s light tactical wheeled vehicle fleet and Marine Corps vehicles with the most demanding mission profiles, over the next three decades, the Army and Marine Corps expect to acquire a total of about 55,000 new vehicles.

    Members of the joint program office will accept the award at an upcoming Pentagon ceremony.

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  • Faces of the Force

    Template for Faces of the Force

    Former Marine Joe Wright brings a positive approach to second military career


    By Susan L. Follett


    FOTF: What do you do in the Army?

    WRIGHT: I serve as a system acquisition manager and systems acquisition project officer for PD AWS. In that role, I manage the modification requirements for two watercraft systems: LCM8s or “Mike Boats,” which provide utility, command and control, and light transport capabilities; and barge derrick cranes, which move heavy loads like the M1A2 Main Battle Tank from ship transports.

    These capabilities enable the Army’s amphibious and riverine operations and facilitate logistical support to joint operations and campaigns, including joint land operations and intra-theater transport of time-sensitive, mission-critical personnel and materiel.

    FOTF: What’s the biggest challenge you face? How do you overcome it?

    WRIGHT: For most of us in the acquisition community, the biggest challenge we face is predictable funding and execution. I’ve found that back-planning is the best way to be proactive to funding constraints. I look ahead 18 months, and plan our modification programs with the assumption that the funds we need will be available. My team and I make sure that everything is ready to proceed with a project once we get the funding we need. If the funding doesn’t come through, I slide the project to the right on the calendar by at least one quarter, and keep moving it back until the funds come through.

    At the same time, I keep a list of several small projects that we need to complete, so that we can capitalize on short-term funding opportunities. We’ll occasionally get a call that we’ve received an amount of funding that has to be used within the fiscal year, for example. We consult that list, and are immediately ready to capitalize on that windfall.

    FOTF: What has your experience been like? What do you enjoy most about your work?

    WRIGHT: My experience working with PEO CS&CSS is similar to my days as a Marine when we worked missions with the Army: the people I’ve encountered are professional and dedicated, and they’re what I enjoy most about my work. Our team includes veterans from all branches of the military, as well as some top-notch civilians, and it’s a pleasure to come to work and know that while we come from diverse backgrounds, we share the same pride in mission accomplishment.

    FOTF: What do you do when you’re not working?

    WRIGHT: My wife and I have five children and seven grandchildren, and are fortunate that they all live nearby. They all come home for dinner on Sundays, and I spend a lot of my free time babysitting for our grandchildren or helping our kids with home improvement projects at their houses. I recently completed the Marine Corps Marathon with two of my daughters, and in June, all five of my kids will join me in running a half-marathon in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    FOTF: How do your hobbies dovetail with your work?

    WRIGHT: I see my work as an extension of leading a family. As a parent, you set goals for your household and your children, provide them with the tools for success, and watch over them to ensure that goals are met. At work I have a similar role. I work to make sure that we meet our program goals, and provide assets to make sure they are met.

    In both roles, I try to get the best from the people around me. Life is too short to be unhappy at work, so I keep a positive outlook and try to capitalize on the diverse talents we all have to offer.

    FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in serving?

    WRIGHT: I started working as an Army civilian three years ago. The Army has provided me with a great second career and I really appreciate the opportunity to continue serving our men and women in uniform.

    This job has also given me an opportunity to develop and hone a variety of skills, including acquisition management, operations management, and leadership. I enjoy working with the acquisition professionals in PEO CS&CSS and have learned a lot from them, and I’ve been pleased by the mentorship that I have received — it’s a welcome feeling to know that my leadership sees the value I have to offer the Army and is willing to provide the support I need to be successful in my career.

    For more information, visit http://www.peocscss.army.mil/.


    • “Faces of the Force” is an online feature highlighting members of the Army Acquisition Workforce. Produced by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Communication Division, and working closely with public affairs officers, Soldiers and Civilians currently serving in a variety of AL&T disciplines are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

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