Monthly Archives

October 2013

Recent leadership program graduates prepare to mentor the next generation

By | Career Development

By Darrell Whitehurst

 

FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Seven Army acquisition professionals are recent graduates of this year’s Excellence in Government Fellows (EIGF) program conducted by the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C., taking with them a new-found view and approach to become effective leaders and mentors for the next generation of Army acquisition professionals.

This year-long leadership development program is specifically designed for government acquisition professionals offering hands-on leadership development for project managers and other acquisition professionals who are competitively selected at the GS-14 and 15 grade levels and in some cases, high-performing GS-13 professionals.

The purpose of the program is quite simple, but no small feat: transform managers into leaders.

“It has truly been one of the best leadership programs that I have participated in within the Army,” said Karen Arnold, one of this year’s graduates and the director of logistics at Program Executive Office (PEO) Ground Combat Systems. “It really raises the self-awareness and self discovery of who you are as a leader.”

The Partnership for Public Service Fellows is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works. The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center began the EIGF program in October 2009 graduating 60 acquisition professionals to date.

Selected fellows remain in their full-time jobs and meet every six weeks for a total of 20 days throughout the year. On average, fellows devote up to five hours per week on course projects and are required to participate in training events in Washington, D.C. and other locations across the country.

“The program also provided many valuable tools that can be utilized immediately on the job to help not only your leadership ship skills, but you as a person as well,” said Arnold.

The program explores ways to retain the best leaders in the government acquisition concentration community (including contracting officers, program and project managers and others whose success is dependent on strategic acquisition leadership), and encourages them to develop and practice new skill sets, behaviors, and assume more strategic roles in their agencies. These same leaders can serve as mentors for the next generation.

“I believe the success of the Army Acquisition workforce lies in the development, training and transformation of the next generation of contracting professionals,” said Kimberly Kolb, group manager-Information Technology Center at Army Contracting Command in N.J. “I will continue to apply the skills learned to achieve and measure results in difficult environments and strive to assume a more strategic role in my organization by building partnerships and motivating teams,” she said.

Course requirements include the completion of a 360 degree feedback survey, developing individual mission statements, and participation in various team building and self-exploration exercises focused on the qualities of leadership.

“One of the broadening and exciting aspects of the program was that each section was composed of participants from across the federal government,” said George Mitchell, product director at PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support at Redstone Arsenal. “Completion of the program, besides making you a ‘Senior Fellow’ also creates opportunities for participation in follow-on activities among more than 20 years of graduates and a fairly large population for networking across the government,” he added.

The application window for fiscal year (FY) 2014 EIGF program is closed; however, the FY15 program announcement opens next summer on June 12, 2014. Additional information about the program and the application process is available on the EIGF webpage. The program begins every October.

Congratulations to the 2013 graduates:

  • Karen Arnold, PEO Ground Combat Systems, Warren, Mich.
  • Nita Clark, PEO Missiles and Space, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Kimberly Kolb, Army Contracting Command – Communications – Electronics Command Contracting Center Washington Operations, Washington, D.C.
  • Mark McCoy, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Warren, Mich.
  • George Mitchell, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Juan Patino, PEO Ammunition, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.
  • Marilyn Shortle, Army Contracting Command – Communications – Electronics Command Contracting Center Washington Operations, Washington, D.C.

McQuistion takes questions during equipment modernization forum

By | Events

By AMC Public Affairs

 

WASHINGTON — Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, deputy commanding general of Army Materiel Command, took questions from Army personnel, industry and academia during a panel discussion at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army Oct. 22.

The first question addressed to McQuistion was how the Organic Industrial Base and readiness were impacted by sequestration and the Budget Control Act.

“In January 2013, we were told to cancel all third and fourth quarter depot operations and this caused delays in many of our efforts. We had to redirect work to depots and arsenals that did not have as much work,” said McQuistion.

“It placed havoc on our ability to plan and work effectively, and it caused an increase the rates we have to charge our customers,” she stated.

In terms of reset and the lack of Oversees Contingency Operations funding, AMC reset less equipment after the Budget Control Act and Sequestration. Using aviation as an example, AMC reset 111 fewer aircrafts than originally planned for; the rest were shifted to fiscal year 2014, McQuistion explained.

“On the tactical side, the ability for Soldiers to order parts and receive them affected readiness,” she continued.

And then AMC had to furlough the workforce at the depots and arsenals; yet the workforce was still able to reset all of the aircraft needed for combat, she added.

McQuistion also noted the importance of revitalization of the infrastructure at Organic Industrial Bases, many of which are in need of repairs.

“We do have to commit to the revitalization of the OIB,” she stated frankly.

Other questions from the audience revolved around science and technology and integrating industry’s platforms to the Army, and policy issues tangled in creating a Program of Record.

“We do have Prototype Integration Facilities, and they do a lot of work in prototyping technologies for special operations and active Army,” said McQuistion. “We see what sticks and what doesn’t and what will become a Program of Record.”

McQuistion cited the Army’s Mobile Parts Hospital as an example of taking an industry principal and applying it to the Army. The Army’s Mobile Parts Hospital provides treatment to a vehicle by being able to create a fully dense metal automotive part, replacing a broken part while in the field. To the Soldier this means there is no longer a need to wait weeks to have a part fixed on a vehicle, but a matter of hours.

The panel was hosted by Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Other panelists were Lt. Gen. James O. Barclay III, deputy chief of staff, G-8; Dr. Robie Samanta Roy, professional staff member for the Senate Armed Services Committee; Kevin Gates, professional staff member for the House Armed Services Committee; Angela Messer, executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton; and Johnny Barnes, vice president of Intelligence at IBM.

Acquisition Education and Training Corner

By | Career Development

Education and training opportunities

 

By USAASC Acquistion, Education and Training Branch

 

FY14 Acquisition Education and Training (AET) Announcements
The FY14 schedule for acquisition, training and education (AET) opportunities is final. All AET opportunities, except for the Acquisition Leadership Challenge Program (ALCP), will be announced through the Army Acquisition Professional Development System (AAPDS).

To access AAPDS, login at the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP) and click on “Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System” (CAPPMIS). Once in CAPPMIS, select the “AAPDS” tab, and then “Application Module.” Click on “Apply” and view all available Army Director of Acquisition Career Management (DACM) available opportunities.

For information on any program, go to the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) website and click on “Career”.

FY14 AET Schedule:

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*NOTE: ALCP will not be announced using AAPDS. Please contact your command or organization acquisition career management advocate or organizational acquisition point of contact to obtain a command allocation.

Acquisition Tuition Assistance Program (ATAP): The ATAP FY14 announcement will open April 28 and close May 26, 2014.

The Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellows announcement is on hold for FY14. Because of the current hiring freeze, we have been unable to bring new fellows on board from the FY13 Announcement. If and when the hiring freeze is lifted, we will first work toward finalizing the FY13 board results prior to conducting another announcement.

The Defense Acquisition University-Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF) announcement will open Jan. 29 and close April 2, 2014. REMINDER: applicants need to complete Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course prior to the start of the Fellowship.

The Defense Civilian Emerging Leaders Program (DCELP) announcement will open May 5 and close June 13, 2014. These dates are tentative as this is a DOD scheduled program and DOD has not provided specific dates.

The Excellence in Government Fellows (EIGF) announcement will open June 12, 2014 and close July 15.

The Naval Post Graduate School-Masters of Science in Program Management (NPS-PM) announcement will open Feb. 3, 2014 and close March 18.

There will not be a School of Choice (SOC) announcement in FY14 due to the current fiscal environment. Should a command have an urgent need to send a high performing workforce member to obtain his/her bachelor or master’s degree during duty-time, please contact Scott Greene, AET Branch Chief, to discuss options.

Having trouble keeping the dates straight? All of the opening and closing dates noted above are also posted to the USAASC Events Calendar.

Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Training

DAU Class Status during Government Shutdown: DAU resumed classes on Oct. 8, 2013 and made every attempt to support all classes originally scheduled for week of Oct. 7, conducting 22 of the 32 scheduled offerings. For classes that started prior to the government shutdown, DAU will make every effort to reschedule the classes, but that is not guaranteed. Students in the cancelled offerings will receive priority preference to reapply to the rescheduled offering(s). We recommend students reapply to the classes available in their next cost-effective location. Because of reduced DAU travel funding for FY14, USAASC will only fund Priority 1 and 2 travel to cost effective locations at this time.

Registering for FY14 courses. The FY14 schedule has been available for student registration since May 16, 2013. Planning and applying early will afford students a better opportunity in obtaining a class in the timeframe requested. Students may apply using AITAS.

Encourage your supervisor to approve your training request as soon as you apply. Applications cannot be processed until the supervisor approves the training request in Army Training Requirements (ATRRS) and AITAS. Students should view the DAU iCatalog to ensure they meet the prerequisite(s), prior to applying to a DAU course. Workforce members and their supervisors should plan their training and ensure they have adequate time to complete prerequisite training prior to attend the follow-on course. Reservations for follow-on courses are cancelled if prerequisite requirements are not met.

It is imperative the student and supervisor’s email addresses are correctly listed in the AITAS student profile. For more information on DAU training to include, systematic instructions, training priority definition or FAQs, please visit USAASC’s DAU Training webpage.

DAU Training Best Practices: Here are some key points for how students can better prepare for a DAU resident course:

  • Reduce lag time between taking part A (online prerequisite) and part B (resident)
  • Review prerequisite materiel prior to attending a follow-on resident portion.
  • Review course objectives (available in the DAU iCatalog) prior to attending class.
  • Consult with instructors prior to class on their recommendations to ensure success.
  • Reach out to instructors and fellow peers during class time for further assistance.
  • Prepare by reading and having a general overview of the class materials before the beginning of each class.
  • Study nightly and review notes in the morning before class.

Program Manager’s and Executive Program Manager’s Course: The two courses, also known as PMT 401 and 402 are statutorily required for program executive officers, deputy program executive officers, and program managers/deputy program managers of acquisition category (ACAT) I and II programs. Board-selected ACAT I or II program managers should attend the course prior to beginning their assignment. PEO, DPEOs, DPMs must complete the mandatory training 36 months from encumbering their position. Please work with your command and supervisor to ensure attendance in the required training. High potential Level III acquisition professionals in O-5, GS-14 or above, with extensive experience in acquisition, including four years in or directly supporting a program, may participate in space-available slots. Each fiscal year, the Army receives a limited allocation of seats in selected offerings. More details of the course available on the DAU’s iCatalog.

A weekly low-fill listing, posted weekly on DAU’s website, allows students the opportunity to attend classes coming up in the next 60 days. Low-fill classes within 60 days from the start date of the class are available on a first-come, first-served basis for students priority 2 and 40 days for priority three to five students. Please remember that even if a class is on the low-fill list, students must choose the designated cost-effective location for their training.

All requests, including submission of the travel worksheet (for students approved for DAU funding), should be completed no later than 15 days prior to the start date of the course. Students who do not submit a travel worksheet earlier than 15 days prior to class start date may not be guaranteed central funding for their TDY. Students may start their travel order as early as 60 days prior to the start date of the course.

FY14 Certification Changes: DOD Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (AT&L) career field certification standards are implemented on Oct. 1 of each fiscal year. FY14 changes are outlined in the following table. The eleven changes are effective for the respective certification career fields on Oct. 1, 2013. For career fields not listed in the table, there are no approved changes to date. To view the most current career field certification standards required for your current acquisition position, please access DAU’s iCatalog.

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  • If you have questions on any Acquisition Education, Training, and Experience (AETE) programs or DAU Training, please contact the the AETE Branch Chief Scott Greene @ scott.greene4@us.army.mil
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DACM News


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AFIRM Medicine II Cooperative Agreement Awarded to Warrior Restoration Consortium

By | Science and Technology

By USAMRMC Public Affairs

 

FORT DETRICK, Md. – The Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM): Warrior Restoration Consortium, under the Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center) entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Medical Service, the Office of Research and Development – Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

The AFIRM II program will focus on five key areas: extremity regeneration, craniomaxillofacial regeneration, skin regeneration, composite tissue allotransplantation and immunomodulation, and genitourinary/lower abdomen reconstruction.

Therapies developed by the AFIRM II program are intended to aid traumatically injured service members and civilians. The goals of the program include funding basic through translational regenerative medicine research, and to position promising technologies and therapeutic/restorative practices for entrance into human clinical trials.

“When warriors come back from the battlefield with serious life-changing injuries, it is our job to find new and innovative ways to help them,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Caravalho Jr., commanding general USAMRMC and Fort Detrick. “Ultimately, we’d like to create new treatments to repair these severe injuries as if they never happened. The science of regenerative medicine is one of the ways we fulfill our promise to service members who put themselves in harm’s way— that we will work our hardest and do our very best to take care of them.”

The original AFIRM cooperative agreements, awarded in 2008, focused on limb repair, craniofacial repair, burn repair, scarless wound repair, and compartment syndrome. Research under the AFIRM was conducted through two independent research consortia working with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Fort Sam Houston, TX.

One research consortium was led by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and the Cleveland Clinic (Rutgers-Cleveland Clinic Consortium) while the other was led by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh (Wake Forest – Pittsburgh Consortium).

All About R4D — The new Army AL&T magazine is here

By | Career Development

By Steve Stark

 

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Herculean, monumental, massive, unprecedented — all of these words have been used to describe the undertaking we know as R4D, and the October – December 2013 issue of Army AL&T magazine goes in depth on the effort, underway right now, to retrograde, reset, redeploy, redistribute and dispose of the material accumulated in Afghanistan over more than a decade of war there.

And it’s ongoing, even as new capabilities, such as Capability Set 13, are being deployed.

Robots, medical supplies, UAVs, wheeled and tracked vehicles, and much, much more – the effort to scale down our materiel in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 is bringing together nearly every aspect of acquisition, logistics and technology to get it done.

Here’s just a small sample of what you’ll find in this issue:

Exit Strategy — Learn how the experts at Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command are overcoming obstacles to get materiel out of Afghanistan.

Synchronizing the Force — Army G-8 plays a major role in bringing all of the many players to the table, so we sat down with them to learn how they do it. Read the interview.

Brainpower Surge — There’s more to the new issue than just R4D, of course. Learn how the U.S. Army Armament, Research, Development and Engineering Center is using its IDEA program to jumpstart innovation.

Career Corner — Get all the latest on career development.

Critical Thinking — Our interview this issue is with Amazon’s Jeff Wilke, who provides a host of insights on how Amazon does logistics — no small feat.

Army AL&T magazine is available in hard copy, online in our e-version, and as an app for your mobile device.

iTunes (for iPad and iPhone)

Google Play (Non-Kindle Android Devices)

 

Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting Winners Announced

By | Events

On behalf of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement) (DASA(P)), the Acquisition Support Center is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting. Please join the DASA(P) in congratulating the award winners.

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. We would like to thank each nominating official for the submission of your 2013 award nominations. We also want to thank each board member for your participation in evaluating the award nominations. We appreciate all of your dedication and support for the Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting Program to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and services provided by your civilian and military contracting workforce.

The winners of the 2013 Secretary of the Army Excellence in Contracting Awards are as follows:

Special Awards

Barbara C. Heald
Irvin G. Bonus, 413th Contracting Support Brigade, Regional Contracting Office – Hawaii, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Wheeler Army Airfield

AbilityOne
New England Soldier Systems and Individual Equipment (NESSIE) Team, United States Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division, Natick

Outstanding Contract Specialist/Procurement Analyst
Linda M. Finan, 409th Contracting Support Brigade, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, APO AE

Outstanding Contracting Officer Awards

Outstanding Contracting Officer Installation Level – Directorate of Contracting
Thomas R. Guyer, 409th Contracting Support Brigade, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Theater Contracting Center APO AE

Outstanding Contracting Officer Systems, R&D, Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting
Lovisa D. Parks, Program Executive Office – Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command, Program Executive Office, Orlando, FL

Outstanding Contracting Officer Specialized Services & Construction Contracting
Sonya DeLucia, United States Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Huachuca Contracting Division, Fort Huachuca

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

Outstanding Unit/Team Awards

Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Systems, R&D, Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting
Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTV) Evaluation Team, United States Army Contracting Command, Army Contracting Command-Warren, TACOM LCMC

CH47 Multi Year II (MY II) Contract Team, United States Army Contracting Command, Aviation and Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal

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

Outstanding Unit/Team Award for Installation Level – Directorate of Contracting
ECC FY 13 Virtual PMR Team, United States Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Huntsville

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, APO AE

 

2013 U.S. Army Acquisition Awards Winners

USAASC announces 2013 U.S. Army Acquisition Awards winners

By | Events

By Tara Clements

 

Fort Belvoir, Va. — The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) announced the winners of the 2013 Army Acquisition Awards. These awards recognize thirteen individuals and teams within the U.S. Army acquisition community as “exceptional” among their peers for their skill, efficiency, and dedication.

This year marks the 37th anniversary of recognizing acquisition excellence across the U.S. Army.

“These awards are the most prestigious in our field. They represent the professionalism, dedication, and innovation across our acquisition community,” said the Honorable Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)).

The 13 winners were chosen from more than 120 nominations. Twelve senior leaders from across the Army acquisition community served as judges on three review boards.

“I’ve had the honor of serving as a judge for the past three years and I’ve always been impressed by the caliber of the people and the work they do in the Acquisition Workforce,” said Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, deputy for acquisition and systems management. “It really is a challenge to pick out a winner from the nominations–it really reinforces to me that we have a truly world-class workforce.”

The USAASC is the proponent for the awards, and is responsible for collecting all nominations coordinating the judging, and planning the awards ceremony.

“It’s important to recognize excellence across our career field, and I’m proud to be a part of it and make sure it’s done right,” said Stan Eisenhower, USAASC and ASA(ALT) conference manager.

While the awards ceremony itself has decreased in scale over the last three years due to budget cuts, the importance and the prestige of the awards has become even more significant.

“Every day, our goal is to provide Soldiers with critical capabilities. In recognizing the contributions of our acquisition community, we affirm the importance of their professionalism in service to our Nation,” said Shyu.

A ceremony to recognize each of the award winners will be held on November 13, 2013, at the Pentagon.

Winners of the 2013 Army Acquisition Awards are as follows:

Army Life Cycle Logistician of the Year Award
Kenneth W. Virgil, U.S. Army Materiel Command Logistics Support Activity

ASA(ALT) Contracting Noncommissioned Officer Award for Contracting Excellence (tie)
Master Sgt. Andrea Dailey, U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command – Fort Hood
and
Sgt. 1st Class Tracy A. Drowne, Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation

Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Continuous Performance Improvement Award
Streamlining Special Operations Forces Program Management Lean Six Sigma Project, Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation

Director, Acquisition Career Management Award
Mr. Robert T. Kowalski, Program Executive Office Ammunition, Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems

 

2013 Secretary of the Army Acquisition Director, Project Manager, and Product Manager of the Year Awards

Acquisition Director of the Year at the Lieutenant Colonel Level
Lt. Col. Maria Schneider, U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command – Fort Belvoir

Product Manager of the Year
Lt. Col. Steven Clark, Product Manager MH-60 SOF Aircraft, U.S. Special Operations Aviation Command

Acquisition Director of the Year at the Colonel Level
Col. James Winbush Jr., White Sands Test Center, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command

Project Manager of the Year
Col. Patrick Mason, Project Manager Technology Applications Program Office, U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command

 

2013 Army Acquisition Excellence Awards

Individual Sustained Achievement Award
Lt. Col. Raymond Morgan III, director of operations, Defense Contract Management Agency, Lockheed Martin Sunnyvale Contract Management Office

Equipping and Sustaining Our Soldier’s Systems Award
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

Information Enabled Army Award
U.S. Special Operations Command Global Video Surveillance Activity Team, Program Executive Office-Special Operations Forces Warrior

Transforming the Way We Do Business Award
CH47 Chinook Multiyear II Evaluation Team, U.S. Army Contracting Command-Redstone
 

Army engineer powers remote bases

By | Faces of the Force, Talent Management

Faces of the Force: Stephen Smith

 


 
POSITION: Senior Logistician, Product Manager, Medium Power Sources
UNIT: Project Manager Mobile Electric Power
Total Years of Service: 12 years civil service; 20 years active duty Army
EDUCATION: M.S. aeronautical science, aerospace management, B.S. professional aeronautics, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
AWARDS: Superior Civilian Service Award (2); Commanders’ Award for Civilian Service (3)
Deployments: Afghanistan 2007- 2008; 2010 – 2011; 2012-2013


 

By Steve Stark

 

Steve Smith volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan from May 2012 to February 2013 as the government lead logistics manager for Project Manager Mobile Electric Power (PM MEP) Forward Theater Team to field the Army’s new advanced medium mobile power source and to serve as the contracting officer representative. Remarkably, he was the first representative from headquarters, PM MEP in Afghanistan. “Our equipment’s been out there,” he said, “but we didn’t have a presence out there from the project office.” The task was to establish a presence in theater and set conditions to “right-size” mobile electric power in support of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Teams’ (BCT) special operations village stability platforms and conventional forces outposts. “That’s why they asked me to go out there.”

The right-sizing effort, called Operation Dynamo, initially for the 173rd Airborne’s BCTs, was an attempt to match the BCTs’ operational power equipment with the power they actually needed, which included new, highly fuel-efficient power generation, distribution and environmental-control equipment. In a sense, that operation was an experiment to see if it could be done as efficiently as PM MEP projected.

The benefits would be manifold. More fuel-efficient military generators would require considerably less fuel, which meant a lower risk profile for the personnel who have to deliver fuel by greatly reducing the number of fuel resupply missions to remotely located bases. There were also large sustainment savings in the operation of these bases.

The right-sizing program was a success, Smith said. How it was done—by factually assessing the power requirements of the units and analyzing many different variables and use cases, then creating a well-crafted plan to meet power, delivery and environmental controls, and then implementing the plan—ought to be Army doctrine, Smith said.

By giving Soldiers (and Marines) the power they needed, their quality of improved significantly, Smith said. “There are Soldiers out there that don’t have any power. They’re going day-to-day with nothing. The current [power] equipment they have out there is in poor condition. It’s been out there for the entire Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and [it’s in] ill repair, and we’re going out there and improving their quality of life 100 percent.”

That, Smith said, “is job satisfaction. It’s what makes everything worth it. I want to provide whatever it takes to do the best job that I can do and make it better for somebody else out there. Those guys are living outside the wire. They’re running convoys, they’re doing combat operations. They’re in harm’s way constantly out there. And when they go back to their base at the end of their mission, they don’t want to go back and eat cold food and have cold showers. Their lives are on the line. They’re giving their all. When they get back from those missions, we want to make their quality of life as favorable as possible. If you give your all to help their quality of life, it makes you feel good.”

PM MEP’s job of providing operational power to Soldiers and Marines isn’t just a matter of lining up a bunch of generators and dropping them off, either, he said. The right-sizing includes the modeling and simulation of a base’s power and infrastructure needs, and delivering a solution that fits that the base, including environmental equipment, which, Smith said, can be thought of as operational HVAC—or heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

[raw][image align=”right” caption=”Smith is recognized by the Army’s Acquisition Executive, the Hon. Heidi Shyu in support of his contributions to Operation Dynamo earlier this year. (Photos courtesy of PM MEP)” linkto=”https://asc.army.mil/web/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Steve-Smith1.jpg” linktype=”image”]”https://asc.army.mil/web/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Steve-Smith1.jpg” height=”229″ width=”300″[/image][/raw]

But the effort includes even more. “We’re not just going out there and giving it to them and then they’ve got it. We’re a phone call away. If they run into additional issues out there, they contact us, and we come over and we provide them assistance. No matter what it is, if it means bringing a piece of equipment in there or replacing an existing piece of equipment or a component, or they need additional training because they’ve got new personnel on board, we’re the total package, providing all of that. And they love us.”

Neil Cooper, another acquisition professional deployed to Afghanistan to support PM MEP and featured in Faces of the Force last month, said that Smith “did a great job” of bringing him up to speed in country. For a while, Cooper said, they were the only two government people there for the MEP program. According to Smith, the deployment was the “experience of a lifetime” for Cooper who, unlike Smith, does not have a military background. His time in Afghanistan gave him an up-close-and-personal crash course in how the operational Army works, and a chance to work with the end user—the warfighter.

FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

[quote align=”right”]“I want to provide whatever it takes to do the best job that I can do and make it better for somebody else out there.”[/quote]

SMITH: I recently returned from serving as a logistics management specialist with the PM MEP Medium Power Sources Team, providing tactical operational energy to Soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan.

Simply put, it’s important because, without energy, servicemen and women’s lives are placed at greater risk; tactical capability and advantage is diminished; training and combat effectiveness is degraded; quality of life is reduced and mission accomplishment is no longer achievable.

FOTF: What has your experience been like so far? What has surprised you the most?

SMITH: Of my 32-plus years of active duty and civilian service, it’s been a remarkable journey of learning the acquisition process, beginning with where the capability is actually needed in the field, maintaining and sustaining weapon systems, to coming full circle back to the project office where solutions are developed, produced and deployed. I’ve recently returned from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of fielding a new generation of medium tactical power sources, the Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources (AMMPS).

FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

SMITH: To serve, to make a positive difference in the lives of those I support. My greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army are the professional relationships, lasting, meaningful friendships and the experiences I have had the privilege to be a part of.
 

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  • “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.