Academic Year 2014-2015
EXAMINING ACQUISITION LEADERS’ READINESS TO SUPPORT FUTURE LANDCYBER OPERATIONS
By Matthew Lee
The purpose of this research is to help define the necessary foundation for the acquisition leader’s readiness for LandCyber operations through the next decade.
This research examines potential acquisition leader knowledge and training gaps in cybersecurity that influence the cybersecurity shortfall risk in the weapon
systems developed and fielded to the warfighter. The results may facilitate the U.S. Army Acquisition institution’s development of curriculums to prepare leaders
and improve readiness in support of LandCyber operations. Many works in the literature indicate a need for more cybersecurity training and address the impact
of training on the weapon systems that support LandCyber operations. A survey of acquisition leaders is used to collect cybersecurity knowledge, skills, and abilities
(KSAs) in determining individual knowledge, awareness level, and training gaps.
Survey data collected from 156 acquisition leaders provide information to determine their readiness level base on the predefined readiness level criteria. Statistical
analysis of findings indicates acquisition leaders’ readiness is at the level just below average. Further analysis of the data results in the acquisition leaders'
eadiness at the lowest level. Whether acquisition leaders’ level of readiness is just below average or at the lowest, research shows that the level is below what
is necessary for acquisition leaders to be able to support LandCyber operations, especially in the constantly changing future. Cybersecurity and resilience can be
improved by acquisition leaders who have a clear understanding of what cybersecurity is and by ensuring that acquired weapons systems are secure and risks are managed and mitigated. The findings from survey data show that leaders and the workforce need to understand cybersecurity through increased training and education. This paper makes several recommendations that can improve acquisition leaders’ readiness to support LandCyber operations. More...
EFFECTS OF BUDGET REDUCTIONS ON ARMY ACQUISITION SUPPORT OF EQUIPPING AND
MODERNIZATION GOALS By William M. Leonard
During a decade of war, the Army purchased vast amounts of equipment. As the conflicts end and the overall Army budgets are significantly reduced (34% since 2008), maintaining the entire equipment portfolio reduces the funding available to meet Army equipping and modernization goals. The Army will need to make decisions about the best way to invest the available funding in the next couple of years and across the current Program Objective Memorandum (POM) years, fiscal year (FY) 2017–2021, to meet the goals.
The objectives of this study are to provide information on the extent to which legacy systems and non–programs of record (non-POR, including non-standard equipment) exist within the Mission Command portfolio, examine their impact on equipping and modernization, and make recommendations on how to divest the equipment no longer needed.
The survey results and the insights from the literature review show that the Army needs to take a comprehensive look at the current portfolio of equipment being managed and the link to the new Defense guidance and Army equipping guidance and modernization plans. Any systems or programs that are not linked to the new guidance and plans should be divested. More...
WOULD CONSOLIDATION OF ARMY SOFTWARE ENGINEERING ORGANIZATIONS HELP TO CONTROL SOFTWARE COSTS FOR CURRENT
AND FUTURE SYSTEMS? By Gary M. Lichvar
Software sustainment costs continue to rise as the Army increases use of complex software-intensive systems to support military operations and associated business functions. Various studies have identified potential processes and procedures to help control software costs; however, no study has been undertaken to determine whether organizational changes to the Army Materiel Command’s (AMC) software support centers can improve performance and reduce costs.
This study attempts to determine whether cost controls and improved software management techniques can be achieved through changes in AMC’s software support organizations. Current software sustainment issues and concerns are also examined to determine whether organizational changes could address long-standing performance issues with software development and sustainment. AMC software and information technology (IT) project leaders, supervisors and managers within their software support centers were surveyed to determine whether they possessed the required expertise to lead software/IT projects. These software leaders were asked whether their current organization provides the resources necessary for their projects to be successful and whether the consolidation of software centers could enhance AMC’s ability to build and maintain software-intensive systems.
Specific recommendations to optimize software acquisition, development, and sustainment have been suggested and captured in this study. The primary goal for the study is to determine whether centralization of software sustainment organizations can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of AMC software programs, thus minimizing the escalation of software sustainment costs. More...
HOW DOES THE BETTER BUYING POWER INITIATIVE AFFECT SMALL BUSINESS PARTICIPATION IN DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ACQUISITION?
By Ayo Omololu (Limited distribution. Requests for distribution should be referred to the author at, firstname.lastname@example.org)
On June 28, 2010, Ashton Carter, then the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, released the Better Buying Power 2.0 guidance (Carter, 2010). One of its focus areas was the promotion of effective competition by increasing small business roles and opportunities. The Small Business Act requires that small business entities have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in Federal contracts and subcontracts. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) report of 2013, the Department of the Army, like other Services, has experienced a decline in the contract dollars awarded to small businesses
over the years.
One of the reasons why competition is important in defense acquisition is that it provides opportunities for capable small businesses to enter new markets. Because they represent a driving economic force, small businesses are integral to maintaining our industrial base and assisting the Department of the Army in meeting the needs of the warfighter.
This study utilizes a quantitative approach to explain the relationship between small business participation, contracting competition rate, and the contacting rate of entry into a new market. The study investigates industry’s perspective on the Better Buying Power initiative by collecting information on how it affects small business participation.
IMPLICATIONS OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING DEPLOYED AT THE TACTICAL EDGE
By Lisa Sanders
Additive manufacturing (AM) has the potential to provide game-changing capability to deployed Special Operations Forces (SOF) AM is an alternative method of producing objects in which material is deposited (added) to create the finished product. Traditional or “subtractive” manufacturing removes material from a larger product (Drushal, 2013). Recent research about AM, particularly in support of Department of Defense activities, has not considered the use of AM in a tactical setting, but instead has focused on applying AM in lieu of traditional manufacturing and supply chain management. This research paper identifies the most likely missions and environments in which SOF personnel would utilize an additive manufacturing capability, reports the results of a market survey to identify potentially effective material solutions, then assesses potential implementation constraints. The survey was administered to more than 100 diverse SOF warfighters across a variety of military career fields. The survey results support the use of AM in a tactical environment, identify a preferred fielding level, and highlight a target commodity for initial implementation. Several limitations were identified in the course of this research, leading to a list of recommendations for further research. This research needs to be expanded to evaluate AM material solutions’ effectiveness within the environment (dust, humidity, temperature, and vibration) of a SOF tactical mission. Additional research is required to develop procedures to integrate parts libraries, currently available from a variety of sources, with custom requirements identified by the SOF operator in the tactical environment. The research conducted indicates that AM has the potential to increase the capability of the tactically deployed SOF warfighter. More...
ASSESSING WHAT FACTORS ARE DRIVING THE ARMY CIVILIAN ACQUISITION MULTIGENERATIONAL WORKFORCE AGE/EXPERIENCE MIX
By Oral Walker
Generation members are born, start school, enter the workforce, have children, and retire at about the same time and age. Further, generation members are the same age when wars are waged, technological advances are made, and other social changes occur. It is vital that Army leadership understands the potential effects of generational habits and dispositions to enable and maintain an effective workforce to support Force 2025.
This research has examined the multigeneration literature to determine and form a contextual underpinning of the generations’ behaviors and their workforce trends. Subsequently, a survey was distributed to the engineering and contracting members of the Army acquisition workforce to examine and predict their employment behavior and intentions. The results may potentially serve as the basis for future workforce initiatives.
Literature and studies of importance to this research are summarized in chapter 2 of this paper. The pool of literature spanned many years of credible researchers, who examined generational habits within the context of workplace and socioeconomic environment, including differences in values, personality traits, and work attitudes. Therefore, the researcher places value in the generational characteristics that were postulated and have adopted some for the purpose of this work effort.
This study has concluded that the younger generation’s characteristics, such as the need to change jobs within 1–5 years could potentially affect the Army’s acquisition workforce. One-fourth of them may leave the Army within 1–5 years. If the potential exodus of the Army’s younger workforce occurs and it coincides with the actual retirement of Baby Boomers, the Army’s acquisition workforce could experience a severe gap in the next 5 years. Leaders who are planning for Force 2025 acquisition and other activities should make sure they are devising initiatives to balance the workforce experience mix. More...
EXAMINING A PARADIGM SHIFT IN ORGANIC DEPOT-LEVEL SOFTWARE MAINTENANCE FOR ARMY COMMUNICATIONS AND ELECTRONICS EQUIPMENT By Randolph L. Wheeler
In the current fiscal environment, Department of Defense (DoD) budgets and resources are being constrained and strategic decisions are being considered to gain efficiencies across the enterprise. In the realm of the Army’s Life Cycle Management Command for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) materiel, the U.S. Army Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM) is one of those enterprises looking for efficiencies. Resource constraints and diverging hardware and software sustainment trends at Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) and the Software Engineering Center (SEC), respectively, are proving to be a quandary for CECOM in terms of how to cost-effectively conduct software maintenance of Army communications and electronics equipment.
The intent of this paper is to investigate whether there is an opportunity for CECOM to use the organic, hardware-maintenance-focused TYAD workforce to supplement the SEC contractor software-maintenance workforce, in lieu of SEC adding more contractor support. This paper presents the findings of an assessment of the feasibility, benefits, and challenges of such a functional realignment of maintenance responsibilities.The results indicate that this paradigm shift in software maintenance responsibilities is feasible and does have some promising aspects, but not without some clear challenges that require additional investigation. More...
RETAINING A RESILIENT AND ENDURING WORKFORCE: EXAMINATION OF DUTY/POSITION ROTATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS FOR CIVILIAN ACQUISITION POSITIONS By Jennifer Worton
There is a renewed emphasis across the Army to address the readiness of the Army acquisition workforce’s ability to meet current and future requirements of life-cycle management of the Army weapon system portfolio to meet the needs of the warfighter in a rapidly changing political, technological, operational and fiscal environment. Through the use of interviews with senior Army and acquisition workforce personnel and a survey of civilian government employees across the Army acquisition community, the need for additional broadening experiences for Army civilian acquisition employees is evident. Survey results revealed many potential benefits of rotational assignments, such as broader knowledge and skills in other competency areas; continuous learning; networking; improved stakeholder management and development; expanded professional relationships; broader visibility and application of lessons learned, shared ideas, and best practices; and many other benefits. Survey results also revealed risks and disadvantages that would affect the acquisition community with the implementation of rotational assignments, such as short-term disruption to programs, learning curve issues, additional workload, staffing shortages, lost program momentum, and the potential of aving more generalists rather than specialists or experts. As posited in interviews with senior Department of Defense civilian leaders, the workforce needs to be prepared and flexible in order to adapt to the changing requirements, technology, threat, and economic challenges. Findings support a strategic approach to providing broadening experiences for civilian acquisition personnel rather than a policy or mandate that limits flexibility in the application of a rotational assignment. Rotational assignments are just one way to improve the resilience of the acquisition workforce by increasing productivity, enhancing employee development, expanding skill variety, and cultivating interactions of individuals and teams across the acquisition community. More…