PEO Soldier team wins 2019 Packard Award

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by Susan L. Follett

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (October 25, 2019)—The Sub Compact Weapon Team, part of the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Soldier, has received the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award for its work to use an other-transaction authority (OTA) to deliver a new subcompact weapon system in 12 months.

The team, part of PEO Soldier’s Project Manager for Soldier Weapons, is one of five teams across the DOD that received the prestigious award, given by the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment to organizations that have demonstrated exemplary performance and innovation in acquiring and delivering products and capabilities for the warfighter.

Managed by the Product Manager for Individual Weapons, the team includes representatives from the product management office as well as the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) – Armaments Center; the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center; the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command; the CCDC Army Research Laboratory’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate; Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ): and the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).

The team was responding to an urgent request issued in the spring of 2018 from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command for a new weapon that would support the U.S. Army’s Protective Services Battalion mission to provide continuous, protective close-in security to senior high-risk personnel while maintaining stringent discretion in attire and profile. Based on the guidance from the secretary of the Army to select the weapon in 12 months, the team moved from a standard DOD 5000.01 acquisition approach using Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contracting to an OTA approach. In July 2018, ACC-NJ released a prototype opportunity notice to support the procurement of subcompact weapons for evaluation, testing, two phases of down-selection, and fielding. To maintain the accelerated schedule, offerors submitted videos in the first stage of down-selection to visually demonstrate how their weapons met the minimum requirements, along with pricing information.

Technical testing on the candidate systems began at Aberdeen Test Center, Maryland, in November 2018, and a Soldier touch point was conducted in January 2019 at Quantico, Virginia. The team’s logistics and fielding leads coordinated closely with TACOM Total Package Fielding and Defense Logistics Agency Distribution in Anniston, Alabama, to ensure that weapons were quickly processed through Army logistics systems to meet the required first unit equipped date of May 31, 2019.

On March 29, the Army awarded a production delivery order to Brugger and Thomet USA for its APC9K Semi-Automatic Carbine. The award will furnish 350 APC9Ks, with an option to acquire up to 1,000 of the subcompact 9 mm weapons, with a total ceiling amount of $2.5 million. On May 31, the team fielded the first set of 10 weapons to the 701st Military Police Protective Services Battalion at Fort Belvoir, Virginia—approximately two and a half years earlier than it would have if the program had pursued a FAR-based approach with a formal Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System-approved requirement.

Also receiving Packard Awards were the Department of the Air Force Launch Enterprise Team and the U.S. Air Force Pitch Day team, as well as two teams from the U.S. Special Operations Command: Distributed Common Ground/Surface System – Special Operations Forces, and the Tactical Assault Kit Configuration Steering Board.

A ceremony honoring the winners will be hosted by Hon. Ellen M. Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, and David L. Norquist, deputy secretary of defense, Dec. 2 at the Pentagon.

For more Army acquisition award winners, see the Acquisition Wall of Fame.

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