Tag Archives: Management

Airforce Life Cycle Management Center helps design transport isolation system

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) is playing a unique role in the United States’ comprehensive Ebola response efforts in West Africa through the center’s involvement in developing a transport isolation system.

The system will enable safe aeromedical evacuation of Department of Defense patients in C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster IIIs.

The Human Systems Division — one of nine divisions within AFLCMC’s Agile Combat Support Directorate — is leading the integration of multiple System Program Offices to support the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s task to rapidly field the transport isolation system (TIS) by January.

Lt. Col. Scott Bergren, the chief of the Aircrew Performance Branch, is among those involved in the project.

“AFLCMC was notified the third week of October that its help was needed,” Bergren said. “We also were informed that the intent was to fly this system in an operational test beginning Dec. 1. So we were given a month and a half to ensure this system is safe to fly. All involved offices within AFLCMC have rallied to help get the TIS out the door.

“While DTRA is providing overall program management and contracting actions, our efforts have focused on quickly collecting the test data needed to assess the safety of the system for use in identified aircraft,” Bergren continued. “For example, we reached out to the Navy and obtained existing test data for subcomponents of the TIS used in Navy weapon systems today. This prevented us from having to redo those tests, which saved time. Fortunately, we have those connections and our division possesses the capability to analyze test data and certify components already in use within DOD.

“We’re thinking differently and more creatively to ensure we keep pace with the Pentagon’s timeline for this isolation system,” Bergren added. “We want to ensure this project is completed on time and safely.”

An example of creative thinking is that the AFLCMC team identified a proven LED lighting system used in the KC-135 Stratotanker platform today as a means to provide medical lighting in the TIS.

“This avoided a development effort by the contractor and cut roughly two weeks from a schedule in which every day counts,” Bergren said.

According to Melina Baez-Bowersox, a technical lead engineer in the Aeromedical Branch, additional challenges arise anytime there is a proposal to add a new system or equipment to an Air Force platform, such as an aircraft.

“Part of our responsibility is to assess the TIS’s capability by testing and evaluating the system on the aircraft,” she said. “We ask ourselves, ‘How does it (TIS) behave?’, ‘What does adding the system do to the structural integrity of the aircraft?’, ‘Is the TIS safe for patients, aircrews and the aircraft?’

“Ultimately, we want to be able to safely transport infected individuals back to the United States in a way that contains Ebola exposure to others while also preventing contamination of an aircraft or losing a precious Air Force asset,” she continued.

“We’re the right organization to be involved to deliver this critical capability that is quite complex and under an extremely compressed timeline,” said Col. William McGuffey, the chief of the Human Systems Division. “It’s another example of how AFLCMC acquires, fields and sustains systems and capabilities to support the urgent needs of other Air Force major commands and the DOD.

Pentagon officials say they do not expect the 3,000 U.S. troops heading to or already in the region to need the TIS because military personnel will not be treating Ebola patients directly.

“But we want to be prepared to care for the people we do have there just out of an abundance of caution,” Defense Department spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea said.

Currently, transport of Ebola patients from overseas is done by Phoenix Air, a government contractor based in Georgia whose modified business jet is capable of carrying just a single patient.

The Pentagon’s TIS will be similar but larger than the units used by Phoenix Air, whose containment system is a tent-like structure held up by a metal framework within the aircraft.

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Lockheed Martin Resume Transition of US Nuclear Facility Management

By on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) will resume its transition to manage and operate the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., effective immediately.

CNS, which includes Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI), Lockheed Martin Services, Inc., ATK Launch Systems Inc., SOC LLC, and teaming subcontractor Booz Allen Hamilton, will be responsible for the Pantex and Y-12 programs, two institutions vital to the nation’s security. The five-year base contract includes options that may extend the contract term up to an additional five years, based on performance.

The NNSA selected the CNS team in January 2013, but other bidders protested the decision. After a review by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the NNSA upheld the selection of the CNS team on Nov. 1, 2013. On Feb. 27, the U.S. GAO denied a third round of protests, and transition activities will resume immediately.

“Bechtel, Lockheed Martin, ATK, SOC, and Booz Allen Hamilton have site knowledge, technical leadership and experience with high-hazard operations that will lead Pantex and Y-12 to complete the critical mission,” said Jim Haynes, CNS CEO.

“Our team has maintained a high state of readiness to effect a smooth transition, and we are committed to delivering our work during transition and the length of our contract to the highest standards of safety, security, and efficiency.”

Both programs are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, charged with maintaining the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

Pantex is responsible for nuclear weapons life extension programs; weapons dismantlement; development, testing, and fabrication of high explosive components; and storage and surveillance of plutonium pits. Y-12 is responsible for safe and secure uranium storage, processing, and manufacturing operations.

“Lockheed Martin has a rich history in providing critical mission support and information management capabilities for the Department of Energy, including the Hanford site in Washington state, as well as operations management at the Sandia National Laboratory,” said Frank Armijo, vice president of energy solutions at Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions.

“As part of the CNS team, we look forward to leveraging that experience to support the NNSA’s critical mission.”

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Force Management Programs Necessary Despite Budget Deal

Despite a congressional budget deal that lessens the impact of sequestration on the Air Force, it doesn’t go far enough to halt actions to shrink the service, senior service officials said.

Under Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning and Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the Air Force chief of staff, said that even with some relief from sequestration, the service will still have to reduce its force structure and sacrifice modernization and readiness.

How this occurs will affect what the service will look like in 2023, when sequestration ends, they said.

The proposed budget deal making its way through Congress would mitigate some near-term readiness problems, Welsh said, and Air Force leaders will put any money Congress approves beyond sequestration into training and maintenance accounts.

The budget agreement, which was months in the making, eases spending caps for the next two fiscal years while softening the impact of across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, on defense and non-defense programs.

Overall, the agreement calls for more than $20 billion in deficit reduction.

Still, Welsh said, this doesn’t change the long-term picture, noting that sequestration poses a dilemma for the Air Force. Does the service choose to keep near-term readiness high at the expense of force modernization, or vice versa?

“That’s the balance we’re trying to walk,” the general said.

One example of this conundrum is the close air support mission. The Air Force is studying proposals on how best to carry out this core mission, the general said. One proposal would eliminate the A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support aircraft — the aircraft Welsh flew as a young pilot.

If money were no object, the A-10 would be a great platform to retain, the general said. But money is tight, he noted, and will be tighter.

“To pay our $12 billion-a-year bill toward sequestration, we have got to find savings in big chunks,” Welsh said. “That’s the problem. And that’s what all these discussions are based on. It’s not about a specific platform. It’s about balancing the mission sets.”

The general said other aircraft — F-16 Fighting Falcons, B-1 Lancers and B-52 Stratofortresses — provide roughly 75 percent of the close air support in Afghanistan today.

“We have a lot of airplanes that can perform that mission and perform it well,” he said. “Those other aircraft do other things for us.”

The Air Force ultimately will replace the A-10 with the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, Welsh said.

“That plan hasn’t changed,” he added.

Saving money also is important, he said.

“To do that, you have to start talking about fleet divestitures, because you have to get rid of the infrastructure behind the aircraft — the logistics tail, the supply systems, the facilities that do all the logistical support and depot maintenance, et cetera,” he said. “That’s where you create big savings.”

Changing force structure also will inevitably change the service, Welsh said.

“We will have to draw down people — both the tooth and the tail that comes with that force structure,” he said.

Personnel policies will be used to shape the force, and the service is getting these policies out to Airmen now so they can make informed decisions, Welsh said.

“We’d love to get all this done with voluntary force-shaping measures over a period of time,” he said. “If we … have to take involuntary measures, I would like everyone to have at least six months of time to talk to their family (and) to think about the impact this could have on them.”

With only operations and maintenance and investment accounts remaining for quick assessment, a profound impact to readiness could ensue.

“The Air Force was already in a 20-year readiness decline, something we were just starting to address when sequestration hit,” said Fanning, adding that the service’s size and structure doesn’t lend itself to a tiered readiness model.

“When the flag goes up, the Air Force is expected to get to the crisis rapidly,” he said. “Speed is a key advantage of airpower.”

The number of Air Force squadrons equals the combatant commanders’ requirements, Fanning said, but with little or no time built into plans to bring forces up to full readiness.

“If it takes months to generate combat air power, the president loses deterrence, diplomatic influence and contingency options on which the nation has come to depend,” he said.

Fanning characterized budget compromises currently in debate on Capitol Hill as encouraging, though lower than service officials would like. The additional funds over the next two years will help cover readiness shortfalls, stability and planning, he said.

“Even with this relief, we will need to resize the Air Force to one that is smaller than it is today in order to protect investments we need for the future and to shape an Air Force that we can keep ready; we can’t do these cuts individually, ad hoc, or in isolation,” Fanning said. “If something’s restored to the budget we present to the Hill, something else will need to go.”

Still, Fanning pledged a continued commitment to helping Airmen get past the “distractions” of budget and political uncertainty.

“We will make the decisions that we can, as quickly as we can, as transparently as we can … to get the Air Force back to that ‘new normal,’” he said.

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Financial management leadership program open to eligible officers

Nominations for active-duty line officers interested in the financial management leadership program, or FMLP, are due to the Air Force Personnel Center by Feb. 15, 2014, AFPC officials said Dec. 18.

The FMLP is a four-year program that provides non-finance officers the opportunity to gain leadership experience as comptroller squadron commanders, said Capt. Thomas Cook, of AFPC comptroller officer assignments.

“Financial management is a valuable skill for future strategic leaders, providing non-finance officers with opportunities to develop and use critical business management skills,” he said.

With the exception of rated officers and financial management officers, the program is open to all line officer majors and major-selects in the 2002 through 2005 year groups who possess an undergraduate or graduate degree in business, accounting, economics or financial management.

FMLP is a two-phase program.

During phase one, selected officers will serve two-year internships working finance and budget at a major command. Officers will rotate through the various financial management functions to gain a broad understanding of financial services, budget analysis, and planning and programming. In addition, participants will attend the Financial Management Staff Officer Course at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and a four-week course at the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School at Maxwell AFB, Ala., for further professional development.

During the second phase, participants command a comptroller squadron, leading between 35 and 75 people, serving as the chief financial officer to the wing commander, and managing an annual operating budget of more than $100 million.

Following the two-year command assignment, officers return to their core career field.

Officers interested in applying must be approved for temporary release from their career field by their functional assignment team and meet further basic eligibility criteria.

An FMLP webinar will be held for those who want more information Jan. 7, 2014, at 2 p.m. CST. To listen in, go to Defense Connect Online at https://connectcol.dco.dod.mil/r59nbus6k3b.

Senior-rater endorsed nomination packages must reach AFPC by Feb. 15, 2014, with the selection board slated to convene Feb. 28, 2014.

For more information about the program and complete eligibility criteria and application instructions, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil and enter PSDM 13-120 in the search window.

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US, China conduct Disaster Management Exchange

Soldiers from United States Army Pacific, Hawaii Army National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers along with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency participated with the People’s Liberation Army in a Disaster Management Exchange, Nov. 12 -14 at Marine Corps Training Area-Bellows, Hawaii.

The 2013 DME is a subject matter expert exchange focused on an international Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operation.

The highlight of the DME was a Practical Field Exchange Nov. 14. There was also Expert Academic Discussions, based on an international humanitarian and disaster relief scenario calling for U.S. and Chinese military cooperation to provide assistance in a fictional third country.

“The Expert Academic Discussions allowed USARPAC, PLA and others to work through a common HA/DR scenario to share best practices, lessons-learned and strategy for support to a third nation,” said USARPAC Geographer, Jason Pummell. “We are headed in a positive direction for future collaboration, which will increase effectiveness and efficiency.”

New this year was the PFE resulting from comments from the previous DME.

One of the after action reports from the ‘US — China DME 2012′ was to add a field portion with side-by-side training which we did this year, said Lt. Col. Carrie Barhorst, Intel OIC, TJFLCC Coordination Center.

“This particular event, here in Hawaii and hosted by U.S. Army Pacific, includes our first practical, hands-on field event on a mock-up rubble pile to practice saving lives in a collapsed building. These techniques we learn from each other’s experiences,” said U.S. Army Pacific, Commanding General, Gen. Vincent Brooks.

“We want to show that we can work together and cooperate on something important to all of us here in the Pacific…disaster management.” said Col. John Lee, Strategy & Plans Officer for USARPAC Security, Cooperation and Policy directorate.

“HA/DR exchange…symbolizes a new phase of cooperation between the two militaries…and it is of great significance in bolstering our pragmatic cooperation in non-traditional security areas, fostering our common aspirations and capabilities to cooperate together,” said Minister of National Defense Foreign Affairs Office, RADM Li Ji.

“This event represents a key component to US-China relations. The United States remains steadfastly committed to partnering with China and other Asia-Pacific nations for disaster preparedness, response and recovery because it essentially saves lives,” said USARPAC Deputy Commanding General for Army National Guard, Maj. Gen. Gary M. Hara.

During the PFE both US and PLA soldiers demonstrated their HA/DR techniques.

“After each practical field training event we stopped and discussed the procedures we used and why things were done a certain way. For every event we [U.S. and China] picked up something,” said Maj. Bill Flynn, Hawaii National Guard, CBRNE Emergency Response Force Package.

“I am very pleased with the momentum that is being gained in our US – China military to military relations, especially around the framework of Disaster Response,” said Brooks.

The DME is one of the key security cooperation events the United States conducts with the PLA each year; the DME has matured from basic visits and briefings and developed into an exchange that uses an academic exchange to focus and facilitate cooperation and interaction amongst both the U.S. Army and PLA.

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BAE Systems to Begin Production of Paladin Integrated Management

BAE Systems received a contract worth up to $688 million from the U.S. Army to begin Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) program.

The PIM is a significant upgrade of the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer, restoring space, weight, and power-cooling, while providing growth potential for emerging technologies.

“The award is a significant milestone for both BAE Systems and the U.S. Army,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Combat Vehicles at BAE Systems. “The PIM team, the program office, BAE Systems, and our suppliers have been working cooperatively throughout the engineering, manufacturing, and development phase of the program to ensure that the Army will field a highly capable howitzer on time and below budget.”

The initial contract was awarded for the base term, valued at approximately $195 million. During this period, BAE Systems will produce 18.5 vehicle sets — 19 PIM howitzers and 18 PIM Carrier Ammunition, Tracked vehicles. Through future options, the Army intends to purchase a total of 66.5 vehicle sets plus spares, kits and technical documentation for a total contract value of $688 million.

The PIM design includes a new chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system, and improved survivability, while the vehicle’s cannon remains the same as that of the Paladin. These upgrades leverage common mobility components of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, reducing life-cycle and obsolescence costs and enabling the PIM to maneuver with the Armored Brigade Combat Team.

The PIM uses a 600 volt on-board power system, leveraging technologies developed during the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) program. The state-of the-art “digital backbone” and power generation capability integrates electric elevation and traverse drives, an electric rammer, and a digital fire control system. This technology provides significant growth potential for future payloads as well as accommodating existing battlefield network requirements.

“PIM will be a significant leap forward for the Field Artillery in terms of tactical mobility and force protection,” said Adam Zarfoss, director of artillery programs at BAE Systems. “Additionally, by incorporating the latest technology for power generation and management, and leveraging gun driver and rammer designs from the NLOS-C program, PIM positions the Army for the longer term with a platform well suited for growth.”

Work on the contract is expected to begin immediately, with delivery of the first vehicle in mid-2015. Vehicle production will take place in York, Pennsylvania and Elgin, Oklahoma.

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Northrop Delivers Platform Management System for UK Royal Navy’s Astute Submarine

Northrop Grumman has supplied the final batch of Platform Management System (PMS) hardware for the Royal Navy’s Astute-class series’ boat 5 submarine.

Under a performance partnering arrangement, Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine business unit supplied the PMS to BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines for installation on Astute Boat 5, Anson, at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, U.K. The PMS equipment controls and monitors the submarine’s platform machinery and onboard systems.

“Northrop Grumman has a well established relationship with the Royal Navy, supplying and supporting systems for surface ships and submarines,” said Andrew Tyler, chief executive U.K. and Europe, Northrop Grumman.

“The continued success of our involvement in the Astute programme is a reflection of the skill of our teams and the close partnership that we have with BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence.”

Additionally, Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to supply PMS hardware and software for Astute Boat 4 (Audacious) and the forthcoming Astute boats 6 and 7, which will be the Royal Navy’s newest nuclear-powered submarines.

“Our extensive track record of delivering reliable, high-performance navigation and ship control solutions has helped to establish us as a preferred supplier for Royal Navy platforms,” said Alan Dix, managing director of Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine.

“We are particularly pleased that we have achieved 100 percent on-time delivery status during the two-year process for Astute Boat 5.”

Based on Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine’s innovative approach to configuring commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software to meet exacting military and commercial applications, the PMS is expected to reduce life cycle costs and minimize program risk for the U.K. Ministry of Defence.

The system will provide an advanced network design that includes the stringent levels of safety and redundancy associated with nuclear submarine control systems.

Also, the Platform Management System is expandable and versatile due to an open architecture design that allows interfacing with third-party equipment via standard field-bus technology.

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