ARMY ACQUISITION WORKFORCE SUPPORTS THE EMERGING AND ENDURING MISSION

By September 21, 2020General
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by Dr. Bruce D. Jette

In my role as the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)), my team and I serve as lifecycle managers for all Army systems. The systems lifecycle—from requirements to sustainment to divestiture—doesn’t stop, even in the middle of a global pandemic like COVID-19.

Our 12 program executive offices (PEOs), as well as the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, play a critical role in the entire lifecycle, supporting 685 programs and the Army’s top modernization priorities. It is thanks to them and our expert team of Army acquisition professionals that we’ve stayed on track with deliverables and schedules. As our warfighters continue to receive the support they need, we’ve also taken the lead in developing and acquiring materials to support the COVID-19 response.

AIR TRANSPORT SAFETY: A revision to UH-72A Airworthiness Release 23, Patient Movement Items (PMI) Litter System adds two patient isolation units to the list of authorized equipment for use. The PMIs are used to transport contagious COVID-19 patients while aboard UH-72 aircraft in support of the Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) during the COVID-19 Crisis. (Photo courtesy of PEO Aviation)

Some of the highlights from across our PEOs include:

VACCINE RESEARCH: The Defense Health Program is funding DNA vaccine dose manufacturing for COVID-19 prevention in DOD personnel and monoclonal antibody manufacturing for COVID-19 prevention and treatment. (Photo courtesy of the Joint PEO for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense)

Even while working from home and limiting in-person interaction with our DOD, federal and industry partners, the ASA(ALT) community continues to meet our enduring mission in an effective and timely manner.

In the face of additional challenges presented by COVID-19, the Army acquisition team quickly became flexible and leveraged their problem solving skills to ensure minimal impact to our delivery timetables. PEO Soldier’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System team is using remote testing and distance collaboration methods and is on track to meet a fourth quarter 2021 delivery of the first unit equipped. We also delivered the new Apache helicopter to Soldiers, providing training to the first aviators who are qualified to operate the aircraft.

BEHIND THE CURTAIN:The Utility Helicopters Project Office petitioned and achieved airworthiness approval from the Systems Readiness Directorate for two versions of a cockpit or cabin separation curtain. These curtains limit air exchange between the cabin and the cockpit of a UH-72A helicopter and are being used by civilian companies to reduce crew exposure when transporting patients infected with COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of PEO Aviation)

While our challenges are not over, our mission remains the same. The health and safety of our Army acquisition workforce is paramount so that they can continue to meet the needs of the systems lifecycle, delivering top quality capabilities to Soldiers. We will keep doing business as usual in this environment and any others we may face in the future.

 


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