Many tasks, one tool

By August 4, 2014September 10th, 2018Contracting
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PM CCS seeks maximum efficiency, affordability with consolidated contractor logistics support

by Mr. Raymond W. Chin and Col. Richard J. Hornstein

As materiel developers, acquisition program executive officers (PEOs) and project managers (PMs) must consider all aspects of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF) before the Army enterprise can fully institutionalize a capability. Over the past 12-plus years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has successfully developed materiel solutions and pushed them out to the force, using agile acquisition processes to meet the needs of combatant commanders. However, the full set of DOTMLPF considerations often failed to align with the deployment of the “M”—materiel—and PMs became responsible for addressing these shortfalls.

As a result, PMs used many different strategies in their approach to the requirements for new equipment training, fielding and life-cycle support of new capabilities that successfully addressed logistic support. Nevertheless, not all of these strategies were synchronized for maximum affordability and efficiency.

Spc. Ryan Barber, a combat engineer with Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, operates a vehicle-mounted mine detector during a combined arms route clearance mission in Kunar province, Afghanistan, Oct. 15, 2013. PM CCS’ portfolio includes a full spectrum of countermine and explosive ordnance disposal solutions for vehicle, handheld and robotic applications. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by SSG Jerry Saslav, 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Spc. Ryan Barber, a combat engineer with Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, operates a vehicle-mounted mine detector during a combined arms route clearance mission in Kunar province, Afghanistan, Oct. 15, 2013. PM CCS’ portfolio includes a full spectrum of countermine and explosive ordnance disposal solutions for vehicle, handheld and robotic applications. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jerry Saslav, 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Now, PEO Ammunition’s PM Close Combat Systems (CCS) has implemented a holistic approach to logistic support that seeks to maximize efficiencies from a contractual standpoint. Our approach has resulted in a logistic construct of consolidated support for a large portfolio of capabilities, providing world-class support in any environment while harvesting a total cost avoidance of $3 million in FY13 and 14.

MULTIPLE CONTRACTS
There were multiple contracts in support of PM CCS products in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, with numerous support efforts awarded in FY11. Several awards were made directly to the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), while others used the omnibus contracts of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command or the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command for competed task order support. The task orders ended in a staggered timeframe over multiple contracts.

The family of PM CCS products includes a wide variety of innovative systems, such as the Spider M7 Networked Munitions System, which provides munitions field effectiveness equivalent to the capabilities provided by antipersonnel land mines without the life-threatening risks that persist after hostilities end; Husky Mounted Detection System (HMDS), a ground-penetrating radar capability that detects buried objects that otherwise may not be found by the naked eye; and joint urgent operational need statements for handheld devices used by dismounted Soldiers to detect buried objects, such as Minehound, Gizmo, Ceia and Detector Special Purpose No. 27.

SGT Kenton D. Smith, a combat engineer with 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) (4-101 ABN), checks the progress of vehicles during a route clearance patrol Aug. 14, 2013, in Khost province, Afghanistan. The family of PM CCS products includes a wide variety of innovative systems used in missions such as this one. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Justin A. Moeller, 4-101 ABN)

Sgt. Kenton D. Smith, a combat engineer with 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) (4-101 ABN), checks the progress of vehicles during a route clearance patrol Aug. 14, 2013, in Khost province, Afghanistan. The family of PM CCS products includes a wide variety of innovative systems used in missions such as this one. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4-101 ABN)

CONSOLIDATED STRATEGY
In the first year of the planned contract award, rather than exercise the next order or option under the existing contract(s), PM CCS leadership decided to place all theater support on a new PM CCS Consolidated Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) contract. PM CCS published a sources sought notice on FedBizOpps.gov, seeking engineering, technical and support services for the entire array of PM CCS systems currently deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. The capabilities sought included system integration and installation, studies and analysis, logistics support, training, maintenance and repair, materiel supply support, and warehouse support and receiving.

PM CCS completed a market research evaluation report in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 10. A total of 12 U.S. companies, five small and seven large businesses, responded to the market survey. Of the respondents, all the large businesses and most of the small business demonstrated their capability to perform the effort.

WEIGHING THE ALTERNATIVES
PM CCS considered, but rejected, several alternative contracting approaches involving a lesser degree of consolidation. Obtaining CLS from the OEM was an option but would have required separate solicitations and awards, similar to the approach currently deployed.

Another alternative was to award task orders against existing omnibus service contract vehicles awarded by other Army or government agencies. This alternative would have performance advantages because of continuity and use of an already well-established logistic network in theater. However, the agencies managing contracts did not necessarily consider PM CCS’ contract actions a high priority, thus creating the risk of significant delays in award of task orders and corresponding disruptions in support services. PM CCS decided to issue one solicitation based on results of the market research, with the intent to fully consolidate the logistics for theater and continental United States (CONUS) support.

The PM CCS team recognized that the administrative cost of consolidating efforts into one firm, fixed-price (FFP) contract would yield administrative savings over managing numerous contracts and would free resources to award other requirements for the government. Over time, the various field service representatives (FSRs) were no longer specialized in their respective OEM equipment and could not perform work on other items. Under the original contract structure, schedule risks increased when a small number of FSRs were responsible solely for a single item, as they were based at one or two places in theater, and often their support was required in other locations or at remote forward operating bases (FOBs). The transportation required to relocate them could delay support, directly affecting equipment readiness.

Having a single contractor supporting all of PM CCS’ family of products eliminated this problem: FSRs are now required to be cross-trained and able to support multiple end items. In addition, as they are located at multiple FOBs in theater, prioritization of FSR placement can minimize transportation issues. There is now a baseline of knowledge for all supported systems for FSRs, providing the flexibility to meet a wide array of demands. And, since FSRs have to be able to train, install and repair multiple systems, they, too, needed training and certification on all the systems covered under our contract.

SSG Kyle R. Petko, uses a VMC-1 Gizmo metal detector to scan for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during a route clearance patrol Aug. 14, 2013, in Khost province, Afghanistan. Over the past 12-plus years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has successfully developed and delivered to the force a wide variety of materiel solutions to meet counter-IED requirements. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Justin A. Moeller, 4-101 ABN)

Staff Sgt. Kyle R. Petko, uses a VMC-1 Gizmo metal detector to scan for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during a route clearance patrol Aug. 14, 2013, in Khost province, Afghanistan. Over the past 12-plus years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has successfully developed and delivered to the force a wide variety of materiel solutions to meet counter-IED requirements. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4-101 ABN)

EXECUTING THE CONTRACT
The basic contract was awarded as an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) instrument with FFP task orders. It includes a base year and two additional ordering periods during which task orders can be placed on contract. The maximum contract value is $85 million. PM CCS awarded the first task order using FY13 operation and maintenance funding in support of theater operations, followed by task orders for CONUS and OCONUS support as well as for the U.S. Marine Corps-owned HMDS.

One of the major challenges that PM CCS faced in awarding the theater support task order was obtaining the Government Furnished Life Support Validation Request and Approval Form from the operational contract support drawdown cell and the base operating support – integrator/garrison commander for each FOB to obtain the theater business clearance request from U.S. Army Materiel Command. It took almost two months to obtain approval from all six FOBs where PM CCS’ requirement was to be located, because of changes in approving personnel. However, commanders willingly supported the request, knowing that embedded support was a combat multiplier.

Another challenge was the incremental drawdown in equipment and military personnel in theater. To align with the drawdown plan for contractor personnel as approved by the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, it was necessary to adjust the workforce several times in conjunction with the plan.

Despite these challenges, the PM CCS team managed to maintain an operational availability of more than 97 percent for all HMDS while staying ahead of the curve in de-installing systems and drawing down equipment and personnel. The team also managed to recover more than $4.4 million worth of equipment by checking retrograde sort yards, Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services yards, ammunition supply points, and contractor and unit vehicle and equipment yards.

Paratroopers with Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) participate in new equipment training of the Spider Networked Munitions System March 11 at Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy. Spider, a man-in-the-loop system incorporating sensors, communications and munitions for small unit force protection, is among the numerous systems for which the consolidated logistic contract supports training, fielding and life-cycle support. (Photo by Paolo Bovo, Training Support Activity Europe)

Paratroopers with Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) participate in new equipment training of the Spider Networked Munitions System March 11 at Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy. Spider, a man-in-the-loop system incorporating sensors, communications and munitions for small unit force protection, is among the numerous systems for which the consolidated logistic contract supports training, fielding and life-cycle support. (Photo by Paolo Bovo, Training Support Activity Europe)

An additional task order provided system integration and installation, fielding, retrograde support, transportation, training, documentation updates, customer support, inspection and maintenance (repair, rebuilding, parts replacement and troubleshooting) as applied to hardware, software, firmware and logistics support. It also covered associated support tasks such as program management, administrative support, inventory management, quality management, and interface with other government and contractor personnel. This task order further supports the vast array of PM CCS products, including those in theater.

The major challenge with this task order was putting together all the various PM CCS product fielding schedules to determine the proper level of manpower needed to support it. These included the training schedule at the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and the support schedules for the National Training Center and Joint Readiness Training Center.

The Army is not the only service to benefit from the PM CCS contract. The Marine Corps gets its CLS support in theater through the PM CCS task order as well as having its own task order to provide installation, inspection and maintenance, and training support for its HMDS. The major difference for the Marines was the locations where they needed support.

SSG Carlos Fastin, center, and 1LT Tyler Smith, left, inventory mine detectors Oct. 2, 2013, in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, before shipping them out for redistribution through the Army’s supply system. The consolidation of contractual support for a large portfolio of capabilities managed by PEO Ammunition’s PM CCS has resulted in a new, improved logistic construct and a total cost avoidance of $3 million in FY13 and 14. (U.S. Army photo by 1LT Matthew Powell)

Staff Sgt. Carlos Fastin, center, and 1LT Tyler Smith, left, inventory mine detectors Oct. 2, 2013, in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, before shipping them out for redistribution through the Army’s supply system. The consolidation of contractual support for a large portfolio of capabilities managed by PEO Ammunition’s PM CCS has resulted in a new, improved logistic construct and a total cost avoidance of $3 million in FY13 and 14. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Matthew Powell)

CONCLUSION
Not only has the successful implementation of the CLS concept resulted in a $3 million cost avoidance for FY13 and 14, but most importantly, it has also improved supportability for the CCS portfolio across the services and is now a PEO standard for providing enduring program support.

Whether the requirement exists at a remote outpost in Afghanistan, or the need for training arises at a mission readiness exercise or in support to our joint partners, the IDIQ consolidated support strategy remains an effective, efficient method to provide the full spectrum of logistic support. Additionally, it allows the PEO and PM the flexibility to surge and respond to the operational and peacetime sustainment needs of our customers.

For more information, go to the PM CCS website at http://ccsweb.pica.army.mil or call PM CCS at 973-724-4120.

MR. RAYMOND W. CHIN is the chief integrated logistics officer for PM CCS, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. He holds a B.S. in aerospace engineering from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. Chin is Level III certified in logistics, program management and engineering and is a member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps.

COL. RICHARD J. HORNSTEIN is the project manager for CCS. He holds an M.S. in acquisition and management from the Florida Institute of Technology, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College and a B.A. in history from the University of Rhode Island. His operational background includes a breadth of command and staff assignments in the United States, Europe and abroad.